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.