brief but already rich in events artistic way of Ekaterina Mechetina
strikes one not only by the swift impetuosity of her upward flight
to the musical Olympus but also by gradual but invariably steadfast
and consistent advance to the summits of musical mastery. And there
is also one more noteworthy circumstance: although her career can
boast of not few successful performances at international contests,
it is not to her competition conquests that she owes her extremely
wide and well-deserved popularity. This happens very seldom nowadays.
The secret is not only in the great, gradually maturing talent of
the young artist but also in her keen interest in various musical
fields, her ability in no time to learn new complicated music. This
eventually is broad-mindedness and desire not to confine herself
to a limited range of standard contest repertoire.
Nevertheless there is nothing extraordinary in the biography of
Ekaterina Mechetina: vice versa everything in her biography looks
logical and called forth by her life. She was born in a family of
musicians and very early it became clear that she had inherited
the inclinations and gifts of her parents. Her talent became evident
when she was a girl and she appropriately became a pupil of the
Central school of music of the Moscow State Conservatory - the best
music school of the world for talented children where dozens of
world-known musicians made their first steps in music. Finishing
school (professor T. L. Koloss), she also appropriately became a
student of Moscow Conservatory (professor V. P. Ovtchinnikov). For
the postgraduate studies, the famous Sergey Dorensky took her to
his class. The students of this teacher have won over one hundred
prizes on competitions of the three continents - a result worthy
of the Guinness Book of Records. The prize of Ekaterina Mechetina
on the Cincinnatti piano competition has become the hundredth...
The first landmark on this way was the Youth Piano competition
and the Mozart Prize, which she won at the age of 10. The material
expression of this victory was a piano. Six years later a more serious
test awaited her - one of the most difficult competitions, the International
Busoni piano competition in Bolzano. At that time an Italian critic
wrote these rhapsodical words: "Young Ekaterina already now
is on the peak of world pianism". This of course was an exaggeration:
she still had a lot to learn then… Luckily her tutor as well as
she well realized that. But the immunity to the star disease was
and is still part of her character; it has enabled her to perfect
her mastery on the way to a genuinely artistic altitude. She gave
lots of concerts, toured many countries, and took part in various
international contests. She became the prizewinner in Vercelli (2002),
Pinerolo (2003) and finally in Cincinnati (2004) where she made
a triumph. By that time her concert activities have passed the prodigy
child stage and gained very much in scope. The virtuosity of the
young pianist drew the attention of the music public above all because
her virtuosity did not infringe her musicality - it is well known
that in our age of high technologies many can play fast and accurate.
But only few, the elite can render sincere emotions and deep ideas
of the composers. Katia belongs to this elite.
Actually, her conquests at competitions did less determine her
rise than her meetings with some of the great musicians of our time.
In December 2002, when Russia celebrated the 70-year jubilee of
the outstanding composer Rodion Shchedrin, one of the concerts of
the festival devoted to his music was on the verge of failure since
the German pianist invited by the composer could not come to Moscow.
Sergey Dorensky managed to convince the composer - always demanding
absolute perfection from the performers of his music - to entrust
his music to a student of his class. It is true that Ekaterina Mechetina
had already played a lot of Shchedrin's music, and the fact that
she learnt with lightning speed his new most difficult opuses won
the heart of the exacting author. The concert was a great success
and Shchedrin was so much conquered by the pianist that since that
he entrusts Mechetina the performance of his new piano works. One
of them was the Piano Concerto Nr. 6 whose premiere she performed
in Amsterdam in the legendary Concertgebouw. Another destined meeting
was with the outstanding musician and very wise artist Vladimir
Spivakov. One can say that Mechetina became one of the most often
invited guest soloists of both the wonderful orchestras headed by
the maestro - National Symphony of Russia and Virtuosi of Moscow.
And finally another incomparable artist - Mstislav Rostropovich
- became a guardian angel for Katia Mechetina. It was Rostropovich
who, having done credit to her talent a few years ago, invited her
to perform in his concerts on Taiwan and then allotted her a scholarship
in his foundation, which gave her a chance to take classes in France.
"These meetings - Katia admits - changed my attitude to the
profession and each concert of this kind was for me an unforgettable
Today Ekaterina Mechetina is a mature artist of a big experience
and her last CD "Rachmaninov" has been just recorded for
label FUGA LIBERA. Her repertoire enriches itself with new compositions,
her renderings become more refined and well-thought out. She leads
an intensive concert activity giving about 80 concerts every year,
her concert schedule becoming more and more intense. She cooperates
with first-rate orchestras and widely known conductors including
Vladimir Spivakov, Mstislav Rostropovich, Maxim Vengerov, in 2009/2010
season she will perform in Moscow under direction of Barry Douglas.
Her scenic partners include Rodion Shchedrin, Vladimir Spivakov,
Alexei Utkin, Alexander Knyazev, Boris Andrianov, Nikita Borisoglebsky,
Sergey Antonov and many others. Ekaterina plays on the most prestigious
stages of the world among which the best stages of Moscow and other
cities of Russia as well as Schauspielhaus in Berlin, Gaveau in
Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Great Hall of the Milan Conservatory.
Even prior to the competition in Cincinnati she played in Brazil,
had a debut in USA with orchestra in Boston. "The Russian highest-class
pianist Ekaterina Mechetina strikes the public by her debut in USA"
- read the headline of the influential newspaper Boston Globe. Her
achievements were marked with one of the most prestigious awards
of Russia-Youth Prize "Triumph" and - in 2007 - with an
order of Catherine The Great which was awarded to her for "extraordinary
achievements and personal contribution into the culture and arts
of Russia". But the main thing is that the artist understands
that there is no limit to perfection and purposefully continues
her movement upwards.
Ekaterina Mechetina has signed an exclusive contract with the Moscow
State Philharmonic Society Artists management (2007) which represents
her over Russia.