PianoAlexandra Dariescu
© Adrian StoicoviciuArtist

Magnificently projected playing, Dariescu is enormously impressive.

BBC Music Magazine
7 / 31

Biography

From London’s Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall in New York, the young Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, recently named as ‘one of 30 pianists under 30 destined for a spectacular career’ (International Piano Magazine), dazzles audiences worldwide with her effortless musicality and captivating stage presence. 

In the 2016/17 season the enterprising young artist continues to forge new collaborations including her London Philharmonic Orchestra debut, her debut with Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and Michael Francis, her debut with the Oslo Opera Orchestra under the baton of Clemens Schuldt, and her Tokyo Recital debut, as well as continuing established relationships with orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras.


 

Last season Alexandra gave her debut with the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra and John Storgårds with the Nordic premiere of Alberto Ginastera’s Concierto Argentino, collaborating together again with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. She undertook a UK tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Fabien Gabel and Ben Gernon and performed with the Hallé Orchestra under the baton of Jamie Phillips. Alexandra gave a hugely well received recital in London’s Wigmore Hall as well as a return to the Royal Albert Hall and to the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest with the Ad Libitum Quartet.

Two contrasting recordings released in autumn 2016 define Alexandra’s zest for exploring new, as well as the core repertoire: her first concerto recording with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will feature Tchaikovsky’s piano concerto No. 1 and Mikhail Pletnev’s concert suite of arrangements from The Nutcracker (Signum Records). The second recording of ‘Mesmerism’ for piano and orchestra by British Composer Award winner Emily Howard, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, is out on NMC Records. 2015 saw the release of Alexandra’s second volume of complete preludes by Shostakovich and Szymanowski as part of her trilogy of preludes project for Champs Hill Records. 

Always curious to continue learning, Alexandra receives advice and guidance from Sir András Schiff. She was mentored by Imogen Cooper through the Royal Philharmonic Society/YCAT Philip Langridge Mentoring Scheme, whilst a former artist of Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).  She was a Laureate at the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland where she won the Verbier CUBS Prize. In 2013 Alexandra received the UK’s Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category and most recently became the youngest musician to receive the Custodian of the Romanian Crown Medal. Moreover, Alexandra has been appointed patron of Music in Lyddington.

A former graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, as well as the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Alexandra was appointed an Honorary Associate Artist of the Royal Northern College of Music in 2016.

SEASON 2016/2017

Quotes

“...she played with power, vigour, great expression and, when needed, gently and persuasively.”

Northumberland Gazette, Martin Gilham, 08.09.2016

“[...] Alexandra Dariescu, whose account of Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto was distinguished by an astonishing level of attack and commitment... Dariescu asserted herself from the first bars of the D flat introductory theme, giving notice of the fireworks to come. Here was a pianist capable of encapsulating every mood of this extrovert piece – the dramatic accelerandos of the first movement, the playful gambolling of the second and the fiery cossack dance of the final Allegro. Altogether a thrilling performance; we shall certainly be hearing more of her in future.”

Bachtrack, Richard Ely, 03.06.16

“The concerto [Ginastera: Concierto Argentino] sailed through languid tango rhythms and the smokily Gershwin-esque on its way to strongly assertive lines that might have been Prokofiev’s, while solo passages in the first movement were striking in their unexpected evocation of Debussyan cascades. Dariescu’s technical prowess was amply matched by her sensitive versatility in this broad stylistic palette.”

The Press, Claire McGinn, 21.03.16

“[...] the viciously talented Alexandra Dariescu [...]”

The Telegraph, Emma Barnett, 18.02.16

“Alexandra Dariescu exudes a palpable joy at the ability of her playing to touch an audience and reflects a refreshingly humble gratitude for the gift she's been given to achieve it. Although still in her twenties she brought a maturity of vision to the concerto, especially in the second movement where the piano's tender and repetitive melody suggests the tragic loss of something emotionally invaluable with an aching and persistent yearning to re-capture it. Dariescu is a real star in the firmament of piano literature and her rapturous reception by the audience showed that they recognised it.”

Cambridge News, John Gilroy, 26.10.15

“Rachmaninov’s brilliant Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini was, in the hands of Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu, a performance of commanding authority blessed with sharp attack, clear articulation and above all, a magical sense of romanticism generously applied when required. Together with conductor Maxime Tortelier and those many excellent solos from BSO players, this was a stunning account.”

Dorset Echo, Mike Marsh, 02.02.14

“Alexandra Dariescu blew their minds… sheer quality.”

Financial Times, 2014

“There's much superb playing to enjoy; [Dariescu] is particularly good at creating atmosphere through her sound, which is cushioned, refined and beautifully balanced.”

BBC Music Magazine, Jessica Duchen, 08.06.2013

“An intriguing concept by the rising Romanian pianist, Alexandra Dariescu, this is the first of three releases to contain the complete preludes of different composers - in this instance Fryderyk Chopin and Henri Dutilleux. It is also the first Dutilleux recording to appear since his death last month in Paris, aged 97. The two composers, separated by a century and more, are joined by a city and its culture. Both regarded the conquest of Paris as the summit of their dreams. Both conceived sounds of rare refinement. Each is a perfect gem, which Dariescu opens up, layer by layer, like a Russian doll”

Sinfini Music, Norman Lebrecht, 20.06.13

“Dariescu is a deeply impressive exponent of both composers work, bringing to every piece the lucidity and sensitivity it commands.”

The Sunday Times, Stephen Pettitt, 16.06.13

“Alexandra Dariescu, a princess among pianists, displayed exquisite touches in Mozart's Concerto in D (KV 537), nicknamed the Coronation. The composer wrote it for himself to play; bringing freshness to every bar, the Romanian guest made the solo part sound agreeably off the cuff.”

Nottingham Post, 01.01.14

“[Dariescu] is a very musical player, with excellent instincts and a natural way of shaping the music, from her lovely phrasing to her broader articulation of structure…. magnificently projected….Dariescu is enormously impressive.”

BBC Music Magazine, Tim Parry, 01.13

“Her technical equipment is secure and pliant and she has a sophisticated musicality that blends British traditions with her native East Central European ones. Most important of all, she has something to say. She easily negotiates the bravura figurations of the Abegg Variations, and seems to delight in every twist and turn of Schumann’s mercurial imagination. Her ability to think orchestrally at the piano, combined with a sure sense of rhetorical style, makes her an interesting Liszt player. The B-Minor Ballade is beautifully paced, the ominous chromatic left-hand undulations clearly articulated, and the whole unfolds with an inevitable sense of drama. Even the Liebestod transcription, recorded within an inch of its life the past couple of years, seems fresh. Like her Liszt playing, her approach to Chopin is beautifully lyrical. The Andante Spianato that prefaces the Grande polonaise brilliante speaks with an unaffected simplicity, lyrical line, and, that factor occasionally missing in performances of the work, a strong sense of direction. The F-Minor Ballade is characterized by beautifully delineated polyphony and a convincingly organic rubato that scrupulously avoids veering into the maudlin. Dariescu’s beguiling musicality, unfussy technique, and individual voice are all readily apparent.”

Fanfare Magazine, Patrick Rucker, 2012

“[Dariescu] thrived in moments of calmer serenity, purely stroking the higher keys of piano. This gentle bliss triggered a stunned silence as she caressed beautiful passages namely in a theme in the adagio un poco mosso when Dariescu really flourished and the concerto seemed natural… she certainly has a way with careful and considered phrasing that makes for blissful listening.”

Huffington Post, Paul Guest, 30.12.2011

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Discography

TchaikovskyPiano Concerto No 1 and Nutcracker SuiteOct. 2016, Signum Classics, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Shostakovich & Szymanowski: Complete Preludes Vol. 2Alexandra Dariescu plays Shostakovich & SzymanowskiOct. 2015, ChampsHill Records, CD, Available on: Amazon
Chopin & Dutilleux: Complete Preludes Vol. 1Alexandra Dariescu plays Chopin & DutilleuxMay. 2013, ChampsHill Records, CD, Available on: iTunes Amazon
Schumann, Liszt & ChopinAlexandra Dariescu plays Schumann, Liszt and ChopinJul. 2012, ChampsHill Records, CD, Available on: Amazon