Alexander Schimpf, piano
"Maybe they still do exist, the younger music professionals who have gained a following thanks to their musical talent and not because of their extra-musical tabloid antics. In a classical music industry in need of reform, Alexander Schimpf, recent winner of the Vienna Beethoven Piano Competition, could be one of these future heroes...”
(Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich/Germany, 2009)
The German pianist Alexander Schimpf has risen to prominence by impressively winning a series of competitions, first winning the 2008 German Music Competition (a distinction no pianist had earned for 14 years), winning First Prize at the 2009 International Beethoven Competition in Vienna and finally emerging as the first German pianist ever to win First Prize at the 2011 Cleveland International Piano Competition. His final round performance at Severance Hall with the renowned Cleveland Orchestra was given a standing ovation and additionally honored with the Audience Favorite Prize. Since winning these notable awards, Mr. Schimpf’s career has gained momentum with regular appearances at important music centers around the world; he gave debut performances at the Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, the Marinsky Concert Hall in St. Petersburg, the Great Hall of "Alte Oper" in Frankfurt, and the Munich and Cologne Philharmonic Halls.
Born in Germany in 1981, he initially studied piano with Wolfgang Manz in Hannover and subsequently studied with Winfried Apel at the Musikhochschule Dresden as well as with Bernd Glemser in Würzburg. The pianists Cécile Ousset and Janina Fialkowska also played an important role in his artistic development.
He has performed in recital throughout Germany as well as in France (Auditorium du Louvre and Salle Cortot in Paris), Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, England, Russia, Viet Nam, and China, and several times in South America. He made his debut appearance at Carnegie Hall in December 2011 and has been performing in the USA frequently since then; he was invited to play recitals in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C., among others, and received engagements as soloist by about 30 symphony orchestras throughout the country.
Mr. Schimpf has collaborated with noted chamber music partners, including violinist Christian Tetzlaff, cellist Julian Steckel, the "American String Quartet", and the baritone Thomas E. Bauer.
Released in 2009, his first CD was co-produced by Deutschlandradio Kultur and the label GENUIN; his second CD recording - as an exclusive artist on the OEHMS Classics label – features works by Ravel, Scriabin, and Schubert and was released in January 2013. A third CD was released in January 2015, presenting works by Brahms, Debussy, and Beethoven.
In 2013 Mr. Schimpf was presented with the "Bavarian State Award for the Advancement of the Arts" in Munich; in 2016 he was appointed professor for piano at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media.
"...[he] personified the very image of Beethoven in a performance of his own music some two hundred years ago. Some of those in the nearly full house at the Dresden Schauspielhaus held their breath upon hearing Alexander Schimpf’s blend of interpretive intelligence, clear, powerful expression and flawless technique."
(Sächsische Zeitung, Dresden/Germany, 2013)
“This young pianist has all the earmarks of becoming a major force in the decades to come.”
(Odessa American, 2013)