Anna Vinnitskaya and Julia Lezhneva

with the Berliner Philharmoniker for the first time

Anna Vinnitskaya
(Photo: Marco Borggreve)

Two debuts by two outstanding young female artists: the pianist Anna Vinnitskaya and the soprano Julia Lezhneva appear in Berliner Philharmoniker concerts for the first time.

Pianist as a matter of course

Anna Vinnitskaya already gave a recital in the Chamber Music Hall at the invitation of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation in October 2017. She now returns to Berlin to perform with the Philharmoniker for the first time. It was a matter of course for her to become a pianist: as the Russian-born artist, who comes from a family of musicians, once said in an interview, “the piano was always there with me”. As an 18-year-old, she came to Germany to study where she soon met Evgeni Koroliov, who became her teacher and mentor. The first prize at the Concours Reine Elisabeth in Brussels in 2007 marked the beginning of an unprecedented international career. For her debut with the Philharmoniker, she plays Sergei Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto, a highly virtuosic piece in which she excelled last season in Dresden and elsewhere. The Sächsische Zeitung wrote about her: “Here in this extremely difficult early Prokofiev, she skilfully combined percussive hardness with melodic brilliance, and a masterly feeling for sound with sharp attack.”

A particular voice

“You have given birth to an opera singer,” the doctor prophesied to Julia Lezhneva’s mother because her newborn baby was screaming so loudly. In her science-orientated family, Julia Lezhneva, who comes from the Russian island of Sakhalin, was an exception with her musical talent, yet her parents encouraged their daughter’s gift from the beginning. Two people in particular played a decisive role in her career: the mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova, who became her mentor, encouraging her to sing Baroque music, and Marc Minkowski, who spotted the young soprano on YouTube, and engaged her for his recording of Bach’s B Minor Mass. Thanks to her bright, clear and very flexible voice, today the Russian is the ideal performer of virtuosic vocal parts of the Baroque and First Viennese School. Luckily, Julia Lezhneva , whose great role model is Cecilia Bartoli, has loved this type of music since childhood. For her debut concert with the Philharmoniker, she sings the cantata “Berenice, che fai” by Josef Haydn, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s concert aria “Ch’io mi scordi di te”.

Julia Lezhneva
(Photo: Julia Emil Matveev)