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Peter Breiner (Piano, Conductor, Composer, Arranger)

Born: July 3, 1957 - Humenné, Czechoslovakia (present day Slovakia)

The Slovak-born composer, conductor, pianist and arranger, Peter Breiner, began to study piano in his early childhood (1961, age 4) and his exceptional results led to his early acceptance at the Conservatory in Košice, Slovakia (1971). He studied piano (L. Kojanova), composition (J. Podprocky), conducting and percussion. From 1975 to 1981 he studied composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (former Czechoslovakia) with Professor Alexander Moyzes, one of the most significant figures in modern Slovak music. In 1981 he recevied his M.A. in composition.

One of the world's most recorded musicians, with over 150 CD’s recorded and over 1.5 million CDs sold, Peter Breiner has conducted, often doubling as a pianist, numerous major orchestras all around the world. From 1977 to 2008, he appeared as guest conductor with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ( London, UK), Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (Israel), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (UK), Moscow Symphony Orchestra (Russia), Vienna Mozart Orchestra (Austria), Orchestra National de Lille (France), New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra (Canada), Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Brisbane (Australia), Hungarian State Radio Orchestra (Budapest, Hungary), Nicolaus Esterhazy Orchestra (Budapest, Hungary), Polish Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra (Katowice, Poland), Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra (Kiew, Ukraine), Bilkent Symphony Orchestra (Ankara, Turkey), Izmir Symphony Orchestra (Turkey), Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra (Bratislava, Slovakia), Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava, Slovakia), Slovak State Philharmonic Orchestra (Kosice, Slovakia), Slovak Sinfonietta (Zilina, Slovakia), and Capella Istropolitana (Bratislava, Slovakia). As a pianist he has given concerts and recitals all over the world.

Peter Breiner’s own compositions, played in concerts and brodcasted worldwide, have always been “multidimensional”. During his studies, he was fascinated by crossing over different musical worlds. Later, he preferred a synthesis of both polarized types of music which brings his music closer to the world of Leonard Bernstein. His clever arrangements are perhaps the best known. Breiner’s arrangements of national anthems of ALL participating countries were used during the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and in Beijing in 2008. The later was without any license or permission. “Beatles Go Baroque” (over quarter million CDs sold worldwide) and “Elvis Goes Baroque” is a collection of Breiner’s commercially most successful Baroque arrangements together with “Christmas Goes Baroque” I and II. His work has been also included in Canadian film classics such as Kevin Sullivan's Anne of Green Gables, the CBC television show Wind at My Back and Timothy Findley's Piano Man's Daughter, produced by Whoopi Goldberg.

Peter Breiner is proficient in seven languages. He has hosted various TV and radio programs about music. In 1993, he was a co-host and music director of the most popular TV talk show in Slovakia, attracting over 2 million viewers in a country with a population of 5.5 million. Also active as a journalist, Peter had his own column in some of Slovakia's most influential daily and weekly papers for almost 10 years. His book Maple Leaves came out in April 1998 and became a No.1 non-fiction national best-seller immediately. In January 2000 he started to host his own talk show on STV (Slovenská televízia), called "Do You Have Something Against That?" (politically incorrect) that was banned twice in three months, the second time for good. In fact, that episode made quite a stir in Slovak TV and Radio media.

It is difficult to assign a title to this artist, is he the conductor who composes or is he the pianist who arranges. As he simply states, "I am a musician". In this age of high specialization, it is not so easy to find someone who with the same ease conducts a symphonic orchestra in Samuel Barber's Symphony, a big-band at a swing concert, a chamber orchestra with Baroque programme while playing harpsichord or a group of almost 200 musicians recording a score for Universal Studios' movie. It is also not so easy to find a pianist who would play recital of W.A. Mozart and J.S. Bach one evening, jazz recital the other, followed by a night of tangos. His recitals are unique , the audience requests formulate the programme, a retro spin for modern audiences. (Some of the latest concert appearances: London, Berlin, Istanbul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Washington).

Films that include Breiner's musical scores have enjoyed very wide international exposure. His music has been featured many times on the most popular US TV shows. His latest collaboration with phenomenal clarinet player Giora Feidman resulted in a major symphonic work Concerto for Giora and Orchestra (Shofar) and several chamber works for clarinet/bass clarinet.

Peter Breiner lived in Toronto, Canada from March 1992 to June 2007. Since July 2007 he has been residing in New York, USA. Peter Breiner is a passionate soccer player (left wing).

More Photos

Source: Peter Breiner Website; Wikipedia Website (June 2010)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (August 2010)

Peter Breiner: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works
Works | Recordings of Works for Orchestra

Links to other Sites

Peter Breiner (Official Website)

Peter Breiner (Wikipedia)

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