The German pianist, Stefan Mickisch, took in 1998 charge of the introductory lectures given before all the performances that take place during the Wagner Festival Bayreuth. Since then, these lecture recitals have become an integral part of all that concerns Wagner and his art, and now have cult status. With more than 10,000 listeners per year, he helped to make this well-known series of events, which is in itself rich in tradition, gain a prestige unknown before and attract exceptionally high numbers of visitors.
In 2003-2004, Stefan Mickisch's morning performances given in the Großes Haus of the Vienna State Opera stirred a great sensation enhanced by the fact that, for the first time in the history of these lectures, which bear the stamp of Marcel Prawy, the house was sold out completely.
In his enthusiastically acclaimed concerts, an ideal blend of lecture and musical performance, Stefan Mickisch, the "new opera guide of the modern generation" (Wiener Mozartjahr 2006) helps not only to analyse the musical and poetic message of the works in question, but also to make the audience understand the ethical and religious intentions contained in these works, thus contributing to give life to these values in our time. During his performances, Stefan Mickisch fascinates the listener by his tremendous knowledge of the subject, his humorous way of presenting things, the many cross-references and the most telling comparisons made within the world of music, both being instantly made audible by himself on the grand piano. Equally fascinating is his logically convincing concept of key structure and key-relationship, which makes it possible for his audiences to find a completely new approach to music listening ("Keys and the Signs of the Zodiac“, CD FAF). As a solo pianist, transcriber and composer, and "surpassing Franz Liszt and other artistic models“ (Sieglinde Pfabigan in Der Neue Merker), Stefan Mickisch opened up new ground with his large-size Ring-Finali (2003) and the one-hundred-minute-long Tristanfantasie (2005).
Far beyond the Bayreuth Festspiele and not only as a distinguished expert on the works of Wagner, Stefan Mickisch also got high reputation in playing and explaining works of Richard Strauss, L.v. Beethoven, and Mozart. He is a guest much sought after in the finest places of the musical world, such as, among others, Festspiele Baden-Baden, Beethovenfest Bonn, Richard-Strauss-Tage Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Gidon Kremer-Musikfestival in Lockenhaus, Gasteig in Munich, Wagner-Festival Wels, Vienna State Opera, Vienna Konzerthaus and Theater an der Wien, Wiener Mozartfest, Opera House Zurich.
25 recordings (up to 2006) give evidence of the outstanding qualities of this versatile artist ranks as one of the most outstanding and remarkable German pianists.