Mikhail Pletnev is recognised as one of the finest artists of our time. He won the Gold Medal and First Prize in the 1978 International Tchaikovsky Competition at the age of 21, which brought him early recognition throughout the world. In 1990 he founded the Russian National Orchestra, joined by the best artists, and later founded the Mikhail Pletnev Fund, which supports major national cultural projects. A member of the Russian Cultural Council, in 2007 he received the President’s Award for his contribution to the country’s artistic life. The cumulative roles of pianist, conductor and composer are all important aspects of his life as an artist. However, he has the humility to always consider himself as a simple musician.