I recently visited Almaty in Kazakhstan to perform tracks from a new album of music by Yerkesh Shakeyev. The gift of melody is a wonderful and often underrated quality in so-called "serious" music circles. Yerkesh has that gift and, just as Saint-Saens described his abilities, they come to him easily "like an apple tree produces apples."
Shakeyev is a pop superstar across all former Soviet countries and recently begun writing in a more "classical" style. The album of piano music I recorded last year at Abbey Road (with some superb arrangements by Dimitriy Varelas), has just been released and here is a little taster of some of the tracks. The whole album can be listened to on spotify here
I have also arranged and recorded two tracks with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and an album of cello music with Alexander Baillie. Both will be released in the near future.
Here is the London Symphony Orchestra playing Shakeyev's "London" from a concert at Luke's in 2015.
and here he sings one of the ballads that made him such a popular artist in all Russian-speaking countries.