“Vinnitskaya is a true lioness at the keyboard, devouring the most difficult pages of music with adamantine force.”– Washington Post
For her debut recording on ambroisie, the young Russian pianist Anna Vinnitskaya – winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, Belgium in 2007 – pays tribute to the Russian piano sonata with a thrilling recital featuring Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata No. 2 (1931), Gubaidulina’s Chaconne (1962), Medtner’s Piano Sonata “Reminiscenza” Op. 38, No. 1 (1918-20), and Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 7, Op. 83 (1942).
Following performances of the featured repertoire in September 2008, a critic for the Washington Post reported, “She seemed almost to relish the technical thickets, never rushing, never banging, maintaining control of wildly different simultaneous textures (in the Gubaidulina Chaconne) and pacing long buildups with unswerving focus. In this literature, she has everything a top-level artist needs.”
In a booklet essay with the title “Old forms, new masters,” André Lischke observes,
“After going through a period of pronounced disfavor in the second half of the 19th century, the piano sonata enjoyed a veritable renaissance from the start of the 20th, which was due in large measure to Russian composers. Following in the footsteps of Alexander Scriabin, a number of virtuoso pianist-composers, Nikolai Medtner, Sergei Prokofiev, Samuel Feinberg, and to a lesser extent Sergey Rachmaninov, paid homage in their different ways to a genre that was already more than two centuries old, and now permitted the most varied forms, aesthetics, and messages.”
Anna Vinnitskaya was born into a musical family on August 4, 1983 in Novorossiysk , in the south of Russia on the Black Sea . She began her piano lessons at the age of six and played her first full solo recital at the age of nine. In 1995, her family moved to Rostov-on-Don, where she studied with Sergey Ossipenko at the Sergey Rachmaninov Conservatory. Since October 2001, she has been studying at the Academy for Music and Theatre in Hamburg (Germany) with Ralf Nattkemper, then Evgeni Koroliov. Vinnitskaya’s many prizes include the Leonard Bernstein Award at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in 2008, besides the 44th Jaén International Piano Competition in Spain (2002), the Mauro Paolo Monopoli International Piano Competition in Barletta , Italy (2004), and the International Youth Competition in Moscow (1996). In addition, she was twice honored with the Audience Award (Jaén and Barletta ), and at Jaén she also received a special award for the best performance of Spanish music. Anna Vinnitskaya is also laureate of the International Ferrucio Busoni Competition (Bolzano , Italy , 2005) and the Rina Salo Gallo Competition (Monza , Italy , 2000).