The COE and Rudolf Buchbinder
28 August - 1 September 2019
The Chamber Orchestra of Europe is very much looking forward to performing the first part of its Beethoven Piano Concerto Cycle on 1st September at the 2019 Grafenegg Festival with the acclaimed Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder. We will perform Concertos Nos. 1 and 5 together this year and close the 2020 Grafenegg Festival with Concertos Nos. 2, 3 and 4. Both Orchestra and soloist have a great affinity with Beethoven’s music. Maestro Buchbinder’s career spans over more than 60 years and his renditions of Beethoven’s works are considered to be exemplary. He has performed the 32 piano sonatas as a cycle all over the world more than 50 times and was the first pianist to play all Beethoven sonatas at the Salzburg Festival. The COE’s performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos with eminent conductors Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Bernard Haitink and Yannick Nézet-Séguin and with soloists Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Martha Argerich, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Evgeny Kissin, Maria João Pires and Murray Perahia – to name just a selection – have been received with critical acclaim in concert and on recording.
The COE first performed with Rudolf Buchbinder in 1991 under Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna, the same year in which the Orchestra released its legendary Beethoven Symphonies with Nikolaus Harnoncourt for Warner Classics. The now iconic cycle has sold over a million copies and will be released this November as part of a special ‘Beethoven 250’ CD collection by Warner Classics.
The coming together of such ‘Beethovenians’ to launch the composer’s 250th anniversary season with Piano Concertos Nos. 1 and 5 will be a very special occasion with performances at MusikFest Bremen and at the Grafenegg Festival respectively on 30th August and 1st September.
Rudolf Buchbinder is one of the legendary artists of our time. His piano playing is an unparalleled fusion of the authority of a career spanning more than 60 years with spirit and spontaneity. His renditions are celebrated worldwide for their intellectual depth and musical freedom.
On the occasion of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, in the 2019/20 season the Wiener Musikverein is dedicating its own cycle of the five Beethoven piano concertos to Rudolf Buchbinder. He plays these as a soloist with the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig under their music director Andris Nelsons, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Riccardo Muti and with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden under their chief conductors Mariss Jansons, Valery Gergiev and Christian Thielemann.
Another première will also be the focus of the Beethoven Year 2020. Based on Beethoven’s famous Diabelli Variations Op. 120, a series of new Diabelli Variations is being created on the initiative of Rudolf Buchbinder. As a co-production of various international organisers, the commission was awarded to eleven leading contemporary composers.
In 2019, Rudolf Buchbinder became an exclusive artist of Deutsche Grammophon. Numerous award-winning recordings document his career.
Rudolf Buchbinder is an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the first soloist to be awarded the Goldene Ehrennadel by the Staatskapelle Dresden.
Buchbinder attaches great importance to source research. His private music collection comprises 39 complete editions of Ludwig van Beethoven’s piano sonatas as well as an extensive archive of first prints, original editions and copies of the piano scores of both piano concertos by Johannes Brahms.
He has been the artistic director of the Grafenegg Festival since its foundation in 2007. Today, Grafenegg is one of the most influential orchestral festivals in Europe.
Two books by Rudolf Buchbinder have been published so far, his autobiography “Da Capo” and “Mein Beethoven – Leben mit dem Meister”.