Alexey Yemtsov is one of the finest pianists of his generation in Australia, playing with powerful virtuosity, technical precision, and tender lyricism. He has performed in London, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and toured extensively throughout China, Japan, Russia, Ukraine, Australasia and the United States, including a performance for former US President, Bill Clinton.
Born in Ukraine, Alexey commenced piano at age of six and gave his first concerto performance at ten. Winning First Prize and the President’s Special Prize in the Horowitz International Piano Competition just two years later, he went on to win First Prize in the International Prokofiev Competition, and was recorded live for the release of the “Great Pianists of the Twentieth Century” Collection (Polygram Classics). He was a Major Prize Winner of the Pozzoli and UNISA International Piano Competitions in 2004 and 2008 respectively.
Within Australia, Alexey’s debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra performing Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 1 under the direction of Vladimir Ashkenazy was received with wide critical acclaim and standing ovations: “scintillating precision and dexterity…The long-breathed passages of lush lyricism were shaped with tender care” (The Australian). Immediately re-invited for the following season, Alexey has since appeared with the Melbourne, Queensland, West Australian and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Oleg Caetani, Sir Mark Elder, Lawrence Foster, Marko Letonja, Vladimir Verbitsky and Simone Young. He toured China as soloist with the Australian Youth Orchestra in 2010. Other international soloist engagements have included concerts with Kiev Camerata and the National Ukrainian Orchestra (Ukraine), I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milano (Italy), and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (New Zealand).
A regular soloist for Willoughby Symphony Orchestra, Yemtsov was invited to perform for inaugural concerts in its new Sydney residence, the Concourse, earning praise for his “most memorable… splendidly nuanced and admirably virtuosic” performance of Tchaikovsky’s first Piano Concerto (Nicholas Milton conducting). Alexey’s performance of piano concerto by an Australian composer Miriam Hyde with Strathfield Symphony Orchestra has earned him great accolades.
In 2013, Alexey returned as soloist with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in a critically acclaimed performance before an audience of 8,000 patrons: “Pianist Alexey Yemtsov showed a sophisticated musicianship and fiery technique in Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C with a clear, precise tone capturing the opening mood… The slow movement contained beautifully measured dialogue between soloist and orchestra, each statement building in intensity. An exciting finale was full of energetic bounce, with Yemtsov scaling the keyboard with dramatic glissandi and flashy octaves.” (The Age)
Highlight for the 2016 concert season was performing the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in Canada, both concerts deserving a rare for the Orpheum Theatre standing ovation: “long on the work’s genuine poetry, with frequent lashings of glassy passage work delivered with clear sound and consistent accuracy. His playing is full of emotion” (Vancouver Sun).
After taking a short break due to Covid-19 pandemic, Alexey returned to the stage with a spectacular line up of concerts in 2022: all three War Sonatas by Sergei Prokofiev, performed on three consecutive nights, and a Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. “Alexey Yemtsov … brought tears to my eyes. George Gershwin would have been so very proud. I seriously doubt that a single person left the concert hall without their soul on fire” – were the words of Lisa Gershwin, a grand-niece of the composer himself, which she sent to the local newspaper after attending the concert. All concerts were sold out and received a standing ovation. Alexey has also performed a number of local recitals around Tasmania, including a world-premiere of a resident composer’s work.
Alexey has made over twenty video recordings of his performances for commercial organisations, as well as his own YouTube channel, over the course of the last two years, and is planning on expanding his video library in the future.
While pursuing his other passion for teaching, Alexey also continues to support charitable foundations with fundraising performances for organisations such as Red Cross International, and Sydney University’s Timor-Leste Fund.
- 2022 Alexey Yemtsov