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The pianist Krystian Zimerman was born in 1956 in Zabrze in Silesia in southern Poland and studied piano with Andrzej Jasiński at the Szymanowski Academy in Katowice. He came to international attention when he won the renowned International Chopin Competition in Warsaw in 1975. He subsequently made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1976; his first appearances at the Salzburg and Lucerne Festivals ensued in 1977 and 1979, respectively. Zimerman’s concert engagements have included collaborations with such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Muti, Bernard Haitink, and Sir Simon Rattle; as a chamber musician he has performed with such artists as the violinists Kyung-Wha Chung and Gidon Kremer. The great Polish composer Witold Lutosławski wrote his Piano Concerto for him, which he premiered in Salzburg in 1988; in 2013, to mark Lutosławski’s 100th anniversary, Zimerman recorded it with the Berlin Philharmonic and Rattle. Krystian Zimerman brings his own instrument to every concert. Nowadays he limits himself to a maximum of fifty appearances per season; for his recordings, he meticulously controls every detail. His interpretation of Debussy’s Préludes, which was released in 1994, ranks among the most award-winning CDs ever recorded. His most recent release is of Franz Schubert’s last two piano sonatas, which received the International Classical Music Award in January 2018. For the Bernstein centenary, Zimerman is taking part in the worldwide anniversary celebrations and will perform in his Second Symphony (The Age of Anxiety) with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. Zimer-man was awarded the Order of the French Legion of Honor in 2005 and an honorary doctorate from the Chopin University of Music in Warsaw in 2015.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 18 August 1979 with Brahms’s First Piano Concerto, with the Swiss Festival Orchestra and Kirill Kondraschin.