“Brilliant talent!” – with these words Shapovalov was characterized by famous Mstislav Rostropovich. Denis Shapovalov is set apart from the majority of gifted cellists with his fine and penetrating comprehension of the works he performs, his razor-sharp technique, and his incredibly expressive and lofty interpretation.
Born to a musical family in the town of Tchaikovsky in 1974, Shapovalov started his cello lessons at age 7. He made his solo debut with an orchestra at age 11,
Shapovalov won recognition for his exceptional musical gift at the XI International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1998, taking the 1 st prize and the gold medal as the unanimous choice of the jury.
In 2000, Shapovalov finished the post-graduate course of the Moscow State Conservatory, where he studied under Professor Natalia Shakhovskaya, and since 2001 he has been teaching at the Conservatory in the Cello Department. He is often invited to give master-classes in Russia and abroad as a touring professor.
September 2001 was highlighted for Shapovalov with a victory at the Web Concert Hall International Competition held in New York.
The young cellist has participated in numerous international festivals in Russia, France, Italy, Germany, the USA, Japan, and China. For his American debut, he gave a successful performance at the World Cello Congress in Baltimore in June, 2000.
In 2002 he was invited to perform with the London Symphony Orchestra in the concert series celebrating Rostropovich's 75 th birthday in New York and London.
In addition, Shapovalov collaborates with Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra, the chamber orchestra “Moscow Virtuosi”, the Academic Symphony Orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmony, the Bayerische Rundfunk Orchestra, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Yomiuri Symphony Orchestra, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, and the Bratislava Symphony Orchestra.
He works under such distinguished conductors as Lorin Maazel, Mstislav Rostropovich, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Vladimir Fedosseev, Yutaka Sado, Yoel Levi, Andrew Litton, Vladimir Spivakov.
Shapovalov's performances are held in the world's major concert halls – Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Muenchner Philharmonic, Royal Festival Hall and Barbican Center in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, UNESCO Conference Hall in Paris, Vaduzerzaal in Liechtenstein, Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.