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Beatrice Berthold (Piano)

Born: Germany

The German pianist, Beatrice Berthold, has family roots in Leipzig where her mother often attended concerts at Bach's church, the Thomas-Kirche. As a young child, she was given recordings of Bach’s music and, between the ages of 6 to 10, she studied with the widow of Günter Raphael, a composer whose music was notably influenced by Bach. Bach was a major focus of her studies and, at the age of 9, she performed the first movement of the J.S. Bach’s Italian Concerto (BWV 971) for the Hessian State Radio in Frankfurt. She went on to study in the conservatories and Music Schools of Vienna, Cologne and Freiburg, mainly with Russian teachers. She graduated from the Detmold Musikhochschule, where her principal teacher was Renate Kretschmar-Fischer.

In 1993, the internationally-known Swiss music magazine Musik und Theater noted that the interpretation by Beatrice Berthold of works by Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninov and Scriabin was of a quality which previously the public had only been accustomed to hear from leading Russian pianists. Her first break came when she was introduced by the well-known singer, Anneliese Rothenberger, at a gala concert on German television for the promotion of young artists. This soon led to international recognition when, for example, her first CD 'The Young Rachmaninov' was awarded the German Record Critic's Prize (quarterly list) and became 'CD of the Month'. The British music magazine Gramophone said : "In Beatrice Berthold EMI has located a performer of true 'star' quality and charisma" and compared the quality of her playing with that of Martha Argerich. Subsequent recordings for EMI were re-released by Naxos Records in 1998.

Beatrice Berthold is the only woman German pianist at the present time to have made a name for herself in the international music press for her interpretations of Russian virtuoso piano music. Her close friendship and collaboration with the Brazilian pianist Yara Bernette brought her to the world of Spanish and Latin American music and her performances and recordings of the music of Enrique Granados have been much acclaimed.

Early successes in various competitions, including in the UK, led to performances on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. In Germany, Beatrice Berthold was featured by ARD television (Channel 1) in several programmes, including in 1993 a performance of S. Rachmaninov's 1st Piano Concerto at the opening concert of its series to mark the 50th anniversary of the composer's death. This series also featured recordings by Martha Argerich, Lilya Zilberstein and Dinorah Varsi. Since then she has featured in documentaries on E. Granados, S. Rachmaninov and Clara Schumann. A portrait of Beatrice herself was televised. Abroad, recordings of her performances have been played by Radio France, Radio Suisse Romande, Classic FM, AVRO Televisie Hilversum, Radio Nacional de Chile and NPR Atlanta. She has recorded for EMI, Naxos, Telos and Labor.

Beatrice Berthold has pursued a busy concert career in Germany and abroad. She has made extensive in concerts in Germany, England, France, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Lithuania, the USA and South America. She has performed with the radio symphony orchestras of NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Luxemburg and Prague and with the Berliner Symphoniker, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Philharmonic Orchestra 'Arthur Rubinstein' Lodz, Orquestra Sinfonica de Porto Alegre, Orquesta 'Gran Mariscal de Ayscucho' Caracas, etc. She has also given guest performances at well-known music festivals such as the Lucerne International Music Festival, International Piano Festival (of the) Ruhr, Festival de Radio France, Music Festival of Lower Saxony, Semanas Musicales de Frutillar (Chile) and at the International Piano Festival of Albacete (Spain) under the patronage of Alicia de Larrocha, who inaugurated this festival in 2001.

In the field of chamber music, she has played with such well-known artists as Josef Suk, Maria Kliegel, Lilya Zilberstein and Markus Groh. Solo recitals and performances with orchestra have taken her to several countries in South America, as well as to the USA. Her concerts in Chile in 2002 and 2003 resulted in an invitation by the Orquesta Sinfonica de la Universidad de Chile to play at the 'Pablo Neruda' International Festival, which took place in Santiago in 2004.

In 1999 Beatrice Berthold was appointed a professor of the Hannover School of Music and she also has given master-classes in Germany, Chile (University of Santiago) and Lithuania (Academy of Music,Vilnius). She resides in Hamburg and Santiago de Chile.

Source: CD Baby Website; Musica Vivendi Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2007)

Beatrice Berthold: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

CD Baby: Beatrice Berthold: Music of Tribute Vol. 5 - JS Bach

musica vivendi - Artists [English/German]

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