Pavel Kolesnikov & Samson Tsoy
Praised for the ‘electrifying intimacy’ (The Guardian) Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy have been living and working together since their early student days. For both artists, space and setting is a crucial element in their music-making. During the pandemic they performed Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen at a former multistorey car park in London, while in the summer 2023, they brought back concerts at Aldeburgh’s historic Jubilee Theatre. There, they placed the audience on stage while performing Bach and Kurtág on upright pianos placed in the stalls and reviving and reliving the poignant dialogue between J.S. Bach and D. Shostakovich on two pianos through their Preludes and Fugues in a way that has never been done before. Other presentations include Prokofiev’s Cinderella in the Muziekgebouw loading bay and performances in galleries across Europe. Their digital collaboration with choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker was shown at the ‘ECHO. Wrapped in Memory’ exhibition at Antwerp's MoMu.
In 2024 the duo debuted at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Rotterdam’s De Doelen and Berlin’s Konzerthaus. They regularly appear at the Aldeburgh Festival, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw and London’s Southbank and Barbican centres – the latter in Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos with the City of Birmingham Orchestra as part of Europe’s first Classical Pride Concert.
In 2019, Kolesnikov and Tsoy co-founded the Ragged Music Festival, which provides a stripped-down environment for artists to explore a dialogue between music, architecture, and visual arts. Originally based in London’s Ragged School Museum, the festival has expanded internationally with the first edition at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam in 2023. The Festival was nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Awards in 2021.
Following Pavel Kolesnikov's seven-concert residency at the Aldeburgh Festival and sixth appearance at the BBC Proms in summer 2023, he since debuted with the Danish National Symphony (with Susanna Mälkki and Manfred Honeck), Cincinnati Symphony and Netherlands Philharmonic (both with Sir Mark Elder) and embarked on a recital tour of North America. He also returned to the Philharmonia Orchestra (Santtu-Matias Rouvali), Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Vasily Petrenko), Klavier Festival Ruhr, and to Wigmore Hall where he was Artist-in-Residence during 2020/21.
Kolesnikov is known for his cross-genre collaborations and narrative programmes. Recent examples include Celestial Navigation – a sequence of music featuring projections by architect Sophie Hicks and text by Martin Crimp – and his realisation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations with dancer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker which has been staged over fifty times across Europe.
Lauded for originality and ‘inexhaustible imagination’, Samson Tsoy has performed in venues and festivals around the world including the Barbican, Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Aldeburgh festival, Théâtre de la Ville and Salle Gaveau in Paris, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, and Verbier Festival. In 2023, he was the first-ever classical musician to perform for the opening of the Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz (Munich Security Conference) in front of the world’s most important political leaders. The same year he debuted with the London Philharmonic Orchestra performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3, which followed with an immediate re-invitation to perform 4th Piano Concerto with the LPO.
His large scale projects include both Brahms' Piano Concertis in one evening with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Maxim Emelyanychev, Scriabin's Prometheus with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Gergely Madaras at the multi-storey car park. Samson also collaborated with acclaimed American artist Richard Serra at the Gagosian Gallery, where he performed Messiaen’s Quatuor pour la fin du temps within artists' recent work Transmitter.