In 2005, Vladimir Ovchinnikov received Russia’s highest award and honor for musicians: the title National Artist of Russia, awarded by Russian president, Vladimir Putin. The only pianist ever to win the top prizes at both the International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (1982) and the Leeds International Piano Competition (1987), Mr. Ovchinnikov is also a laureate of the Concours International de Montréal (1980). It was his success in Leeds that established his international career, beginning with a triumphant debut performance in London in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
Mr. Ovchinnikov’s concerto appearances include some of the leading orchestras in the world: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony, Royal Scottish National, Hallé Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, National Symphony of Wales, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Tonhalle Zurich, Danish Radio Symphony, Netherlands Radio Symphony, Hague Residentie, Polish National Radio, Slovak Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Montreal Symphony, etc. He appears frequently with such leading Russian orchestras as the Moscow Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and the Russian State Symphony Orchestra, with whom he has toured Europe and North and South America.
Vladimir Ovchinnikov has collaborated with many renowned conductors, among them Sir Simon Rattle, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Georg Solti, Neeme Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Yakov Kreizberg, Libor Pesek, James Conlon, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Thomas Sanderling, Maxim Shostakovich, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Matthias Bamert, Rudolf Barshai, Yuri Simonov, Alexander Dmitriev, Valery Poliansky, Walter Weller, Claus Peter Flor, etc.
Festival appearances include Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Schleswig-Holstein, Singapore, Hollywood Bowl and Van Cliburn (Fort Worth). He has also appeared in many of the world’s most prestigious venues: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Vienna Musikverein, Théâtre de Champs-Elysées in Paris, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Great Hall of Moscow’s State Conservatory, and the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.
Among Mr. Ovchinnikov’s recordings, there are three albums for EMI Classics considered to be the best available sets: Liszt Transcendental Etudes, Rachmaninov Etudes Tableaux and Prokofiev 9 Piano Sonatas. He has also made outstanding recordings of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition and Shostakovich’s First Piano Concerto with Maxim Shostakovich and Philharmonia Orchestra for Collins Classics.
Vladimir Ovchinnikov follows the tradition of the famous Russian piano school of Heinrich Neuhaus, having graduated from the Central Special Music School of Moscow in the class of Anna Artobolevskaya and the Moscow Conservatory, where he studied with Alexey Nasedkin.
Director of the Central Music School of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow from 2011 to 2016, for several years he has also been a visiting professor of piano at the Royal Northern College of Music in England. He is currently professor of piano at the Moscow Conservatory and visiting professor at the Sakuyo University in Japan. He has also been juror of numerous international piano competitions and Chairman of the jury of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.