Alfred Brendel , KBE (born January 5, 1931 in Wiesenberg , Czechoslovakia ) is an Austrian pianist . He is considered one of the most important interpreters of classical-romantic music of the 20th century.
When Brendel was three years old, the family moved to Yugoslavia , where the parents ran a pension on the Adriatic island of Krk . He attended school in Zagreb , where he received piano lessons from Sofija Deželić at the age of six. After moving to Graz in 1943, he studied piano and composition at the local conservatory . He completed his piano studies with Paul Baumgartner and especially with Edwin Fischer . In 1947 he passed the state examination in piano at the Academy for Music and Performing Arts in Vienna . In 1949 he started his international career as a prize winner at the Busoni competition in Bolzano . In 1950 he moved to Vienna and in the early 1970s to London , Hampstead .
Brendel is married for the second time. He had his first marriage from 1960 to 1972 with Iris Heymann-Gonzala, from her daughter Doris. Doris Brendel is a folk-pop-rock musician and was the singer of the band "The Violet Hour" (album "The Fire Sermon" 1991). In 1975 he married Irene Semler and they have three children with her, their son Adrian (a musician with whom he also worked) and two daughters, Katharina and Sophie.
Brendel is best known for his interpretations of the piano works by Franz Schubert , Ludwig van Beethoven , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Franz Liszt . He is the first pianist who completely recorded Beethoven's piano works . He has also made a name for himself as a song accompanist (among others with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau ). Joachim Kaiser considered Brendel to be the most important Schubert interpreter of the second half of the 20th century.
In 2009 Brendel had an appearance in the award-winning documentary by the two directors Lilian Franck and Robert Cibis , Pianomania . The film was very well received nationally and internationally, was celebrated at many festivals and included in the catalog of the Goethe Institute .
Brendel is also an essayist whose essays on musical topics are available in several anthologies. In the volume “Reflecting on Music” he deals with Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt, Busoni and questions of interpretation. He compares Schubert's sonatas with those of Beethoven and tries to work out Schubert's independence from the great model. Unlike the “architect” Beethoven, Schubert “composed like a sleepwalker”. While Beethoven put his music in a fixed framework, Schubert put more trust in the directness of the emotions. With Schubert, the “burden of form” should weigh as lightly as possible.
Brendel also writes poetry (humorous, bizarre, grotesque); five collections have appeared so far.
- Music taken literally. About music, musicians and the pianist's profession. Piper, Munich, new edition 1995, ISBN 3-492-18334-4
- Mirror image and black ghost. Poems. With illustrations by Max Neumann, Luis Murschetz , Oskar Pastior . Hanser, Munich 2003, ISBN 978-3-446-20349-5
- About music. Collected essays, lectures and speeches. Piper, Munich 2005, ISBN 978-3-492-04783-8 (with numerous illustrations and music examples)
- I, of all people. Conversations with Martin Meyer. Piper, Munich 2006, ISBN 978-3-492-24479-4
- About music. All essays and speeches. Piper, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-492-24939-3
- 'Monsieur Croches Dictionnaire de la musique, année 2010', in: Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 65 (2010), No. 7–8, pp. 23–33 (together with Andreas Dorschel , David Hill, Laurenz Lütteken , Britta Sweers and Bettina Varwig)
- After the final chord - questions and answers. Hanser, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-446-23482-6
- A to Z of a pianist: A reading book for piano lovers. Hanser, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-446-23997-5
- Belief in miracles and discrepancies. Hanser, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-446-24618-8
- Pointing the finger. 45 texts , Munich 1996.
- Annoying laughter while saying yes. New texts , Munich 1997.
- Little devils. New poems , Munich 1999.
- One finger too many. 142 poems , Munich 2000.
- Mirror image and black ghost. Collected and new poems , Munich 2003.
Awards and honors
- Brendel holds an honorary doctorate a. a. the Universities of London, Oxford and Yale .
- Brendel received the German Record Award several times for his recordings .
- 1980: Winner of the Joseph Marx Music Prize of the State of Styria named after the composer Joseph Marx
- 1981: Honorary member of the college (today: university) for music and performing arts in Graz
- 1989: He was awarded an "Honorary Knight Commander" from the Order of the British Empire .
- 1984: Frankfurt Music Prize
- 1985: Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- 1991: Admission to the Pour le Mérite Order for Science and the Arts
- 1992: Hans von Bülow Medal from the Berlin Philharmonic
- 1998: Honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic
- 2001: His life's work was recognized at the MIDEM Classical Awards in Cannes and at the Edison Awards in Holland.
- 2002: Léonie Sonning Music Prize , Robert Schumann Prize
- 2004: Ernst von Siemens Music Prize awarded
- 2005: Honorary citizen of his Czech hometown Loučná nad Desnou
- 2008: Herbert von Karajan Music Prize
- 2009: Music Prize of the City of Duisburg
- 2009: Honorary doctorate from the Liszt School of Music Weimar
- 2009: Praemium Imperiale
- 2009: Admission as a full member of the German Academy for Language and Poetry
- 2010: Gold Medal of Honor for Services to the State of Vienna
- 2014: Golden Mozart Medal from the Mozarteum Foundation
- 2016: ECHO Klassik (life's work)
- Uwe Harten : Brendel, Alfred. In: Oesterreichisches Musiklexikon . Online edition, Vienna 2002 ff., ISBN 3-7001-3077-5 ; Print edition: Volume 1, Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-7001-3043-0 .
- Music, sense and nonsense. Festschrift on the occasion of the homage to Alfred Brendel (Berlin: Konzerthaus Berlin, 2017)
- Works by and about Alfred Brendel in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Alfred Brendel in the German Digital Library
- Official website of Alfred Brendel
- Mixed doubles - Alfred Brendel and Adrian Brendel, klassikAkzente.de, October 15, 2004
- Alfred Brendel in conversation with Andreas Dorschel, May 17, 2010
- "I see the end clearly and without tears" . In: Die Zeit , No. 19/2008; interview
- Alfred Brendel receives Duisburg Music Prize . In: Rheinische Post . April 23, 2009, p. A7 .
- Alfred Brendel was awarded the Mozart Medal ( Memento from October 9, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), mozarteum.at, January 29, 2014
- The Festschrift contains articles by Imogen Cooper , Andreas Dorschel , Till Fellner , Peter Gülke , Florence Noiville and Simon Rattle, among others .
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Austrian pianist|
|DATE OF BIRTH||January 5, 1931|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Wiesenberg , North Moravia|