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29.03. Landau / Historisches Rathaus
30.03. -02.04.2015 Heek
Youn, William
28.03. Seoul Arts Center, Korea
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Biography | Discography | Similar artists

Valery Afanassiev

Valery Afanassiev
Klavier · Piano

Valery Afanassiev was born in Moscow on 8 September 1947. He studied with Jacob Zac and Emil Gilels at the Moscow conservatory. Afanassiev was awarded a first prize at the Bach Competition in Leipzig in 1968 and at the Reine Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1972. In 1974, the artist moved his place of residence to Versailles / France. Since that time, he has given concerts in all European countries as well as in the USA and Japan.

On principle, Valery Afanassiev takes in upon himself to write the accompanying texts to his recordings. His aim is to give the listeners a comprehensive image of their insights into the composer´s thoughts - a guided tour through his alchemistic laboratory where poetry, philosophy, painting, the cabbala and good wine serve as a reference just like the musical manuscript. Under a pen name, Valery Afanassiev has written nine novels, seven of them in English, two in French. Four novels were published in France, one in Germany, two in Russia. Furthermore, he wrote five cycles of poems, one volume of narrations, a collection of short stories as well as two plays, inspired by the Pictures at an Exhibition and the Kreisleriana. In both plays, he performs as a pianist and actor (in four languages). For some years, Valery Afanassiev has also been active as a conductor. He tries to recapture the sound and polyphony of models he admires (Furtwängler, Mengelberg, Knappertsbusch, Klemperer).

Valery Afanassiev is among the most unconventional contemporary artists. In Versailles, the pianist, poet and philosopher lives on his own. Here he works, writes his books and keeps more than 3000 bottles of wine in his cellar. He half-jokingly refers to himself as a renaissance man.

Excerpt from the play "Kreisleriana":
PIANIST: "I am Schumann. And Kreisler. Even on Venus. Let other pianists play on Schumann´s pianos. Let them make their recordings in his house. They call that authenticity. I call it facts. And facts are important nowadays. People believe in facts, not in ghosts. (pause). Hard times (pause). I believe in ghosts. In shamans. And in Schumanns. Not in facts and figures."

Excerpt from the novel "The Philosopher´s Way":
"We often forget or overlook the difference between creative and reproducing art - a negligence that must be attributed to excessive commercialisation in this day and age. Interpreters of art are denied the ecstatic experience of absolute liberty. This allows the creators - composers, writers, some film directors - to vary some elements in order to create completely heterogeneous substances. In addition, the creator can destroy his work -"
"Which film directors do you like?"
"Nevertheless, interpreters are not completely useless. Because they create events. They position timeless masterpieces in time and place."

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