“... with an exceptionally refined sense of musical discourse, Skanavi brings a purposeful concentration to every note she plays. The intensity of her interpretations is utterly compelling.”
Pianist Katia Skanavi’s combination of Greek-Russian cultural roots and Central European musical traditions results in music-making with a unique blend of spontaneity, intuition and erudition.
A Greek citizen born in the former Soviet Union, Skanavi is based in Moscow and Berlin. Equally active as a soloist and chamber music partner, she has appeared worldwide with conductors such as James Conlon, Kurt Masur, Sir Yehudi Menuhin and Jaap van Zweden. Skanavi collaborated with the major orchestras in Russia, and internationally with the DSO Berlin, Salzburg Camerata, Kremerata Baltica, Orchestre National de France, as well as with the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, San Francisco and Tokyo. She has presented recital programs in Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Vienna and New York. Gidon Kremer has partnered with Katia Skanavi in concert duo performances and on recording and she has played sonatas with Leonidas Kavakos and Yuri Bashmet.
Katia Skanavi’s broad repertoire ranges from the Baroque era and across the Romantic age to collaborations with living composers. She has worked with Arvo Pärt, Alfred Schnittke, Jörg Widmann, Carl Vine and John Corigliano receiving advice from the composers.
Katia Skanavi’s discography includes an all-Chopin recital on the Pro Piano label, selected by Gramophone magazine as their record of the month. Her most recent concerto recording with Brussels Philharmonic is Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini and the first piano concerto. Preferring a concert atmosphere to the studio, many of Skanavi’s live recitals have been released on the Lyrinx label garnering critical praise.
Interested in cross-genre collaborations, Katia Skanavi has been involved in creating theater works combining poetry, music, video projections and dance. Her most recent production with actress Chulpan Khamatova and dancer Vladimir Varnava is part of the season repertoire at the legendary “Sovremennik’ drama theatre in Moscow.
Katia Skanavi began her musical studies in Moscow at the Gnessin School for Gifted Children with Tatiana Zelikman, and at the age of 12 made her debut in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, performing Kabalevskyʼs third piano concerto under the composerʼs direction. On her 18th birthday she became a multiple prize-winner in the finals of the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris. Early on her concert career was supported by further prizes at the Van Cliburn competition in Fort Worth and the Grand Prix Maria Callas in Athens. Continuing her studies at the Conservatoire National in Paris with Bruno Rigutto, Cleveland Institute of Music with Sergey Babayan, Katia Skanavi holds a Doctorate Degree from Tchaikovsky Conservatory where she studied with Vladimir Krainev and Vera Gornostaeva. Skanavi’s chosen PhD topic was the «Influence of Alfred Cortot on French piano tradition». She believes in the importance of pedagogy in a life of a concert musician and teaches piano and chamber music at international masterclasses and at the Moscow Conservatory.