Nikolai Petrov (1943-2011)

Russian pianist dies, aged 68


The Russian concert pianist Nikolai Petrov has died aged 68.


Born into a musical family – his grandfather was the operatic bass Vasily Petrov – Petrov started taking piano lessons at the age of three and later studied at the Moscow Conservatory under Yakov Zak.

He won his first international prize at the Van Cliburn Competition, Texas, in 1962, and completed his studies in 1968. He was – unlike many of his fellow musicians – able to travel during the Cold War and performed around 100 concerts per year until he suffered a stroke in May this year.

Petrov appeared alongside conductors such as Yuri Temirkanov and Gennady Rozhdestvensky at venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London. And his recordings included works by Liszt, Brahms, Haydn and Chopin.

As well as his recording career, Petrov was also a professor at the Moscow Conservatory and president of several societies including the Russian Academy of Arts. He was a jury member for the 2007 International Tchaikovsky Competition. In 1998 he founded the Nikolai Petrov International Philanthropic Foundation to support Russian artists.

The pianist died on 3 August in Moscow and is survived by his wife and daughter.


Stella Lorenz