Piano András Schiff


András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1953 and started piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. Subsequently 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.
Recitals and special cycles, ie the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann and Bartók form an important part of his activities. Since 2004 he has performed complete cycles of the 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas in 20 cities, and the cycle in the Zurich Tonhalle was recorded live.
András Schiff has worked with most of the major international orchestras and conductors, but nowadays he performs mainly as a conductor and soloist. In 1999 he created his own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca, which consists of international soloists, chamber musicians and friends. In addition to working annually with this Orchestra, he also works every year with the Philharmonia Orchestra London 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 highly 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 "Hommage 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 awarded numerous international prizes, the most recent being the Klavier-Festival Ruhr Prize (for outstanding pianistical achievements and to honour a lifetime’s work as a pianist) in June 2009. In 2006 he became an Honorary Member of the Beethoven House in Bonn in recognition of his interpretations of Beethoven’s works; in 2007 he received the renowned Italian prize, the “Premio della critica musicale Franco Abbiati” awarded for his Beethoven Piano Sonata Cycle; in 2007 he was presented with The Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize, sponsored by the Kohn Foundation - an annual award for someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the performance and/or scholarly study of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach; in 2008 he was given the Wigmore Hall Medal in appreciation of 30 years of music-making at Wigmore Hall.
In 2006 András Schiff and the music publisher G Henle began an important Mozart edition project. In the course of the next few years there will be a joint edition of Mozart’s Piano Concertos in their original version to which Mr Schiff is contributing to the piano parts, the fingerings and the cadenzas where the original cadenzas are missing. In addition, in 2007 both volumes of Bach’s "Well Tempered Klavier" were edited in the Henle original text with fingerings by Mr Schiff.
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).