Lambert Orkis © Lambert Orkis
The American pianist Lambert Orkis, who was born in Philadelphia in 1946, began playing the piano at the age of four and made his debut as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra when he was only twelve. His artistic focus includes taking part in chamber music, performing contemporary works, and playing on period instruments. Since 1988, Orkis has been the piano partner of the violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter, with whom he has performed all over the world and also recorded numerous prize-winning CDs. The two received a Grammy Award for their complete recording of the Beethoven violin sonatas. Orkis also accompanied the legendary cellist Mstislav Rostropovich in his recitals for 11 years; during his tenure as principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., Rostropovich created the position of principal keyboard instrumentalist specifically for him. Orkis has also performed with the cellists Lynn Harrell, Anner Bylsma, and Han-Na Chang; the violinist Julian Rachlin; the violist Steven Dann; and such ensembles as the Emerson, American, and Curtis String Quartets. As a soloist, he has collaborated with such conductors as Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Slatkin, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and Günther Herbig. Orkis performs a wide-ranging repertoire for a variety of instrumentations. Composers such as George Crumb, Richard Wernick, and James Primosch have written new solo works for him. His commitment to contemporary music is complemented by an interest in historically informed performance practice: Orkis has recorded works by Beethoven and Schubert on a fortepiano and piano pieces by Louis Moreau Gottschalk on a Chickering concert grand built in 1865. Lambert Orkis is a professor of piano at the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University in Philadelphia, where he has received the Award for Creative Achievement.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 23 August 1994 in a recital with Anne-Sophie Mutter, with a program of works by Stravinsky, Beethoven, Currier, and Schumann.