Yulianna Avdeeva

"she was always fully inside the music" - The Standard (UK)
a dark-haired russian woman in her early 30s wearing a rich purple shirt leans over the edge of an open grand piano

A pianist of fiery temperament and virtuosity, Avdeeva plays with power, conviction, and sensibility, having won over audiences all over the world. “Her pacing is born of intelligent feeling and clarity of thought, and her ability to finesse Chopin’s inner voices puts many to shame” (The Guardian).

She is a favorite artist in Europe, with recurring concert engagements at the Warsaw Philharmonic and Rudolfinum in Prague, Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, Vienna Konzerthaus, and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, and has also given concerts for Ukrainian Relief, including one with Anne-Sophie Mutter at the Lucerne Chamber Music Festival.

Highlights of Avdeeva’s 2023/24 season include a solo recital at Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, featuring the late piano works of Liszt and Beethoven’s astounding Hammerklavier Sonata; Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne (Manfred Honeck), and with the Pacific Symphony (Tianyi Lu); an all-Liszt recital at Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, including the celebrated Sonata in B minor; Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Tugan Sokhiev); Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (James Conlon); Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Petr Popelka); Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra (Stephanie Childress); Bernstein’s Symphony no. 2, “The Age of Anxiety” (for orchestra and solo piano), with Orchestra RAI (Robert Treviño); and Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia (Jaime Martín).

A recording artist, Avdeeva released Resilience in 2023 (Pentatone), performing music by Władysław Szpilman, Mieczysław Weinberg, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev, composers who endured in times of great political instability. The focal point of the album is Szpilman, a Polish Jew who survived World War II and is known as the title hero of Roman Polanski’s Palme d’Or-winning film The Pianist. Avdeeva was motivated by the opportunity to play on Szpilman’s house piano, which helped her to cope with the challenges of our current times. Resilience may offer fortitude and consolation to her listeners as well.

In the fall of 2023 Avdeeva launched a new project titled #YuliannasMusicalDialogues — an engaging online initiative that provides an open space for her followers and all aficionados of the art of the piano to share their passion for music. Through regular informal social media posts, Avdeeva invites followers to choose the composer of the month, opening up an online conversation about the selected composer’s life and work, paying special attention to details of notable pieces. With short, instructive, and accessible videos, Avdeeva deconstructs and demonstrates the art of performance, highlighting specific aspects, and giving advice and demonstrating phrasing, technique, and style, among other factors that define her artistry.

Avdeeva’s 2022/23 season began with a Tippet Rise Festival recital in Montana, followed by her Carnegie Hall debut recital, performing Weinberg’s seldom-played Piano Sonata in B Minor, among selections by Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninov, and Szpilman. She performed with the Vienna Symphony and, after an acclaimed first collaboration in 2021, toured again with Teodor Currentzis and the SWR Symphony in Munich, Hamburg and Vienna. In mid-winter she returned to Japan with concerts in Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama and Kyoto, followed by concerto appearances with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (Andris Poga), RAI National Orchestra (Juraj Valčuha), Bergen Philharmonic (Petr Popelka), Basque National Orchestra (Robert Trevino) and Camerata Salzburg (Finnegan Downie Dear). She also performed in recitals in Leipzig, Florence, Madrid, Barcelona, Aarhus and Naples.

Other extensive orchestral collaborators include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Finnish and Danish Radio Symphonies, Czech Philharmonic, Dresden Philharmonic, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Kremerata Baltica, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, KBS Symphony, and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony.

A dedicated chamber musician, Yulianna has toured regularly throughout Europe with violinists Julia Fischer and Gidon Kremer, with appearances at Wigmore Hall, Tonhalle Zurich, and Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, among others. In addition to being a regular guest at Festival Chopin Warsaw and the Festival International de Piano La Roque d’Anthéron, in recent seasons Avdeeva has performed in recital and concerto at the Salzburg Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Boulez Saal, Vienna Konzerthaus, Palau de la Música Catalana, Musikfest Bremen, Jerusalem Chamber Music Festival, and Shostakovich Festival Saxony.

Avdeeva’s recordings of the Chopin concertos with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century and Frans Brüggen (2013), her three solo albums featuring works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, and Prokofiev (2014, 2016, 2017), and her collaboration with Gidon Kremer in Weinberg’s chamber music (2017 and 2019) comprise a formidable record of her art, topped off by a Deutsche Grammophon (2019) solo recording as part of a milestone collection dedicated to Chopin Competition Gold Medalists.

Piano aficionados around the world also enjoy Avdeeva’s educational online streaming project, the #AvdeevaBachProject, which she started during the Covid-19 lockdown, gaining more than half a million views.