He's one of classical music’s most important composers - and on the eve of his 80th birthday, we got to ask him what he thinks about the state of classical music in 2016.
The International Tchaikovsky Competition has become one of the best-known and most-respected piano competitions in the world, launching the careers of Van Cliburn, Peter Donohoe, Barry Douglas and Daniil Trifonov. We asked five of the competitors in the second round of this year's hugely competitive competition to play for us. And, wow, did they deliver…
From hundreds of entrants and a starting field of 36, just 12 pianists go through to the second round of the competition. Just before they took to the stage in the second round we popped our head round the practice room door and asked some of them to give us a preview of their performances.
First up: 23-year-old Sergei Redkin from Russia, who gave us a preview of the cadenza he’d written just the week before to perform in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12.
Sergei Redkin performs Mozart
Sergei performs his own cadenza for Mozart's Piano Concerto No.12
Next, one of only two women left in the competition (over its long history, incidentally, the piano section of the Tchaikovsky Competition has only once been won by a woman – Ayako Uehera in 2002). The 23-year-old treated us to part of the slow movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23. The other woman competing for a place in the final is Maria Mazo from Germany.
Julia Kociuban plays Mozart
Julia Kociuban performs part of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23
This American 23-year-old skipped the Mozart and treated us to part of Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto, a work he’ll be playing if he gets through to the final.
Reed Tetzloff performs Liszt
Reed Tetzloff performs part of Liszt
Aged 27 and one of a handful of Russians through to the second round, Dmitry gave us a preview of a fiery section of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.20.
Dmitry Masleev plays Mozart
Dmitry Masleev performs part of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20
Finally, audience favourite Lucas, 24 years old and from France decided to treat us to something altogether different…
Lucas Debargue plays some jazz
Lucas Debargue plays a spot of jazz
Watch the winners of the Tchaikovsky Competition perform live on ClassicFM.com on 2 July at 5pm