“In order to compose, all you need to do is remember a tune that nobody else has thought of.” R. Schumann
Winner of the Nikolai Rubinstein Piano Competition and a pupil of Maria João Pires and Dmitri Alexeev, award-winning Russian-British pianist and conductor Petr Limonov frequently performs across Europe and the UK, having collaborated with, among others, Boris Berezovsky, Maria João Pires, Nicola Benedetti, Laura van der Heijden, Jennifer Pike, Leonard Elschenbroich, Natalie Clein and Van Kujik Quartet. He has recorded for Decca, Onyx Classics, Chandos and Champs Hill labels; the “1948” album, recorded with Laura van der Heijden, received the “Edison Klassiek” award in 2018 and the BBC “Newcomer of the Year” award in 2019.
Petr’s notable appearances include La Roque d’Antheron festival (Boris Berezovsky’s Carte Blanche, broadcast by radio France Musique), Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Kings Place, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Southbank Cen- tre, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, a recital in The Duke’s Hall for HRH Prince Charles, iTunes Festival, TV appearances for BBC Proms Extra, Podium Witteman and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and “Culture” TV channel (Russia). In 2017, his arrangement of the Auld Lang Syne (from Nicola Benedetti’s “Homecoming” album, Decca, 2014) was performed in the Albert Hall at the BBC Proms. His repertoire stretches from Orlando Gib- bons to Arvo Pärt.
Born in Moscow, Petr started playing the piano at the age of 5. A year later he entered the prestigious Moscow Central Music School, where he studied under the guidance of Siavush Gadjiev, Valery Piasetsky and, later, Andrei Pisarev. After winning First Prize at the Nikolai Rubin- stein International Piano Competition in Paris he started giving con- certs throughout Europe and Russia, supported by the Vladimir Spivakov International Foundation. He went on to study with Hamish Milne and Al- exander Satz at the Royal Academy of Music (London) on a full scholar- ship, followed by a year spent at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where his teachers were Ramzi Yassa and Wolfram Schmitt- Leonardy. In 2010 Petr returned to London to commence his postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music with Dmitri Alexeev on a full scholarship, obtaining his Masters degree in 2012. During his studies Petr took part in masterclasses given by Ferenc Rados, Alfred Brendel, Stephen Hough, Vitaly Margulis and Stephen Kovacevich; whilst in RCM he also studied conducting under Peter Stark. In November 2013 Petr made his conducting début at Cadogan Hall with London International Chamber Orchestra, directing works by Glazunov and Rachmaninov.
"...Petr Limonov, avec un détachement apparent, a joué les morceaux les plus ardus avec une aisance incroyable, une simplicité et une sincérité parfaite." - La Nouvelle République
“Petr Limonov is one of the finest pianists and musicians I have had the honour of playing with and hearing. His profound sensitivity is extreme- ly rare, his musical intelligence is of the highest degree and his pia- nistic power is formidable. Petr is one of the most enlightened musical souls I have come across.” - Nicola Benedetti
"His mastery is mesmerising.” - Rubric News
Petr’s other talent is in the field of teaching and educating aspiring young musicians. He has a rare gift of opening up the world of music to children starting their musical journeys as well as already advanced in music. He has 15 years of experience in teaching piano, composition and conducting and has been working at the RMA since it was founded in 2011 (known as Belsize Music Academy at that time). Among his pupils are those who achieved Diploma in Performance level and above and went on to study music at the professional institutions, inclduding the Royal Academy of Music.
I’m an American composer living in London. While I’ve been here, I’ve had the good fortune to work with some famous people and institutions. It’s a small world.
I write music to connect with people. Music is the most direct way we have of accessing and sharing emotions, and I think sharing an emotional experience with someone is one of the best ways of forming empathetic connections. I struggle to think of a more worthwhile goal for art.
I fell in with the Fermata crew while I was studying at Oberlin. Now that I’ve absconded to the EU (for now) I’m currently a postgrad student at the Royal Academy of Music, where I study with Phil Cashian and Edmund Finnis.