Dag Achatz

Biography

Born: 1942; Stockholm, Sweden  
Dag Achatz is widely admired not only for his keyboard virtuosity but for his amazing eclecticism in both repertory and performance practices. The Swedish-born virtuoso is at home in the solo works of Schumann and Liszt; in the glittery, jazzier pieces of Gershwin and Bernstein; in the piano concertos of little-known composers like Pierné and Boldemann; and in a wide variety of the two-piano repertory, especially transcriptions and arrangements Read more of well-known classical orchestral works. Achatz has made some of those transcriptions himself, including a highly praised rendition of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. Achatz has also fashioned a piano version of the Bernstein ballet Fancy Free, as well as a suite of numbers from West Side Story. He has often appeared in concert and on recordings in two-piano repertory with Japanese virtuoso Yukie Nagai. Achatz has made most of his nearly 30 recordings for the Swedish label BIS. A small number of earlier efforts was issued on EMI, Melodiya, and Americus Records.

Dag Achatz was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1942. His parents were musicians who early on relocated the family to Switzerland. Achatz was a child prodigy, divulging so extraordinary a keyboard talent as to allow him to enter the Geneva Conservatory at the age of eight.

After graduation, the gifted teenager returned to Stockholm for studies with Greta Erickson. Later teachers included an iconic pair of keyboard giants: Alfred Cortot and Vlado Perlemuter.

Achatz won the Lausanne-based Rudolf Ganz Competition in 1960 and the 1964 Maria Callas Competition in Barcelona. His reputation steadily grew, as his interest in transcribing also took wing. His 1981 BIS recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring was a sensation, and throughout the decade he turned out several additional important recordings, including a CD of the complete works of George Gershwin (1989).

After hearing the Stravinsky Rite, Bernstein asked Achatz to do the transcription of Fancy Free, which was issued on an all-Bernstein CD in 1986.

By 2000 Achatz had appeared in many of the major concert venues in Europe, the United States, and the Far East. He has regularly conducted master classes (Umea Conservatory, Sweden; Osaka Conservatory, Japan). While Achatz has remained busy in the new century both concertizing and teaching, he has been less active in the recording studio. Among his later CDs is the 1999 BIS release of Wagner transcriptions (two-piano arrangements by Max Reger) with Yukie Nagai. Read less
Bernstein: Piano Transcriptions / Dag Achatz
Release Date: 09/23/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 352   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Music For Two Pianos / Dag Achatz, Yukie Nagai
Release Date: 03/25/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 489   Number of Discs: 1
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Debussy: Music For Two Pianos / Yukie Nagai, Dag Achatz
Release Date: 10/12/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 526   Number of Discs: 1
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Swan Lake, Etc / Achatz, Nagai
Release Date: 10/12/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 627   Number of Discs: 1
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For Children / Dag Achatz
Release Date: 09/22/1994   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 158   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-19 of 19 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Debussy: The Complete Works
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 565660 Release Date: 01/05/2018   Number of Discs: 33
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann,  Joachim Raff,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Aldo Ciccolini,  Cécile Ousset,  Michel Béroff,  Samson François  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  François-Xavier Roth,  Armin Jordan,  Jean Martinon  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Quatuor Ebčne,  Nash Ensemble,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 2.
    Wagner Highlights Arranged For Two Pianos / Nagai, Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 976 Release Date: 11/15/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Dag Achatz,  Inzuki "Yukie" Nagai
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  • 3.
    Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Glazunov / Yukie Nagai, Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 746 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Glazunov,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Dag Achatz,  Inzuki "Yukie" Nagai
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  • 4.
    Scriabin: Piano Music / Dag Achatz, Roland Pöntinen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 119 Release Date: 05/21/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Scriabin
    Performer:  Roland Pöntinen,  Dag Achatz
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  • 5.
    Debussy: Vocal And Chamber Music
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 28 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Dag Achatz,  Hans Pĺlsson,  Märta Schéle,  Frans Helmerson  ... 
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  • 6.
    Schumann: Fantasy, Kinderszenen;  Liszt: Sonata / Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 144 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Robert Schumann
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
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  • 7.
    Debussy: Music For Two Pianos / Yukie Nagai, Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 526 Release Date: 10/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Claude Debussy
    Performer:  Dag Achatz,  Inzuki "Yukie" Nagai
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  • 8.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5, Swan Lake, Etc / Achatz, Nagai
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 627 Release Date: 10/12/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Inzuki "Yukie" Nagai,  Dag Achatz
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  • 9.
    Bernstein: Piano Transcriptions / Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 352 Release Date: 09/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
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  • 10.
    Gershwin: Complete Piano Works / Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 404 Release Date: 09/23/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
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  • 11.
    Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Pierné: Piano Concertos / Pöntinen
    Label: Bis Twins   Catalog: 375/381 Release Date: 09/23/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gabriel Pierné,  Edvard Grieg,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Dag Achatz,  Roland Pöntinen
    Conductor:  Jacques Houtmann,  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lorraine Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bamberg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    For Children / Dag Achatz
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 158 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Heitor Villa-Lobos,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
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  • 13.
    Liszt: Consolation No 3, Hungarian Rhapsody No 3, Etc
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 244 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
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  • 14.
    Romantic & Picturesque - Music For Flute / Gunilla Von Bahr
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 160 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Otto Emanuel Olsson,  Johan Peter E. Hartmann,  Gunnar de Frumerie,  Henk Badings  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Fagius,  Gunilla Von Bahr,  Dag Achatz
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  • 15.
    Solflöjt 2/3 / Gunilla Von Bahr
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 175 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Fritz Kreisler,  Henri Tomasi  ... 
    Performer:  Gunilla Von Bahr,  Gertrud Schneider,  Dag Achatz,  Zahari Tchavdarov  ... 
    Conductor:  Jan Olav Wedin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stockholm Chamber Ensemble
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  • 16.
    Stravinsky: Piano Transcriptions / Achatz, Pöntinen
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 188 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  Roland Pöntinen,  Dag Achatz
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  • 17.
    Pierne: Ramuntcho Suites, Piano Concerto / Achatz, Houtmann
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 381 Release Date: 03/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gabriel Pierné
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
    Conductor:  Jacques Houtmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lorraine Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 18.
    Ravel: Music For Two Pianos / Dag Achatz, Yukie Nagai
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 489 Release Date: 03/25/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Inzuki "Yukie" Nagai,  Dag Achatz
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  • 19.
    Pianolyrik
    Label: Musica Sveciae   Catalog: 628 Release Date: 01/01/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Harald Fryklöf,  Bror Beckman,  Josef Eriksson,  Johan Algot Haquinius  ... 
    Performer:  Dag Achatz
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