Stamp of the Month: August 2022

Sviatoslav Richter

The Ukrainian pianist Sviatoslav Teofilowitsch Richter was born on March 20, 1915 in Zhitomir (Russian Empire, today Ukraine). He died 25 years ago, on August 1, 1997 in Moscow.
Richter’s father was a German-born pianist who took a job as an organist and choirmaster in Odessa in 1916. From the age of three he ensured that his son received a solid musical education.

Ukraine 20.3.2015
Aged 15, Richter became a répétiteur at the Odessa Opera House, 1935 he made his debut as a pianist. From 1937 he attended a piano master class at the Moscow Conservatory. In Moscow Sviatoslav Richter met Sergei Prokofiev, whose 6th Sonata he premiered in 1942. The world premieres of the 7th and 9th sonatas, dedicated to Richter, followed later. In 1960 Richter was allowed to travel to the West for the first time. The debut on October 19, 1960 in Carnegie Hall in New York was followed by a major US tour.
Richter’s recordings of the works of Tchaikovsky, Schubert, Schumann, Liszt and the Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach are legendary. His Préludes by Rachmaninoff are still considered a kind of reference recording today.
In addition to his solo activities, Sviatoslav Richter also played chamber music with, among others, David Oistrakh, Pierre Fournier, Mstislav Rostropovich and Benjamin Britten.

The video shows Sviatoslav Richter performing Mozart’s Piano Sonatas No.4 in E flat major (K282), No.16 in C major (K545) and No.8 in A minor (K310) live recorded at the Barbican Centre, London, 29 March 1989.