Since his first international performance at age 11, the name of the young Russian-born pianist Dmitri Demiashkin has crossed the lips of many an astonished critic and enraptured competition judge. The prodigiously talented Demiashkin was performing with orchestras and winning international accolades while but a decade old.
When we think of the great Russian pianists, we think of Moscow, Saint Petersburg. Yet Demiashkin, of Mordvin ethnic minority extraction, hails from the regional centre of Saransk, commencing his studies under V. Spiridonova at age seven in the ancient city of Kazan. The call of the capital first came two years later when Demiashkin's new piano teacher, K.A. Shashkina, moved to Moscow to take up a post at the Moscow State Conservatory. Demiashkin followed with his family members - who had correctly recognised his gifts and were firmly committed to fostering them.
After an initial award at a prestigious Russian competition in 1992, Demiashkin's string of wins became pan-European the following year with accolades in the Czech Republic after scarcely having turned 11. This was the start of a veritable tour de force continuing up to the present which would see Demiashkin receiving prizes and being broadcast on radio and television across Europe and North America, and performing in innumerable concerts in more than fifteen countries throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
During his early teens, Demiashkin attended his first Margess International master classes in Switzerland and was twice invited to return, his visit fully funded by the organisers. This marked the beginning of an elevating professional relationship with Switzerland, to where Dmitri moved, with the aid of a full scholarship from the Stiftung Lyra foundation of the Vontobel Bank, to study at the Winterthur Conservatory and the Zurich University of the Arts. Demiashkin nonetheless maintained his ties to Russia by participating at numerous master classes in France and Germany under such great proponents of the Russian school as Naumov, Lyubimov and Viardo. Moreover, he managed the mindboggling feat of studying simultaneously at both the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory under T. L. Koloss, HAR, and at the Zurich University of the Arts under Prof. Konstantin Scherbakov and Prof. Homero Francesch.
Demiashkin's studies in Zurich not only brought him a concert diploma with distinction (2005) and the soloist diploma (2007), but also the honour of a teaching position at the University of the Arts, which Demiashkin commenced in 2008.
The distinguished pianist Vladimir Viardo was apparently utterly taken aback by Demiashkin's combination of rare musicianship, elegance, sensitivity and astounding technique, inviting him to several festivals. Maestro Vladimir Fedoseyev, under whose baton Demiashkin performed Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in 2009, has similarly asked him to return to Moscow for a further performance this year.
The demure Demiashkin is not one to brag about his exceptional talent and his intriguing interpretative style, yet reviewers from American and English publications have already extolled the virtues of the magnificent young pianist. Some critics have compared the subtlety of his phrasing and crystalline tone with Gilels, whilst the remarkable maturity and individuality of his interpretation have also reaped praise.
In 2007 Demiashkin was conferred the Russian title Honoured Artist of the Republic of Mordovia.
1 HAR: The title Honoured Artist of Russia is the highest accolade awarded by the Russian federal government for outstanding services to the arts.