"...the playing of this couple is simply phenomenal.."
J. Krakenberger, Mundo clásico
The Shalamov Piano Duo, established in 2009, is an astonishing example of a special musical formation: two individual pianists, musicians and artists, performing in an extraordinary symbiosis; two personalities, with their individual ideas and emotions, unified in their music making.
Winning the 1st prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in September 2015 is surely one of their most extraordinary recognitions. Alina and Nikolay not only received the highest evaluation from the jury, but were also awarded the audience prize, as well as the prize for the best performance of the obligatory composition by Ferran Cruixent, commissioned especially for the competition that year. This success has now become part of the 64 year old history of the ARD Competition during which only three first prizes have been awarded in the Piano duo category.
Alina and Nikolay began playing together as a duo in Bulgaria, under the supervision and direction of Professor Milena Mollova, a world renowned Bulgarian pianist and one of the few students of the legendary Emil Gilels. In 2011 Duo Shalamov moved to Madrid (Spain) after being accepted at the prestigious school of music “Reina Sofia”. For the period from 2011–2013, the young couple had the chance to expand their repertoire and work with a number of great musicians. Their studies in Madrid were rewarded by being invited to play at the Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, and at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona – two of the most important concert halls in Spain.
In 2014 Alina and Nikolay proceeded with their Master studies at the
Hochschule für Musik und Theater Rostock, having the wonderful opportunity to extend their musical knowledge and experience while studying with Prof. Hans-Peter und Prof. Volker Stenzl, both renowned musicians and pedagogues themselves.
In 2016 the duo made its debut in the renowned Henry le Boeuf concert hall in Bruxelles, giving a recital as part of the Steinway Prizewinner Concerts series.
In addition to their musical quality, the concerts of the Shalamov piano duo are always characterised by special dramaturgies. For example, on New Year’s Eve 2020, Alina and Nikolay Shalamov were invited by the Gewandhaus Leipzig to perform Ludwig van Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in the version for two pianos by Franz Liszt – augmented by timpani – together with solo timpanist Tom Greenleaves, representing the Gewandhaus Orchestra. In January 2021, both presented a video production of Sophia Gubaidulina’s “Variations on a Theme S-H-E-A” for two pianos (one of them with a different skordatura) from the Chamber Music Hall of the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg.
The latest step on Alina and Nikolay Shalamov’s career ladder is the founding and artistic direction of the Berlin Piano Duo Festival. This was launched in March 2023 with concerts, premieres of two commissioned compositions, workshops, master classes and children’s concerts under generous support from the “Neustart Kultur” programme. Concert venues included iconic places of Berlin’s musical life, such as the Elisabethkirche and the Villa Elisabeth, the Mendelssohn Remise and the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie.
Pianoduo Shalamov is a prizewinner of multiple international competitions, schoolarships and grants. Here are some of them:
International Chamber Music competition F. Schubert - 1st prize
international Schubert Competition for Piano Duos - 1st Prize
Jesenik, Czech Republik
64th International ARD Competition - 1st prize and People's Choice Award
Bruno Frei Musikpreis
International Competition for Ostracized Music - 1st Prize
Neu Start Kultur Grant for a Musical Projects
Amsterdam Duo Fetival
Pieces by Cruixent, Senkov, Debussy and Ravel.