Alexis Weissenberg

Alexis Weissenberg

Alexis Weissenberg (born July 26, 1929) is a Bulgarian-born French Jewish pianist.

He was born in Sofia and had piano lessons from the age of three with Pancho Vladigerov. He gave his first public performance at the age of eight. After escaping to Israel in 1945, where he studied with Leo Kestenberg, he went to the Juilliard School in 1946 to study with Olga Samaroff. He also consulted Artur Schnabel and Wanda Landowska. In 1947 he made his New York debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under the baton of George Szell playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. Between 1956 and 1966 he took an extended sabbatical for the purpose of studying and teaching. He resumed his career in 1966 by giving a recital in Paris; later that year he gave Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in Berlin under Herbert von Karajan, who called him "one of the best pianists of our time".

Weissenberg is said to possess one of the finest techniques of any pianist in the generation following the great Russian School pianists (Lhevinne, Horowitz, et al.), however, it is claimed that he never uses it for the sole purpose of virtuosity. Pyrotechnics only serve the musical exposition. His recording of the Liszt Sonata of the early 1970s is considered to be one of the most exciting and also lyrical, in a discography with over 100 recordings (Bryce Morrison in "gramophone"). He is also well known for his readings of Schumann, Rachmaninoff, and many works by Frédéric Chopin, including the complete works for piano and orchestra, the piano sonatas nos. 2 & 3, the nocturnes, and the waltzes. Among his other notable interpretations are those of Johannes Brahms's Piano Concerto No. 1, with Carlo Maria Giulini and Maestro Muti, ("Les Introuvables d'Alexis Weissenberg", 2004), Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic, and the same composer's Piano Concerto No. 3 with Georges Prêtre and Seiji Ozawa with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (also with Leonard Bernstein and the Orchestre National de France).

He also is a teacher, giving piano master classes all over the world. He has founded the Alexis Weissenberg's Piano Master Class in Engelberg (Switzerland), where he has had as students many pianists of the new generation: Kirill Gerstein, Simon Mulligan, Mehmet Okonsar [] and Nazzareno Carusi among others.

Discography (selection)

* Beethoven: The Five Piano Concertos with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on EMI (3 CDs)
* Chopin: Works for piano and orchestra. EMI (2 CDs)
* Chopin: The Nocturnes. EMI
* Chopin: Piano Sonata No. 2 and No. 3 EMI
* Bartok: Piano Concerto No. 2 with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra on RCA Red Seal
* Scarlatti: Sonatas (A selection of 15) on Deutsche Grammophon
* Debussy: Estampes, Suite Bergamasque, Children's Corner, L'Isle Joyeuse, etc on Deutsche Grammophon
* Mozart: Piano Concertos No. 9 and No. 21 with Giulini and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra
* Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition EMI
* Debussy: Piano works. Deutsche Grammophon (CD)
* Rachmaninoff: Piano sonatas nos. 1, 2. Deutsche Grammophon (CD)
* Rachmaninoff: Complete Preludes. RCA Gold Seal (CD)
* Brahms: Sonatas for violin & piano nos. 1-3. EMI (CD)
* Beethoven: Piano sonatas: "Pathétique , Moonlight and Appasaionata"
* Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 (with Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)
* Rachmaninoff: Piano concerto No. 3 (with Georges Pretre, Seiji Ozawa and L. Bernstein)
* Brahms: Piano concerto No. 1 (with Giulini and R. Muti, both on the EMI label)
* Schumann : "Kinderszenen" Opus 15 ( Toshiba-EMI )

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Alexis Weissenberg — (* 26. Juli 1929 in Sofia, Bulgarien) ist ein jüdischer französischer Pianist bulgarischer Herkunft. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Ausbildung 2 Der Pianist 2.1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Alexis Weissenberg — Alexis Weissenberg, né le 26 juillet 1929 à Sofia, est un pianiste français d’origine bulgare. Sommaire 1 Carrière 2 Discographie sélective 3 Bibliographie …   Wikipédia en Français

  • WEISSENBERG, ALEXIS — (Sigismond; 1929– ), pianist. Weissenberg was born in Sofia. He studied piano with his mother and then with Pancho Vladiguerov. During the German occupation he and his mother were briefly confined in a concentration camp. He was taken to Ereẓ… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Weissenberg — may refer to: *Weißenberg, a town in Saxony, Germany *the scene of the Battle of White Mountain *Karl Weissenberg (1893 1976), German physicist and founding rheologist, after whom the Weissenberg effect was named *Alexis Weissenberg (b. 1929),… …   Wikipedia

  • Alexis (Vorname) — Alexis ist ein männlicher und weiblicher Vorname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Bedeutung und Herkunft 2 Namenstag 3 Namensträger (Auswahl) 4 Siehe auch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Weissenberg — Weissenberg,   Alexis, französischer Pianist bulgarischer Herkunft, * Sofia 26. 7. 1929; studierte u. a. bei Wanda Landowska und A. Schnabel und debütierte 1947 in der Carnegie Hall in New York. Schwerpunkte seines Repertoires bilden Werke von J …   Universal-Lexikon

  • List of South-East European Jews — Many of the Jews expelled from the Iberian Peninsula during the Spanish Inquisition settled in the Ottoman Empire, leaving large Sephardic communities in South East Europe: mainly in Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia… …   Wikipedia

  • Simon Mulligan — is an Virtuoso English pianist, Pedagogue and composer. He celebrated his début aged 19 at London s Barbican Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; a month later he recorded his first compact disc under the direction of Yehudi Menuhin. This… …   Wikipedia

  • Anke Fischer —    Anke Engelke Auftritt während der Kieler Woche 2003 Anke Christina Engelke (* 21. Dezember 1965 in Montreal, Kanada) ist eine deutsche Komikerin, Schauspielerin, Entertainerin, Synchronsprecherin und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Liste der Biografien/Wei — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.