© Yutaka Suzuki
Sir 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, including 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 Tonhalle Zürich was recorded live.
His latest disc with ECM records, released in April 2015, features the late piano works of Franz Schubert recorded on a 1820 Viennese fortepiano made by Franz Brodmann and was recently awarded the International Classical Music Award for best “Solo Instrumental Recording of the Year”. This is the second time András Schiff has received this award. The first was in 2012 for his recording Geistervariationen with works by Robert Schumann (ECM).
Sir András 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 with 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, Sir András started a similar series, entitled "Hommage to Palladio" at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza.
Sir András has been awarded numerous international prizes. In 2006 he became an Honorary Member of the Beethoven House in Bonn in recognition of his interpretations of Beethoven’s works; in 2008 he was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal in appreciation of 30 years of music-making at Wigmore Hall; in 2009 he was made a Special Supernumerary Fellow of Balliol College (Oxford, UK); in 2011 he received the Schumann Prize awarded by the city of Zwickau; in 2012 he received the Golden Mozart-Medaille by the International Stiftung Mozarteum, the Ordre du mérite for Sciences and Arts, the Grosse Verdienstkreuz mit Stern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, and was made a Member of Honour of Vienna Konzerthaus; in December 2013 he was given The Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal; in July 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music honoris causa by the University of Leeds.
In the spring of 2011, Sir András attracted attention because of his opposition to the alarming political development in Hungary and in view of the ensuing attacks on him from some Hungarian Nationalists, decided not to perform again in his home country.
In June 2014, he was bestowed a Knighthood for services to Music in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
András Schiff’s book, “Musik kommt aus der Stille”, essays and conversations with Martin Meyer, was published in March 2017 by Bärenreiter and Henschel.
Lorenza Borrani, violin
Pascal Siffert, viola
Richard Lester, cello
Enno Senft, double basse
Clara Andrada, flute
Kai Frömbgen, oboe
Romain Guyot, clarinet
Claudio Alberti, bassoon
Jasper de Waal, horn
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) was founded in 1981 by a group of young musicians who became acquainted as part of the European Union Youth Orchestra. There are now about 60 members of the COE, who pursue parallel careers as principals or section leaders at nationally-based orchestra, eminent chamber musicians, and as tutors of music.
From the start, the COE’s identity was shaped by its partnerships with leading conductors and soloists. It was Claudio Abbado above all who served as an important mentor in the early years. He led the COE in such stage works as Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims and Il barbiere di Siviglia and Mozart’s Figaro and Don Giovanni and conducted numerous concerts featuring works by Schubert and Brahms in particular. Nikolaus Harnoncourt also had a major influence on the development of the COE through his performances and recordings of all of the Beethoven symphonies, as well as through opera productions at the Salzburg, Vienna, and styriarte festivals.
Currently the orchestra works closely with Bernard Haitink, Sir András Schiff, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The COE has strong links to the Lucerne Festival and many of the major concert halls in Europe including the Philharmonie de Paris and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The 2018-19 season will see the COE perform with some of the world’s most renowned conductors and soloists including Robin Ticciati, Antonio Pappano, Andres Orozco-Estrada, Leonidas Kavakos, Janine Jansen, Vilde Frang, Nikolaj Znaider and Piere-Laurent Aimard.
With more than 250 works in its discography, the COE’s CDs have won numerous international prizes, including two Grammys and three Gramophone Record of the Year Awards by Gramophone magazine, who recently nominated the COE for their new Orchestra of the Year Award. Their most recent releases include Visions of Prokofiev with Lisa Batiashvili and Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, both conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
The COE is a private orchestra which receives invaluable financial support from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and a number of Friends including Dasha Shenkman, the Sir Siegmund Warburg Voluntary Settlement, Rupert Hughes Will Trust, 35th Anniversary Friends, American Friends and The Underwood Trust.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quintet for piano and wind K452
String Trio Op.45
Introduction and Variations on "Trockne Blumen" for flute and piano D.802
“Trout” Quintet in A major for piano and strings
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