Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder Announces Upcoming Mozart Album
Pianist Rudolf Buchbinder will release his newest Sony Classical album, a recording of Mozart's Piano Concertos No. 23 in A Major, K. 488 and No. 25 in C Major, K. 503 with conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Concentus Musicus Vienna, in the US and the UK on January 22, 2013. The recording is a live account of Buchbinder's concerts with Concentus Musicus at the Vienna Musikverein in June 2012.
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."
Buchbinder and conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt have enjoyed a long musical friendship. Together they recorded Brahms' Piano Concertos live at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for Teldec in 2000. When asked how this new Mozart recording came to be, Buchbinder says, "Harnoncourt and I have played so many concertos together – Mozart concertos, Beethoven concertos and the Brahms concertos, which were also recorded live at the Concertgebouw […] And he said to me in passing, 'You know, Rudi, it's quite strange. It occurred to me that I have not played a single Mozart piano concerto with the Concentus yet. You must do that!' Then his wife Alice pulled a little slip of paper out of her bag and said, 'Yes, and here are the dates, Rudi.'"
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."
Rudolf Buchinder next performs in the US as soloist with the New York Philharmonic led by Alan Gilbert in Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 from February 14-16, 2013 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. He joins the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Christoph von Dohnányi as soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466 from March 8-10, 2013.
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, in Beijing in October, and will begin in Berlin at the Philharmonie in December. 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.
About Rudolf Buchbinder: Rudolf Buchbinder is firmly established as one of the world's foremost pianists and is frequently invited by major orchestras and festivals around the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre National de France, London Philharmonic, National Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has collaborated with the world's most distinguished conductors including Abbado, Dohnányi, Dudamel, Frühbeck de Burgos, Giulini, Harnoncourt, Maazel, Masur, Mehta, Saraste, Sawallisch and Thielemann and is a regular guest at the Salzburger Festspiele and other major festivals around the world. Throughout the 2010-2011 season Rudolf Buchbinder had a close cooperation with the Staatskapelle Dresden as its Artist in Residence in the first-ever position of "Capell-Virtuoso." Rudolf Buchbinder is also the founding artistic director of the Grafenegg Music Festival, a major international music festival near Vienna which launched in August 2007.
Of his appearance with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, the Orange County Register raved, "You could hear the weight of his fingers, it seemed, falling onto the keyboard, each note given a nudged distinction. By avoiding both grandiloquent overstatement and dry objectivity, he plumbed the core of the noble simplicity in this music."
More than 100 recordings document the scope and diversity of Rudolf Buchbinder's repertoire, including the complete cycle of Beethoven sonatas, the complete Beethoven concertos, the complete Mozart piano concertos, all of Haydn's works for piano, both Brahms concertos, and all of the rarely performed Diabelli Variations collection written by 50 Austrian composers. The 18-disc set of Haydn's works earned him the Grand Prix du Disque. His cycle of all of Mozart's piano concertos with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, recorded live at the Vienna Konzerthaus, was chosen by Joachim Kaiser as CD of the Year. Rudolf Buchbinder has also recorded live the Brahms piano concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and all five Beethoven piano concertos with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra as soloist and conductor. In 2006, in celebration of his 60th birthday, he performed twelve Mozart piano concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Vienna Festwochen, the live DVD recording of which was released by EuroArts. In November 2010 a live recording of the Brahms piano concertos with the Israel Philharmonic conducted by Zubin Mehta was released.
In his autobiography, Da Capo (which includes an introduction by German music critic Joachim Kaiser), Rudolf Buchbinder offers insights into his life as one of today's most distinguished pianists. For more information, visit www.buchbinder.net.