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Krystian Zimerman; Leonard Bernstein: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

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Biography

Zimerman was born in Zabrze, in Poland, and studied at the Katowice Conservatory under Andrzej Jasiński. His career was launched when he won the 1975 Warsaw International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition. He performed with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan in 1976 and he made his début in the United States 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, Switzerland.

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 concerti of Edvard Grieg and Robert Schumann with conductor Herbert von Karajan; the Brahms concerti with Leonard Bernstein, the piano concerti of Frédéric Chopin once conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini and a later recording conducted by himself at the keyboard; the Third, Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos of Beethoven under Bernstein (Zimerman himself lead the accompaniment of the Vienna Philharmonic from the keyboard in Beethoven’s First and Second Concertos) ; the first and second piano concerti of Rachmaninoff; the piano concerti of Franz Liszt with Seiji Ozawa, the piano concerti of Maurice Ravel with Pierre Boulez, and solo piano works by Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy and Franz Schubert.

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