Denys Dragan Maksymchuk was born in 1998 in Ukraine, in a small village in the Ivano-Frankivsk region, into a family of teachers. After his uncle discovered him at the piano, trying to play music from his cartoons at age 5, his parents decided to send him to the music school of the closest city. During his school years, he also attended classes of painting, dancing, football, Karate, water polo, chess, skiing, horseback riding, and regularly participated at school Olympiads.
Denys wanted to become a cosmonaut. However, at the age of 7, after winning his first piano competition, he was told about a music school for specially gifted children in Lviv. His wish to study there was already fulfilled at age of 10, when he entered the school Solomija Krusheljnitckaya, in the class of Prof. T. Alexandrova. The family moved to Lviv where Denys’ musical education became the main concern.
In 2013, he was third prize winner at the Chopin Youth Piano Competition in Warsaw and first prize winner at the Stankovich Piano Competition in Kiev, the Chamber Music Competition Starchenko, and the Na rodine Prokofieva Competition in Donetsk.
In 2014, he won two first prizes at the competition Accords of Chortyzja in Zaporozhiye, Ukraine (in the categories solo recital and concerto with orchestra), and in 2015, another first prize at an international competition of young talents in Prague.
At the age of 17, he graduated from the school in Lviv and moved to Vienna, Austria, to study at the Prayner Konservatorium für Musik und Dramatische Kunst in the class of Prof. Tamara Atschba. The same year Denys wins 1.Prize for the best Prokofiev performance at the
"Great Composers Competition" and later on, wins 1.Prize for the best Rachmaninov as well.
In November 2017 he performs in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine, an exceptional recital for his age consisting of Bach/Brahms, Prokofiev and Liszt, as well as the Totentanz of Liszt with orchestra.
In 2018 he performs a brilliant recital in Vienna, organized by the Cziffra Foundation, after which he is highly praised by critics, especially for his interpretation of Liszt's Dante Sonata
("An absolutely fascinating recital").
He is then invited for a concert tour in western Ukraine, performing several times the Rachmaninov concerto n°2.
In February 2019 he is 1 Prize winner of the Agustin Aponte international piano competition in Tenerife, followed in April by the Grand Prix at the ProArt Competition and in July by the bronze medal at the Ferenz Liszt International Competition in Budapest.
He is invited by the Cziffra Foundation for a new recital in November 2019 in Vienna, followed by a tour with a program dedicated to Liszt and Chopin, performing the full cycle of the 24 preludes.
In 2020 he is invited to perform as part of the first season of the cycle Musik durch die Jahreszeiten (Music through the seasons) at the Ehrbar Hall in Vienna.
In 2021 he plays a "Hommage à Cziffra" at the Bank Austria Salon. A recital for the 100th anniversary of the great Hungarian pianist. This concert is followed in September by another recital organized by the Cziffra Foundation in Vienna with works by Liszt, as well as few recording projects. In March 2022, Denys is invited to play on the viennese Heldenplatz in front of 50.000 people, to support Ukraine in the war with Russia.
Several concerts are planned for the year 2022. In june he participates at the Concert Conference «Earth's Climate Trajectories» in frames of the Esperus Concerts. He is also invited to perform at the Gala Concert of the Cziffra Festival. In Summer he will be giving a solo recital in France at the Festival du Périgord Pourpre "L'Été Musical en Bergerac". He has been chosen by the firm C.Bechstein to perform a concert for Ukraine, organized at the C.Bechstein Centrum Wien.
Over the spring 2023, he performs several concerts among which, performances at the "Virtuose Klänge" festival, a concert at the Bösendorfer Salon of Vienna, as well as a shared recital with renowned pianist Eduard Kiprsky at the Schloss Wolkersdorf.
The year 2024 will be a busy one, with a planned recording dedicated to Paraphrases and Transcritions of G. Cziffra, as well as a recital in the springtime at the Ehrbar Hall of Vienna, now under the lead of the C.Bechstein house.
Denys Dragan is supported by the Esperus Art Fund since 2017.
"The ukrainian pianist Denys Dragan opened the 2018 season of the Festival der Klänge with an absolutely fascinating recital, offering us incredible technique and an exceptional interpretation of Liszt.
Carried by a perfect mastery of his instrument, Denys Maksymchuk took us on a trip into the hell and heaven of Dante's divine comedy.
For the second half of the concert, after a romantic Ständchen by Schubert, the Totentanz of Liszt, with the pianist Joseph Avila playing the part of the orchestra, was an unique experience. It was simply extraordinary.
I remembered the concerts of Georges Cziffra himself.
I'll keep for a long time the memory of those two works of Liszt.
The Cziffra Foundation
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LISZT - Dante sonata
Denys Dragan Interview Chopin Liszt