Born in Moscow, Katia Skanavi has been impressing audiences, critics and fellow performers alike with her vibrant pianism and sensitive musicality. A former finalist at the Van Cliburn competition, she is a favorite partner of musicians like Leonidas Kavakos, Yuri Bashmet and Gidon Kremer, both as a soloist with the Salzburg Camerata, Moscow Soloists, Kremerata Baltica and a chamber music partner.
She is appreciated for a rich and vivid tonal palette and a virtuosity which is connected to intuitive and thoughtful interpretation.
Katia has appeared at various European festivals including La Roque d’Anthéron, Lockenhaus, Schubertiade among many others.
European engagements included her debut at the Berlin Philharmonie with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester with Arvo Part' s Credo, Theatre des Champs- Elysees with the Orchestre National de France and Kurt Masur performing Tchaikovsky Concerto N 3, which resulted in an immediate re-invitation, performances with Sinfonia Varsovia under the baton of Sir Yehudi Menuhin and many years of collaboration with Maestro Jaap van Zweden.
Her most notable American engagements included recitals in New York, Ravinia and Washington and performances with the Symphony Orchestras of Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis and San Francisco.
Katia Skanavi toured Australia with a three-week national recital tour for Musica Viva. She “brought the house down” (The West) and prompted the critic from The Australian to describe her as having “…an exceptionally refined sense of musical discourse. Skanavi brings a purposeful concentration to every note she plays, and the intensity of her interpretations is utterly compelling”
Katia Skanavi comes from a culturally rich Greek – Russian family. She began her musical studies in Moscow at the School for Gifted Children and at the age of 12 she gave her first public concert with orchestra in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, performing Kabalevsky’s third piano concerto under the composer’s direction. On her 18th birthday she became a multiple prize-winner in the finals of the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris. Appearances followed at the world’s major concert venues, including the Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.
She nevertheless continued to study, at the Conservatoire National in Paris and the Moscow Conservatory, then at the Cleveland Institute with Sergei Babayan. In 1994 she won the Maria Callas Competition in Greece, home of her great-grandfather, and was awarded with Greek citizenship as well. At the Van Cliburn Competition 1997 she was also very successful.
Katia Skanavi’s repertoire is spreading from classical over contemporary music. She recorded Georgs Pelecis ' Double Concerto "Nevertheless" with Gidon Kremer as well as many live recitals on Lyrinx, which were highly praised by the press and a Chopin recital (Pro Piano label) was named ‘Classical Recording of the Month’ by Gramophone magazine. Her last CD with orchestra includes Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 1 as well as his “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” with Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra under Michel Tabachnik.
Katia Skanavi collaborated lately with such conductors as Vladimir Fedoseev, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Claudio Vandelli, Ainars Rubikis,Eiji Oue, Arman Tigranyan, Gintaras Rinkevicius and many wonderful chamber music partners such as Alban Gerhardt, Alexander Kniazev, Vilde Frang, Jorg Widmann, Sergey Krylov, Claudio Bohorquez, Amihai Grosz, Nicolas Dautricourt, Wenzel Fuchs, Nicolas Altstaedt, Marc Bouchkov, Sharon Kam, Daishin Kashimoto, Paul Meyer.
Highlights of the last years have been recitals and orchestral engagements in Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Moscow and Paris.
Katia was invited by Maestro Valery Gergiev to participate in Sergei Prokofiev's anniversary celebration (2016). In Summer 2016 she performed at Verbier Festival with Liana Issakadze.
Katia is participating in a show of legendary Moscow drama theater "Sovremennik" - a play integrating and counterpointing music of J.S.Bach, Alfred Schnittke and texts by Josef Brodsky.
Her next recital CD will be released in 2017 with Sonatas by Beethoven, Schumann and Prokofiev.