January 5, 1931 – present
Born – Wiesenberg, Czechoslovakia
Alfred Brendel, pianist, writer, and painter, is for the most part a self taught musician. What formal training he did have was early on while living in Graz with local teachers and at the Graz Conservatory. However, at the age of 16, with this training as well as having attended some inspired master classes with the famed Edwin Fischer, Brendel decided to study on his own.
Brendel’s career moved along slowly with his first public appearance held in Graz when he was 17, then with a fourth place finish in the prestigious Ferruccio Busoni Piano Competition when he was 20, he began some touring in Europe. A turning point came when he performed an all Beethoven recital in London which was following by 3 offers from record companies
His first recording was made when he was 21, playing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 5, sonce then he has recorded extensively including the complete Beethoven Piano Sonata’s twice, the complete Mozart Piano Concerto’s, Brahms, Liszt, Much of Schubert and even modernists such as Schoenberg. In the 1950’s he was the first artist to record the complete set of Beethoven piano music.
Brendel has been characterized as a Viennese Classical master and one of the world’s supreme Beethoven players. He is a highly intellectual player and with deep respect for maintaining the integrity of the composers wishes.
Since the 70’s, he and his wife have been residents of the United Kingdom. His Official Website can be found here.
Hear Brendel play: