Part of: Great Artists II
Sir András Schiff was born in Budapest, Hungary, and started piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Vadász. He continued his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados, and later in London with George Malcolm.
Recitals and special cycles—including the major keyboard works of J. S. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, and Bartók—form an important part of Sir András’s performing activities. This season, he appears as conductor and soloist with the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and performs more than a dozen recitals during two North American visits.
An exclusive ECM recording artist, Sir András’s discography of works by Schubert, Schumann, Janáček, Beethoven, and Bach have been released to the highest critical acclaim. The most recent recording, Encores after Beethoven—a collection of encores performed after Sir András’s Beethoven cycle programs—was released in 2016. A recording with violinist Yūko Shiokawa that includes sonatas for violin and piano by Bach, Busoni, and Beethoven was released in October 2017.
Sir András has been awarded numerous international prizes. In 2006 he became an honorary member of Bonn’s Beethoven House in recognition of his interpretations of the composer’s works, and in 2008 he was awarded the Wigmore Hall Medal in appreciation of 30 years of music-making at London’s famed venue. Sir András is also a member of the Honor of Vienna’s Konzarthaus and a recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal.
In the spring of 2011, Sir András attracted attention because of his opposition to the alarming political developments in Hungary. In view of the ensuing attacks on him from Hungarian nationalists, he decided not to perform again in his home country. In June 2014, he was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. Sir András’s book, Musik kommt aus der Stille: Gespräche mit Martin Meyer—essays and conversations with Martin Meyer—was published in March 2017 by Bärenreiter and Henschel.