Alexander Melnikov

Piano, Fortepiano

His playing is imbued with an acute, compelling and almost sarcastic humour. An artist whose intelligence and empathy will allow generous detours despite his obsession for precision. Always good for surprises!
Go to Biography


Alexander Melnikov graduated from the Moscow Conservatory under Lev Naumov. His most formative musical moments in Moscow include an early encounter with Svjatoslav Richter, who thereafter regularly invited him to festivals in Russia and France. He was awarded important prizes at eminent competitions such as the International Robert Schumann Competition in Zwickau (1989) and the Concours Musical Reine Elisabeth in Brussels (1991).

Known for his often-unusual musical and programmatic decisions, Alexander Melnikov developed his career-long interest in historically-informed performance practice early on. His major influences in this field include Andreas Staier and Alexei Lubimov. Melnikov performs regularly with distinguished period ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Musica Aeterna and Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.

As a soloist, Alexander Melnikov has performed with orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Sinfonieorchester, HR-Sinfonieorchester, Russian National Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and the NHK Symphony, under conductors such as Mikhail Pletnev, Teodor Currentzis, Charles Dutoit, Paavo Järvi and Valery Gergiev.
„This pianist has a palette of timbres at his disposal, a sense for the right moment, an eloquence that makes you want to jump up and look what he's doing between his fingertips and the keyboard.”Hamburger Abendblatt, January 2019
Together with Andreas Staier, Alexander Melnikov recorded a unique all-Schubert programme of four-hand pieces, which they have also performed in concert. An essential part of Melnikov’s work is intensive chamber music collaboration with partners including cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.

Alexander Melnikov’s association with the label harmonia mundi arose through his regular recital partner, violinist Isabelle Faust, and in 2010 their complete recording of the Beethoven sonatas for violin and piano won a Gramophone Award. This album, which has become a landmark recording for these works, was also nominated for a Grammy. Their most recent releases feature the Brahms and Mozart sonatas for violin and piano.

Melnikov’s recording of the Preludes and Fugues by Shostakovich was awarded the BBC Music Magazine Award, Choc de classica and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In 2011, it was also named by the BBC Music Magazine as one of the “50 Greatest Recordings of All Time.” Additionally, his discography features works by Brahms, Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Scriabin. Along with Isabelle Faust, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Pablo Heras-Casado and the Freiburger Barockorchester, Melnikov recorded a trilogy of albums featuring the Schumann Concertos and Trios. Other releases include a recording of Prokofiev’s piano sonatas, a recording released in June 2017 with Chausson and Franck repertoire and “Four Pieces, Four Pianos”, which has been released in 2018 and has since then been highly acclaimed by critics.

In the 2020/21 season Alexander Melnikov will tour his project “Many Pianos”, where he performs a solo recital on different instruments reflecting the periods in which the works were written. In addition to concerts with Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, he continues his close collaboration with Tapiola Sinfonietta.

Further highlights include performances at Bozar Brussels and Concertgebouw Amsterdam, recitals in Paris, Dortmund and Tokyo, as well as concerts with Cuarteto Casals, Isabelle Faust and Jean-Guihen Queyras.

2020 / 2021
This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.
Contacts: Arnold Simmenauer, Carolin Traute-Breidenbach



2021 / 2022
2020 / 2021
Horn Trio
with Isabelle Faust (violin) and Teunis van der Zwart (horn)

Brahms: Clarinet Sonata in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1 (arr. for violin and piano)
Ligeti: Trio for Violin, Horn and Piano (1982)
Brahms: Horn Trio in E-flat major, Op. 40

Piano Recital with Soprano
With Claron McFadden (soprano)

Rachmaninov: Variations on a Theme by Chopin, Op. 22
Rachmaninov: Six Romances, Op. 38
Rachmaninov: Nine Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39

On Tour with Akamus
With Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin
April 12th - 21st 2021

Mozart: Symphony in A major, KV 114
J. Chr. Fr. Bach: Concert for Piano and Strings in A major, BR C 30
J. Chr. Bach: Sinfonia concertante in B-flat major, C 48
Mozart: Concert for Piano and Orchestra in G major, KV 453


Mozart: Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin II
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Violin Sonata in F major, K. 376
Violin Sonata in A major, K. 305
Violin Sonata in G major, K. 301
Violin Sonata in B-flat major, K. 378

Isabelle Faust - Violin

Prokofiev: Sonatas II
Sergei Prokofiev
Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, Op. 83
Piano Sonata No. 4 in C Minor, Op. 29
Piano Sonata No. 9 in C Major, Op. 103

Mozart: Sonatas for Fortepiano and Violin I
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Violin Sonata in D major, K. 306
Violin Sonata in E minor, K. 304
Violin Sonata in A major, K. 526

Isabelle Faust - Violin

Debussy: Préludes du 2e Livre
Claude Debussy
Préludes, Livre II
La Mer, trois esquisses symphoniques

Olga Pashchenko - Piano

Four Pianos, Four Pieces
Franz Schubert
Wanderer-Fantasie, Op. 15 D 760

Frederic Chopin
Douze Études, Op. 10

Franz Liszt
Réminiscences de Don Juan

Igor Stravinsky
Trois Mouvements de Pétrouchka

Chausson - Franck
Ernest Chausson
Concerto for Piano, Violin and String Quartet, Op. 21

César Franck
Sonata for Piano and Violin in A major, FW8

Alexander Melnikov - Piano
Isabelle Faust - Violin
Salagon Quartet - String Quartet

Schubert: Fantasie in F minor
Franz Schubert
Fantasie, Op. 103 D 940
4 Ländler, D 814
Marche Caractéristique, D 886 No. 1
Variations on an Original Theme, Op. 35 D 813
Grande Marche, Op. 40 No. 3 D 819
Polonaise, Op. 61 No. 1 D 824
Rondo, Op. 107 D 951

Andreas Staier - Fortepiano

Prokofiev: Sonatas I
Sergei Prokofiev
Piano Sonata No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 14
Piano Sonata No. 6 in A Major, Op. 82
Piano Sonata No. 8 in B-flat Major, Op. 84

Schumann: Piano Concerto and Piano Trio No. 2
Robert Schumann
Piano Concerto, Op. 54
Piano Trio No. 2 in F major, Op. 80

Isabelle Faust - Violin
Jean-Guihen Queyras - Cello
Freiburger Barockorchester
Pablo Heras-Casado - Conductor

Brahms: Violin Sonatas, Op. 100 & 108
Johannes Brahms
Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 108
Violin Sonata No. 2 in A major, Op. 100

Robert Schumann
Three Romances, Op. 94

Albert Dietrich / Robert Schumann / Johannes Brahms
F.A.E. Sonata

Isabelle Faust - Violin

harmonia mundi, 2015

Hindemith: Sonatas for...
Paul Hindemith
Sonata for Althorn and Piano
Sonata for Cello and Piano
Sonata for Trombone and Piano
Sonata for Violin and Piano
Sonata for Trumpet and Piano

Isabelle Faust - Violin
Teunis van der Zwart - Horn
Jeroen Berwaerts - Trumpet
Alexander Rudin - Cello
Gérard Costes - Trombone

Beethoven: Complete Works for Violoncello & Piano
Ludwig van Beethoven
Variations on Mozart's "Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen" (Die Zauberflöte), Op. 66
Sonata No. 1 in F major, Op. 5 No. 1
Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 5 No. 2
Variations on Handel's "See, the Conqu'ring Hero comes" (Judas Maccabeus), WoO 45
Sonata No. 3 in A major, Op. 69
Variations on Mozart's "Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen" (Die Zauberflöte), WoO 46
Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 102 No. 1
Sonata No. 5 in D major, Op. 102 No. 2

Jean-Guihen Queyras - Cello

Beethoven: Piano Trios, Op. 70 No. 2, Op. 97 "Archduke"
Ludwig van Beethoven
Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano in E-flat major, Op. 70 No. 2
Trio for Violin, Violoncello and Piano in B-flat major "Archduke", Op. 97

Isabelle Faust - Violin
Jean-Guihen Queyras - Cello

Weber: Sonatas & Piano Quartet
Carl Maria von Weber
Sonata in C major, Op. 10 No. 6
Sonata in G major, Op. 10 No. 3
Sonata in E-flat major, Op. 10 No. 4
Quartet for Violin, Viola, Violoncello and Fortepiano in B-flat major, Op. 8

Isabelle Faust - Violin
Boris Faust - Viola
Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt - Cello

Shostakovich: Piano Concerts
Dmitri Shostakovich
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2 in F major, Op. 102
Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 134
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35

Isabelle Faust - Violin
Jeroen Berwaerts - Trumpet
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Teodor Currentzis - Conductor

Shostakovich: The Preludes & Fugues
Dmitri Shostakovich
Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87

Brahms: Sonatas
Johannes Brahms
French Horn Trio E-flat major, Op. 40
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in G major, Op. 78
Fantasies, Op. 116 Nos. 1-7

Teunis van der Zwart - French Horn
Isabelle Faust - Violin

Rachmaninov: Études-Tableux
Sergei Rachmaninov
Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39 Nos. 1-9
Songs, Op. 38 Nos. 1-6
Variations on a Theme by Corelli, Op. 42

Elena Brilova - Soprano

Beethoven: Kreutzer Sonata
Ludwig van Beethoven
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 61
Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 9 in A major, Op. 47 "The Kreutzer Sonata"

Isabelle Faust - Violin

Alexander Scriabin
Préludes, Op. 11 Nos. 1-24
Sonata for Piano No. 3 in G-sharp minor, Op. 19 "Sonata fantasy"
Poèmes, Op. 32 Nos. 1-2
Pieces for Piano, Op. 45 Nos. 1-3
Pieces for Piano, Op. 57 Nos. 1-2
Sonata for Piano No. 3 in F-sharp minor, Op. 23
Preludes, Op. 74 Nos. 1-5
Pieces for Piano, Op. 56 Nos. 1-4
Sonata for Piano, Op. 68 No. 9 "Black Mass"
Mazurkas, Op. 25 Nos. 1-9

Franz Schubert
Fantasy in C major, Op. posth. 159 D 934
Sonata for Violin and Piano in A major, D 574
Rondo Brilliant in B minor, Op. 70 D 895

Isabelle Faust - Violin

Antonín Dvořák
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 53
Piano Trio No. 3 in F minor, Op. 65

Isabelle Faust - Violin
Jean-Guihen Queyras - Cello
Prag Philharmonic Orchestra
Jiri Belohlavek - Conductor


Many Pianos - Alexander Melnikov
"Schumann: Piano Concerto" (Album Presentation)


Arnold Simmenauer
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 724
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713
Carolin Traute-Breidenbach
t: +49 (0)30 414 781 745
f: +49 (0)30 414 781 713