András Schiff, piano
András Schiff is world-renowned and critically acclaimed as a pianist, conductor, pedagogue and lecturer. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1953, Mr. Schiff started piano lessons at age five with Elisabeth Vadász. He continued his musical studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Professor Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados, and in London with George Malcolm.
Having recently completed The Bach Project throughout the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 concert seasons, he continued with The Last Sonatas, a series of three recitals comprising the final three sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. The Last Sonatas took place over the course of the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 seasons with the complete series at New York’s Carnegie Hall, San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, Los Angeles’s Disney Hall, Chicago’s Symphony Hall, Washington Performing Arts’ Strathmore Hall, The Vancouver Recital Society and University Musical Society of The University of Michigan. Further recitals were performed in Seattle, Santa Barbara, Kansas City, Oberlin, Rochester, Boston, Montréal and Toronto. In October 2015, the San Francisco Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic hosted this versatile artist in a series of concerts with orchestra and chorus – Sir András’s first performances in North America on the podium and at the piano with chorus, orchestra and soloists.
Mr. Schiff has established a prolific discography, and since 1997 has been an exclusive artist for ECM New Series and its producer, Manfred Eicher. Recordings for ECM include the complete solo piano music of Beethoven and Janácek, two solo albums of Schumann piano pieces, his second recordings of the Bach Partitas and Goldberg Variations, The Well Tempered Clavier, Books I and II and now Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations recorded on two instruments: The Bechstein from 1921 and an original fortepiano from Vienna 1820 — the place and time of the composition.
András Schiff has worked with most of the major international orchestras and conductors, but now he performs mainly as conductor and soloist. In 1999 he created his own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca, which consists of international soloists, chamber musicians and friends. He also works every year with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Since childhood he has enjoyed playing chamber music and from 1989 until 1998 was Artistic Director of the internationally praised "Musiktage Mondsee" chamber music festival near Salzburg. In 1995, together with Heinz Holliger, he founded the "Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte" in Kartause Ittingen, Switzerland. In 1998 Mr. Schiff started a similar series, entitled "Homage to Palladio" at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza. From 2004 to 2007 he was Artist in Residence of the Kunstfest Weimar. In the 2007-8 season he was Pianist in Residence of the Berlin Philharmonic.
András Schiff has been made an Honorary Professor by the Music Schools in Budapest, Detmold and Munich, and a Special Supernumerary Fellow of Balliol College (Oxford, UK). In December 2013, he received the Royal Philharmonic Society's Gold Medal, its most prestigious award.