Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder Performs With the New York Philharmonic, 2/14-16
The "Viennese oracle" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) pianist Rudolf Buchbinder will be the featured soloist with the New York Philharmonic led by Music Director Alan Gilbert in three concerts from February 14-16, 2013 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. Buchbinder will perform Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 83; the concerts will also include Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6, Pathétique. Buchbinder's next performances in the U.S. are on March 8-10, 2013, as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Christoph von Dohnányi, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466.
"Rudolf Buchbinder is a deep artist. He is someone who is steeped in the Old World European tradition, and I think that's just the sensibility that this piece requires," Alan Gilbert said. "Of course, he is able to play a huge range of repertoire, but [Brahms' Concerto No. 2] is a wonderful piece to do with him, and I can't wait."
Rudolf Buchbinder recorded all of the Brahms piano concertos live with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, for Teldec in 2000. He has recently made another recording with Harnoncourt, this time of Mozart's Piano Concertos No. 23 in A Major, K. 488 and No. 25 in C Major, K. 503 with Concentus Musicus Vienna, recorded live at the Vienna Musikverein in June 2012. The album will be released by Sony Classical in the US on February 5, 2013.
This marks the first time that Rudolf Buchbinder has performed in public on a period instrument; for these concerts he played a fortepiano that is a reproduction of a 1792 Anton Walter instrument created by fortepiano maker Paul McNulty.
"I have always been fascinated by the variety, technique and sound of historical instruments, and even had a representative collection of them," Buchbinder says. "Recording Mozart's piano concertos on a pianoforte was an exciting experience which I enjoyed very much. I was genuinely obsessed with this sound."
In opposition to recent trends, Rudolf Buchbinder has been making live recordings instead of working in a studio for more than a dozen years. He explained why in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal: "In the studio, you can't be spontaneous. In a live concert (and thank God you don't hear a lot of wrong notes when I play), you get the kind of emotion you can't produce in an artificial setting. There is a chemistry that takes place, and I don't care if there is also coughing and rustling."
In October 2012, Buchbinder was awarded an ECHO Klassik Award for Best Instrumentalist of the Year (Piano) for The Sonata Legacy, a 9-CD box set recording of all of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas. The album, which was released in the US in August 2012, was featured as Album of the Week by New York's classical music station, WQXR-FM, which raved, "one hears a degree of spontaneity doesn't always come through in studio takes. It's there in his fiery rendition of the Presto Agitato from the 'Moonlight' Sonata, his pulsating take on the 'Hammerklavier' and the brisk reading of the 'Waldstein,' to name just three examples."
In January 2012, Buchbinder's live performance (as pianist and conductor) of all five of Beethoven's Piano Concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic was released in the US as a 2-DVD set by C Major/Unitel Classica. The concerts were filmed live in May 2011 at the Goldener Saal der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. In addition to the performances, the DVDs include a conversation between Buchbinder and music journalist Joachim Kaiser as bonus material.
Rudolf Buchbinder's concert calendar in 2012-2013 takes him around the world. His signature offering - the complete cycle of all of Beethoven's Piano Sonatas (which he has performed in more than 40 cities worldwide since 1979) - began in Milan in January 2012, in Hannover in March, and in Berlin at the Philharmonie in December. In Beijing he became the first pianist ever to perform all of the Beethoven Piano Sonatas in eight days in October 2012. See complete concert schedule at the end of this press release.
Rudolf Buchbinder was admitted to the Vienna Musik Hochschule at age five, and remains the youngest student to gain entrance in the school's history. He made his debut at the age of ten at Vienna's Musikverein, performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1. The music of Beethoven has been a focal point of his career ever since - not only does he continue to perform Beethoven's works, but he constantly re-examines his approach to it, as well as Beethoven's scores. He owns 35 different, complete editions of the scores for Beethoven's 32 Piano Sonatas, and has analyzed each, tirelessly finding and correcting editorial errors. He attaches considerable importance to the meticulous study of these musical sources, and has an extensive collection of autograph scores, first editions, and original documents - including the autograph scores and piano parts of both Brahms concertos as copies.
Buchbinder says, "The stricter and the more exacting I am in my approach, the more I learn about the freedom of making music. This merely seems to be a paradox. Anyone who reads what composers really wrote acquires the impetus for a freer kind of playing. Composers demand this freedom from their interpreters by including far more differentiated instructions than the regular printed notation can ever hope to reproduce."
In spite of his heavy travel schedule, Buchbinder maintains that he spends many weeks of the year at his home in Vienna, which he shares with his wife. In addition to collecting musical scores, the pianist spends considerable time on other, non-musical hobbies - art and architecture, books, and movies. Buchbinder owns more than 4,000 DVDs of movies ranging from Abbot and Costello to Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder, including all of the Oscar-winning films, and everything ever made by Charlie Chaplin and John Wayne.