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Anton Kuerti, piano

Philippe Quint

Throughout his prodigiously successful career, pianist Anton Kuerti has been acclaimed for the clarity of his musical vision and the immense technique with which he serves a wide choice of repertoire. He remains among an elite list of pianists performing at the very highest level, through which he extends his vision to a new generation of listeners. Recent concerto performances with the Boston Symphony and the Detroit Symphony, and return recital engagements at the Concertgebouw are only the latest in a long series of performances through which Kuerti's artistry deepens the human experience.
Renowned for the force of his understanding of the works of Beethoven, his Beethoven Piano Concerto cycles and all-Beethoven recital programs attract particular attention -- "The miracle occurred when Anton Kuerti began his superior interpretation of the 'Diabelli Variations'.... this work is considered an unconquerable fortress by many a pianist. Not by Kuerti whose performance was flawless, dazzling, lively and analytical, with an unparalleled ability to link the 33 variations with each other." [more]

Anton Kuerti was born in Austria, grew up in the U.S., and has lived in Canada for more than 35 years. His teachers included Arthur Loesser, Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Rudolf Serkin. At the age of 11 he performed the Grieg Concerto with Arthur Fiedler and, while still a student, he won the famous Leventritt Award. In 2007 he received two more prestigious awards, the Schumann Prize of the Schumann Gesellschaft in Germany, and the National Arts Prize of the Banff Centre in Canada.
 
His distinguished performing career has included tours to nearly forty countries, including Japan, Russia, and most of Europe. He has performed with most major U.S. orchestras and conductors, such as the Boston Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, National Symphony (Menuhin), Cleveland Orchestra (Szell), Philadelphia Orchestra (Ormandy), and the orchestras of Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and San Francisco. His vast repertoire includes some 50 concertos, including one he composed himself.

Anton Kuerti maintains a busy performance and teaching schedule in North America and abroad. In the last two seasons he has performed the complete cycle of the five Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Columbus Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia, and the Brott Festival Orchestra. He has appeared as concerto soloist with The Boston Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra (Peter Oundjian conducting, to read more, click here), and the symphonies of Toronto, Edmonton, Colorado, Victoria, Kitchener-Waterloo, Thunder Bay, Windsor and Santa Fe, as well as with the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. He appeared as guest pianist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet in Calgary, with the Shanghai Quartet in Richmond, with the DaPonte String Quartet and with the Jacques Thibaud Trio (both in Maine). A sought-after recitalist, he has just given a selection of successful recitals, including appearances in Boston, Chicago, and Philadelphia, as well as on the stages of the Caramoor and Ravinia Festivals. 
Recent chamber music performances include a program for CBC Montreal, a visit to the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and a week-long residency at the Vermont Mozart Festival including recital, chamber music and concerto appearances. Anton Kuerti performed a Beethoven "Sonatathon" for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society in late spring 2003 before his return to the Caramoor Festival that summer.

In June, 2002, Anton Kuerti served as director of the the world's first Czerny Festival in Edmonton. Artists such as the St. Lawrence String Quartet and violinist Erika Raum joined Anton Kuerti in celebrating the works of Carl Czerny at Convocation Hall and the Winspear Center. To read more, click here.

In Canada Kuerti has appeared in 140 communities from coast to coast, and has played with every professional orchestra, including 39 concerts with the Toronto Symphony. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and is the recipient of several honourary doctorates.

As a chamber musician, Kuerti has performed the major repertoire with such artists as Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, Janos Starker, and the Cleveland, Colorado, Guarneri, St. Lawrence and Tokyo String Quartets.

Anton Kuerti is one of today's most recorded artists, having put on disc all the Beethoven Concertos and Sonatas, the Schubert Sonatas, the Brahms Concertos and works by many other composers. His recordings are heard almost daily on the CBC. Soon to be released is a CD of works for piano and orchestra by Schumann, and a world premiere release of works for violin and piano by Czerny.

A critic for the U.S. magazine Fanfare wrote simply that 'Kuerti is the best pianist currently playing'. CD Review (London) called him 'one of the truly great pianists of this century... stunningly played... poignantly beautiful ... a superb Schubert player', while Classic CD (London) wrote that his was 'some of the finest Schubert playing I've ever heard.

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