Nikolai Lugansky is one of the most technically and musically accomplished pianists of his generation. His resumé includes major awards such as first prize at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow as well as performances with the world’s top orchestras. In October 2016, he finally made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with a performance of Rachmaninov’s highly virtuoso Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini under the direction of Tugan Sokhiev. Lugansky has a special connection to the Russian composer; among other things, he is the director of a Rachmaninov Festival and patron of a memorial centre dedicated to the composer’s legacy. In this interview with the Philharmoniker’s cellist Christoph Igelbrink, we discover just how delighted Lugansky was to be invited to perform in Berlin, what other focal points there are in his repertoire, and the fact that Lugansky also speaks excellent German.