Born in Moscow on October 15, 1976, Nikolai Baskov is known as Russia’s beloved tenor and only crossover artist, performing both classical and pop music styles, topping charts and selling millions of units.
Nikolai began singing at age 5 in choirs. He made his professional debut when he was 11, as the third spirit in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in Paris.
In 1998 Baskov won the First Prize in the All-Russian Young Singers Competition and the Second Prize in the Grande Voce competition 1999 in Spain.
The same year Nikolay Baskov was invited to the Bolshoi theatre troupe. He performed the major arias in such operas as Yevgeni Onegin, Prince Igor, Boris Godunov, Traviata and others.
An important milestone for Baskov occurred in the year 2000, — it was his life-changing meeting with a legend of the opera world, the great Soprano of 20th century, Spain’s Montserrat Caballe. After performing together several times, Caballe invited Baskov to train with her, in an effort to further enhance Baskov’s vocal skills and style. This was a critical point in his professional life. Being selected as Caballe’s pupil, and, from that, becoming her regular stage partner, broadened Baskov’s talents and audience, considerably. They performed together in the most renowned venues in Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and elsewhere. Worldwide media noted Baskov’s unique voice, brilliant vocal skills, wide range and technique, and called him one of the world’s great tenors.
In 2001 he graduated from Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in the class of chamber and operatic singing and then and became an aspirant of Moscow State Petr Chaykovsky Conservatory, from which he graduated in 2003 with a Gold medal.
Nikolai performs in the style of the biggest crossover stars, mixing arias with dancers, flamboyant stage effects and high-profile guest artists. He’s a vivid personality, easily charming different audiences across Russia, Europe and Asia.
In 2012 his legendary concert performance at Moscow’s Hall of the Luzhniki Arena was released in the USA, titled Romantic Journey, on CD and DVD. The show was also aired by PBS television.
His latest tremendous and spectacular show named Igra («The Play») was premiered at The State Kremlin Palace in October 2016. The impressive programme, a fusion of vocal and choreography, pantomime and exquisite costumes, visual effects and stage scenery, was performed in Moscow 3 nights successively, to a total audience of about 18000 people. Musically, the set list was as diverse as expected from Nikolai, ranging from his most recent songs through pop hits and mellow croons to the classic masterpieces such as Prince Calaf (from Turandot by G.Puccini), Mister X (from Die Zirkusprinzessin by E.Kálmán), and Caruso (by L.Dalla).
Later in 2016 Nikolai went on tour with the unforgettable show across the Baltic States, Germany, and Russia. First leg of the tour lasted till May 2017. The second leg of the tour, started in October 2017, went through middle regions of Russia, then coming back to St.Petersburg and Moscow, and further to Uzbekistan, Belarus, and then again to the Baltic States in 2018.
In 2018 Nikolai released two very special albums. First of them, Veruyu («I Am a Believer»), was his brand new project of Modern Christian music, presented in October at the Kremlin Palace and accompanied by The Sveshnikov Choir. The second album, released through Universal Music Russia later in December, was Chistmas Songs, recorded in Los Angeles and produced by Grammy winner Walter Afanasieff. The album featured O Holy Night, a collaboration track with Sarah Brightman. Among other tracks were Silent Night, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, White Christmas, and other Christmas classics. Nikolai decided to make it a charity album, with all earnings going to Vera Foundation supporting various hospices.
Baskov has been awarded with all of the most coveted national music honors and awards, including Ovation, Zolotoy Gramofon ("Golden Grammophone" — Grammy equivalent in Russia), MUZ TV Award, Style of the Year, Singer of the Year, and many more.
But it’s not only singing that Nikolai excels at: for many years he has been a TV host of Saturday Night show on Russian television, and it’s no surprise that he is often welcomed as a great entertainer for various public events.
Today, Baskov holds the titles of Russia’s and Ukraine’s National Artist. He has been awarded top honors in Belorussia — the National Francisk Skorina Medal, and the Gold Medal from the Peace Foundation (for Baskov’s charitable contributions and peace-promoting activities). He has been anointed the Golden Voice of Russia — the country’s top music honor.
Vesti la giubba (Pagliacci)
Video directed by Giancarlo del Monaco