Precocious pianist, Nikolai Lugansky was immediately noticed for his exceptional gifts. Tatiana Nikolayeva, who had been his mentor, designated him as the worthy heir of the great school of the Russian pianists.
Nikolai Lvovitch Lugansky started to play the piano at the age of five before he even knew how to read music. He was admitted at the Central Music School of Moscow in Tatiana Kestner’s class, then in Tatiana Nikolayeva’s. At sixteen, he gave his first recital in the Tchaikovsky room in Moscow. From 1988, rewards started to pile up: first prize at the URSS competition in Tbilisi, silver medal at the 8th International Bach competition in Leipzig, second prize at the Rachmaninoff competition in Moscow (1990) and special prize at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg (1992). After a break in his activities due to in injury, he went back to school in 1993 and joined the Moscow Conservatoire studying under Sergei Dorensky (one of Nikolayeva’s assistant, she had just passed away). The following year, he won the second prize at the prestigious Tchaikovsky International competition in Moscow. No first prize would be given that year.
Nikolai Lugansky’s career got its final kick-off with the tour he did in 1996 with the Kirov Orchestra and Valery Gergiev. He performed in the most prestigious theatres singing recitals or in the company of the greatest orchestral ensembles conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvenski, Vladimir Spivakov, Evgeni Svetlanov among others. He gave music chamber concerts with his compatriots: the violinist Vadim Repin and the cellists Mischa Maisky and Alexandre Kniazev. In 2004 he came to France and played at the Grange de Meslay, at the Festival de Radio-France in Montpellier and at La Roque d’Anthéron. His repertoire is vast and covers composers like Bach, Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt and of course the Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev or Scriabin. Since 1998, he has been leading a teaching career at the Moscow Conservatoire in parallel to his music activities.
In 2007 he became Sergei Dorensky’s assistant. Fan of chess, he won in 2002 the first prize of the Chess Tournament for Musicians in Moscow.
Six landmark dates in the life of Nikolai Lugansky
1986: first recital on the 7th of May, Tchaikovsky room
1993: made his first recording, the Etudes-tableaux of Rachmaninoff
1994: Second prize at the Tchaikovsky International competition 1996: first tour with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra
2000: recorded the Etudes by Chopin
2004: toured in France
Radio France Documentation biography, February 2014