He burst into the piano galaxy like a comet when he won the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 2019. Since then, this gifted musician with the look of a new romantic has had no trouble making a name for himself.
Alexandre Kantorow on the cover of Gramophone
In this episode of musicmakers, Alexandre Kantorow talks to James Jolly, editor-in-chief of Gramophone, about his love of the piano and his burst onto the music scene with his victory at the Tchaikovsky Competition.
Alexandre Kantorow's slenderness and sharpness of contrasts are to be admired unreservedly.
A Brahms interpreter of unusual insight and distinctiveness.
Nun präsentierte sich Alexandre Kantorow am Montagabend mit Werken von Schumann, Liszt und Skrjabin im Mozart-Saal. Von Pathos und Kitsch, kardinalen Interpretationssünden im Romantikfach, zeigte sich der 24-Jährige gänzlich unbefleckt – was bei Schlachtrössern wie Liszts Dante-Sonate ein Kunststück ist.
This week brings further proof that this new star in the classical firmament is also phenomenal, tremendous etc when the fare is simpler and lighter, as with Saint-Saens' five piano concertos.
Alexandre Kantorow released in 2019 Concertos Nos. 3, 4 and 5 by Saint-Saëns whose "presence, volubility, virtuosity, electricity, and above all the art of making the instrument sing" drew the ear everywhere. This second half of the complete concertos confirms the promises of the first.
Kantorow's feather-light touch and lustrous timbre are breathtaking, and nowhere does he feel as if he is showing off his virtuosity.
Kantorow sounded phenomenal. [...] This was Kantorow's show, and what a show.
With blazing technique and supple musicality, Kantorow was fully equal to the work's show-stopping first movement.
His performance, with its remarkable play of light and shadow, goes beyond mere instrumental brilliance to give off an intensity and an irresistible fervour.
He deserves the fanfares; the virtuosity is breathtaking, the dynamics very fine-tuned, the luminous sound not far off that of the current sensation, Daniil Trifonov.
He played the difficulties in an almost careless way, transforming them into pure gesture so they became vehicles of a poetic intention.
The whole piano resonated like a great bell, reach with vibrating overtones.
Kantorow is a pianist with a burning mission, reminding you of William Blake's immortal aphorisms: 'exhuberance is beauty'.
Above all, there's a tremendous depth and beauty of tone to Kantorow's playing, amply supported by a wonderfully warm recording.
Throughout this Brahms recital, Alexandre Kantorow throws down an epic gauntlet, casting his sights on dynamic and dramatic extremes.
Alexandre Kantorow on the cover of February-March 2021 Pianist issue.
Virtuosité transcendante, vertiges de plans, de couleurs et d’attaques, fulgurance de l’inspiration : beaucoup ne sont pas revenus de l’irrésistible montée en puissance du jeune pianiste.
At the 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition, the then 22-year-old became the first French pianist to win the Gold Medal. He was also awarded the Grand Prix, only the second time in the competition’s history that this has been given to a pianist.
Kantorow is obviously an outstanding pianist and musician with an agile technique that allows him perfect clarity in the most complex textures, abundant sensitivity and refinement.
Allying effortless virtuosity with impeccable musicality, a piano touch and colour palette to die for with an utterly complete involvement in the music and a palpable sense of joy in recreating it.
A pianist of mesmerizing talent.
Kantorow exhibited his sensibility, remaining keenly attuned to the orchestra, to blend in and to stand out, as the music dictates.