The Russian conductor has announced that he is officially a pianist again. After giving up the instrument six years ago, complaining of the poor quality of modern instruments, Pletnev has been easing himself back onto the piano stool on tour with Gidon Kremer’s Kremerata Baltica.
Next month, he will play Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Beethoven in Moscow fund-raisers for his Russian National Orchestra.
Pletnev’s career has been running on a low light ever since he was cleared in Thailand of charges of procuring under-age boys for sexual purposes in December 2010. Pletnev’s associates maintain that these were trumped-up charges, planted by mafia enemies in the murky regions of Vladimir Putin’s arts protectorates. Kremer’s firm support him tends to confirm that narrative. It will be good to hear him play again (though some piano makers may disagree).
Oleg Poltevsky, director of the RNO and Pletnev’s manager told the Russian music press: ‘Yes, we can say that Mikhail Pletnev returns to the piano career.’