Pianist Piotr Anderszewski has developed into an artist seemingly with a taste for highly structured works, most particularly Beethoven's Diabelli Variations. But that does not mean his performances are dry, academic readings of the piano repertoire's great works. Rather, he has been praised for his sensitivity and imaginative interpretations.
Warsaw-born Anderszewski studied piano at the Lyon and Strasbourg conservatories, the Chopin
Academy of Music in Warsaw, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He also attended master classes in Italy with Fou Ts'ong, Murray Perahia, and Leon Fleisher. The 1990 Leeds Piano Competition was the beginning of his career. There, he performed the Diabelli Variations, then followed that with Webern's Variations. However, in the middle of the Webern, he suddenly walked offstage, forfeiting the competition. He was not having an artistic fit of pique, but rather felt that the Beethoven performance spoke well enough for him. In fact, that Beethoven performance resulted in two important invitations: one to perform a solo recital at Wigmore Hall, the other to record the Variations for Teldec. He decided to turn down the offer from Teldec, feeling at the time that a studio recording would lose the spontaneity of a live recording. He began touring in Europe, most frequently appearing in London, but maintaining a home base in Paris, and for a time he toured the world with violinist Viktoria Mullova, also making his first recording with her. His first solo recordings were of Bach, Beethoven, and Webern. In 2000, he made his American debut and was given the Karol Szymanowski Award for his interpretations of that composer's works. The next year Anderszewski signed a recording contract with Virgin Classics. Finally, he was ready to record the Diabelli Variations, and filmmaker Bruno Monsaigneon documented the process and Anderszewski's thoughts on the work, much in the same way he had documented Glenn Gould performing the Goldberg Variations. The recording itself received high praise and several awards. Anderszewski's next project was performing and recording Mozart piano concertos while conducting from the piano. In 2002, he was awarded the prestigious Gilmore Prize, hoping to use some of the prize monies to record his favorite Szymanowski pieces. Read less