The word 'poet' and expressions such as 'exquisite touch' are commonly used by reviewers in describing the Russian pianist, Victor Ryabchikov. Since his first appearance in the West in the early '90s, at the relatively advanced age of 39, he has rapidly built up a reputation as a pianist of extraordinary sensitivity and charm.His recordings, released by BIS Records, of Mikhail Glinka's complete piano music have received rave reviews around the world. His highly personal interpretations of Chopin, Rachmaninov, Glinka and other romantic composers of the 19th century have enchanted audiences in Russia, Britain, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, Germany and South Africa. TV and radio audiences in Russia and radio audiences around the world are frequently treated to this exceptional pianist.

Born in Tashkent, where he studied at the Music Conservatoire for Angelina Danilova, (the teacher whom he regards as having had the greatest influence on his development) and from which he graduated as "best student", he moved to Moscow in the '70s and entered the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, where he studied under Tatiana Nikolayeva. For many years Mr Ryabchikov toured the former Soviet Union with the soprano Olga Bouzina, winner of the 1973 international opera competition in Vienna and nick named "The Russian Maria Callas" - a teamwork that has influenced him greatly. In 1992 he was voted "Pianist of the Year" by the Russian press organisation (APN).

Mr Ryabchikov's special contribution in both Russia and the West has been to include in his programmes seldom heard or forgotten works for piano, as well as being a pioneer for the "lost" music by the lesser known Russian romantic composers, such as Balakirev, Lyadov, Arensky and the brothers Rubinstein, although his repertoire as a whole is wide and includes both solo piano music as well as works with orchestra. Mr Ryabchikov's warm passion for the music of Mikhail Glinka led him to initiate a Glinka festival in Moscow and to the co-founding of the Glinka Music Society in 1997.

As a man more of action than money, he persuaded Aeroflot to give free airtickets to foreign guests who came from Britain, Sweden, Germany, France and South Africa to the inauguration of the society, as well as to him and his fellow musicians when they were invited to continue the festival in Switzerland and Italy. He has also given benefit concerts in Berlin in aid of a new memorial to Mikhail Glinka. Mr Ryabchikov's successful debut at The Wigmore Hall in London came in April 2000.

In his home country, he frequently appears on Russian television and radio and gives recitals in St. Petersburg, Moscow and surrounding areas. Russian radio “Orphei” recently broadcast the fourteenth programme hosted by Mr Ryabchikov in which he talks about the lives of the Russian composers and illustrates their works with his own recordings. He also works as a piano pedagogue at The State Choir Academy in Moscow, combining this with tour programmes in Russia and abroad. Mr. Ryabchikov is very dedicated to his family, and has a daughter, Julia, born 1989.