Encore Series - Piano Recital by Krystian Zimerman

2012-11-07 20:00 - 21:30

Encore Series - Piano Recital by Krystian Zimerman

When: 7 Nov 2012 Wed 20:00
Where: Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Piano Recital by Krystian Zimerman


In 2010, the Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman came to Hong Kong to give two overwhelming all-Chopin recitals, celebrating the bicentennial of the composer's birth. This year, Zimerman returns with an all-Debussy recital, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of the French composer.

Krystian Zimerman, undeniably one of the greatest pianists today, has enjoyed a brilliant career spanning more than 35 years, since his triumph at the 1975 International Chopin Piano Competition. Zimerman has excelled in a wide range of repertoire, but his recording of the complete Debussy Préludes in 1997 was a revelation to the world, with wide praise and many awards, including the 'Record of the Year' of the Gramophone Magazine. Zimerman is well-known to have limited his concert appearance, so this recital in Hong Kong presents a rare opportunity for local audiences.


Krystian Zimerman
Krystian Zimerman comes from a family with rich music making traditions. He made his first step in music under his father's supervision, and at the age of seven, he started working with Andrzej Jasinski, a senior lecturer at the music conservatory in Katowice, Poland. This tutorship was crowned by Zimerman's graduation, fourteen years later, from the conservatory there. Zimerman had no zest for contests, but he followed the common way of musical development for concert pianists, which brought him the highest prizes at several prestigious competitions devoted to Russian and Polish music and to the works of particular composers (Prokofiev and Beethoven).

During the last ten seasons, since he has resolved to travel with his own concert piano, he has managed to accustom his audience and concert organizers to this unusual and only seemingly inconvenient gear. Zimerman has applied several technical inventions of his own which have made it possible for him, to take his instrument along on tours. The confidence afforded by his own thoroughly familiar instrument, combined with his piano-building expertise first acquired in Katowice and developed through permanent co-operation with the Steinway Company in Hamburg allows him to eliminate, or reduce to the absolute minimum, everything that might distract him from purely musical issues.

Zimerman's comparatively early acquaintance with the main developments of European music - German, Russian, French and others precluded him from becoming a 'Chopin specialist.' Instead, it stirred in him the ambition, which he has achieved in the last ten years, of performing music in the place and culture of its origin: French works in Paris; Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert in Vienna; Brahms in Hamburg; American music played in New York and, in one notable instance, conducted by the composer himself - Leonard Bernstein. 'If I was an actor,' he argues, 'I would also set myself the aim of performing Shakespeare in London and Chekhov in Russia.'

Krystian Zimerman

Witold Lutoslawski's honourable dedication of his Piano Concerto to Krystian Zimerman inspired the pianist to a similar treatment of that work: it was self-evident that it should be performed in Warsaw during the Warsaw Autumn Festival of Contemporary Music, with the composer as conductor. His encounters with prominent musicians-performers of chamber music and conductors have been, he claims, his greatest luck. He has repeatedly performed with Kaja Danczowska, Kyung-Wha Chung, Gidon Kremer and many other celebrities of the musical world.

He has also enriched his knowledge of conducting due to collaboration with the most illustrious conductors of his time: Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, André Previn, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Bernard Haitink, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Sir Simon Rattle and numerous others. In some instances (with Bernstein, Boulez, Karajan, Kondrashin and Ozawa), the cooperation was particularly close and sustained by friendship. Zimerman and Bernstein worked together for thirteen years; Zimerman was the last and for some time also the only pianist who performed under Bernstein, both during recording sessions and at concerts in many European countries and the United States. Working frequently and closely with an outstanding musical personality, a master of orchestral sound, was a formative experience for him. The same could be said about his close and long-time contacts with Karajan. Zimerman also embraced the opportunity to meet and make a closer acquaintance of the older-generation masters: Claudio Arrau, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, Arthur Rubinstein and Sviatoslav Richter - all of whom exerted a powerful influence on his musical development.

Zimerman has been the recipient of several international awards for his life artistic achievements. His alma mater, the Katowice Music Academy, has awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Arts, the second in the institution's history. In 2005, he has been awarded the prestigious title of the Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur for his contributions to promoting French music and culture. He also received Japan's Record Academy Award for his 2004 Rachmaninov recording with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa. His 1994 recording of complete Debussy Préludes made its way to the list of Gramophone Magazine '100 Greatest Recordings of All Times'.

'His playing has colossal dynamic and colouristic range, plus astonishing clarity throughout that range. And that means not only thunderous power and emotional incandescence but also the most breathtaking subtlety in the more hushed pieces… he puts these qualities scrupulously at the service of the text.'——Gramophone (on Zimerman's recording of Debussy's Préludes)


Estampes By Debussy
Six Préludes (from Préludes, Book 1) By Debussy
Des pas sur la neige
La fille aux cheveux de lin
La cathédrale engloutie
Ce qu'a vu le vent d'ouest
Three Préludes (from Nine Préludes, Op. 1) By Szymanovski
Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 2 By Brahms


Pre-concert Talk
When: 7 November 2012 Wed 18:45*
Where: Foyer Reception Area, 4/F, Auditoria Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Speaker: Chan Siu-fun (Pianist, Music Educator, Critic)
*Conducted in Cantonese, Free admission on a first-come-first-served basis.


Running time of the concert is about 1 hour and 30 minutes with an intermission of 20 minutes.
Audience are strongly advised to arrive punctually. No latecomers will be admitted until a suitable break or the interval in the programme.


Credit Card Telephone Booking: 852-21115999
Internet Booking: www.urbtix.hk
Programme Enquiries: 852-22687321
Ticketing Enquiries: 852-27349009


Tickets: $620/480/360/200 Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients
Tel: 852-27342009
Add: 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong


*Information provided by Leisure and Cultural Services Deparment. All Rights Reserved.

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