Pavel Kolesnikov & Samson Tsoy

Piano & Duos
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Jemima Pickersgill

Jemima Pickersgill

Assistant Artist Manager


Worldwide general management with Askonas Holt

About Pavel Kolesnikov & Samson Tsoy

The 2023/24 seasons sees pianists Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy debut as a duo at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Rotterdam’s De Doelen, Ghent’s De Bijloke and Berlin’s Konzerthaus, as well as returning to Wigmore Hall. These dates follow appearances last season at the Aldeburgh Festival, Amsterdam’s Muziekgebouw and London’s Southbank and Barbican centres – the latter in Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos with the City of Birmingham Orchestra as part of Europe’s first Classical Pride Concert.

For both artists, space and setting is a crucial element in their music-making. During the pandemic they performed Messiaen’s Visions de l’Amen at a former multistorey car park in London (Bold Tendencies), while this summer they brought back concerts at Aldeburgh’s historic Jubilee Theatre where they placed the audience on stage while performing Bach and Kurtág on upright pianos placed in the stalls. Other presentations include Prokofiev’s Cinderella in the Muziekgebouw loading bay and performances in galleries across Europe. Their next project will be a digital installation at Antwerp’s MoMu combining choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Schubert’s Fantasie.

Described as “piano magicians” by The Arts Desk, Pavel and Samson have been living and working together ever since their early student days. In 2019, the duo co-founded the Ragged Music Festival, which provides a stripped-down environment for artists to explore a dialogue between music, architecture, and visual arts. Originally based in London’s Ragged School Museum, the festival has expanded internationally with the first edition at the Muziekgebouw Amsterdam in 2023. Over the last four years it has welcomed visual artists Hélène Binet, Antoni Malinowski, Eva Vermandel and musicians Alina Ibragimova, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Mark Padmore, Lawrence Power, Elena Stikhina and Doric String Quartet. The Festival was nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Awards in 2021.

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Worldwide general management with Askonas Holt

Season Highlights

Feb 2024
Carnegie Hall, New York City
Works by Stravinsky, Desyatnikov and Schubert.
Mar 2024
Konzerthaus Berlin
Elisabeth Leonskaja Residency
Mar 2024
De Doelen, Rotterdam
Works by Schubert, Desyatnikov, Stravinsky


Sample Programmes

  • Sample Programme 1 (two pianos): Bach & Shostakovich

    This programme was conceived as a metaphor or a ritual celebrating such mutual illumination. It revives and relives the poignant dialogue between Johann Sebastian Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich through their Preludes and Fugues, a music form that is itself intrinsically dialogic in nature, in a way that has never been done before. Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue in C major Bach: Prelude and Fugue in G minor Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue in D major Bach: Prelude and Fugue in D minor Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue in D minor Bach: Prelude and Fugue in G minor Shostakovich / Bach: Prelude in C sharp minor / Fugue in C sharp minor Bach / Shostakovich: Prelude in E flat major / Fugue in E flat major Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugue in G minor Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C major

  • Sample Programme 2 (two pianos): The Swan

    Inspired by the “Cathedral of the Marshes”, a lone thousand years old church of Blythbourgh, Suffolk, this program is a kind of a melancholic rite, a meditation on tender ebb and flow of time. The narratives are deliberately and gently mixed: Rachmaninov’s Barcarolle transpires through Morton Feldman’s enigmatic Work for Two Pianists, and Schubert’s Fantaisie is reflected in Trompe l’oeil, a specially commissioned work by Leonid Desyatnikov that traces and rediscovers the form and the themes of Schubert’s masterpiece. Schubert: Minuet D.600 in C sharp minor Schubert: Sonata D.960: II. Andante sostenuto Schubert: Selected Walzer and Ländler Schubert: Impromptu D935 No.2 in A flat Major Desyatnikov: Trompe-l’œil interval Feldman: Work for Two Pianists Rachmaninov: Barcarolle, from Suite No.1 for two pianos, Op.5 Rachmaninov: Desyatnikov Du côté de chez Swan Rachmaninov: Schubert Fantaisie in F minor, D.940



  • Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra

    Classical Pride, with the CBSO
    Jul 2023
    • It [Poulenc] was brilliantly delivered by Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy, elegantly swapping phrases in the slow movement and dispatching the jazzy finale with poker-faced precision. Their encore, Ravel’s piano duet Le jardin féerique ...was exquisite.