Mikhail Shilyaev was born in Izhevsk, Russia. He started learning piano at the age of six and won several regional piano competitions at a young age. He studied in Russia, Germany, and in the UK. As a soloist with orchestra, he has recently performed with Musikkollegium Winterthur, the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, RNCM Concert Orchestra, the Gregorian Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Gulbenkian Symphony Orchestra. Mikhail lives in London and plays mostly in the UK and Europe. He is interested in historical performance practice and often gives recitals on fortepianos. The choice of instrument for this recording is the result of Mikhail's personal fascination with the spirit of fin de siècle, that period when so many musical styles emerged, coexisted, fused and challenged each other. It was an era in which the art of piano playing truly blossomed, and fortunately for us, the newly emerged recording technology documented and preserved this blossoming. The works on this release (with the exception of Mompou's Variations) were composed around the time this particular Bechstein was being built. So the pianistic sound worlds of Debussy, Ravel, Scriabin and Mompou are reflected in the sound world of this, their contemporary instrument.