Documentary

Alexandra Dovgan: Per aspera

Portrait of a piano prodigy by Nadezhda Zhdanova and Maria Novikova

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Cast

With:

Mira Marchenko

Grigory Sokolov

Alexandra Dovgan — Pianist

Denis Matsuev — Pianist

Program notes

Born in 2007, the unassuming Alexandra Dovgan possesses a truly prodigious talent and the artistic maturity of a pianist three times her age. It is this preternatural combination of skill and temperament that led her to victory in the 2018 Grand Piano Competition at the age of 10, and that has seen her continue to give acclaimed recitals alongside heavy hitters in some of the most prestigious halls in the world—including Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, her dream venue, where she played to a delighted audience in 2019.

This documentary presents interviews with mentors and artists who immediately admired the spark of genius they saw in Dovgan—from teacher Mira Marchenko to legendary pianists Grigory Sokolov and Denis Matsuev (founder of the competition that launched Dovgan to fame)—and gives us a chance to watch the young star’s interpretations of works by Debussy, Bach, Lutosławski (alongside Matsuev), Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Chopin.

“I am only nervous when I am off-stage,” muses Dovgan. “The moment I make the first step on stage, I realize it’s time to stop worrying and start thinking about music alone.” This remarkable focus can be heard in every bar of her self-assured playing, full of personality, artistry and the promise of a monumental career to come.

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