Born in 1961 in Moscow, Alexander Kniazev made his debut in 1978 in Russia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, USA, Japan, Korea, South America and South Africa.
He has performed as a soloist under Evgeny Svetlanov, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Kurt Masur, Yuri Temirkanov, Yuri Bashmet, Vladimir Fedosseyev, Neeme Järvi, Alexander Vedernikov, Hans Jörg Albrecht, Vassily Petrenko, Andris Poga, Maxime Chostakovich, Mikhail Pletnev, Charles Dutoit, Pinchas Steinberg, Dmitri Liss, Kazuki Yamada, Stéphane Denève, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Vladimir Jurovsky, Alexander Sladkovsky, Kazuki Yamada et Lawrence Foster; with the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, Russian State Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, Radio France Philharmonic, Orchestre du Capitole de Toulouse, Monte-Carlo Philharmonic, Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Göteborg Symphonic Orchestra, Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck, Ensemble Kanazawa, Yokohama Sinfonietta, Den Haag Residentie Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra…
He is a regular guest of the festivals of December Nights in Moscow, White Nights in Saint Petersburg, Folles Journées de Nantes/Tokyo, Nuits du Suquet (France), La Roque d’Anthéron (France), Touraine Music Festival (France), Menton Music Festival (France), Moments Musicaux de la Baule (France), International Festival of George Enescu in Bucharest, Jerusalem International Chamber Music Festival, Povoa de Varzim Festival (Portugal) and of the prestigious Tanglewood, Lugano, Amstel Festival of Amsterdam and Salzburg festivals…
He plays chamber music with Nikolai Lugansky, Evgeny Kissin, Andrei Korobeinikov, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Boris Berezovsky, Plamena Mangova, Mario Brunello, Ivan Monighetti, Dimitri Makhtin, Elena Bashkirova and Jean Guillou (one of the greatest French organists) with whom he maintained very close ties for many years, and who composed an organ concerto for Alexander Kniazev.
With Vadim Repin and Andrei Korobeinikov, he performs in major concert halls around the world. Resmusica had the following comments : the three talents (Vadim Repin, Alexander Knaizev and Andrei Korobeinikov) form “a trio combining the sumptuous and the brilliant, producing a result of total harmony. We are fascinated by their ability to listen to each other, by their capacity to join forces to transmit the meaning of the musical work. (…) Overwhelmed and enthusiastic, the audience gave a well-deserved standing ovation.”
As an ardent defender of contemporary music, Alexander Kniazev premiered in Moscow Alexei Rybnikov and Igor Raykhelson’s Cello Concertos (that were dedicated to him).
Alexander Kniazev is an exceptionally gifted musician, who has many talents and he is also an organist. In 2017, he was invited to perform a recital on the famous organ of the Saint Louis des Invalides Cathedral in Paris. He has also amazed the Russian audience with his recent appearance as a pianist at the Moscow Philharmonic and other major venues in Russia
In 1995, Alexander Kniazev was appointed as a professor at the Moscow Conservatory and he regularly gives masterclasses in France, Spain and Korea. He is also a member of the jury at many international cello competitions.
Alexander Kniazev has made many CD recordings with various companies: at Melodia – an album of Ernest Bloch and Miaskovsky’s cello concerto with Evgeny Svetlanov and the Russian State Symphonic Orchestra; at Philips – Max Reger and Jean Guillou; at Warner Classics – J.S. Bach, Chopin and Chostakovitch with Nikolaï Lugansky, as well as the trios by Chostakvitch Rachmaninov and Mendelssohn with Dmitri Makhtin and Boris Berezovsky, and a Tchaikovsky album with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra and Constantin Orbelian; at Lontano/Warner – Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow directed by Vladimir Fedoseyev ; at Fuga Libera – Franck and Ysaÿe with Plamena Mangova; at Mirare – Brahms with Andreï Korobeinikov and at Melodiya, Bach’s Sonatas for Cello and Organ with Jean Guillou (“ECHO CLASSICS” Award). He also recorded a Chostakovitch album with the Yokohama Sinfonietta Orchestra under the baton of Kazuki Yamada. As an organist, he recorded, for “Piano Classics” an album of works by Bach which has been broadcast in the prestigious Cathedral of Riga, as well as J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations published by Exton and Bach’s 18 Leipzig Chorales published by Melodiya.
His entire discography has won unanimous critical acclaim and received many awards.
Alexander Kniazev began his cello studies aged 6 under Alexander Fedorchenko and was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory in 1979. At the same time, he studied the organ under G. Kozlova. He won many international prizes, including the first prize at the Vilnius International Cello Competition in 1977, the second prize at the Moscow Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1990 and, in 1992, the first prize at the Pretoria International Competition. In 1999, he was named “Best musician of the year” in Russia.