Yeoman Interview – Samson Tsoy

Samson Tsoy has won numerous international piano competitions, attracted the attention of pianist Elisabeth Leonskaja and had his performances praised by composer Sergei Dorensky and BBC Music Magazine.

What was your musical education?
I was born in Kazakhstan and moved to Russia in 1996. There are eight generations of doctors and acupuncturists on my father’s side. At the age of eight, however, I attended the Inozemtsevskaya School of Music. After graduating, I went to Krasnodar State Rimsky-Korsakov College of Music and the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. I continued my education at Verbier Academy, before enrolling at the Royal College of Music, supported by an ABRSM scholarship. Between 2012-14, I also attended Brussels’ Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel.

What pianists have inspired you most?
Many musicians have inspired me, but Sviatoslav Richter has been particularly influential in my career. I have also been fortunate to study under the tutelage of renowned Russian musicians including Nelly Mezhlumova and Yury Airapetian. Studying with Maria Joao Pires at Brussels’ Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel also helped with my professional development.

How many awards have you won?
I’ve gained artistic recognition at more than 20 piano awards including the Company’s Maisie Lewis Young Artists’ Fund. I’ve also recently become one of the City Music Foundation’s Artists 2014-2016. This accolade isn’t an award, rather a structured financial and mentoring support system. With the help of mentors, workshops, performance opportunities and a vast support network, you’re encouraged to focus on your personal development and achieve set goals.

What has been your career highlight to date?
Becoming a Laureate of the prestigious XVII Santander International Piano Competition is one of my career highlights. Through this opportunity, I have forged new friendships, made good connections and had the chance to perform with the Zakhar Bron Chamber orchestra.

What Company prize did you win and when?
I won the 2013 Maisie Lewis Young Artists’ Fund (shared with Joseph Shiner). The audition was at Wigmore Hall, and the shared recital held at St-Martin-in-the-Fields Church. It was a great opportunity to perform in front of a fantastic audience.

What does being a Company prizewinner mean to you?
Being a Company prizewinner has many benefits. It’s a chance to perform on world-class concert stages in front of interesting and important people and to make new contacts. Through the Company, I’ve had the opportunity to play at the beautiful and historic St Lawrence Jewry. Next year, I’ll also perform at Petworth Festival, which attracts leading artists and musicians.

Tell me about your Outreach work.
I have just returned from Russia where I’ve held concert performances and workshops with young children. I enjoy teaching young children and feel passionately that music is something every child should learn. On previous trips to Russia, I’ve also had the chance to get involved in outreach work with the homeless and prisoners, which I find challenging and highly rewarding.

What are your future plans?
2015 is promising to be a busy year. In January, I am performing a number of recitals in London. I’m then off to the Sergei Diaghilev’s House of Music Russia to perform works by Mozart, Brahms, Chopin and Schumann, before going to China in May. Next Summer, I’m performing in Switzerland and at the 23rd Internatinal Klaviersommer Festival in Germany. For details, view my Concert Dates.