Sviatoslav Richter

Biography

Born: March 20, 1915; Russia   Died: August 1, 1997; Russia  
Having learned the fundamentals of music from his father, Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter taught himself the piano and had already given public concerts before entering the Moscow Conservatory in 1937. While still a student, Richter won first prize at the All-Union Contest of Performers of 1945. His playing earned him considerable renown, and by the time of his graduation in 1947 he had devoted fans. In 1949 he garnered the coveted Stalin Read more Prize.
Richter gave the 1942 premiere of Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 6 -- the composer's first work in that form for years, and the first one he did not premiere himself. This resulted in wild acclaim for both performer and composer. Thereafter, Richter was a great proponent of Prokofiev's music, premiering also the Seventh and the Ninth Sonatas, the latter of which is dedicated to him.
Though word of Richter's excellence (and occasional poor-quality recordings) had spread outside of Russia, his foreign engagements were limited to Eastern Bloc countries (and, in one case, China) where Soviet officials felt there was reduced risk of defection. However, his 1958 performance of Prokofiev's Fifth Piano Concerto with the Philadelphia Orchestra (on tour in Leningrad) generated such excitement that he was finally permitted to tour the United States, further bolstering his reputation as a virtuoso. Engagements in all of world's musical centers followed. Richter was known as a pianist of transcendent abilities, particularly adept at highlighting the nuances of different styles. Though his interests focused primarily on music of Beethoven, and Prokofiev, he was also highly regarded for his Schubert, Schumann, Bach, Debussy, and Ravel; and in the early 1960s he made a memorable recording of Benjamin Britten's Piano Concerto with the composer conducting.
Richter did not favor studio recordings; therefore, most of his recordings are from live performances. Many of them, particularly those from Soviet concerts, suffer from indifferent sound quality and excessive audience noise, but his playing had an electric quality that transcended these handicaps.
The pianist earned a reputation for being difficult and aloof. He was notoriously apt to cancel performances on whims, or arrive late without explanation or apology. However, those who heard him were rarely disappointed. He preferred intimate concert settings over big auditoriums, and thus returned many times to the Aldeburgh and Spoleto Festivals. He was the centerpiece of the Fętes Musicales, held annually beginning in 1964 at Grange de Meslay, near Tours.
Among his greatest recordings are his Schubert sonatas, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev concertos, Liszt concertos (these have the benefits of first-rate sound), and his Schumann. He has also served as a chamber musician and accompanist, playing piano duets with Britten, and accompanying Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, among others. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 284 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Anthology of Russian and Soviet Symphonic Music, Vol. 2 / Svetlanov, USSR State Academic Symphony
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELCD1002481 Release Date: 09/01/2017   Number of Discs: 56
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Alexander Scriabin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolay Myaskovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Ludmila Avdeyeva,  Anton Grigoriev,  Alexei Nasedkin  ... 
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Academic Symphony Orchestra,  Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $489.99
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  • 2.
    Richter Plays Schubert & Liszt
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: WS121.316 Release Date: 07/21/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 3.
    Richter Plays Schubert: Live in Moscow
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 17005 Release Date: 07/21/2017   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Benjamin Britten,  Nina Dorliak
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  • 4.
    Sviatoslav Richter plays Liszt
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1332 Release Date: 05/02/2017  
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 5.
    Sviatoslav Richter, Piano
    Label: Symphonia   Catalog: ERM1013 Release Date: 04/14/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Johannes Brahms,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    CD: $17.99
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  • 6.
    Beethoven: The Last 3 Piano Sonatas / Richter
    Label: Urania Records   Catalog: 226 Release Date: 04/07/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
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  • 7.
    Mstislav Rostropovich: Cellist of the Century
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 559857 Release Date: 03/24/2017   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Nikolay Myaskovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Alexander Dedyukhin,  Alexander Dedyuhkin,  David Oistrakh  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Sir Adrian Boult,  George Szell,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $166.99
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  • 8.
    Saint-Saens & Gershwin: Piano Concertos / Richter
    Label: Hänssler Classic   Catalog: 19407 Release Date: 03/17/2017   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Christoph Eschenbach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $17.99
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  • 9.
    Premier Pianists, Vol. 1
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4596 Release Date: 03/10/2017  
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Rosalyn Tureck,  Lili Kraus,  Wilhelm Kempff,  Peter Serkin  ... 
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 10.
    Premier Pianists, Vol. 2
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4597 Release Date: 03/10/2017  
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Manuel de Falla,  Robert Schumann,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Alicia de Larrocha,  Emil Gilels,  Rosalyn Tureck  ... 
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 11.
    Mstislav Rostropovich: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002593102 Release Date: 01/06/2017   Number of Discs: 37
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Antonín Dvorák,  Alexander Glazunov  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Martha Argerich,  Rudolf Serkin,  Bruno Giuranna  ... 
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky,  Herbert von Karajan,  Seiji Ozawa,  Paul Sacher  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Boston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $128.99
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  • 12.
    The Complete Chopin: Deluxe Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002599300 Release Date: 12/16/2016   Number of Discs: 21
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Krystian Zimerman,  Jan Lisiecki,  Anatol Ugorski,  Maurizio Pollini  ... 
    Conductor:  Krystian Zimerman,  Krzysztof Urbanski,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Polish Festival Orchestra,  North German Radio Elbphilharmonie Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    CD: $117.99
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  • 13.
    Charles Munch: The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 516979 Release Date: 10/28/2016   Number of Discs: 86
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert,  Vincent D'Indy  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Artur Rubinstein,  Margaret Roggero,  Leslie Chabey  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Harvard Glee Club  ... 
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    CD: $226.99
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  • 14.
    Sviatoslav Richter: The Complete Warner Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557828 Release Date: 10/21/2016   Number of Discs: 24
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Alban Berg  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  David Oistrakh,  Oleg Kagan  ... 
    Conductor:  Yuri Bashmet,  Lorin Maazel,  Herbert von Karajan,  Riccardo Muti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto,  Paris Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 15.
    Mravinsky Edition, Vol. 1
    Label: Profil   Catalog: 15000 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Mravinsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 16.
    Shostakovich: Violin & Viola Sonatas / Kagan, Richter, Bashmet
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1328 Release Date: 10/14/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Oleg Kagan,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Yuri Bashmet
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Mussorgsky & Tchaikovsky: Piano Works / Richter
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 350076 Release Date: 10/07/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    SuperAudio CD: $23.99
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  • 18.
    Mozart: Piano Sonatas (Arr. Grieg for 2 Pianos) / Leonskaja, Richter
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 557399 Release Date: 09/16/2016  
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Elisabeth Leonskaja,  Sviatoslav Richter
    CD: $11.99
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  • 19.
    The Originals, Vol. 2
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002534902 Release Date: 09/09/2016   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Helmut Walcha,  Nathan Milstein,  Géza Anda,  Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli  ... 
    Conductor:  Ferenc Fricsay,  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Eugen Jochum,  Wolfgang Schneiderhan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $142.49
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  • 20.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall (Selected Highlights)
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 530420 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Frédéric Chopin,  Paul de Schlözer,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Ronald Turini,  Artur Rubinstein,  Jorge Bolet,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Arturo Toscanini,  André Previn
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  NBC Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra of St. Luke's
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  • 21.
    Great Moments at Carnegie Hall
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 503227 Release Date: 04/29/2016   Number of Discs: 43
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Roy Harris,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Vladimir Horowitz,  Jussi Björling,  Frederick Schauwecker,  Van Cliburn  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Toscanini,  Serge Koussevitzky,  Bruno Walter,  Leonard Bernstein  ... 
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  • 22.
    Bruno Monsaingeon Edition, Vol. 3 / Richter, Rozhdestvensky
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 27527 Release Date: 04/22/2016   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter
    Conductor:  Gennadi Rozhdestvensky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  ORTF National Orchestra,  Capella Symphony Orchestra,  Choir Of Russia
    DVD: $75.49
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  • 23.
    Bartok: Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002459502 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Erich Binder,  Zoltán Kocsis,  Viktoria Mullova,  Gil Shaham  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Lehel,  Iván Fischer,  Antal Doráti,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra,  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $212.49
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  • 24.
    Beethoven: Diabelli Variations - Mozart: Violin Sonata, K. 379 / Richter, Kagan
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 1310 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Oleg Kagan
    CD: $12.99
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  • 25.
    Deutsche Grammophon: The Mono Era (1948-1957)
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002457272 Release Date: 03/18/2016   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Frédéric Chopin,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Askenase,  Shura Cherkassky,  Halina Czerny-Stefanska,  Basile Bolotine  ... 
    Conductor:  Karel Ancerl,  Karl Böhm,  Serge Jaroff,  Leopold Ludwig  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadeus Quartet,  Czech Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $145.99
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