How Nikita Mndoyants Believes the Best Is Yet To Come

Nikita Mndoyants \ Credit: Emil Matveev

Nikita Mndoyants \ Credit: Emil Matveev

We recently sat down with the inimitable Russian pianist Nikita Mndoyants to learn of his buzzing career in Europe. While he has been known for years in Moscow and parts of Europe, only recently has he made huge in-roads in the North American market namely winning the first prize at the prestigious 2016 Cleveland International Piano Competition followed by a sold-out Carnegie Hall debut recital in 2017. 

Catch up with his career below as we ask him about three areas: life, music, and the business of music. 

Life

What is your most cherished accomplishment?

I could list prestigious venues, orchestras, conductors, and special projects. However, I think it's better to have endless development without exact accomplishment. Then you will feel that you are in pursuit of creative action all the time.

How has your experience in life shaped your artistry?

I think everything that happens in life impacts artistry—subconsciously or not. Musicians should pursue a full life experience to express deep feelings through their art. 

To which destination would you travel just for fun?

I like to travel and be close to nature. It could be sea, forest, or mountains. I particularly like my homeland of Armenia.

How has a daily routine shaped who you’ve become?

Practicing—of course—is a very important part of my daily routine. Collaborative experiences with other musicians—ensembles, teachers, colleagues—and those in different professions shape who I become. 

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be? Why?

I would not change anything because I suppose that everything that happened was necessary and predetermined.

Where do you derive happiness?

Contact with nature.

Music

Where do you want to be in five or 10 years from now?

I wish to have several continuous collaborations with orchestras and ensembles, and I wish to have regular concerts on major stages and festivals. I’m also exploring the idea of recording a conceptual album.

I'd like to have the opportunity to travel a lot and have several “home” bases: Russia, Europe, and USA. 

What projects (concerts, albums, tours, collaborations) are you working on right now?

For next season, I am preparing a big program including chamber music for the International Music Festival in Wissembourg (France) where I am artist-in-residence. I’m preparing new solo programs for several concerts in Germany, too, including Elbphilharmony in Hamburg and Robert-Schumann-Saal in Dusseldorf. 

I’ll continue my collaboration with St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and Moscow State Orchestra. 

As a composer, I am working on a string quartet that will be dedicated to the famous Catalan writer Jaume Cabre, who will come to the Wissembourg festival.

What was the inspiration behind your latest project? Why did you pursue it? Why should people care?

My most recent big projects included a solo album (released on the Steinway & Sons label) and a world premiere of my Violin Concerto in Moscow. I think it's very important to let people know that contemporary music is thriving!

What’s the one thing you want people to remember about your artistry?

It is question of time…

Why do you perform on stage?

I just love to do it. And it is my way to communicate with people.

Name three musicians who have inspired your own artistry. 

Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Brahms

Business of Music

What needs to be done to improve growing classical music audiences for live concerts?

It is a complicated question. It depends on the country. But I am more positive than negative when it comes to classical music’s future. 

What is your #1 piece of advice to artists who are starting their careers as professional musicians?

You should sincerely love music more than your career. It will help you find the right way.