Press Release of the 2023 Salzburg Festival

András Schiff honoured with Ruby Festival Brooch
András Schiff, Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser © SF/Marco Borrelli
(SF, 16 August 2023) “An essential artist who has made Festival history, one of the most important pianists of our time, and a true friend of the Salzburg Festival,” – thus Artistic Director Markus Hinterhäuser described András Schiff in a speech one day after his solo recital at the Main Auditorium of the Mozarteum Foundation, presenting the pianist with the Festival Brooch with Rubies.

“Schiff’s striking Festival concerts are based on his personal notions about music. […] In his anthology of conversations Music Comes Out of Silence, András Schiff named characteristics of great performers which he doubtlessly embodies himself: a ‘mixture of reflection, manual mastery, brazenness and intellectual inventiveness’. In Salzburg, he took the promulgation of precise musical listening to extremes,” Wolfgang Schreiber wrote in his review of one of Schiff’s 2017 solo recitals in Salzburg. On the occasion of Schiff’s cyclical interpretation of Franz Schubert’s last piano sonatas in Salzburg in 2015, Jürgen Kesting characterized his artistic influence in Salzburg: “It is rare to experience such a pianistic ‘high mass’. These are the true, stellar highlights of the Festival season.”

Born in Budapest in 1953, András Schiff received his first piano lessons at the age of five. He later continued his studies at the Franz Liszt Academy, where his teachers included György Kurtág. He made his Salzburg Festival debut on 13 August 1982: together with Gidon Kremer, he played works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Richard Strauss, Robert Schumann and Franz Schubert in a solo recital. He has presented concert cycles in Salzburg several times, including a Mendelssohn-Brahms cycle featuring different chamber music formations in 1994, a series dedicated to Robert Schumann entitled Schumann, the Poet in 1998, and Franz Schubert’s final piano sonatas in three concerts in 2015. Yesterday marked his 66th appearance at the Salzburg Festival.

András Schiff has worked with the most famous orchestras and conductors; in 1999, he founded his own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca. He has won prestigious international awards: in 2012, he received the Golden Mozart Medal of the International Mozarteum Foundation. He is a recipient of the order Pour le Mérite for Science and Arts and the Great Cross of Merit with Star of the Federal Republic of Germany. He holds honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Leeds and the Royal College of Music. In 2014 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his services to music.

Previous recipients of the Festival Brooch with Rubies include Festival artists such as Edith Clever, Christa Ludwig, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Christian Stückl, Jürgen Flimm, Riccardo Muti, Mariss Jansons, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst and most recently Wolfgang Rihm.
András Schiff after his recital on 15 August 2023 © SF/Marco Borrelli
András Schiff performed yesterday evening at the Main Auditorium of the Mozarteum Foundation:
Solo Recital András Schiff
Hommage à Leipzig
Works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, played on a Blüthner grand piano dated 1859.

Tomorrow, he joins Erich Höbarth and Christophe Coin in a chamber concert at the Main Auditorium of the Mozarteum Foundation:
Chamber Concert Höbarth · Coin · Schiff
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in B-flat-major D 898
Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano in E-flat-major D 929
The Festival Brooch with Rubies © SF/Marco Borrelli