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Amir Katz (Piano)

Born: 1973 - Ramat Gan, Israel

The Israeli pianist, Amir Katz, first began his piano studies with Hanna Shalgi at age 11. At the age of 15, he was already playing with the Haifa Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. After winning several national competitions and receiving a scholarship from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation and the Clairmont Award, he moved to Europe, supported by other fellowships, including a DAAD grant (1999-2000), to continue his studies with Sulamita Aronovsky, Elisso Wirssaladze, and Michael Schäfer. At the International Piano Academy on Lake Como, he had lessons with Leon Fleisher, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and Murray Perahia. In four international competitions Amir Katz won first prize: Maria Canals in Barcelona, Robert Casadesus in Cleveland, Viotti Valsesia in Italy, and the Schubert Competition in Dortmund.

Amir Katz now receives concert invitations from orchestras and festivals around the world. He performs in the most distinguished halls in Europe, Asia and North America, such as the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Rudolfinum in Prague, the Tonhalle Zürich, the Philharmonie in Berlin and the Lincoln Center New York. Additionally, he has given concerts at international music festivals, such as the Savannah Music Festival, the Festival de Radio France et Montpellier, as well as the Oleg Kagan Musikfest Kreuth. His concerts are regularly recorded for radio and television. He has played a number of times with the Orquestra Sinfònica de Barcelona, Israel Camerata Orchestra Jerusalem, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Symphony of Princeton, Orchestre National de Lille, Dortmunder Philharmoniker, Prague Philharmonia, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and Münchner Philharmoniker.

In the last seasons, Amir Katz's intimate relationship to the cantabile works of romantic piano literature has been reflected in four great cycles performed worldwide: he has performed the complete Sonatas and Impromptus by Franz Schubert, the 48 “Songs Without Words” by Felix Mendelssohn as well as Frédéric Chopin's 21 Nocturnes. Since 2010, he has been accompanying the tenor Pavol Breslik. This artistic collaboration has found its expression in highly acclaimed recitals in Munich, Vienna, Paris, and at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg among other locations. More recitals are planned for Strasbourg, Zurich and Brussels as well as for Berlin, and at the Munich Opera Festival.

In winter 2012, Amir Katz embarked on a tour which took him to Berlin, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Munich as well as to the Vienna Musikverein; this was followed by a release of his recording of Frédéric Chopin's four Ballades and four Impromptus on the Oehms Classics label. His love for chamber music has manifested itself recently in several chamber music projects: recording a CD dedicated to late romantic composers with the clarinetist Kilian Herold on the Avi Classics label, performing L.v. Beethoven's Triple Concerto with the Prague Philharmonia and taking part in Eilat Chamber Music Festival; He was invited for a return engagement with both the Dortmund Philharmonic and the Brandenburg Symphonic Orchestra, playing Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto and Sergei Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto. March 2014 saw him return to the Miami Piano Festival and perform a program dedicated to the works of Robert Schumann. On his performance of L.v. Beethoven's Sonatas op 90,101 and 106, the Leipziger Volkszeitung noted: “…Katz is capable of all of this – authentically and captivatingly, with virtuosity and freshness. No wish is left unfulfilled."

In July 2014, Amir Katz made a well-received London debut at Wigmore Hall, leading to his being invited for a return engagement to play at the “Lunchtime Concerts” series in 2015. In November, accompanied by the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, he gave the world premiere of a piano concerto by Chinese composer Xiaogang Ye. Further engagements are planned for the 2016-2017 season, including concerts in Europe, Israel and the USA, playing a Franz Liszt cycle which includes the entire Etudes of F. Liszt for piano.

Amir Katz has recorded various CDs for the Live Classics label, Helicon Classics, Avi Classics, Oehms Classics and Sony Classical. His double CD of Felix Mendelssohn's “Songs Without Words”, released by Live Classics, was chosen best CD of the last months by the classical music magazine crescendo in its summer edition 2009. in addition, a new CD with Robert Schumann's violin sonatas was is released in December 2015, again on the Oehms Classics Label. In February 2016 his CD with Schubert’s 8 Impromptus was released on the Orfeo International Label. This CD was chosen as CD of the Week by the German radio station RBB Kulturradio. In March 2017 his CD with Frédéric Chopin's 24 Études was released on the Orfeo International label.

Source: Amir Katz Website & Facebook profile; Bits & pieces from other sources
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (November 2017)

Amir Katz: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Amir Katz (Official Website) [English/German]
Amir Katz on Facebook
Amir Katz (Wikipedia)

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Last update: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 04:59