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Krystian Zimerman

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Zabrze, Poland (1956 – present)

Krystian Zimerman (born December 5, 1956) is a Polish classical pianist.

He was born in Zabrze and studied at the Katowice Conservatory under Andrzej Jasinski. His career was launched when he won the prestigious Warsaw International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in 1975. He performed with the Berlin Philharmonic under the baton of Herbert von Karajan in 1976 and he made his American début with the New York Philharmonic in 1979. He has toured widely and made a number of recordings. Since 1996 he has taught piano at the Academy of Music in Basel.

Zimerman is best known for his interpretations of Romantic music, but has performed a wide variety of classical pieces as well. He has also been a supporter of contemporary music. For example, Witold Lutosławski wrote his Piano Concerto for Zimerman, who later recorded it. Amongst his best-known recordings are the piano concertos of Grieg and Schumann with Herbert von Karajan, the Brahms concerti with Leonard Bernstein, the piano concertos of Chopin (twice; once conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini and a later recording conducted by himself at the keyboard), the piano concertos of Beethoven under Bernstein, the first and second piano concertos of Rachmaninoff and the piano concertos of Liszt with Seiji Ozawa, and solo piano works by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and Schubert.

Zimerman does not announce the program of his concerts far in advance.

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