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Tatiana Nikolaeva


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Tatyana Petrovna Nikolayeva (Russian: Татья́на Петро́вна Никола́ева, Tat'jana Petrovna Nikolaeva; May 4, 1924 – November 22, 1993) was a pianist, composer and teacher from Soviet Russia.

Nikolayeva was born in Bezhitsa, in the Bryansk district, on May 4, 1924. Her mother was a professional pianist and studied at the Moscow Conservatory under the renowned pedagogue Alexander Goldenweiser, and her father was an amateur violinist and cellist. When in Leipzig the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition was founded to mark the bicentenary of Bach's death in 1750, Nikolayeva won first prize in 1950; as a member of the jury, Dmitri Shostakovich he composed and dedicated the 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op.87, to her: it remained an important part of her piano repertoire.

She sat as a jury member on international competitions such as the International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Leeds Piano Competition. She recorded her own transcription of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. Nikolayeva was the teacher of Nikolai Lugansky; shortly before her death, she declared him "The Next One" in the line of great Russian pianists. Among her other students was András Schiff, whom she taught in summer courses at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Weimar. She died on November 22, 1993 in San Francisco after succumbing to a brain haemorrhage during a performance of one of the Op.87 fugues at the Herbst Theatre.

As James Campbell-Methuen commented in her obituary, "Aside from the Shostakovich, though, Tatiana Nikolayeva will be remembered as a Bach player who flung stylistic considerations to the winds and played the music with an irrepressible musical intelligence and knowledge of the resources of her chosen instrument."

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