“Wonders take some time” was the headline of an outstanding review, Helmut Mauró wrote in the Süddeutsche Zeitung which couldn’t have better described the incredible life path of “wonderpianist” Igor Kamenz.
His solo CD with 4 sonatas by Beethoven was welcomed enthusiastically by critics. Axel Brüggemann wrote in Crescendo: “An absolute must. If there is something like space which arises out of music then Igor Kamenz is an architect in this world.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote: "an Atlas at the piano who takes all sounds of pains.”
The pianist and conductor Igor Kamenz was born in 1968 in the Far East of Russia on the river Amur close to the Chinese border. In 1975, he gave his debut as conductor of the Novosibirsk Philharmonia with a performance of Haydn’s 94th Symphony, "Surprise.” A series of concerts as pianist, soloist and above all, as conductor, followed between 1976 and 1978. Kamenz gave his first concert at the Kremlin as conductor of the Bolshoi Orchestra in October 1977. His concert with the Russian All Union Radio and Television Orchestra with works from Mozart and Johann Strauß was transmitted on 1 May 1977 over the entire Soviet television network.
Kamenz has been a student of Vitaly Margulis and Sergiu Celibidache for many years. He has been awarded 18 first prizes in international piano competitions. The artist has an extensive repertoire, ranging from Bach to Cage, although he is especially fond of piano compositions by Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, the 19th century virtuoso literature, and music from the fin de siècle as well as the late Romantic Russian period. Kamenz’ recitals and solo concerts at the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, at the Munich Herkulessaal and at Gasteig, at the Musikhalle in Hamburg, at the Bremen Glocke, at the Liederhalle Stuttgart, at the Bonn Beethovenhalle, at the Konzerthaus Berlin, at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, at the Salle Gaveau in Paris, at the Tonhalle in Zürich, at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, at the Birmingham Symphony Hall, at the Mozarteum Salzburg, and his Liszt recital at the Large Hall of the Moscow Conservatory were triumphal.
Kamenz has recorded both for radio and television in the form of studio productions and concert recordings. Attila Csampai wrote of Kamenz’ recordings of works from Liszt, Rachmaninov and Tausig: "Kamenz’s feeling for subtle differences in timbre is phenomenal" (Scala), he continued "… works of art performed by a magician …a gladiator at the keyboard …who knows all the tricks … pianistic excellence and artistic intelligence that revitalize the tradition of the ‘old’ virtuosi in a modern and analytic way" (Musik und Theater). Harold C. Schonberg wrote: "a very beautiful record ...elegant romantic playing without romantic bombast …his technique is of top international quality" (American Record Guide).
Highlights in summer 2014 and 2014/2015 season include Igor Kamenz’ New York recital debut within the "Mostly Mozart" Festival at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Furthermore, he will perform at the Rheingau Music Festival of chamber music and with the MDR Symphony Orchestra with the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in b-flat minor, op. 23, at the Leipzig Gewandhaus. Igor Kamenz opens the concert season of the festival "Portland Piano International" (North America) with a piano recital. He will play a variety of duo recitals with renowned soloists as Arabella Steinbacher and Chad Hoopes in various European cities.
Igor Kamenz, “a giant of the keyboard” (International Piano), conquers concert halls not only with “finest nuances” and “almost incomprehensible virtuosity” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). Much more, he melds these with “unbelievable beauty” and “extraterrestrial musicality” (FAZ) into a personal style that does not make virtuosity, but rather the means for seeking the message in the work at hand.