Sir András Schiff is renowned and acclaimed as a pianist, conductor, pedagogue, and lecturer. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1953, he started piano lessons at age five with Elisabeth Vadász. He continued his musical studies at the Ferenc Liszt Academy with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág, and Ferenc Rados, and in London with George Malcolm. Mr. Schiff made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1984.
Mr. Schiff recently completed his two-year venture, The Bach Project. His latest endeavor is The Last Sonatas, a series of three recitals comprising the final three sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Mr. Schiff presents this series at Carnegie Hall, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Vancouver, and at the University of Michigan. Further recitals are scheduled in Seattle, Santa Barbara, Kansas City, Oberlin, Rochester, Boston, Montreal, and Toronto. This fall Mr. Schiff gives his first performances in North America on the podium and at the piano with chorus, orchestra, and soloists. He also continues a collaboration with New York’s 92 Street Y as a lecturer and pedagogue.
Mr. Schiff has established a prolific discography, and since 1997 has been an exclusive artist for ECM New Series. Recordings for ECM include the complete solo piano music of Beethoven and Janáček, two solo albums of Schumann piano pieces, and several recordings of the music of J.S. Bach. His most recent recording is an all-Schubert disc, released in July 2015. This album has been named Recording of the Month by both Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine.
In 1999 Mr. Schiff created his own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca. He also works every year with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He has served as artist-in-residence with the Kunstfest Weimar and the Berlin Philharmonic, was artistic director of the Musiktage Mondsee Festival near Salzburg, and founded concert series in Ittingen, Switzerland, and Vicenza, Italy. In 2011, Mr. Schiff attracted attention because of his opposition to political developments in Hungary. As a result, he has made the decision not to perform in or return to his home country.
András Schiff has received the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal, the Wigmore Hall Medal, the city of Zwickau’s Schumann Prize, the Golden Mozart-Medaille by the International Stiftung Mozarteum, the Order pour le mérite for Sciences and Arts, the Grosse Verdienstkreuz mit Stern der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, and he was made a Member of Honour of the Vienna Konzerthaus. In June 2014, he was awarded a Knighthood by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.