“A worthy successor to Mstislav Rostropovich, Alexander Kniazev is among today’s leading Russian cellists. He was trained by Alexander Fedorchenko at the Moscow Conservatory – where at the same time he also studied the organ with the celebrated teacher Galina Koslova – and went on to win numerous first prizes at international competitions, notably in Pretoria. Since then, accompanied by the finest orchestras, among them the Royal Philharmonic, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the St Petersburg Philharmonic and the Orchestre National de France, he has played under the direction of such conductors as Vladimir Fedoseyev, Evgeny Svetlanov, Yuri Bashmet, Charles Dutoit, Mikhail Pletnev, Paavo Järvi, Neeme Järvi and Kurt Masur. A regular guest of the ‘December Nights’ festival in Moscow begun by Sviatoslav Richter – who had a profound influence on him – he is a noted recitalist and interpreter of chamber music alongside Evgeny Kissin, Vadim Repin, Nikolai Lugansky, Plamena Mangova, Sergei Krilov, Boris Berezovsky and Dmitri Makhtin, with whom he has appeared in trio formation at the foremost European concert halls. On disc, his interpretation of Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo was acclaimed by the international musical press, as were his recordings with Berezovsky and Makhtin of the trios of Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff and those of Mendelssohn.
He has also recorded a Reger programme that won an award from Répertoire magazine, the complete Bach Cello Suites, a Tchaikovsky disc with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and the Dvořák Cello Concerto, released on Lontano/ Warner Classics in 2009. His most recent CD, a programme of works by Franck and Ysaÿe with the pianist Plamena Mangova, was awarded ‘5 Diapason’ in the magazine of that name.”