Death of a formidable Russian pianist, 80

January 27, 2018 by norman lebrecht


The Scrabin interpreter and musical intellectual Igor Zhukov died yesterday, January, 26, in Moscow.

A student of Gilels and Neuhaus, he conducted the Moscow Chamber Orchestra until 1994 and the Soloists of Nizhny Novgorod. He recorded the complete Scriabin sonatas for Melodiya, along with much else.

More than most artists, he had a passionate interest in the mechanics of recording. ‘I am the best pianist among recording engineers, and the best recording engineer among pianists,’ he would say.

He had little interest in foreign travel and none at all in personal image.

Comments (10)

  1. Elizabeth Owen says:

    Was he related to Marshal Zhukov or is it a common name in Russia?

  2. Herbert Pauls says:

    His Medtner First Concerto is also fantastic. He gives this concerto tremendous sweep and momentum, so necessary in a work that can tend to ramble.The lyrical aspects really take wing, and, combined with his formidable power and bravura, make for an unforgettable musical experience.

    1. The Voice from America says:


  3. Erwin says:

    A truly unique artist, not very well-known outside Russia, who concentrated on the Romantic piano repertoire, and indeed a great Scriabinist. RIP.

  4. Minacciosa says:

    Zhukov was a great and entirely unique artist.

    One thing about Medtner: he never, ever, rambles.

    1. Paul Davis says:

      …hmmm…possibly in his “Dithyrambes”….? Rather dithering rambles, i think.

  5. Petros Linardos says:

    To my ears his Bach c-minor passacaglia has tons of character and some most interesting sonorities:

  6. YB Schragadove says:

    He recorded a powerful, thrilling, and beautiful Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #2 (the original uncut version).

    1. Simon says:

      Je souscris à ce commentaire en ajoutant que je n’en ai jamais entendu depuis de version égalée

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