André Parfenov

André Parfenov was born in Königsberg, today’s Kaliningrad, in 1972 to a German mother and a Russian father. His extraordinary musical talent, which also included improvisation at the piano, was discovered early on. When the family moved to the far-away city of Ufa, he was assigned one of the rare and sought-after places at a secondary school specialized in music. This paved the way to subsequent piano studies at the world-renowned Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. For family reasons, the young pianist moved to Germany with his parents and siblings when he was 22. He studied at the Folkwang Academy in Essen, graduating with distinction in 2000. In the meantime, André Parfenov has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony in Brasov, the Lower Rhenish Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonic of Westphalia. Works he frequently performs include Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, but also George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Parfenov’s recitals have been documented on four solo CDs so far.

He also kept expanding his compositional experiments, creating, for example, an acclaimed homage to Maurice Ravel for left hand only or a stand-alone finale for Johann Sebastian Bach’s unfinished Quadruple Fugue. 2015 saw the world premiere of a Violin Concerto by André Parfenov, which he dedicated to Vadim Repin.

André Parfenov’s universal musical abilities led him to a full-time position at the Theater in Mönchengladbach/Krefeld. As a composer and pianist with a broad range of experience, he is active in all genres and productions and has created much-acclaimed ballet scores for Robert North’s choreographies. In 2013 André Parfenov won the special composition prize of the festival “Ensemblia Mönchengladbach”. In 2014 he received the “Theater-Oscar” of the newspaper Rheinische Post for his ballet score for Robert North’s choreography Verlorene Kinder. In 2013 André Parfenov received the title and medal “Honored Artist of Bashkiria” from its President. Further ballet scores for Chagall-Fantasie and Pinocchio followed in close succession. Elmar Lampson, composer and President of the Hamburg Academy of Music and Theater, wrote in a letter on the first CD of the Parfenov Duo: “I deeply admire the art of André Parfenov as a composer: the richness of his imagination, the depth of his expressivity, his unbridled power. He continues the tradition of the composer-virtuoso […]”.

Since 2015 André Parfenov has also taught at the Music Academy “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig. In 2009 he met Iuliana Münch. Together they founded the Parfenov Duo and have since enjoyed an intense artistic collaboration over the creation of new works and their presentation in unconventional concert programs. Ever since, André Parfenov’s passions have included writing for violin, thus “growing beyond the piano” – as he himself describes it.

Biography André Parfenov as PDF

“In him, we have a highly virtuosic pianist with incredible presence on stage. There is something in his playing which enthralls people.”

Graham Jackson General Music Director at the Theater Krefeld Mönchengladbach

“… Parfenov is a composer who likes to wear many different masks, commenting on the action. He also likes to surprise his listeners.”

Rheinische Post October 24, 2016 on the premiere of Pinocchio

“… but Parfenov, who led his compact orchestra of Iuliana Münch (violin), winds and percussion of the Lower Rhenish Symphony Orchestra with bravura, used an appropriately broad musical vocabulary…”

Rheinische Post October 24, 2016 on the premiere of Pinocchio

“The pianist performed his own arrangement of the Finale of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C-Major Op. 21. The fact that he is a brilliant pianist was abundantly clear, given the many technical challenges.”

Der Neue Tag August 22, 2016

“André Parfenov is not only a great pianist, but also a wonderfully versatile composer. Surely we will hear of him more frequently in the near future.”

PIANO News Edition 5-2015

“Another composition uses elements from Prokofiev’s Cinderella. Parfenov and Münch, by the way, were granted exclusive performance rights by the Prokofiev family.”

Recklinghäuser Zeitung June 13, 2013

“Parfenov’s preference for percussive effects, symphonic vehemence of sound and flashing sforzati is obvious. Iuliana Münch’s energetic violin playing forms an intense counterpart. Her tone seems powerful and well-grounded while displaying crystal-clear precision.”

Recklinghäuser Zeitung June 13, 2013