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Bernd Glemser (Piano)

Born: Germany

The German pianist, Bernd Glemser, was a pupil of the Russian pianist and teacher Vitaliy Margulis. One of the few opportunities that piano students have to perform internationally - above all with orchestras - is during the course of competitions. For this reason, the young pianist travelled the entire world until 1987 and unknowingly broke a record that has been on the books: since 1890: he won first and special prizes in no less than 17 international competitions from 1981 onwards, including the Cortot Competition, the Rubinstein, the Tchaikovsky, Busoni, Callas, Montroal, Sidney, among other major contests, with critically acclaimed appearances in important musical centres throughout the world. Finally he won Since he won the ARD Competition. "The prize money allowed me to buy my first grand piano," Glemser reflected.

Bernd Glemser soon found himself in the critical limelight, and since then he has been in the first flight of the world’s pianists. In 1989 he had the unique honour to be appointed Germany’s youngest professor by the Saarbrücken College of Music and the department of education there was obliged to remove him from the student register because of his new professorship, but by way of consolation he was offered the opportunity to take his outstanding exams within the following two years. His status is now such that he receives regular invitations to give concerts all over Europe, as well as in the USA, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, China, South America and Australia. In 1996 he was the first Western musician to perform in China nation-wide live on television (naturally, Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1).

Bernd Glemser has an unusually wide-ranging repertoire, which places equal emphasis on contrapuntal music from Bach onwards, on the Romantic composers and on modern works. This ability makes him one of today's elite pianists. Not only is he credited with breathtaking virtuosity, his extreme poetic sensibility is also highly praised. His concerts are regullary broadcast around the world. He has a special fondness for the highly virtuoso fin de siècle repertoire and the many arrangements left by composers like Franz Liszt, Carl Tausig, Leopold Godowsky, and Ferruccio Busoni. His particular affinity for the works of Sergei Rachmaninov made Glemser the obvious choice for Wolfgang Sawallisch to have invited him to perform the composer's illustrious Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The ensemble, which recorded with S. Rachmaninov during the composer's lifetime, celebrated its 100th birthday with this work.

Almost all of Bernd Glemser's 30 CD recordings have received awards from trade journals. His recordings for Naxos began in 1992. S. Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and two CD's with works by Schumann and Prokofiev were released in 1994. His first disc with Scriabin Sonatas, and the complete Tchaikovsky Concertos were released in 1996 and early 1997. The complete cycle of S. Rachmaninov Concertos and of Scriabin and Prokofiev Sonatas were released in the period from 1999 to 2002. His compact disc recordings have been named CD of the Month on eleven occasions. At the same time he has appeared on television at home and abroad, including an ARD prime-time television portrait. In addition to his many awards, Bernd Glemser received the Andor Foldes Prize in 1992 and the European Pianist's Prize in 1993 in Zürich. In summer 2003 he was honoured by the German President Rau with the Federal Service Cross.

Source: Naxos Website; Music Masters Management Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (March 2008)

Bernd Glemser: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Glemser, Bernd (Naxos)
Bernd Glemser - Biography (Music Masters Management)

Oregon Bach Festival: Bernd Glemser
Oehmsclassics: Glemser, Bernd

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