Thursday, April 19, 2018 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
MOZART: Rondo in A minor, K. 511; Sonata in A minor, K. 310
BEETHOVEN: Sonata in A Major, Op. 101
SCHUMANN: Sonata in G minor, Op. 22, No. 2
CHOPIN: 4 Mazurkas, Op. 24; Polonaise No. 6 in A-flat Major, Op. 53
The Bernard Osher Foundation, Piano Series Sponsor
About This Performance
SF Performances welcomes back renowned Polish pianist Rafał Blechacz with a program that encompasses masterworks from the classical to Romantic.
Rafał Blechacz is the winner of the Gilmore Artist Award, one of the most prestigious music awards in the world. Awarded every four years to a distinguished, extraordinary concert pianist, regardless of age or nationality, Blechacz received the award in January 2014. The young Polish pianist has established himself firmly on the international concert scene, and is celebrated by both the audience and the press worldwide for his profound and virtuosic interpretations. In October 2005, uncontested, Rafał Blechacz won all prizes of the prestigious 15th Frédéric Chopin International Piano Competition.
Rafał Blechacz has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, NDR Hamburg, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestra dell ’Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He gives recitals in the world’s major concert halls including Berlin’s Philharmonie, Salle Pleyel in Paris, London’s Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, La Scala Milan, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Suntory Hall Tokyo and New York’s Avery Fisher Hall.
In the past two seasons Rafał Blechacz has performed with the Montreal Symphony and Bramwell Tovey, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra and Sir Trevor Pinnock, and Amsterdam Sinfonietta on tour with concerts in Germany, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. In recital he performed in London’s Wigmore Hall, Cambridge, Southampton, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Vienna. In autumn 2014 he gave his debut recital at Carnegie Hall, New York. In 2016 Blechacz embarked upon a sabbatical period to complete his Ph.D. dissertation in Philosophy of Music.
Rafał Blechacz is an exclusive recording artist of Deutsche Grammophon, becoming only the second Polish artist, after Kyrstian Zimerman, to have enlisted under the prestigious label. His debut CD of Chopin Preludes won Platinum Record status in his native Poland, a German Echo Klassik and French Diapason D’or award. A CD of both Chopin concerti with the Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Jerzy Semkow was awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. In spring 2012, his recording of works by Debussy and Szymanowski was released winning Recording of the Month from Gramophone magazine and the Echo Klassik 2012 in the category "Solo Recording of the Year”. In September 2013, he presented his fifth album of Chopin Polonaises. In early 2017 a new solo CD will be released showcasing works by J.S. Bach.
Born in 1985, Blechacz began his musical studies at age five continuing his piano education in the Artur Rubinstein State School of Music in Bydgoszcz. In 2007, he graduated from the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, in the piano studio of Professor Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń. In 2010, he received the Premio Internazionale Accademia Musicale Chigiana (Italy), awarded annually by an international jury of music critics to young musicians for their outstanding artistic achievements.