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Andreas Haefliger (Piano)

Born: 1962 - Berlin, Germany

The German-born Swiss pianist, Andreas Haefliger, was born into a distinguished Swiss musical family as the son of famed tenor, Ernst Haefliger, grew up in Germany and raised in Switzerland. He showed remarkable talent in his youth and at 15 enrolled at Juilliard School of Music in New York, where Herbert Stessin was among his teachers. While there Haefliger was twice given the Gina Bachauer Memorial Scholarship Award.

Although he was initially busy establishing his career in the USA, Andreas Haefliger managed to debut with his Juilliard-trained violinist brother Michael at the 1985 Lucerne Festival in August in a program of works by L.v. Beethoven, Richard Strauss, and Charles Ivess. Andreas made his New York debut at the 92nd Street Y in 1988 in a wide-ranging program featuring music by L.v. Beethoven, Robert Schumann, Sergei Rachmaninov, Arnold Schoenberg, Schubert, and Copland. Meanwhile, in the recording studio he was also achieving success with efforts like his 1991 Sony CD of W.A. Mozart sonatas. He made his London recital debut at the Wigmore Hall in 1993 and at the Proms as soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra in 1994. That same year he appeared at the Rheingau Musik Festival in Germany, playing in Schloss Johannisberg L.v. Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1 and Robert Schumann's Kreisleriana along with preludes and etudes of S. Rachmaninov, recorded live. In 1998 Haefliger accompanied Matthias Goerne in acclaimed performances of Schubert Lieder at Alice Tully Hall in New York. That same season Haefliger debuted at Carnegie Hall. During the 2000 Lincoln Center Festival he appeared with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Hans Vonk in an acclaimed performance of Messiaen's challenging Turangalîla-symphonie.

With his formidable technique and musicality, and his innate sense of architecture and phrasing, Andreas Haefliger was quickly recognised as a pianist of the first rank. He has led a multifaceted career, achieving broad acclaim not only as a soloist and recitalist, but as a chamber player and accompanist. W.A. Mozart, L.v. Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Schubert, Robert Schumann, and Sergei Rachmaninov figure large in his repertory, but he has also played works by contemporary composers like Sofia Gubaidulina and Thomas Adès.

Engagements with major USA orchestras followed swiftly: the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra among them. In his native Europe too, Haefliger was invited to the great orchestras and festivals, such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra and Wiener Symphoniker.

Andreas Haefliger continued to score numerous successes in the concert hall as well, as evidenced by his 2007 appearance in Cardiff with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Thierry Fischer with an acclaimed performance of the L.v. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Concerto highlights in 2010-2011 have included Béla Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Jonathan Nott; Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Peter Oundjian (touring to Montreal and Ottawa); W.A. Mozart with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Günter Herbig at the Royal Festival Hall and with the Tonkuenstlerorchester in Vienna’s Musikverein. In 2012 his plans include L.v. Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Christoph von Dohnányi, Johannes BrahmsPiano Concerto No. 1 with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Petrenko, and a return to the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with David Zinman.

Andreas Haefliger also established himself as a superb recitalist, making his New York debut in 1988, and became frequent performer at premier recital venues and festivals around the world, notably the Lucerne and Salzburg Festivals, the BBC Proms and the Wiener Festwochen. The focus of his solo recital appearances in recent years has been an ongoing series Perspectives on Beethoven in which he performs the complete piano works of L.v. Beethoven alongside works by other composers including W.A. Mozart, Schubert, B. Bartók, J. Brahms, Janaček, A. Schoenberg and Ligeti. The recital programmes have all been recorded for the Avie label, to widespread critical acclaim. This ambitious recording project was launched in 2004. The initial release offered the L.v. Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 and works by W.A. Mozart, Schubert, and Adès. In 2011 Haefliger's Perspective series reached Vol. 5 with L.v. Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata and F. Liszt's first year from the Années de pèlerinage. In 2011 he played F. Liszt: Annees de Pelerinage Suisse coupled with late Schubert at the Lille Piano Festival, and at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Rudolfinum Prague and Luzern Piano Series in the Autumn.

Andreas Haefliger has performed with such chamber ensembles as the Takács Quartet, Carmina Quartet and Safri Duo, with the baritones Wolfgang Holzmair and Matthias Goerne (the latter in Schubert Lieder), and has concertized and recorded with his wife, flutist Marina Piccinini. Further to this, Haefliger has performed a series of recitals in New York, London and Milan, with his late father, the great tenor Ernst Haefliger, in Schubert's Die Wi. In 2011 he appeared with the Takacs Quartet at the Mostly Mozart Festival and with Gil Shaham in La Jolla, and in Spring 2012 at the Wigmore with the Tokyo Quartet. As a recitalist and chamber musician, Haefliger excels in finding the most immediate expression. He was described in The Guardian after a recent recital at the Wigmore Hall as “…one to take risks, which make him a fascinating artist”, and in an earlier review in The Independent, “there seems to be no limit to the resources of Haefliger’s touch”. The Wigmore Hall has also presented Haefliger in a three-part series of recitals together with the baritone Matthias Goerne, The Takacs Quartet, Marina Piccinini and the Safri Duo.

Andreas Haefliger has recorded for Sony, Avie, Decca, and other labels. After the enormous success of his first recording of W.A. Mozart Sonatas for Sony Classical, he made three further recordings for Sony of Robert Schumann’s Davidsbündlertanze and Fantasiestücke, Schubert Impromptus, and a disc of music by Sofia Gubaidulina. Later he recorded for Decca with the Takacs Quartet (Schubert’s "Trout" Quintet and Dvorak;s Piano Quintet) and Matthias Goerne. The latest Matthias Goerne/Haefliger release of Schubert’s Goethe Lieder being awarded a Preis Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Recent discs include the second installment of the series, as well as a recital disc of Prokofiev, Wagner and Franck, with Marina Piccinini, his wife.

“Unlike many virtuosos, Haefliger is a musician first and pianist second... Andreas Haefliger is a pianist to watch. More importantly, he is a pianist to listen to.” - Chicago Tribune

More Photos

Source: Andreas Haefliger Website; All Music Guide Website (Author: Robert Cummings); Wikipedia Website (January 2012); Photos 01-14
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2012)

Andreas Haefliger: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Andreas Haefliger (Official Website)
Andreas Haefliger (Intermusica)
Andreas Haefliger (Opus 3)

Andreas Haefliger (Wikipedia)
Andreas Haefliger - Biography (AMG)

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