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."