Brian Ganz

Pianist

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“One comes away from a Brian Ganz recital not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.”

- Washington Post critic Joan Reinthaler

Brian Ganz is regarded internationally as one of the leading pianists of his generation.  Mr. Ganz has appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the National Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia, L'Orchestre Lamoureux, L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic (Russia).  He has performed in the world’s major concert halls including the Beaux-Arts in Brussels, De Doelen in Rotterdam, L'Arena Theater in Verona, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

Recent concert highlights for Brian Ganz include performing Mozart concerti with the Memphis Symphony and the National Philharmonic, and a performance with the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Yoel Levi at the Kennedy Center.   Ganz has also performed with conductors Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich, Philippe Entremont, Pinchas Zukerman, Leon Fleisher and Jerzy Semkow.

Brian Ganz was awarded one of two First Grand Prizes in the 1989 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition in Paris, where he also received special prizes for the best recital and the best performance of the required work. That same year he won a Beethoven Fellowship from the American Pianists Association, and in 1991 was a silver medalist in the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competition.  For his performance in the competition finals, the La Libre Belgique critic wrote:  “We don't have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy.”

Mr. Ganz made his recording debut for the Gailly label in Belgium, and his recordings of Chopin and Dutilleux have been released on the Accord label in Paris.  In 2001 he began a project with Maestoso Records to record the complete works of Frederic Chopin, and was recently engaged as artist/editor of Chopin’s works for Schirmer’s new Performance Editions. The first of these works, the Preludes, was published in the summer of 2005, and the Waltzes were released in 2008.

Mr. Ganz is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he studied with Leon Fleisher.  He also studied with Ylda Novik and the late Claire Deene.  A gifted teacher, he has been Artist-in-Residence at St. Mary's College of Maryland since 1986, and in 2000 joined the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory.  He has been honored to serve on numerous competition juries, including the Long-Thibaud Competition.

Mr. Ganz deems himself  “an active explorer of the many ways in which the study and performance of great music can remind us of the Spirit that unites all living things.”  He has donated numerous of his performances in benefit concerts and was a founding member of the Washington Chapter of Artists to End Hunger.

Brian Ganz will perform the complete works of Frederic Chopin in a monumental multi-year project at Strathmore Hall under the auspices of the National Philharmonic:

 

PRESS COMMENTS:

“Ganz's remarks were as heartfelt as his playing in the first installment of his projected 15-concert traversal of the master's complete works. Ganz is probably the D.C. area's most celebrated resident concert pianist. He appears frequently at Strathmore, which was packed to the rafters on Saturday, and received several standing ovations. His strong identification with this repertoire yielded performances of warmth, affection and security. At 50, Ganz is a seasoned artist, though still a boyish one. He brings a young man's delight to his work, which can be energizing. Ganz's technique is well tuned to Chopin's athletic demands. This was masterly Chopin playing overall, often deeply beautiful. He offered a particularly impressive Scherzo No. 2; it was his best outing of the evening, with splendid virtuosity in the middle section and perfectly judged rubato throughout.”

- Washington Post,  January 24, 2011

 

“Brian Ganz played the solo part with gentle warmth and minimal pedal. What enthralled the capacity crowd was the muscular Ganz-de Cou rendition of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5, “The Emperor”. Middle-period Beethoven, it sounded wonderful with 3 dozen musicians instead of 90. From the start to the puckish transition to an impressively speedy finale, there was easy rapport between pianist and conductor, resulting in a wholly winning performance and a tremendously upbeat start to de Cou's leadership of the VCO.” 

- Washington Post - September 22, 2009

 

"Brian Ganz charged into the tricky piano part of Shostakovich's No. 1 Piano Concerto with remarkable élan, making the music seem thoroughly spontaneous and inevitable.  He gave a bravura performance!"

- Baltimore Sun - February 17, 2007

 

“At the end of the first half of the National Philharmonic’s program, Brian Ganz sprang up from the piano bench to hug music director Piotr Gajewski in a celebratory embrace -- and for good reason. They had just concluded an agile rendition of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, which sounded so luminous and pristine that it was almost as though they had plucked the notes straight from the composer’s manuscript, still wet with ink. Their performance represented a true cohabitation of music. From the start, tempos slowed and accelerated harmoniously, melodies blossomed with little exertion, and phrases accreted and subsided in a timeless manner. Ganz enthralled, not only through his flawless and effortless technique, but also his poetic pianism. Even when he glided surreptitiously across the keyboard, making the Steinway’s softest textures audible without forcing through the orchestra’s full-bodied volumes, the sounds were striking in both clarity and tonal warmth.”

- Washington Post - September 16, 2006

 

Chien-Tai Chen's concerto "Far Horizon,” Taipei Philharmonic, Kennedy Center:

"Pianist Brian Ganz gave a vivid reading, from the introspective opening -- with its short, questioning statements from the piano over floating waves of orchestral color -- to its jazzy, lyrical, ballad-like middle section and the jaunty and wildly percussive close."

- Washington Post, July 18, 2006