The American pianist, Edward Auer , was born in New York City and grew up in Los Angeles, where he began studying piano at the age of 6. From age 10 he studied piano under Aube Tzerko, a protégé of Artur Schnabel, and theory and composition with Leonard Stein, Arnold Schoenberg, and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. A precocious chamber musician and the son of an accomplished amateur violist, he was playing the Mozart piano quartets and the Robert Schumann quintet with his father and his friends at the ripe old age of 8. He won several competitions in the Los Angeles area, such as the 1st Prize at the Young Artists Competition organized by the Occidental College in California, which he was awarded at the age of 15. He frequently appeared in concerts there, both as soloist and in chamber music. He continued his studies at the Juilliard School of Music under the tutelage of Rosina Lhévinne and for two years in Paris on a Fulbright Study Grant under Julius Katchen.
The mid-1960ís were a pivotal time for the young pianist: in 1964 he won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions; the following year he finished 5th at the 7th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (being the first American to win a prize at this prestigious competition) and 2nd at the Vienna-based Beethoven; he captured 5th Prize at the 1966 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow (ex aequo with James Dick); 1st Prize at the 1967 Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris, and 7th Prize at the 1968 Queen Elisabeth in Brussels.
In 1964 Edward Auer made his public debut in New York, at a Young Talents concert. A year later he gave a recital at the Metropolitan Museum. In 1965-1966 he made his first tour of the USA and Canada, giving recitals and appearing with major orchestras like the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1966 he made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing Chopinís Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor with the New York Symphony Orchestra. In the 1970ís and 1980ís, he worked with the renowned Sol Hurok agency, and his concert schedule was heavy with tours at home and abroad. He has spent his career playing extensively throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia, performing solo recitals and concerts in 30 countries in 5 continents, including the USA, Europe, Japan, Israel, and Australia. Since 1965, Auer has performed over twenty tours in Poland alone, playing in every major city and with every major orchestra. In Warsaw he played piano concertos by Chopin, Robert Schumann and L.v. Beethoven, recitals at the National Philharmonic and the Chopin Society. On January 25, 1972 at the National Philharmonic he performed Mozart's Sonata in A minor KV310, Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, and Sergei Rachmaninov's complete Etudes-Tableaux, Op. 39. Encores included Chopin's Ballade in F minor and L.v. Beethoven's Bagatelle.
Edward Auer has performed as a soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; NHK Tokyo; RIAS Orchestra Berlin; Orchestre National Paris; and many others. He has collaborated with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Herbert Blomstedt, Sergiu Comissiona and Riccardo Chailly.
Due to his frequent and subsequent touring in Poland, Edward Auer is recognized worldwide as one of the leading interpreters of Frédéric Chopin. Auer has also displayed his consummate skill and broad repertoire - from Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Schubert, and Robert Schumann to Sergei Rachmaninov, Ravel, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, and others from the 20th century. Auer is known to perform with a stoic demeanor. Herald Times music critic Peter Jacobi captures the essence of an Auer performance, "He plays with enviable force and clarity. The show of emotion so absent in his demeanor floods from his fingers." Auer has also performed chamber music.
Edward Auer made numerous recordings, most of which have been issued on RCA Japan, Toshiba EMI, Erato, Camerata Tokyo, TownHall, Clarity Records, Brilliant Classics, and Culture/Demain and other labels. In November 2008, he released his latest recording Chopin Nocturnes Vol. 1 on his privately owned and independent label, Culture Demain Recordings. Auer's first recording has received praise from New York Concert Reviewís Harris Goldsmith, who says of Chopin Nocturnes Vol. 1, "Auerís eloquence and technical powers have deepened and attained additional communicative and interpretative mastery, but this new anthology undoubtedly takes an honored place alongside the greatest extant editions of these copiously recorded masterpieces, e.g. Rubinsteinís c. 1938 versions, Ivan Moravecís, and Tamas Vasaryís - to name my few favorites." In multiple interviews, Auer has stated that Chopin Nocturnes Vol. 1 is the first of eight volumes that he will release in celebration of Frédéric Chopin's life. He has also said that the Chopin project is purposely timed to coincide with the bicentennial celebration of Chopin's birth in 2010.
Edward Auer is currently a Professor of Piano at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Among his students there was Kori Bond. He eventually found time to serve on juries in major competitions, like the Chopin (in 1985 and 2000) and the Long-Thibaud. In the new century Auer has frequently appeared in concert at Indiana University, but still occasionally tours abroad: his March 2008 appearance in Daejeon, South Korea, featured Auer playing both the Chopin piano concertos in a single concert.