Grigory Sokolov has worked hard to secure privileges that few contemporary musicians can boast. He gives practically no interviews, rarely visits the recording studio, has performed solo for a number of years and compiles his own recital programmes, without particularly hurrying to announce them. He first sat at a piano at the age of five, almost 70 years ago. Ever since he has been reluctant to part with his beloved instrument, especially during his lengthy performances, giving endless encores (at times as long as a separate recital). Paradoxically, he is a rare example of an artist who communicates with the outside world almost exclusively through his performances, which force reviewers into extraordinary, at times quite humorous, verbal gymnastics in search of the right concepts to describe the artistry of his playing and the aura he creates around him. A voluminous anthology of surprising metaphors might be compiled from the texts on Sokolov’s playing, which may suggest that it is impossible to capture the personality of this remarkable pianist, let alone his interpretations, in words.