Boris Giltburg, piano

Boris Giltburg

The Moscow-born, Israeli pianist is lauded across the globe as a deeply sensitive, insightful and compelling interpreter. Critics have praised his “singing line, variety of touch and broad dynamic palette capable of great surges of energy” (Washington Post) as well as his impassioned, narrative-driven approach to performance: “the interplay of spiritual calm and emphatic engagement is gripping, and one could not wish for a more illuminating, lyrical or more richly phrased interpretation” (Suddeutsche Zeitung). At home in a broad range of repertoire, in recent years he has been increasingly recognized as a leading interpreter of Rachmaninov: “His originality stems from a convergence of heart and mind, served by immaculate technique and motivated by a deep and abiding love for one of the 20th century’s greatest composer- pianists” (Gramophone).

To celebrate the Beethoven anniversary in 2020, Giltburg embarked upon a unique project to record and film all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas across the year, blogging about the process as it unfolded. The cycle, released on Naxos on all the major digital platforms - and subsequently as a boxed set - combines the high production values of a studio recording with the immediacy of a live performance, resulting in a uniquely fresh and personal take on these pillars of repertoire. Giltburg’s intense focus on Beethoven extended to the stage platform, as he performed the last four sonatas throughout the 20/21 season. He is recording the complete Beethoven piano concerti with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Vasily Petrenko, performed them as a cycle on three consecutive nights with the Brussels Philharmonic at the 2020 Flagey Piano Festival, and appeared in the BBC TV series “Being Beethoven”.

He regularly plays recitals in the world’s most prestigious halls, notably the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, London Southbank Centre, Prague Rudolfinum, Auditorium Radio France, Teatro Colon, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Tokyo Toppan Hall and Wiener Konzerthaus. Collaborations with major conductors and orchestras worldwide include the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, WDR, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, NHK Symphony, Baltimore and Seattle symphonies and at the BBC Proms.

Giltburg is a consummate recording artist. In 2015 he began a fruitful collaboration with Naxos Records, releasing a series of critically praised recordings of works by Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt, Rachmaninov and Shostakovich. His earlier album of Prokofiev’s War Sonatas was nominated for a Classical Brits Critics’ Award, and more recently he has won an Opus Klassik for Best Soloist Recording (Rachmaninov concerti and Etudes Tableaux); a Diapason d’Or (Shostakovich concerti and his own arrangement of Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet), and a Gramophone Award for the Dvorak Piano Quintet on Supraphon with the Pavel Haas Quartet, with whom he has a long-standing collaboration.

Giltburg feels a strong need to engage audiences beyond the concert hall. His blog “Classical music for all” is aimed at a non-specialist audience, and he complements it with articles in publications such as Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Guardian, Times and Fono Forum. During the lockdown period in spring 2020, Giltburg regularly streamed live performances and masterclasses from home; to this date these streams received more than 1 million views.