Parfenov Duo

Iuliana Münch, Violin
André Parfenov, Composer and Pianist

The Parfenov Duo Motto: "The Composer on Stage"

The Parfenov Duo's performances are marked by the unique motto: "The Composer on Stage". This reflects not only that most pieces performed are composed by André Parfenov, but also his innovative reinterpretations of works by other composers. These pieces are thoughtfully arranged for violin and piano or solo piano, offering fresh and invigorating new renditions. The Duo's approach hearkens back to an era when the roles of composer and performer were seamlessly unified on stage.

Russian-born pianist and composer André Parfenov bridges the gap between the works of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Prokofiev, and Ravel with his own compositions. His music incorporates elements of Russian modernism, French impressionism, tango, and even jazz. Parfenov's performances are infused with passion and rhythmic vitality, aiming to deeply move listeners at every moment.

Romanian-born violinist Iuliana Münch plays an integral role in these creative processes. She not only interprets Parfenov's compositional ideas with grand artistry but also engages audiences with her charismatic and brilliant musical insights.

Concert Highlights

The Parfenov Duo has performed at prestigious events, including:

  • Düsseldorf Chamber Music Days
  • Master Concerts in Erkelenz
  • Ensemblia Festival Mönchengladbach
  • Hohenlohe Cultural Summer
  • Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival

They have also graced numerous concert halls, palaces, and series throughout Germany and have been invited to perform in Romania.

Unique Repertoire

The Parfenov Duo's stage performances feature not only their CD repertoire but also chamber music ballets with original compositions by André Parfenov and choreography by Robert North. These ballets include:

  • Pinocchio – a delightful piece for both children and adults
  • Verlorene Kinder – a much-acclaimed ballet inspired by the Überlingen air disaster
  • Kazimir Malevich – inspired by the works of the Russian avant-garde artist

CD Releases

André Parfenov's creative genius is captured in five diverse CDs:

  • Nacht im Schloss – featuring Homage to Sergei Sergejewitsch (adaptation of Prokofiev's ballet Cinderella) and Pilotentango (from Parfenov's ballet Verlorene Kinder), which garnered significant media attention and led to features on WDR 3 and WDR television's cultural program ‘WestArt’.
  • The Piano Legend of the Violin (2018) – dedicated to innovative rearrangements of classic works, including Danse macabre by Saint-Saens and Tchaikovsky's August, as well as a custom Caprice after Paganini for the Duo.
  • The Genesis of the Goldberg Variations – offers a stunning interpretation and new composition based on J.S. Bach's masterpiece, blending baroque, romantic, and jazz elements.
  • Liszt Imagination - Mephisto Waltz on String – explores Liszt's works related to Mephistopheles, presenting independent compositions that reflect a dialogue between two composers and eras.
  • Aachener Walzer – inspired by Tchaikovsky's visit to Aachen in 1887, using 16 bars noted by Tchaikovsky as the foundation for Parfenov's new composition.

Formation of the Duo

The partnership between André Parfenov and Iuliana Münch owes its origin to the influence of composer Piotr Tchaikovsky. André Parfenov, with a German mother and a Russian father, recounts their first encounter in 2009 as pivotal: “Iuliana heard me perform the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto. Shortly after, by chance, we met in a rehearsal room where she was warming up with Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. Impressed, I spontaneously joined in with the orchestral part on piano from memory.” This encounter marked the beginning of their enduring collaboration.

Both musicians share similar backgrounds. Discovered as prodigies in childhood, they underwent rigorous training at music schools in Eastern Europe, followed by studies at the conservatories of Moscow and Bucharest. They later moved to Germany, where Parfenov graduated from the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and Münch from the Cologne/Aachen Music Academy.

Within the Parfenov Duo, they complement each other perfectly, forming a single, creative entity. Münch has absorbed much of Parfenov’s innovative spirit, while her own profound musicality continuously inspires him.

Latest Project

Their most recent venture is the founding of the International Artist House in Busteni, Romania. Together, they initiate and organise international music residencies, offering masterclasses that bring renowned musicians together with exceptionally talented young instrumentalists.

Biography as PDF


“Within the works interpreted by Münch and Parfenov, they undergo […] the same developments and dynamics, in wonderful harmony with one another.”

das Orchester March 2016

“… 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

“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

“The way in which the two musicians bring the contrasting effects to a point, intensifying the tension with subtle tempo changes and dynamic nuances in every measure, going straight for the punch-line and questioning structures, reveals anything but ‘conventionality’.”

Recklinghäuser Zeitung June 13, 2013

“Thus, the sound colors sparkle without glaring, and emotions flow freely.”

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

“… not only at an impressively high level, but also with a good measure of wit and humor and the successful attempt to destroy the atonal image which modern music has, scaring off many listeners.”

Aachener Zeitung March 22, 2013