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Alfred Brendel performed regularly at LUCERNE FESTIVAL between 1974 and 2008. Born in 1931 in Wiesenberg in northern Moravia, Brendel comes from a family of Austrian-German-Italian-Slavic ancestry. He studied piano, composition, and conducting in Zagreb and Graz, completing his education with Paul Baumgartner, Eduard Steuermann, and Edwin Fischer. In 1949 he launched his career by winning the Busoni Competition. He initially performed mostly in Europe, but starting in 1963 he was regularly invited to appear in North America and at all the major concert halls around the world. He was the first pianist to record Beethoven’s complete piano works, and he played a leading role in having Schubert’s sonatas, the late works of Liszt, and the Schoenberg Piano Concerto recognized as integral parts of the repertoire. The works of the Viennese Classicists, which he also performed as cycles, was an important focus of his artistry. Brendel was the “artiste étoile” of LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer 2002. Ever since retiring from the concert stage four years ago, he has appeared as a lecturer and at readings and continues to share his wisdom in master classes. Alfred Brendel has received honorary doctorates from the universities of London, Sussex, Warwick, and Oxford; from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester; from Yale University; and from the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Weimar. In May 2004 he won the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize; in 2008 he was granted the Karajan Prize, and, in 2009, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, and of the German Academy for Language and Literature, as well as an Honorary Knight of the British Empire. Alfred Brendel has published several books of essays on music and poetry collections; his most recent publication (July 2012) is A bis Z eines Pianisten.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 15 August 1974 in works by Beethoven, Berg, and Schuman.