David Mellor - listen again to a tribute to Sviatoslav Richter

David Mellor pays tribute to the great pianist in his look ahead at the significant musical anniversaries of 2015.

This evening, David Mellor pays homage to one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, Sviatoslav Richter - born 100 years ago this year. 

Richter, pictured here with Benjamin Britten conducting, was well known for the depth of his interpretations, extraordinary technique, and vast repertoire. He won the Stalin Prize in 1949, which led to extensive concert tours in Russia, Eastern Europe and China. His first concerts in the West took place in May 1960, when he was allowed to play in Finland, and in October 1960, in Chicago, where he played Brahms's Second Piano Concerto, creating a sensation. 

Tonight, David will demonstrate just why Richter can be called one of the true greats. He'll also recount his only personal encounter with the great man.   

The pianist hated planning concerts years in advance, and in later life took to playing at very short notice in small, most often darkened halls, with only a small lamp lighting the score. He said that this setting helped the audience focus on the music being performed, rather than on the performer's grimaces and gestures.