Grigory Gruzman (Germany)
University of Music FRANZ LISZT, Weimar
Grigory Gruzman was born in Sankt Petersburg (former Leningrad), Russia. He began his piano lessons at the age of five. Due to his exceptional talent, he was admitted to the Music School for the specially gifted children at the Leningrad Conservatory. During his school-time, he performed more than 300 times in Leningrad and in other Russian cities.
In 1974 Gruzman began his studies at the Jerusalem Academy of Music under professor Yali Wagman (ex-pupil of Rosina Lhevinne at the Juilliard School of Music). During his last two years at the Academy Gruzman studied with professor Gregory Haimovsky (ex-pupil of professor Yakov Zak in Moscow; Y. Zak was a winner of the 3rd International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw). He also attended piano chamber music lessons with prof. Alexander Tamir.
In 1977 Gruzman was accepted into the University of Music (Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, where he studied with prof. Vitaly Margulis. Two years later he completed the artistic exam; after that Gruzman was offered a piano-teaching post at the same University. In 1979 he attended an intensive by Diego Diez (ex-pupil of Claudio Arrau) in New York. He also participated in master classes of distinguished artists like Claude Franck, Leon Fleisher, and Alfred Brendel.
In 1980 Gruzman was appointed as the lecturer for the main subject-piano at the Music Academy (Akademie für Tonkunst) in Darmstadt, Germany, thus becoming one of the youngest music teachers in the german institutes for music. At the same time, he resumed his studies in Freiburg under prof. Vitali Margulis. He then completed his concert exam (Konzertexamen) as a soloist in 1982 (in Freiburg). In the same year, he achieved an award with distinction at the international piano competition in Monza; and in 1984 he was a finalist in the international piano competition in Vercelli (both in Italy). „On such an interpretation of Rigoletto-Paraphrase, I’ve been waiting all my life“, once said Herbert von Karajan and has invited Gruzman to Salzburg.
In 1986 his international concert career, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician, which has been growing steadily and rapidly achieved a break-trough as he joined forces with two of his colleagues to form the „Shostakovich Trio“. The ensemble performed (between 1986 and 1996) on world-renowned podiums; such as Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, to name but of few. Critics from all over the world have been continuously proclaiming this trio to be one of the best ensembles of the present day.
His numerous (more than 1000 times after his emigration from Russia) performances and appearances as a lecturer on international master courses in 6 languages (Russian, German, Spanish, Hebrew, English, and French) have brought him onto stages in many countries in Europe, the Far East, Australia, Latin-America, and the USA. Everywhere his concerts are received with enthusiasm by the audience, the press, as well as the experts. About 100 of his best performances have already been broadcast by TV and radio stations all over the world.
His numerous trio-arrangements and especially his arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky’s „Pictures at an Exhibition“ for piano-trio have been received with great enthusiasm by the public and the press worldwide.
Since 1988 Gruzman has been giving numerous performances of the complete cycle of Chopin’s 24 Etudes. His CD with the recording of this work (organo phon 90 112) was received in 1998 with the best estimation in the music press. Gruzman is the only pianist who has recorded the complete Suite „Play Piano Play“ by Friedrich Gulda (CD organo phon 90 126, suites of Bach – Gershwin – Gulda).
In 1998 Grigory Gruzman was named professor for piano at the University of Music (Hochschule für Musik und Theater) in Hamburg. 2005 to 2014 he was president of Rachmaninov Society (Darmstadt, Germany) and chairman of 3 international Rachmaninov piano competitions for young pianists (Frankfurt, Germany).
In 2006 Gruzman was appointed as professor to the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar (including a special school for gifted children „Musikgymnasium Schloss Belvedere“). His students won over 40 awards in national and important international competitions. He is the artistic director and jury chairman at the international Liszt piano competition for young pianists in Weimar.