Prize-winning Russian piano prodigy, 21, plays Healdsburg before San Francisco debut

Russian pianist Alexander Malofeev will perform Sunday at The 222 in the Paul Mahder Gallery in Healdsburg before his Davies Symphony Hall debut March 22.

Opening with the Beethoven Sonatas ‘Moonlight’ and ‘The Tempest,’ followed by Polish composer Mieczslaw Weinberg’s Sonata No. 4, the program will conclude with the Rachmaninoff Sonata No. 2.

Now 21 and living in Berlin, Malofeev already has a substantial career behind him.

Born in Moscow, he graduated from the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music in the class of Elena Berezkina.

At age 13, Malofeev won his first major international competition and gained international recognition at the 8th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians held in Moscow in 2014, where he won first prize and the Gold Medal.

Two years later, he was awarded the Grand Prix at the 1st Grand Piano Competition — International Competition for Young Pianists in Moscow.

At the opening of the International Piano Festival of Brescia and Bergamo in April 2017 in Italy, he was named best young musician of 2017.

In 2019, he entered the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and won second prize and silver medal at the 1st China International Music Competition.

Malofeev’s scheduled performance in early March 2022 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, to be led by conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, was canceled as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite Malofeev’s public opposition to the war.

Malofeev and Tilson Thomas were finally able to perform together at Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, in August 2022, where the young pianist delivered a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto.

In 2022, he made debuts at major summer festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival with Vasily Petrenk.

You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at or 707-521-5243. On Twitter @danarts.

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