Igor Shukov was born in Gorki in 1936, but was at home in Moscow since his early days of childhood. He studied with the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus who taught at the famous Tchaikovsky Conservatory. After a series of successfull competitions, the concert halls in Europe, Japan and the United States opened to him and his way to fame was paved – especially for his being a congenial interpreter of the works of Alexander Scriabin.
“Shukov playing – a gaunt, not to say skinny intellectual. A musician showing the disposition of a Russian ascetic: clever, ardent ,entirely at peace with himself and in continuous search … Shukov claims for himself the boundless liberty to ponder. His intention is to isolate, to present the importance of an instant. There is no measure to restrict him. He who approaches music so relentlessly does not need to stop – nowhere. No reasoning, no convention in this world can possibly convince this very open and serious mystic that a coming phrase is not to be woven in thoughts even more than the one prior to it. We can understand that Shukov’s obsession with details clashes with Scriabin’s mysticism. We can understand that Shukov’s emphasis when playing Prokofiev does not lie on diabolic ironies but rather on cynicism and is performed with that certain, somewhat arrogant elegance Baltic nobles could not hide when telling their contemptuous – though very funny – jokes.”
J. Kaiser ‘Große Pianisten in unserer Zeit’
Piper Verlag, München