Invited Artist

Elizabeth Leonskaja

⎯ Georgia

For decades, Elisabeth Leonskaja has been among the most celebrated pianists of our time. In a world dominated by media, Elisabeth Leonskaja has remained true to herself and her music. She follows in the footsteps of the great Russian musicians of the Soviet era, such as Oistrakh, Richter and Gilels, who never gave up their way of interpreting music despite a very difficult political environment.

She was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in a Russian family and as a child prodigy she gave her first concerts at the age of 11. While still a student at the Conservatory, she won prizes at prestigious international piano competitions such as Enescu, Marguerite Long and Queen Elizabeth.

Elisabeth Leonskaja’s musical development was decisively shaped and influenced by her professional collaboration with Richter. In 1978 Elisabeth Leonskaja left the Soviet Union to make her new home in Vienna, where she had already performed several times.

She has appeared as a soloist with virtually every major orchestra in the world, under conductors such as Thomas Dausgaard, Charles Dutoit, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Iván Fischer, Tugan Sokhiev, Yuri Temirkanov, and many others. In addition, she is frequently invited to summer music festivals, such as the Wiener Festwochen, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Schubertiade in Hohenems and Schwarzenberg. Despite her busy schedule as a soloist, chamber music has always played a prominent role in her work. Elisabeth frequently appears with ensembles such as Artemis Quartet, Belcea Quartet, Borodin Quartet and Emerson Quartet.

Notable recordings include Tchaikovsky’s piano concertos with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Kurt Masur, Chopin’s concertos with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy, and Shostakovich’s piano concertos with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Saint Paul’s Chamber.

Her recording titled ‘PARIS’ included works by Ravel, Debussy and Enescu, released by the Berlin label eaSonus and was chosen Recording of the Year 2014 by the ICMA (International Classical Music Awards) Jury. ‘SAUDADE’, an album with works by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Rachmaninov, was published in 2017. The first volume of the complete collection of Schubert Sonatas was released in February 2016 and the second was presented in May 2019. In January 2020 A double CD was published with piano works by Robert Schumann. Since 2021 she has been recording for WARNER again. A Mozart sonata cycle and Beethoven concertos Nos. 3 and 4 have already been published. Concerts by Schumann, Grieg and solo piano works from the Second Vienna School will follow shortly.

In her second homeland, Austria, Elisabeth Leonskaja is an honorary member of the Vienna Konzerthaus. In 2006 she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor for Sciences and Arts, First Class, for her outstanding service to the country’s culture. It is the highest award in Austria. In Georgia, she was named a Priestess of Art in 2016, this country’s highest artistic honor. In 2020 she received the International Classical Music Achievement Award (ICMA).

Artist Material:

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