Vladimir Feltsman was born in Moscow in 1952 and developed his love for music at a young age. His public debut was at the age of 12, when he performed as a soloist with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. He won first prize at the Concertina International Competition in Prague at 15, an award that later led him to enroll in the Moscow Conservatory. After winning first prize at the Marguerite Long Competition in Paris, he felt he was ready to perform with the major Soviet orchestras and at music festivals in the USSR. During this time, Feltsman performed recitals in Eastern Europe, France, Italy, Belgium and Japan.
In the summer of 1987, Feltsman arrived in the United States after finally receiving permission to leave the Soviet Union. The PBS television documentary Journey From Home: Vladimir Feltsman in Moscow recounts his return to Moscow after being banned from the concert halls and a heartfelt reunion with his parents. He has also been seen on such national television programs as 60 Minutes, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, PBS' Live From Lincoln Center and The McLaughlin Group.
Aside from doing live concerts and recitals, Feltsman has also made several recordings. On the MusicMasters label, he has made five CDs of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, including The Art of Fugue, and a disc of the final Beethoven sonatas, Op. 190, 110 and 111. His recordings also include a live performance at the Moscow Conservatory of the Goldberg Variations and a release in April 1996 titled The Well Tempered Clavier Book II.
Since his arrival in the United States, Vladimir Feltsman has performed with all the major American orchestras as well as the London Symphony and the NHK of Japan. During the 1996-97 season, he performed with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of conductor Kurt Masur. His recitals and concerts include works from Bach as well as new contemporary music. Feltsman's repertoire concentrates on music from the German tradition but does not fail to include other new genres. His vibrant, individualistic style of interpretations has made Feltsman an internationally known and respected pianist.