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Mikhail Danchenko, pianist

He was born in 1978 in Gomel (Belarus). He started studying music at the age of 6, when his parents-musicians sent him to study in “Lyssenko” – Central Music School Kiev in the class of N. Gridneva (the family had moved to Kiev by this time).

During the years of study, Misha approved himself as a bright and virtuosic pianist. He gave his first solistic concert performance at the age of 11 and his first performance with symphony orchestra (Concerto No. 1 for piano and orchestra by P.I. Tchaikovsky) at the age of 12. The Kiev newspapers of that time wrote that his performance in the Kiev Philharmonic had overwhelmed the Kiev audience and become a true showstopper (“Kiev vedomosti”, April 20, 1995). He was awarded the special Diploma of the President of Ukraine for professional success twice.

This was followed by the beginner’s success at the international junior competitions: S. Diaghilev-Competition (1991, Moscow, 3 Prize), International Tchaikovsky Youth Competition (1992, Moscow, the Special Jury Prize for outstanding virtuosity), etc.

The winning at the International Competition for Young Pianists W. Krainev (1994, Charkov, 1 Prize) changed his destiny abruptly: in 1995 he became a pupil of this famous pianist in the Music and Theatre High School in Hannover (Germany). In 2006 he graduated from the postgraduate course in the same place. During the years of study in the class of W. Krainev he made a name for himself at the largest international competitions: International Piano Competition F. Busoni (1996, Italy, 3 Prize), International Piano Competition W. Cliburn (1997, USA, Jury Discretionary Award and special prize), etc. The American press noted: “…he sweeps the audience along in the furious finale of Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 7… and yet in the last 40 seconds, he drove the audience into a frenzy.” (Star Telegram, May 24, 1997). The support by the first-rate contemporary musicians such as W. Krainev, Y. Bashmet, V. Spivakov gave him an opportunity to play in the best world halls at prestigious musical festivals. Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Great Hall of the Philharmony St.-Petersburg, Musikverein Vienna, Konzerthaus Berlin, Concerthall “Cortot” in Paris, etc. are among them.

After his graduation, he lived and worked in Germany as a concert pianist. During those years, his works were also heard in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Lithuania, and Latvia. The great reviews of the press and audience concur: “…even now the sensations in the musical world are possible… it is impossible to excel the level of this intense combination of the technique and performing greatness…” (Oberbaddisches Volkblatt, April 20, 2000). “…his style can be compared with the impetuous and powerful waterfall…” (“Weltklassik am Klavier”, 2016).

Today Michail Danchenko is in the productive prime of his creative powers. Musical critics as well as virtuosity and brightness marks both the interpretation depth and the large range of his musical way of thinking, which, as they believe, place Michail Danchenko on a par with leading pianists of our time.

“The genius on his own island” – this is the way that one of the German production websites characterizes him laconically and concisely (“Weltklassik am Klavier”, 2017).