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Review: Eurovision star Ivan Bessonov conjures Chopin on debut CD

Ivan Bessonov impressed classical fans the world over in 2018 when his performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, 3rd movement secured him first prize at the Eurovision Young Musicians competition in Edinburgh. Now, the young performer and composer is putting forward another testimonial to his talent with the release of his debut album.

The 16-year-old Russian pianist practices six to seven hours a day, honing his craft under the tutelage of Professor Vadim Rudenko at the Central Music School in Moscow. Bessonov performs regularly with his younger twin brothers, both of whom are impressive violinists. Somehow, he manages to get some football in, Bessonov’s other hobby.

The Russian pianist and composer Ivan Bessonov plays music of Frédéric Chopin on his debut CD.

The Russian pianist and composer Ivan Bessonov plays music of Frédéric Chopin on his debut CD.
Ivan Bessonov

The young virtuoso continues to play regularly around the world, and he has performances coming up at the Auditorium of the Foundation Louis Vuitton in Paris in November, followed by a debut at the Prinzeregenten Theater in Munich in December.

The young pianist shows off his immense talent on his debut release, which features a range of shorter works from Chopin, including the striking Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35, in four movements, as well as three of Bessonov’s own compositions.

So, are young Bessonov’s hands and soul up to the deft art that is interpreting Chopin’s greatness? The range of Chopin’s works on display on this CD are the perfect proving ground to find that out.

The performance of the Polonaise in F-Sharp Minor, Op. 44 is astounding for Bessonov’s rich use dynamic. The weight of the keys become tangible to the listener as the young pianist jauntily perambulates through the mournful elegance of Chopin’s work. While the performance of Chopin’s Second piano sonata is brilliant throughout, Bessonov brings such life to the Marche funèbre of the third movement. The performer’s own compositions are also a surprisingly refreshing apperitif following such monstrous doses of pathos courtesy of Chopin.

The debut CD from young Russian pianist and composer Ivan Bessonov will hold a special place in the ...

The debut CD from young Russian pianist and composer Ivan Bessonov will hold a special place in the heart of all Chopin lovers.
M&B Concerts


Throughout all of the performances stretches a warmth and a loving attention to the mood of Chopin’s creations. The space within the recordings themselves is also uniquely attractive to the ear, as it allows the listener to absorb all the subtlety that Chopin brought to the beauty of the piano performance

If you love Chopin, you’ll love this debut CD release from the young virtuoso. You can preview the tracks and buy the CD here.

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