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Alexander Melnikov and Andreas Staier, piano; 03/15/2019

Alexander Melnikov and Andreas Staier, Piano 
Friday, March 15, 2019 – 7:30 PM
Mahaney Arts Center, Robison Hall

Intensive chamber music collaborations have always been an essential part of renowned Russian pianist Alexander Melnikov’s work. For his fifth performance at Middlebury, he joins German pianist Andreas Staier—known for his exacting interpretations of keyboard music—to delight us with their all-Schubert program of four-hand works. Their Harmonia Mundi recording of this program has garnered prizes and accolades around the globe. A Nelson Series event, cosponsored by the members of the Performing Arts Series Society (PASS). Reserved seating. Tickets: $30/25/10/6PASS Members $22/16/8/5

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Associated event:
Performing Arts Series Society (PASS) Reception
Friday, March 15, 2019 – 6:15 PM
Mahaney Arts Center, Lower Lobby

This festive occasion is a chance for members to gather and celebrate PASS, preview select performances from the upcoming 100th season, and vote on which event to support. Membership information: 802-443-PASS (7277) or

Learn More | Media | Program | Biography | Press Release


Alexander Melnikov with an introduction to his project, “The Man with the Many Pianos”

Piano four hands
All-Schubert program
from Six Grande Marches, D. 819, Op. 40
No. 3 in b minor
Vier Landler, D. 814
No. 1 in E-flat Major
No. 2 in A-flat Major
No. 3 in c minor
No. 4 in A-flat Major
from Six Polonaises, Op. 61
No. 1 in d minor
from Deux Marches Caracteristiques, D. 968b (D. 886)
No. 1 in C Major (Allegro vivace)
Andantino varié in b minor, D. 823, Op. 84, No. 1
Rondo in A Major, D. 951, Op. 107 (Grand Rondeau)
Allegretto quasi andantino
Variations on an original theme in A-flat Major, D. 813, Op. 35
Theme (Allegretto)
Variation 1
Variation 2
Variation 3 (un poco più lento)
Variation 4 (Tempo 1)
Variation 5
Variation 6 (Maestoso)
Variation 7 (Più lento)
Variation 8 (Allegro moderato)
Fantasia for piano in f minor, D. 940, Op. 103
Allegro molto moderato
Allegro vivace
Tempo primo


Alexander Melnikov, Piano

Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include an early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at eminent competitions such as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991). 

Known for his often-unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov discovered a career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice at an early age. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with distinguished period ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Musica Aeterna and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi and Valery Gergiev. 

Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov developed a program that sets excerpts from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier (Andreas Staier, harpsichord) in musical dialogue with Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues (Alexander Melnikov, piano). Additionally, the artists recently recorded a unique all-Schubert program of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. An essential part of Melnikov’s work are intensive chamber music collaborations with partners including cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.

Alexander Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won a Gramophone Award. This album, which has become a landmark recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy. Their most recent release features the Brahms sonatas for violin and piano.

Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, Choc de classica and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2011, it was also named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time.” Additionally, his discography features works by Brahms, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich and Scriabin. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of albums featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios; the second installment, featuring the Piano Concerto and the Piano Trio No. 2, was released in September 2015. Other releases include a November 2016 recording featuring works of Prokofiev, a recording released in June 2017 with Chausson and Franck repertoire and his most recent release, Four Pieces, Four Pianos, which has been released in February 2018 and has since then been highly acclaimed by critics.

In the 2018/19 season Alexander Melnikov will tour his project “The Man with the Many Pianos”, where he performs a solo recital on different instruments reflecting the periods in which the works were written. Next to concerts with Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, he continues his collaboration with Camerata Salzburg and as an Artistic partner with Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Further highlights include a US tour with Andreas Staier, recitals at Pierre Boulez Saal Berlin, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Elbphilarmonie, Cité de la Musique Paris and the Chamber Music Hall of the Berliner Philharmonie as well as being an artist in residence at London Wigmore Hall.

Andreas Staier, Piano

One of the world’s most prominent performers, Andreas Staier’s indisputable musical mastery has made its mark on the interpretation of baroque, classical and romantic repertoire for period instruments. Acknowledged by his peers and a wider audience, Andreas continues to defend intellectual and artistic standards in both known and neglected works for the keyboard.

Born in Göttingen in 1955, Andreas studied modern piano and harpsichord in Hannover and Amsterdam. For three years, he was the harpsichordist of Musica Antiqua Köln with whom he toured and recorded extensively. As a soloist, Andreas Staier performs throughout Europe, the United States and Asia with orchestras such as Concerto Köln, Freiburger Barockorchester, the Akademie für alte Musik Berlin and the Orchestre des Champs - Elysées Paris.

Andreas has been invited to leading international festivals including the Festival de La Roque d’Anthéron, Festival de Saintes, Festival de Montreux, Edinburgh International Festival, York Early Music Festival, Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music, Styriarte Graz, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Schlweswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Bach-Fest Leipzig, Bachtage Berlin, Bachwoche Ansbach and Kissinger Sommer. He has also performed in major venues: Konzerthaus, Wien; Konzerthaus, Philharmonie, Berlin; Kölner Philharmonie; Gewandhaus Leipzig; Alte Oper Frankfurt; Tonhalle Düsseldorf; Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall, London; deSingel Antwerp; Concertgebouw Amsterdam; Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels; Tonhalle Zürich; Cité de la Musique, Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, Ircam, Théâtre des Champs – Elysées, Paris; Teatro della Pergola, Florence; Sala Filarmonica, Roma; Toppan Hall, Suntory Hall, Tokyo; Carnegie Hall, Frick Collection, New York; and is regularly invited as a guest soloist by the BBC.

As a chamber musician Andreas is performing regularly with pianists Alexander Melnikov, Christine Schornsheim and Tobias Koch, violinists Isabelle Faust and Petra Müllejans, and in piano trio with violinist Daniel Sepec and cellist Roel Dieltiens. He has also worked with the actresses Senta Berger and Vanessa Redgrave as well as Anne Sophie von Otter, Alexei Lubimov and Pedro Memelsdorff, and his musical partnership with the tenor Christoph Prégardien produced numerous lieder recordings (Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Brahms), all highly acclaimed by international critics.

Associate Artist at the Opera de Dijon since September 2011, Andreas Staier presents an eclectic series of programmes for harpsichord and fortepiano, in recital, chamber music and with orchestra. He continues to collaborate with composer Brice Pauset and will give the world premiere of “Kontra-Sonate” (which will be recorded for AEON), and play the concerto “Kontra-Concert” with the Freiburger Barockorchester.

Andreas has recorded extensively for BMG, Teldec Classics (with whom he had an exclusive contract for seven years) and harmonia mundi France, the latter since 2003. His catalogue boasts numerous awards including a Diapason d’or for his ‘Am Stein vis-à-vis’ with Christine Schornsheim (Mozart), the 2002 Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik and, in 2011, the Baroque Instrumental Gramophone Award for his CPE Bach concerti recording with the Freiburger Barockorchester. His recording of the ‘Diabelli Variations’, received Diapason d’Or, E/Scherzo, G/Gramophone, 10/10 Classica and the BBC Music Magazine’s Disc of the Month, and his selection of 17th century works for harpsichord from both German and French repertoire: '...pour passer la mélancolie', earnt him a second Gramophone award in 2013. 

Following his second volume of works by Schumann ‘Fantasiestücke und Variationen’ and a highly awaited CD of JS Bach harpsichord concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester, Andreas latest disc presents Schubert’s music for four hands together with Alexander Melnikov. 

Andreas Staier will be resident at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin from September 2017 to July 2018.


Mahaney Arts Center
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax