Watch Alexey perform Liszt-Horowitz Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2:
Alexey Koltakov is a prize winner of many international piano competitions, including the Horowitz competition (Ukraine), Krainev competition (Ukraine), Hilton Head competition (USA), San Antonio competition (USA), Murray Dranoff two piano competition (USA), and Van Cliburn competition (finalist, USA). Koltakov’s performances have taken him around the world, having performed in Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France, England, Israel, Australia, USA, Mexico, and Malaysia. Alexey has played with major orchestras such as Las Colinas Symphony, Mississippi Symphony, Mexico City Philharmonic, National Philharmonic of Ukraine, and East-West Philharmonic (Australia).
Featured in Playing on the Edge, a Peabody award-winning documentary on the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, which premiered on PBS stations across the United States in the fall of 2001, Alexey also appeared in the PBS Concerto series which showcases his Final Round of the International Van Cliburn Competition- including performances with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under Maestro James Conlon.
In 2008 Alexey was diagnosed with focal dystonia – a neurological condition which for many years in the past was incurable. Despite that, Alexey was able to recover from focal dystonia with a great help from Yoheved Kaplinsky, chair of piano at the Juilliard School, New York.
Currently Alexey is sharing his recovery experiences with his friends and colleagues in order to help prevent as many musicians as possible from suffering the same neurological experience. Alexey received his BMus and MMus from the Juilliard School in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Alexey has now returned to Sydney, and has established his own piano studio of students who wish to gain and learn from his vast musical experience.
“We’re so used to pompous, sentimentalized Rachmaninoff that we tend to forget the composer’s own very different style of piano playing, which had a quicksilver brilliance…Mr. Koltakov came closer to the music’s heart than most concert pianists these days.”
–Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News
“No one who heard pianist Alexey Koltakov is likely to forget this young man…It brought to mind some of the legendary performances of the past, when showmanship and artistry often mixed. People loved seeing Artur Rubinstein throw his hands high up in the air in de Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance”. Or, as pianist and writer Charles Rosen has noted, audience members would stand on their seats to watch the young Horowitz rip through the octaves in the Tchaikovsky piano concerto.”
–Joanne Sheehy Hoover, The Journal
“The opening notes of Brahms’ Variations on a Theme of Paganini announced a pianist of major talent, gifted with power, range and a distinctive, unmistakably Slavic imagination.”
–Wayne Lee Gay, Star-Telegram