The Second Prokofiev Festival: Yulia Chaplina

It’s always a pleasure to highlight special events, and this one is particularly exciting as it’s actually taking place ‘live’. Russian pianist Yulia Chaplina is the Artistic Director of The Second Prokofiev Festival to be held at the end of May in London. In this article, she offers a sneak preview, and reminds us of the importance of live music events.

I am excited to announce that the Second Prokofiev Festival will take place from 25 – 28th May, across several London music venues: Kings Place, Russian House and Pushkin House. It has been a most difficult time for every one of us, especially without live music. So, immediately after the prime minister’s announcement about the roadmap out of lockdown, I was determined to make this year’s Second Prokofiev Festival a ‘live’ event.

Being an artistic director is always a unique and wonderful experience. I have now been artistic director at quite a few festivals; ‘The Music of the Russian Revolution’, ‘Debussy and his Contemporaries’,  and the ‘Liszt Festival’, to name a few. But, being the Artistic Director of the Prokofiev Festival is really a very special occasion for me: it’s a huge honour to be collaborating with the descendants of the Prokofiev family in London. I am very grateful to all of the family, and especially Gabriel Prokofiev, for their continuous support.

This year’s highlights include a concert entitled ‘Behind the Iron Curtain’ to be held at Kings Place. Taking place on May 26th,  I will play Prokofiev’s Sonata for Violin and Piano Op. 94a, Waltz No. 2 from Jazz Suite no. 2 and the Romance from Gadfly by Schostakovich with Thomas Gould (violin), pieces from Childrens’ Notebooks by Weinberg, and also some selected arrangements from Shostakovich’s film music.

I’m also joined by Bartholomew LaFollette (‘cello) to play Prokofiev’s wonderful Cello Sonata in C major Op. 119 at Pushkin House on the previous day. Also this year we have ‘Talented Children’ and ‘Amateur Pianists’ concerts, and I am very excited about these new additions to the Festival.

I love playing Russian music in the UK and am proud that in this year’s programme we have a few Russian composers, such as Lyadov, Medtner, Gubaidulina, whose works are not performed very often.

It’s been a challenge to plan a festival of five concerts in four days during these strange times, but I am incredibly thankful to all the concert venue’s planning teams and to the performers, because all of these programmes have been put together in less than a month.

Now the only challenge left, I believe, is for the audience! Each venue still operates at a reduced capacity, and I am happy to say that the tickets are nearly all gone.

Hope to see you there!


Yulia Chaplina


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

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