Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev has been signed to Universal Music on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

While Andrey Gugnin may have taken out the grand prize at the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition of Australia, runner-up and fellow Russian pianist Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev certainly hasn’t left the country empty handed. In addition to his $28,000 of prize money and the performance opportunities associated with being a finalist, it has been revealed that Tarasevich-Nikolaev has been signed to Universal Music, on the Deutsche Grammophon label.

“In a world of such pianistic excellence, as amply demonstrated by the 2016 Sydney International Piano Competition, you have to wonder how so many very deserving musicians get a platform to showcase their gifts,” said Cyrus Meher-Homji, General Manager of Classics and Jazz at Universal Music Australia, “Being a finalist helps, winning first prize too. Arseny took second prize in the Competition, but from the very first time I heard him, I knew his gifts were out of the ordinary.”

What caught Meher-Homji’s attention? “Once you’ve ticked all the boxes, it’s the X-factor,” he said, “From the opening rounds at this year’s competition I was deeply moved by the extraordinary musicianship from this young man. Listening to him is almost like a communion.”

The 23-year-old pianist comes from something of a musical dynasty as the grandson of one of the great Russian pianists of the 20th century, Tatiana Nikolaeva, who died before Tarasevich-Nikolaev was one year old.

“It’s like vintage Rachmaninoff,” said Gerard Willems in his ABC Classic FM commentary on Tarasevich-Nikolaev’s concerto performance in the final round, “What I think is so wonderful about him is he knows how to build up the tension, then lets the release happen naturally.”

“Arseny is also the piano’s ultimate aristocrat, who holds you in his spell from the moment he walks on to the platform,” said Meher-Homji, “One could go on searching for adjectives and superlatives about his playing and his prowess, but ultimately it’s the total experience that counts, and his artistry is rare, distinguished, and of another dimension. We look forward to welcoming him to the Universal Music family, and anticipate a long and successful career for him.”

Limelight Newsletter