Poetic Piano Sonatas
- Composer: Beethoven, Chopin and Bartok
- Title: “Poetic Piano Sonatas”
- Artist: Olga Jegunova
- Catalogue No.: MMC114
- Bar Code: 5065001668142
- Release Date: 4th November 2016
- UK Distribution: Discovery
- Format: Single CD/Standard Jewel Case
- Price: £13.95 (inc VAT and p&p)
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 21 Op. 53 “Waldstein”; Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 Op. 35; Bartok: Piano Sonata Sz. 80
The debut album “Poetic Sonatas” by pianist Olga Jegunova exhibits not only the creative capabilities and experience of the artist, but also an attempt to merge the two culture fields of music and poetry. The poetry by three different authors accompanying the CD, is linked with the music of Beethoven, Chopin and Bartók inviting the listeners to gain an insight into Olga’s thinking as well as experience the contrasts between them. The choice of repertoire is not without purpose either – alongside Beethoven’s Sonata no.21 in C major and Chopin’s Sonata no.2 in B flat minor we find a less often recorded Bartók Sonata (1926). This gives us three different takes on the nature and genre of the sonata, ranging from the Vienna classical school of music to the first decades of the 20th century. Here we find the defining moment of Olga Jegunova’s take on interplay between music and poetry: Beethoven and Goethe, Chopin and Pasternak, Bartok and Parry.
Olga outlines her thoughts behind the repertoire choices in this promotional video:
The Latvian pianist Olga Jegunova makes every performance fresh and compelling. She possesses a remarkable musical imagination combined with a seriousness of purpose and discipline. Her repertoire ranges from Bach to Schnittke, Scarlatti to Bartok and includes much contemporary repertoire, not least some new works composed especially for her.
Olga has gained an enviable reputation as soloist and recitalist, not least winning many major international piano competitions. These include the Ginette Gaubert competition in Paris and the Steinway-Förderpreis in Hamburg. She has been a prize-winner at the Maryse Cheilan competition in France, the Stasys Vainiunas competition in Vilnius, the Animato competition in Zurich, and was a semi-finalist at the prestigious Geza Anda Concours in Zurich.
Beginning her musical studies in her native Latvia (B. Mus at the Jazeps Vitols Latvian Music Academy), Olga moved to Germany (M. Mus at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg) and Great Britain (Royal College of Music’s Artist Diploma course as an RCM scholar under Dmitri Alexeev, and Royal Northern College of Music where her piano teacher was Norma Fisher).
Olga regularly performs at festivals across Europe. These include Gstaad Piano Academy, Edinburgh International Festival, Deal Festival, IMS Prussia Cove and Sounds New Contemporary Music Festival.
Olga Jegunova is very interested in working with other groups of artists. She played the piano in the “Noureev & Friends” performance in the Palais Des Congrès in Paris in 2013 and has worked with the storyteller Jan Blake to create the Peter and the Wolf performance for children.
Olga Jegunova played for the Latvian Presidency’s annual Burns Supper in Brussels and played before HRH Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
Olga has participated in numerous master classes with such luminaries as Andras Schiff, Ferenz Rados, Elisso Virsaladze, Mikhail Voskresensky and Lazar Berman. As a soloist, she has collaborated with conductors such as Saulius Sondeckis, Alexander Soddy, Andres Mustonen, Muhai Tang and Valery Ovsianikov, and appeared with ensembles and orchestras such as the Sinfonia Concertante, Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Pasdeloup Orchestra and Manchester Camerata. Olga also is a very keen chamber musician.
Since 2009, she has worked as a performer for Live Music Now, a charity providing live music in the concert hall as well as in the welfare, educational, justice and health sectors. Olga teaches piano to students of Queen Mary London University.
Olga Jegunova was invited to work as a compere at the 2015 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. This competition was streamed live over the Internet by Medici TV. BBC Arabic interviewed Olga Jegunova about classical music and how it makes a difference to our humanity.
In December 2015 Olga Jegunova launched a charity called OlgaRhythm to support talented music students of all ages. www.olgarhythm.com
In April 2016, she became a Steinway Artist. In addition, in August 2016, Olga gave birth to a son, Boris, so all-in-all it has been a busy year so far!
The CD booklet includes an essay by Olga Jegunova with her comments on each of the three-featured works together with the three poems replicated in full.
A CD launch event on 18th October 2016 was screened live on Facebook (it will remain indefinitely on Olga’s page). The event includes Olga in discussion with Gramophone Editor-in-Chief, James Jolly. Please go to Olga’s Facebook Page, connect with her and then view. https://www.facebook.com/olga.jegunova.9?fref=ts