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Brendel, Alfred

piano london cycle vienna

Brendel, Alfred, great Austrian pianist; b. Wiesen-berg, Jan. 5, 1931. He studied in Zagreb with S. Dezelic (piano, 1937–43) and F. Dugan (harmony), and in Graz with L Kaan (piano, 1943–47) and A. Michl (composition). He pursued his training in piano with P. Baum-gartner in Basel, and also attended the master classes of E. Fischer in Lucerne and E. Seuermann in Salzburg. In 1947 he was awarded his state diploma in Vienna, and in 1948 he made his formal debut in Graz. He captured 4 th prize in the Busoni competition in Bolzano in 1949. His appearances at the Vienna and Salzburg Festivals in 1960 were noteworthy and led to frequent engagements there and at other major festivals. In 1962 he garnered critical acclaim when he gave a complete cycle of the Beethoven piano sonatas in London, a cycle he repeated there (1977; 1982–83; 1992–95). He also gave the cycle in Vienna (1965; 1982–83), Rome (1970), Amsterdam, Paris, and Berlin (1982–83), N.Y. (1983), and in 14 European and 4 North American cities (1992–96). Brendel settled in London in 1974. As a soloist, he was engaged by many of the foremost conductors and orchs. of his time, and he also was active as a chamber music artist. In 1983 his series of master classes appeared on BBC TV in London. He gave a series of Schubert recitals throughout Europe and North America in 1987–88. In 1991 he was soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy at the gala concert celebrating the centenary of N.Y.‘s Carnegie Hall. Brendel was the first to record all of Beethoven’s piano music, for which he was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque of France in 1965. He also won numerous other recording prizes. Among his many other honors were membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1984), Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres of France (1985), honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II of England (1989), Orden pour le Mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste of Germany (1991), and the Gold Medal of the Royal Phil. Soc. of London (1993). In his interpretations, Brendel has combined intellectual discernment and refined expression in his mastery of the Viennese classical tradition. In addition to his remarkable performances of Beethoven and Schubert, he has also demonstrated penetrating insights into the works of Bach, Mozart, and Liszt. His interests also include Stravinsky, Bartók, and Schoenberg. Brendel is also an engaging and often witty writer. In addition to his contributions to various periodicals, he has publ. the books Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts (1976; 2 nd ed., 1982), Music Sounded Out: Essays, Lectures, Interviews, Afterthoughts (1990), Fingerzeig (1996), and Storendes Lachen wahrend des Jaworts (1997).

Brendel, (Karl) Franz [next] [back] Brema, Marie (real name, Minny Fehrmann)

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