Anna Zassimova

“Every Bechstein concert grand piano is a wonderful and exciting discovery. Not only do they boast the precision and brilliance you’d expect from a contemporary instrument; they also have a distinctive sound character and a unique voice.”

ANNA ZASSIMOVA

Anna Zassimova received her education in her home town of Moscow, including at the renowned Gnessin Special Academy for Music. She has spent the last ten years living in Germany. In 2006 she completed her postgraduate studies in piano performance and chamber music with distinction, since which she has been lecturing in piano performance at the University of Music in Karlsruhe. Moreover, Zassimova is in demand throughout Europe as a concert pianist and chamber-musician, having featured as a guest at the Musica Viva Festival Munich, The Piano à Saint-Ursanne and the Herzogenberg Festival in Swiss, The Bloomsbury Festival London, UK, the International Chopin-Festival in Mariánské Lázně, the Heidelberg Spring Festival, the ECLAT Festival in Stuttgart, among others. Zassimova has released seven studio albums (by SWR/cpo, by Antes Edition). She has given the premières of numerous works, including Francisco Colasanto’s “Zero Kilometro” for piano and live electronics, which received the coveted Giga-Hertz Prize from Karlsruhe’s Centre for the Arts and Media Technology. In her fourth CD, produced in 2011 for the label Antes Edition, she performs works by Frédéric Chopin on an historic Èrard grand piano. In addition, Zassimova takes considerable interest in a wide range of little-known repertoire; her doctoral thesis on the life and work of the Franco-Russian composer Georgi Catoire was published in May 2011 by the Berlin publishing house Ernst Kuhn. Alongside her musical activities, Zassimova takes a keen interest in painting, devising concert programmes to complement the temporary exhibitions at the State Art Gallery in Karlsruhe.

“Every Bechstein concert grand piano is a wonderful and exciting discovery. Not only do they boast the precision and brilliance you’d expect from a contemporary instrument; they also have a distinctive sound character and a unique voice. Whenever I’m greeted by a Bechstein on stage, I just know it will be a pleasant and special experience.”

Anna Zassimova and Kyrill Rybakov play Brahms

Back to overview According to the cover text of this CD, Brahms premiered his Fantasy Op. 116 in Berlin on 18 October 1892. If this is true (other sources mention other dates), the composer most likely performed that evening on a grand piano made by Carl Bechstein. One fact supporting this conjecture is that Brahms participated in the three-day inauguration of Berlin’s Bechstein Hall in October 1892, together with Hans von Bülow and Anton Rubinstein.

In January 2012, the Russian pianist Anna Zassimova recorded the above-mentioned fantasy on a C. Bechstein grand made in 1876. The vintage instrument gives a clear, light patina to her passionate yet heartfelt interpretation. This CD (Antes Edition, BM319285) also includes Brahms’s two sonatas for clarinet and piano. Kyrill Rybakov, Ms Zassimova’s partner for this recording, also plays a vintage instrument: a remake of the B flat clarinet “Baermann-Ottensteiner system” that Richard Mühlfeld used to premiere the Sonata Op. 120.