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Culture

András Schiff - One of the Most Gifted Pianists of our Time

András Schiff is one of the most highly regarded performers of the musical works of Johann Sebastian Bach

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András Schiff

At first glance, András Schiff and Johann Sebastian Bach seem to have little in common. Schiff is Hungarian, Bach was German. Schiff grew up in the 1950s, at a time when Bach had already been dead for some 200 years.

What they have in common is music: András Schiff is one of the most gifted pianists of our time and one of the most highly regarded performers of Bach’s musical works.

András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1953. He began taking piano lessons when he was five years old and continued his musical studies at Hungary’s Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music. He later went on to study in London.

András Schiff has played with renowned orchestras the world over. He has made records playing anything from chamber music to the grandest piano concertos.

Many of András Schiff’s recordings have received international awards and he has been honored with numerous of prizes. He is a distinguished expert not only on the works of Bach, but also of Haydn, Schubert and Bartok.

Although he might easily come across as being rather reserved, András Schiff is by no means a lonesome genius. Singers often request him to accompany them and many musicians ask Schiff to play chamber music with them.

Schiff is also a regular guest performer at some of the world’s best known music festivals, such as those in Salzburg, Vienna and Edinburgh.

Over the years, András Schiff has even started some festivals of his own: In the late 1980s, he founded the "Musiktage Mondsee", an annual chamber music festival held in a village near the Austrian city of Salzburg.

He also worked as artistic director of the festival until 1998. In 1995, Schiff founded the Ittinger Pfingstkonzerte in Ittingen, Switzerland and in 1998 he was the driving force behind a similar festival in Vicenza, Italy.

One of András Schiff’s current projects is to perform all of Mozart’s Piano concertos at the "Mozartwoche" in Salzburg. He started this enterprise at the "Mozartwoche" in 1999 and hopes to finish it in 2005.

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