Lambert Orkis

Biography

Born: April 20, 1946  
Lambert Orkis is one of the most respected American pianists, particularly in the fields of chamber music and accompaniment, and as a proponent of modern piano music. He studied with Eleanor Sokoloff at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. After obtaining his degree there, he went on to obtain a Master's degree from the Esther Boyer College of Music of Temple University (also in Philadelphia), where his teacher was Maryan Filar. He Read more joined the Philadelphia Chamber Soloists, the Penn Contemporary Players of the University of Pennsylvania, and the Twentieth-Century Consort in Washington, D.C. Another early musical association was with the Temple University Music Festival and Institute, and he has maintained a recital partnership since those days of the early 1970s with cellist Barbara Haffner, a fellow member of the Philadelphia Chamber Soloists. He has been a member of piano faculty of the Boyer College of Temple University since 1968. As a teacher he stresses the teaching of modern repertory to his students and concentrates on chamber music performance.

Early in his career, Orkis was the chosen accompanist of legendary American soprano Eleanor Steber when that former star made her successful comeback concert and established a second career. Since Steber was especially interested in American art song and opera, he found himself developing a major interest in new American music, which led to his commissioning many new works from major composers. A very partial list of such compositions includes Richard Wernick's Piano Concerto, George Crumb's A Little Suite for Christmas, and works by James Primosch and Maurice Wright.

In the late '70s he served as pianist in a master class conducted by members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington, D.C., of which famed cellist-conductor Mstislav Rostropovich was then music director. Rostropovich was so taken with Orkis' playing that he invited the pianist to become his recital pianist and created the position of principal keyboard player of the orchestra for him. In the latter capacity Orkis plays piano, celesta, harpsichord, and synthesizer. He found that there was a difference between playing as part of the general lush orchestral sonority and of playing as a concerto soloist in front of an orchestra. Calling it a "thrilling experience," he says he is challenged by the different skills such a position requires when compared to solo or chamber music work and says it "...helps me maintain razor-sharp listening and flexible reaction abilities." He retained that position when Leonard Slatkin succeeded Rostropovich as music director.

As Rostropovich's partner, the two played in the U.S. and Asia, including performances before Presidents Reagan, George Bush, and Clinton, King Hussein of Jordan, Emperor Akahito of Japan, and President Gandhi of India. In 1988, Orkis also formed a performance partnership with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, which he calls "a pinnacle of my professional life and a continual source of artistic fulfillment." With her he has also performed before major world leaders, including the presidents of France and Germany, the Queen of Spain, and the King and Queen of Sweden. In 1998, the two gave 85 performances, playing all ten Beethoven violin sonatas exclusively, then recorded the cycle in live concerts in Wiesbaden, Germany. This Deutsche Grammophon recording won the NPR Performance Today Critics' Choice Award.

He is also a member of the Castle Trio, a major chamber group associated with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, playing on instruments from the Smithsonian collection that are appropriate to the era of the music and has recorded on fortepianos. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 47 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Wernick: Concerto for Cello & 10 Players, Piano Trio No. 1 & Sextet
    Label: Bridge   Catalog: 9480 Release Date: 10/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wernick
    Performer:  Nicholas Pine,  Chris Hasselbring,  Drew Thompson,  Gregory Fulkerson  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Trevino
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 2.
    George Crumb: Voice of the Whale
    Label: Mug Shot Productions (Dvd)   Catalog: 7499 Release Date: 06/24/2016  
    Composer:  George Crumb
    Performer:  Carole Morgan,  Lambert Orkis,  Barbara Haffner
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  • 3.
    Bartok: Complete Works
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002459502 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 32
    Composer:  Béla Bartók
    Performer:  Erich Binder,  Zoltán Kocsis,  Viktoria Mullova,  Gil Shaham  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Lehel,  Iván Fischer,  Antal Doráti,  Pierre Boulez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Symphony Orchestra,  Budapest Festival Orchestra,  Detroit Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $212.49
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  • 4.
    The Club Album / Mutter [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B002403501 Release Date: 11/06/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Gershwin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Noa Wildschut,  Nancy Zhou,  Lambert Orkis
    Conductor:  Mahan Esfahani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mutter's Virtuosi
    LP: $29.99
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  • 5.
    The Club Album / Anne-sophie Mutter [blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002380659 Release Date: 09/25/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Gershwin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Noa Wildschut,  Nancy Zhou,  Lambert Orkis
    Conductor:  Mahan Esfahani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mutter's Virtuosi
    Blu-ray Video: $22.99
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  • 6.
    The Club Album / Anne-Sophie Mutter [CD & DVD]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002378900 Release Date: 09/18/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Gershwin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Noa Wildschut,  Nancy Zhou,  Lambert Orkis
    Conductor:  Mahan Esfahani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mutter's Virtuosi
    CD: $24.99
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  • 7.
    The Club Album / Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002369102 Release Date: 08/28/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Gershwin,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Noa Wildschut,  Nancy Zhou,  Lambert Orkis
    Conductor:  Mahan Esfahani
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mutter's Virtuosi
    CD: $13.99
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  • 8.
    The Silver Album / Mutter, Orkis
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002054902 Release Date: 06/10/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Fritz Kreisler,  Gabriel Fauré,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Lambert Orkis
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  • 9.
    Beethoven: Spring & Kreutzer Sonatas / Mutter, Orkis
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001875602 Release Date: 09/03/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Lambert Orkis
    CD: $7.99
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  • 10.
    Schubert: Lieder on Record 1898-2012
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 27575 Release Date: 07/03/2012   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Peter Schreier,  Steven Zehr,  Thomas Hampson,  Wolfgang Sawallisch  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 11.
    A Tribute to Fritz Kreisler / Ricci, Smith
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001637702 Release Date: 01/17/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Ruggiero Ricci,  Brooks Smith,  Fritz Kreisler,  Haddon Squire  ... 
    Recommendation
    CD: $21.99
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  • 12.
    Anne-Sophie Mutter - The Complete Musician [Highlights]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001587502 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Max Bruch  ... 
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Antonio Meneses,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Bruno Giuranna  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan,  Witold Lutoslawski,  André Previn,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 13.
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 414 Release Date: 02/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Chatman,  Robert P. Morgan,  Joe Hudson
    Performer:  Robert Onofrey,  John Loban,  Maura Chatman,  Carole Morgan  ... 
    Conductor:  Sydney Hodkinson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Eastman Musica Nova
    CD: $13.99
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  • 14.
    Brahms: Violin Sonatas No 1-3 / Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001476702 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Lambert Orkis
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  • 15.
    Brahms: Violin Sonatas Nos 1-3 / Mutter, Orkis
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 0734617 Release Date: 10/12/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Lambert Orkis
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    DVD: $32.99
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  • 16.
    Zen Voices
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 28443 Release Date: 05/18/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Franz Schubert,  Johannes Brahms,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Lambert Orkis,  Arleen [Soprano Vocal] Augér,  Barbara Hendricks,  Julia Varády  ... 
    Conductor:  Daniel Barenboim,  Laurence Equilbey,  Paavo Järvi,  Michel Plasson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cellos ensemble of the Orchestre de Paris,  Ensemble Matheus,  Ensemble Orchestral de Paris  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 17.
    Past & Present - Beethoven: Complete Variations & Sonatas For Cello & Piano
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90910 Release Date: 09/29/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  David Hardy,  Lambert Orkis
    CD: $24.99
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  • 18.
    Beethoven: The Piano Trios 2 / The Castle Trio
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 91442 Release Date: 08/18/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Marilyn McDonald,  Kenneth Slowik,  Lambert Orkis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Castle Trio
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 19.
    Schubert: Piano Trio D 929, Sonatensatz D 28 / Castle Trio
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 59303 Release Date: 04/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Kenneth Slowik,  Marilyn McDonald,  Lambert Orkis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Castle Trio
    ArkivCD $17.99
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  • 20.
    Beethoven: The Piano Trios Vol 1 / The Castle Trio
    Label: Virgin Classics Veritas   Catalog: 91126 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Lambert Orkis,  Kenneth Slowik,  Marilyn McDonald
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Castle Trio
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  • 21.
    Schubert: Impromptus / Lambert Orkis
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 91142 Release Date: 01/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Lambert Orkis
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 22.
    Franchomme/Chopin: Grand Duo Concertant, Etc / Bylsma, Orkis
    Label: Sony Classical Vivarte Series   Catalog: 53980 Release Date: 07/11/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Auguste Franchomme,  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Marji Danilow,  Anner Bylsma,  Vera Beths,  Guus Jeukendrup  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  L'Archibudelli,  Smithsonian Chamber Players
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  • 23.
    The Beauty of Two / Kennedy Center Chamber Players
    Label: Sono Luminus   Catalog: 90705 Release Date: 04/08/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bohuslav Martinu,  Francis Poulenc,  Paul Hindemith,  Edvard Grieg
    Performer:  David Hardy,  Lambert Orkis,  Toshiko Kohno,  Daniel Foster
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kennedy Center Chamber Players
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Mozart: The Violin Sonatas / Mutter, Orkis
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000724409 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Lambert Orkis,  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    DVD: $43.99
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  • 25.
    Mozart: Violin Concertos, Sonatas, Trios / Mutter
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000724609 Release Date: 10/09/2007   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Anne-Sophie Mutter,  Lambert Orkis,  Daniel Müller-Schott,  André Previn
    Conductor:  Anne-Sophie Mutter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Camerata Salzburg
    DVD: $88.49
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