Misperceptions have marked the life of the Russian composer, Sergei Prokofiev. Musically, politically, and personally, this composer has been much maligned and misunderstood. Even now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, his music still defies categorization. We don't know what to do with him, where to put him. Is he a modernist or a reactionary?
Barbara Nissman celebrated the 50th anniversary of Prokofiev’s death during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 seasons with concerts and lectures devoted to an increased understanding of the man and his music. Nissman made history in 1989 by becoming the first pianist to perform the complete Prokofiev piano sonatas in a series of three recitals in both New York and London. Her recordings of this repertoire represented the first complete set of Prokofiev Sonatas made available on compact disc, and were recently released as a three-CD box.
Known as “the reigning Prokofiev specialist,” Nissman performed his five piano concertos with orchestras throughout the US, Europe, Russia and the Far East during the 2003 anniversary year. She is currently at work on her second book, Prokofiev and the Piano: A Performer's View, to be published by Scarecrow Press.
In the December 2008 issue featuring Prokofiev and his music, BBC Magazine recommended as its choice for Prokofiev's piano music Barbara Nissman's Complete Prokofiev Sonata recordings.
"...one of the last pianists in the grand romantic tradition of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Rubinstein"