The Russian pianist, Vassily Primakov, first studied piano with his mother, Marina Primakova. He entered Moscow's Central Special Music School at the age of 11 as a pupil of Vera Gornostaeva, and at 17 came to New York to pursue studies at the Juilliard School with the noted pianist, Jerome Lowenthal. At Juilliard Primakov won the William Petschek Piano Recital Award, which presented his debut recital at Alice Tully Hall, and while at Juilliard, aided by a Susan W. Rose Career Grant, he won both the Silver Medal and the Audience Prize in the 2002 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition. Later that year Primakov won First Prize in the 2002 Young Concert Artists (YCA) International Auditions.
In recent years, Vassily Primakov has been hailed as a pianist of world class importance. Gramophone wrote that "Primakov's empathy with Chopin's spirit could hardly be more complete," and the American Record Guide stated: "Since Gilels, how many pianists have the right touch? In Chopin, no one currently playing and recording sounds as good as this! This is a great Chopin pianist." Music Web-International called Primakov's Chopin concertos CD "one of the great Chopin recordings of recent times. These are performances of extraordinary power and beauty." In 1999, as a teen-aged prize-winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Primakov was praised by Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "How many pianists can make a line sing as the 19-year-old Moscow native did on this occasion? Every poignant phrase took ethereal wing. Elsewhere the music soared with all of the turbulence and poetic vibrancy it possesses. We will be hearing much from this remarkable musician."
In 2007 Vassily Primakov was named the Classical Recording Foundation's "Young Artist of the Year." In 2009, Primakov's Chopin Mazurkas recording was named "Best of the Year" by National Public Radio and that same year he began recording the 27 Mozart piano concertos in Denmark. BBC Music Magazine (November, 2010) praised the first volume of Primakov's Mozart concertos: "The piano playing is of exceptional quality: refined, multi-coloured, elegant of phrase and immaculately balanced, both in itself and in relation to the effortlessly stylish orchestra. The rhythm is both shapely and dynamic, the articulation a model of subtlety. By almost every objective criterion, Vassily Primakov is a Mozartian to the manner born, fit to stand as a role model to a new generation." Vassily Primakov's recent recordings include: L.v. Beethoven Sonatas (Bridge Records); the Chopin Concertos (Bridge Records); Tchaikovsky: The Seasons and Grand Sonata (Bridge Records); Chopin: 21 Mazurkas (Bridge Records); Robert Schumann: Carnaval, Kreisleriana, Arabeske (Bridge Records); Dvorak: Piano Concerto, Op. 33; Poetic Tone-Pictures, Op. 85 (Bridge Records); Schubert: Dances and Impromptus (Bridge Records); Mozart Concertos, Vol. 1 (Bridge Records) and Vassily Primakov plays Brahms, Chopin & Scriabin, Primakov's first film, issued on DVD (Bridge Records). In November of 2010 the first CD in a series of live performances, "Primakov in Concert, Vol. 1", will be released including works by Johannes Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky and Sergei Rachmaninov.