Pianist Sergei Babayan has signed to Deutsche Grammophon.
The announcement follows a recent appearance on the Yellow label with no less a partner than Martha Argerich. ‘Prokofiev for Two’ featured Babayan’s transcriptions pieces from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and other works by the composer; as David Fanning put it in his review in our June issue, ‘virtually all come off so well in Sergei Babayan’s two-piano arrangements that it is hard to imagine the composer being anything but delighted.’ Back in October meanwhile, Babayan also appeared on DG alongside a virtuoso of a different generation, when he partnered his pupil Daniil Trifonv on his Chopin disc in ‘a tremendously vivacious account of the Rondo for two pianos’, as Jeremy Nicholas put it.
Babayan’s forthcoming DG releases, however, will see the 57-year-old Armenian-American pair Mozart piano sonatas with pieces from different periods, followed by recordings of Bach and Rachmaninov. DG added that ‘the pianist’s plans will also reflect his profound knowledge of rarely-heard repertoire, commitment to works by contemporary composers and skills as composer and arranger’.
‘I was first introduced to Deutsche Grammophon when I was 14 through Martha Argerich’s recording of Chopin’s E minor Concerto,’ said Babayan. 'That formed me as a musician and to this day continues to be one of my guiding lights. This label represents the world and works of the artists I’ve admired most deeply throughout my life. Other recordings deeply etched in my mind from those early years are by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Vladimir Horowitz. To be a Deutsche Grammophon artist myself today is, for me, the highest possible privilege. I am deeply grateful to my destiny for giving me such a great honour.’