Zlata Chochieva with Eiman Azim

March 12, 2017

Zlata Chochieva

The international press describes Zlata Chochieva as the “possessor of a comprehensive technique who brings an inner glow to every bar…Poetic and pianistic command could hardly go further” (Gramophone), and as “a natural Rachmaninoff player, coaxing a darker sound from the keyboard and reveling in the big romantic melodies” (Miami Herald). Crescendo Magazine writes of an “amazing easiness and extraordinary inner power,” and Piano News writes “In each piece, she seems to be telling a story which words are unable to express.”

At only five years old, Chochieva made her first stage appearance, and she gave her debut with an orchestra two years later performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 17 at the Grand Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory. In 1997, she gave a full recital at Rachmaninoff Hall, which was broadcast on Russian television and garnered rave reviews. Shortly thereafter, she caught the attention of the legendary pianist and conductor Mikhail Pletnev, who invited her to play concerts with the Russian National Orchestra and to study with him as one of only two students at the time.

Chochieva has been regularly appearing at world famous concert halls, most notably Herkulessaal (Munich), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Tivoli Concert Hall (Copenhagen), Casa da Musica (Porto), Belem Cultural Center (Lisbon), Broward Center for the Performing Arts (Miami), Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Moscow), and the Grand Halls of the Moscow Conservatory and the St. Petersburg Philharmonia. She has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Russian National Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Russia, the Danish Tivoli Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Nice Philharmonic, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra.

Chochieva has been awarded top prizes at 14 international piano Competitions: First prizes at the FrechillaZuloaga Competition (Spain), Alberto Fano (Italy), and Copenhagen International Piano Competition, the Mozart Prize at ARD Competition (Germany), as well as top places at the Szymanowski Competition (Poland) and International Piano competition of Santa Catarina (Brazil), where she was also distinguished as the Best Performer of Chopin and Audience Favorite. In 2005, she became the youngest person to win an award from the Russian Performing Arts Foundation.

She has been regularly invited to perform at many important festivals in Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the US, including the Miami Piano Festival and the Lugano Festival Il Progetto Martha Argerich. Her performances have been broadcast on television and radio in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Norway and the United States.

Chochieva’s discography includes two CDs with the Piano Classics label. Her recording of the Rachmaninoff Variations on a Theme of Chopin and the First Sonata received outstanding reviews in Gramophone, Fono Forum and Piano News.

Her recent disc of the Complete Chopin Etudes with the same label has been nominated for the German Record Critics Award (Preis der Schallplattenkritik) and was selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone. Critics have already placed this recording among the most noteworthy versions of the Chopin Etudes: “It is certainly one of the most consistently inspired, masterfully executed and beautiful sounding versions I can recall.” (Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone); and “This recording goes straight into the premier league, together with Perahia and Pollini.” (Musicalifeiten.NL) Her recently released album of the complete Rachmaninoff EtudesTableaux has also received glowing reviews from the press.

Highlights of the current concert seasons include recitals in Paris Philharmonie, Berlin Philharmonie, a return to the Miami Piano Festival, as well as participation in the Moscow State Philharmonic’s project Stars of the 21st Century, a nationwide event which includes recitals and concerts in the most important cultural centers in Russia.

Born in Moscow in 1985, Chochieva began her musical education at the age of four. From 2000-2003, she continued her studies under the tutelage of Mikhail Pletnev, and in 2012 graduated with honors from the Moscow State Conservatory. From 2012-2014, she attended the Postgraduate Course at the Mozarteum University of Salzburg in the class of Professor Jacques Rouvier, who in 2013 appointed her as his assistant.

“What colours and what understanding of the inner drama. She will become one of the ‘greats’; in fact, she already is.”–Leeuwarder Courant

Eiman Azim
Assistant Professor
Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory

Eiman Azim is an assistant professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory. He investigates neural circuits in the spinal cord and brain to find out how skilled movements work – in particular, goal-directed actions like catching a ball or throwing a dart. He uses a multidisciplinary approach to identify how neural circuits solve the challenges of motor control, taking advantage of genetic and viral tools, anatomical analysis, electrophysiological recording, imaging and detailed motor behavioral tests. By dissecting the molecular, anatomical and functional diversity of motor pathways one element at a time, he aims to pinpoint neural circuits and piece together the underpinnings of movement, especially skilled motions like reaching and grasping. He has identified two genetically distinct spinal circuits crucial to achieving this goal: one class of neurons responsible for the stability of the limb during movement, and another responsible for providing rapid feedback to help the brain monitor and correct movements.

The Azim laboratory will decode the fundamental circuitry for complex behavior and explore how the brain controls its incredibly diverse repertoire of movements. This type of knowledge promises to clarify how disease or injury disrupts the normal execution of movement and pave the way for improved diagnosis and treatment.