Celebrated Pianist Vladimir Viardo Joins Yamaha Roster

1/16/2009 [Pianos & Keyboards]

Russian Artist Joins Growing Roster of Distinguished International Pianists Who Choose Yamaha

NEW YORK CITY — Yamaha Artist Services Inc. welcomes celebrated pianist Vladimir Viardo to its impressive roster of classical music artists. Prominent artists who perform using Yamaha pianos include Abbey Simon, Frederic Chiu, Oxana Yablonskaya, Olga Kern, Maria João Pires, Elton John, Alicia Keys and Norah Jones, to name a few.

Yamaha Artist Vladimir Viardo
Yamaha Artist Vladimir Viardo
"YASI is exceedingly proud of its new association with Maestro Viardo, who becomes, in essence, our third Van Cliburn laureate after Ms. Kern and Mr. Kobrin," says James Steeber, director of Yamaha Artist Services Inc. in New York City. "We look forward to years of fruitful collaboration with this great artist and teacher."

Viardo had been acquainted with the quality of Yamaha pianos for decades, but it was his good friend, Yamaha artist Oxana Yablonskaya, who encouraged him to formalize his affiliation with the manufacturer. According to Viardo, this relationship has already extended far beyond a mere business agreement. "Yamaha understands that artists like personalized attention," notes Viardo. "The staff at Yamaha Artist Services has been extremely responsive to my needs. They've come to listen to me play and work with me personally. I appreciate this initiative."

Yamaha additionally provided a CFIIIS nine-foot concert grand piano – the choice of prominent artists and concert stages around the world – to The Fourth Annual Viardo International Piano Competition, which took place this past October in Dallas, Texas. "It was a big gesture," stated Viardo, and especially meaningful as he establishes his competition, which he describes as having "absolutely free discussion and judging unencumbered by politics. The competition also values and nurtures "human warmth" in young pianists. "You cannot teach warmth and fantasy," according to the artist. "It's more just than being well prepared."

Beyond having "good sonority," and being "comfortable to play," Viardo maintains that Yamaha's advanced technology and research offer the company "perspective superior to other piano brands."

Born in the Caucasus Mountains near the Black Sea, the Russian pianist travelled to Moscow at the age of fourteen to further his musical education. Once in the capital, he was taken to the family of Lev Naomi, with whom he later studied at the Moscow Conservatory. During his six years of study he was tenured as a soloist by The Moscow Philharmonia, and after receiving his doctorate, went on to the position of assistant professor with Naumov at the Conservatory.

In 1971, he was awarded the Grand Prix and the Prix du Prince Rainier in the Marguérite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition of Paris, and two years later was the top prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, subsequently receiving contracts for some 70 recital and symphony orchestra appearances in major US cities.

Then, despite having already launched an impressive global career, Mr. Viardo's travel visa was mysteriously revoked, resulting in his virtual imprisonment behind the iron curtain for 14 years. During his confinement he developed new horizons in artistic achievement, and broadened his repertoire, which eventually included 37 concertos.

With the era of "Glasnost" and "Perestroika," Viardo returned to public engagements in Germany and in the US, and was quickly offered a tour and recording contract with the Dallas Symphony. As Artist-In-Residence at the University of North Texas, Mr. Viardo established the Viardo Fellows Foundation, which is committed to providing musical training of the highest artistic quality.

Mr. Viardo's tours have taken him to leading North American and European cities, as well as to Asia, South Africa, Israel, and to Central and South America, where he has appeared as soloist with such conductors as Mehta, Maazel, Penderecki, and Mata. His recordings have included the works of Nicolai Medtner, Lutoslawski with the Polish National Radio Orchestra, and a SONY release honoring Penderecki's 60th birthday. Viardo's first Pro Piano Records release of Bach-Liszt and Franck-Viardo Organ Piano Transcriptions (PPR 2245O9) received critical acclaim and continues to enjoy worldwide popularity.

In other recent news, Yamaha Artist Services, Inc. welcomed the newly launched Artist Services facility in London to its expanding global network. First established in 1987 in Paris, the network now includes locations in New York, Tokyo, Beijing, Taipei, Shanghai and Seoul. Like its sister locations, the new facility, based at Chappell Yamaha London on Wardour Street, functions as a vibrant international hub providing musicians, teachers, promoters and students access to the best quality concert instruments matched by top-level technical service.

For More Information email yasi@yamaha.com, or visit www.yamaha.com/yasi.

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