Kristian Bezuidenhout

Biography

Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano. Born in South Africa in 1979, he began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music, and now lives in London.  After initial training as a pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette.  Bezuidenhout first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize, and audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.

Bezuidenhout is a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles including the Freiburger Barockorchester, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra & the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and has guest-directed (from the keyboard) the English Concert, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale, Juilliard 415 and the Kammerakademie Potsdam.

He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore & Matthias Goerne.

Bezuidenhout's rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Diapason d’Or de L’année, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, & Caecilia Prize); Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans; Mendelssohn and Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester (ECHO Klassik); Beethoven, & Mozart Lieder, and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore (Edison Award). In 2013 he was nominated as Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year. Forthcoming releases include Volume 2 of Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester.

In the 2016/17 season, Bezuidenhout performs fortepiano concerti with the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/Gardiner, Orchestre des Champs Elysées/Herreweghe and Il Giardino Armonico/Antonini; as harpsichord soloist with Arcangelo/Cohen (Bach Concerti); and on modern piano with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe/Haitink, Amsterdam Sinfonietta/de Vriend, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks/Labadie, Australian Chamber Orchestra/Tognetti, & Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Egarr. Solo recitals and chamber music take him to London, New York, Tokyo, Boston, Madrid, Innsbruck & Sydney; and he will direct his first Bach St. Matthew Passion with the Dunedin Consort.

July 2016 - This biography must not be edited without the permission of Askonas Holt Ltd.

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Repertoire

Concerto Repertoire

C. P. E. Bach
Concerto for piano, harpsichord & orchestra, Wq. 47

Johann Christian Bach
Concerto for harpsichord & strings in F minor
Concerto for piano & orchestra in E flat major

J. S. Bach
Concerto for harpsichord & strings in D minor, BWV 1052
Concerto for harpsichord & strings in D major, BWV 1054
Concerto for harpsichord & strings in A major, BWV 1055
Brandenburg Concerto Nr. 5 in D major, BWV 1050
Concerto for flute, violin, harpsichord & strings in A minor, BWV 1044

Beethoven
Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19
Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Concerto No. 4 in G major, Op. 58
Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, "Emperor"
Triple Concerto for violin, cello, and piano in C major, Op. 56
Violin Concerto, Opus 61a (Beethoven’s arrangement for piano & orchestra)
Rondo for piano & orchestra in B flat major, WoO 6

Haydn
Piano Concerto in D major, Hob. XVIII: 11
Piano Concerto in G major, Hob . XVIII: 4
Concerto for piano, violin and strings in F major, Hob, XVIII: 6
Johann Wilhelm Hertel (1727-1789)
Piano Concerto in F minor (c. 1770)
Piano Concerto in E flat major (c. 1770)

Mendelssohn
Concerto for piano & strings in A minor (1822)
Concerto for piano & orchestra in D minor, op. 40 (1837)
Concerto for piano, violin and strings in D minor (1823)

Mozart
Concerto No. 1 in F major, K. 37
Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, K. 39
Concerto No. 3 in D major, K. 40
Concerto No. 4 in G major, K. 41
Concerto No. 9 "Jenamy" in E-flat major, K. 271
Concerto No. 10 in E-flat major for Two Pianos, K. 365
Concerto No. 11 in F major, K. 413/387a
Concerto No. 12 in A major, K. 414/385p
Concerto No. 13 in C major, K. 415/387b|
Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major, K. 449
Concerto No. 15 in B-flat major, K. 450
Concerto No. 17 in G major, K. 453
Concerto No. 18 in B-flat major, K. 456
Concerto No. 19 in F major, K. 459
Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466
Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467
Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major, K. 482
Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488
Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491
Concerto No. 25 in C major, K. 503
Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major, K. 595
Rondo for piano and orchestra in A major, K. 386

Solo Repertoire

C. P. E. Bach (1714-1788)
From “für Kenner und Liebhaber”:
Rondo in C minor, Wq. 59/4
Sonata in G major, Wq. 55/6
Sonata in E minor, Wq. 59/1
Rondo in F major, Wq. 57/5
Rondo in G major, Wq. 59/2
Fantasie in C, Wq. 61/6

Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782)
Sonata in B flat major, Op. 17, Nr. 6 (1777)
Sonata in G major, Op. 5, Nr. 3
Sonata in E flat major, Op. 5, Nr. 4

J. S. Bach
Partita in D major, BWV 828
Partita in B flat major, BWV 825
Selections from the Well Tempered Clavier
Toccata in D minor, BWV 913
Toccata in E minor, BWV 914
Italian Concerto, BWV 971
Partita in A minor (arrangement of Partita for solo violin, BWV 1004)

Beethoven
Sonata in F minor, Op. 2, Nr. 1
Sonata in E flat major, Op. 7
Sonata in D major, Opus 10, Nr. 3
Sonata in C minor, Op. 13, Pathétique
Sonata in B flat major, Op. 22
Sonata in D minor, Op. 31, Nr. 2, The Tempest
Rondos in C major and G major, Op. 51
Variations in C minor, WoO 80
Andante Favori, WoO 57
Georg Benda (1722-1795)
Sonata in A minor (1781)
J. Brahms
Intermezzi, Op. 118
Ballades, op. 79

Louis Couperin (1626-1661)
Suite in E minor

Muzio Clementi (1752-1832)
Sonata in G minor, Op. 7, Nr. 3 (1782)

Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812)
‘The Sufferings of the Queen of France’, in C minor, op. 23

John Field (1782-1837)
Sonata in E flat major, Op. Nr. 1
Nocturne in C minor

Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667)
Toccata in C major
Suite in C major

Johann Wilhelm Hertel (1727-1789)
Sonata in C major (c. 1777)
Sonata in C minor (c. 1777)

F. J. Haydn
Sonata in F major, Hob. XVI: 23
Sonata in F major, Hob. XVI: 29
Sonata in C minor, Hob, XVI: 20
Sonata in B minor, Hob. XVI: 32
Sonata in C major, Hob, XVI: 48
Sonata in E flat, Hob, XVI: 49
Sonata in E flat, Hob, XVI: 52
Sonata in G minor, Hob, XVI: 44
Sonata in D major, Hob, XVI: 51
‘Seven Last Words’, arrangement for solo Keyboard
Variations in F minor, Hob. XVII: 6

Johann Kasper Kerll (1627-1693)
Toccata in G minor
Toccata in D minor
Passacaglia in D minor

Leopold Kozeluch (1747-1818)
Sonata in D minor (1786)
Sonata in F major

Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792)
Sonata in E flat major
Sonata in E major

W. A. Mozart
Sonata No. 1 in C major, K. 279 (Munich, Summer 1774
Sonata No. 2 in F major, K. 280 (Munich, Summer 1774)
Sonata No. 3 in B-flat major, K. 281 (Munich, Summer 1774)
Sonata No. 4 in E-flat major, K. 282 (Munich, Summer 1774)
Sonata No. 5 in G major, K. 283 (Munich, Summer 1774)
Sonata No. 6 in D major, K. 284 (Munich, February–March 1775)
Sonata No. 7 in C major, K. 309 (Mannheim, Nov. 8 1777)
Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310 (Paris, Summer 1778)
Sonata No. 9 in D major, K. 311 (Mannheim, Nov 1777)
Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330 (1782)
Sonata No. 11 "Turkish March" in A major, K. 331 (1783)
Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332 (1783)
Sonata No. 13 in B-flat major, K. 333 (1783)
Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457 (Vienna, Oct. 14, 1784)
Sonata No. 15 in F major, K. 533/494 (Vienna, Jan. 3, 1788)
Sonata No. 16 in C major, K. 545 (Vienna, Jun. 26, 1788)
Sonata No. 17 in B-flat major, K. 570 (Vienna, February, 1789)
Sonata No. 18 in D major, K. 576 (Vienna, July 1789)
Klavierstück in F, K. 33b (Zurich, 30 September 1766)
Fantasy & Fugue in C major, K. 394 (Vienna, 1782)
Fantasy in C minor, K. 396 (Vienna, 1782)
Fantasy in D minor
Fantasy in C minor, K. 475 (Vienna, May 20, 1785)
Rondo in D major, K. 485
Rondo in F major, K. 494 (finale to K. 533 above initially published alone)
Rondo in A minor, K. 511
Adagio for Piano in B minor, K. 540 (Vienna, 1788)
12 Variations in C major on "Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman", K. 265
6 Variations in F major on "Salve tu, Domine", K. 398
10 Variations in G major on the aria "Unser dummer Pöbel meint", K. 455
9 Variations in D major on a Menuet by Jean-Pierre Duport, K 573

D. Scarlatti
Selected Sonatas

F. Schubert
Sonata in E flat, D. 568
Sonata in A major, D. 959
Sonata in B flat, D. 960
4 Impromptus, Op. 90, D. 899
‘Moment Musicaux’, D. 780
Adagio in G, D. 178
Allegretto in C minor, D. 915

Johann Schobert (c. 1720-1767)
Sonata in D minor

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Mitsunaka Hall, KAWANISHI

BACH Sonata No.3 in E major, BWV 1016
BACH Sonata for solo violin No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003
Interval
BACH Sonata No.1 in B minor, BWV1014
BACH Toccata in D minor, BWV 913 (Cembalo solo)
BACH Sonata no.6 for violin and harpsichord in G major, BWV 1019

Isabelle Faust, violin

Mito-Geijutsukan Hall, MITO

BACH Sonata No.3 in E major, BWV 1016
BACH Sonata for solo violin No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003
Interval
BACH Sonata No.1 in B minor, BWV1014
BACH Toccata in D minor, BWV 913 (Cembalo solo)
BACH Sonata no.6 for violin and harpsichord in G major, BWV 1019

Isabelle Faust, violin

Sainokuni-Geijutsu Gekijo Hall, SAITAMA

BACH Sonata No.3 in E major, BWV 1016
BACH Sonata for solo violin No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003
Interval
BACH Sonata No.1 in B minor, BWV1014
BACH Toccata in D minor, BWV 913 (Cembalo solo)
BACH Sonata no.6 for violin and harpsichord in G major, BWV 1019

Isabelle Faust, violin

Oji Hall, TOKYO

BACH Sonata No.4 in C minor for violin & harpsichord, BWV 1017
FROBERGER Partita in C major, for solo harpsichord BWV 612a
BACH Sonata No.5 in F minor for violin & harpsichord, BWV 1018
Interval
BIBER Sonata representativa for violin & continuo
BIBER Passacaglia for solo violin
BACH Sonata No.2 in A major for violin & harpsichord, BWV 1015

Isabelle Faust, violin

Oji Hall, TOKYO

BACH Sonata No.3 in E major, BWV 1016
BACH Sonata for solo violin No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003
Interval
BACH Sonata No.1 in B minor, BWV1014
BACH Toccata in D minor, BWV 913 (Cembalo solo)
BACH Sonata no.6 for violin and harpsichord in G major, BWV 1019

Isabelle Faust, violin

Zankel Hall, NEW YORK

BEETHOVEN Rondo No.1 in C major and No.2 in G major, Op.51
BEETHOVEN Sonata in D major, Op.10, No.3
Interval
HAYDN Variations in F minor, Hob.XVII:6
BEETHOVEN Sonata in C minor, Op.13, ‘Pathétique’

Yale University, NEW HAVEN

BEETHOVEN Rondo No.1 in C major and No.2 in G major, Op.51
BEETHOVEN Sonata in D major, Op.10, No.3
Interval
HAYDN Variations in F minor, Hob.XVII:6
BEETHOVEN Sonata in C minor, Op.13, ‘Pathétique’

Queen's Hall Edinburgh, EDINBURGH

MOZART Quintet for piano and winds in E flat major, K.452
MOZART Rondo in A minor, K.511 or Fantasie in C minor, K.475
Interval
BEETHOVEN Duo for clarinet and bassoon
BEETHOVEN Quintet for piano and winds in E flat major, Op.16

Robin Williams, oboe
Maximiliano Martín, clarinet
Peter Whelan, bassoon
Alec Frank-Gemmill, horn

De Doelen, ROTTERDAM

SCHUBERT
Suleika D720
Die Sterne D939
So laast mich scheinen D877/3
Adagio in G D178
Allegretto in C D915
Der Winterabend D938
Im Walde D708
Viola D786
Sonata in A D845
Der Einsame (Wenn meine Grillen schwirren) D800
Der Tod und das Mädchen D531
Der Musensohn D764

Anne Sofie von Otter, soprano

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See Kristian Bezuidenhout in action

Interviews

Press

BEETHOVEN

Duo recital 27 June 2016

With Matthias Goerne, Wigmore Hall

"Currently on fine form, Goerne sang with fine lyrical warmth. Beethoven could be notoriously unkind to singers and the vast span of Die Ehre Gottes aus der Natur pushed him a bit in his upper registers. But elsewhere, lines were immaculately sustained and shaped, texts subtly nuanced. Adelaide was breathtaking. An die ferne Geliebte brought with it a wonderful range of muted vocal colour. Playing a copy of an 1824 fortepiano, Bezuidenhout emphasised the sparse yet emotionally telling quality of Beethoven’s piano writing. A beautiful, thoughtful and thought-provoking evening." Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 28 June 2016
"... an intense, impassioned evening in which Kristian Bezuidenhout’s fortepiano was as revelatory as Matthias Goerne’s baritone. For those who know Beethoven’s songs in the Fischer-Dieskau / Demus recording, it will have come as no surprise that the fortepiano blends wonderfully with the bass-baritone voice, but this recital made it seem as though there really was no other way to present these touching, melancholy and deeply reflective songs... Bezuidenhout’s playing of the feather-light accompaniment to these lines was a joy." Melanie Eskenazi, Music OHM, 28 June 2016

Recital 09 & 11 June 2016

Berkeley Festival & Exhibition

"Bezuidenhout’s playing displayed fantastic technique and a flair for subtle, refined interpretation. In his program for this recital, Bezuidenhout again featured the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He began the recital with an early Mozart work, the Klavierstück in F Major, K. 33b. This was a bouncy, bumptious piece, brief in length but full of youthful high spirits." James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet, 10 June 2016
"Throughout this final work, Rachel Podger and Kristian Bezuidenhout teamed up beautifully to complement one another in an outstanding display of Baroque concertizing." James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily Planet, 24 June 2016

Bach

Duo recital 12 April 2016

With Isabelle Faust, Wigmore Hall

"The singing lines of the mellow third sonata in E were especially finely achieved, but the panache and lightness of the sixth sonata in G, in which the harpsichord has a fully formed and extended solo, was a constant reminder that dance is never far away in a set of Bach sonatas that require precisely the partnership of equals that these players provided." (Five stars Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 13 April 2016

Concert 04 March 2016

With Boston Baroque, Jordan Hall

" Where in the first movement the orchestra was earnest, Bezuidenhout was mischievous, hopscotching  through the initial falling motif and improvising a searching cadenza. In the hymn-like Adagio, he tamed the orchestra’s ominous outbursts, much the way the piano does in the Andante of Beethoven’s Fourth, but then he dashed away cheekily in the Rondo finale." Martin Pearlman, Boston Globe, 5 March 2016
"Bezuidenhout chose to improvise his own cadenza, alternating introspective musings on thematic material with dizzying virtuosic display. The second movement, Adagio, offered a different kind of virtuosity: the ornamentation of a singing line with complex arabesques while maintaining melodic coherence throughout."
Virginia Newes, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 6 March 2016

Concert 06 February 2016

With the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, First Congregational Church of Berkeley

"Throughout this 23rd Piano Concerto, the delicate sonority of the fortepiano, as opposed to the fuller, larger sonority of the modern piano,  offered us the opportunity to hear this work the way it would have sounded in Mozart’s day; and Kristian Bezuidenhout gave us a brilliant,  memorable performance." James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily PLanet, 16 February 2016
"Throughout this 23rd Piano Concerto, the delicate sonority of the fortepiano, as opposed to the fuller, larger sonority of the modern piano,  offered us the opportunity to hear this work the way it would have sounded in Mozart’s day; and Kristian Bezuidenhout gave us a brilliant,  memorable performance." James Roy MacBean, The Berkeley Daily PLanet, 16 February 2016

Concert 05 February 2016

With the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Herbst Theatre

"Bezuidenhout’s presence at the keyboard was almost like the still center of the universe. The result was familiar Mozart given an alternative  reading that rose to a new height through a well-calculated disposition of understatement." Stephen Smoliar, Examiner.com 6 February 2016

Concert 08 January 2016

Wigmore Hall

"....It was in fact a fortepiano, a species sometimes considered a clattering relic of history. Yet in the hands of Kristian Bezuidenhout, soloist and director of this English Concert evening, the beautiful, modern reproduction he played didn’t clatter at all. Quickly responsive to infinite degrees of touch, it sang nobly and firmly, whispered sweet nothings, pranced like a pixie, or dazzled us with filigree lace." (five stars) Geoff Brown, The Times, 12 January 2016
"Mozart’s Symphony No. 15 (1772) is delightful ... Bezuidenhout’s take is that the opening Allegro has a definite “con brio” appended to it. Breezy yet with a nicely gentile contrasting section in the exposition and an effective chain of suspensions later on, the first movement certainly invigorated..." Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International, 10 January 2016

MOZART

CD Recording Keyboard Music Vol 8&9

Harmonia Mundi

"Articulation sparkles and ornaments are neat; slow movements sing like arias and he has fun giving weight to the Rondo themes; virtuosity buzzes under the surface but never becomes the focal point. On his modern keyboard – a Czech copy of an 1805 Viennese instrument – the sound is sweet, nutty and declamatory. Above all, Bezuidenhout knows how to make a fortepiano sing." (five stars) Kate Molleson, The Guardian, 14 January 2016
"Mr. Bezuidenhout gives articulate and sensitive performances of the charming early Sonata in F (K. 280) and the elaborate late Sonata in D (K. 576). There are wonderful accounts of three sets of variations, as well as the Suite in C (K. 399), a piece clearly inspired by Handel. My favorite is the astounding little Gigue in G (K. 574), a minute and a half of ingeniously intricate yet coyly playful counterpoint." Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 16 December 2015
"Bezuidenhout is a great fortepiano player, he really understands what the different construction and string layout means for timbre and sustain, and has exceptional command of tone and color in all registers (one of the charms of the instrument is that the sound varies depending on how hight or low the pitch is). He is also a great Mozart player." Recording of the Week George Grella, The Big City Blog, 16 March 2016
"Kristian Bezuidenhout has staked a claim to an important and well-known swath of the canonic repertory and made it entirely his own. The music he so happily interprets (or perhaps “inhabits” is the correct word) is the piano music of Mozart, played on modern replicas of instruments that the composer would have recognized." Tom Huizenga & Patrick Rucker, The Washington Post, 01 April 2016
"These two volumes are well programmed with plenty of contrasting pieces that make listening through their entirety highly enjoyable. The familiar Sonata in C Major K545 opens the set and is striking for the degree of clarity and articulation Bezuidenhout is able to express at this keyboard. He plays the Gigue in G Major K574 with an incisive angularity applied to both the rhythmic patterns and the intervallic leaps that must have delighted Mozart in writing them" The Whole Note, April 2016
"With him at the wheel, lively wit – so much more readily at hand with a fortepiano and its quicksilver, pebbly short notes – comes to the fore aplenty. Perhaps said second volume, packed with favorites, is the better place to start, but what a way to finish this cycle, this is!" Jens F. Laurson, Forbesm 9 March 2016

Concert 21 November 2015

Wisconsin Lutheran College

"He created impeccably even, fast, running passages and artful dynamic shifts that included some stunningly soft playing. He brought a surprising fullness of sound from the instrument through a fast arpeggiation of chords and created a beautifully balanced sound. But it was the musical depth and freedom with which he played that really sold the music. He used rubato freely to sculpt phrases, and was unafraid of a moment of silence here and there to emphasize the end of a section or an idea." Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 November 2015

Concert 20 November 2015

The Logan Center, Chicago

"The fortepiano, immediate parent of the modern piano is not an instrument noted for dynamism or emotive power. Under the fleet fingers of an artist of the caliber of the South African-born keyboardist Kristian Bezuidenhout, however, this reputation will need to be revised permanently.
     Bringing the instrument front and center to Hyde Park’s Logan Center for the Arts Friday night. Bezuidenhout’s recital for the University of Chicago Presents series proved revelatory. The small, almost toy-like wooden object dominated by the tall figure of the young musician gave out passionate and dramatic renderings that were totally unexpected and quite gripping in music generally thought of as merely formal and elegant with little opportunity for contrast or drama" Gerald Fisher, Chicago Classical Review, 22 November 2015
"Robert Levin’s completion of the Suite’s Sarabande — Mozart wrote only five bars — introduced a wistful, aching element that signaled greater Romantic freedom in Bezuidenhout’s playing, in the famous Rondo, K. 511, and, after intermission, the Fantasie, K. 475, and Sonata, K. 333. The Fantasie, in particular, was theatrically paced, with the addition of higher color, a wider range of dynamics and more rhetorical pauses. The Sonata’s concluding movement had a positively swooning ritard combined with hushed playing that might have sounded too precious on a modern piano but here proved full of irresistible yearning and imaginatively right." Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune 23 November 2015

Schubert

“Die Schöne Müllerin”, "Schwanengesang" & "Winterreise", 14 15 & 17 October 2015

With Mark Padmore at Alice Tully Hall

"Bezuidenhout, the fortepianist, was a revelation as a lieder accompanist. It’s not easy to steal the stage from the singer in this cycle, and he nearly did, though not by showing up his partner or drawing extra attention to his part. Throughout the evening his articulations were precise and his textures rich; at times, his playing seemed to show a greater range of color than Padmore’s singing.
But a good accompanist has to fly under the radar somewhat, and so it was Bezuidenhout’s subtlest gestures that added the most to the collaboration. He paid particular attention to the echoes of “Das Wandern” that are sprinkled throughout the cycle, such as in the opening chords of “Die böse Farbe.” The second stanza of “Die liebe Farbe” was ever so slightly more insistent than the first, and in the closing bars of “Trockne Blumen” he executed a gradual shift of color as he moved down the keyboard, vividly describing the mill-worker’s fate." New York Classical Review, 15 October 2015
"Mr. Bezuidenhout described the instrument as the concert grand of Schubert’s day and praised its “singing tone,” although his refined playing surely enhanced that quality. In passages where the piano evokes gurgling waters or howling winds through rustling broken-chord figures, Mr. Bezuidenhout drew hazy streams of sound from the fortepiano. Over all, he played with captivating spontaneity while following Mr. Padmore’s every expressive turn." Antony Tommasini, The New York Times, 18 October 2015
"In a brief introduction to his Tully Hall recital on Thursday, October 15, the tenor Mark Padmore remarked that the sense of longing encompassed by the German Sehnsucht — a word that defies easy translation — provided the link between the evening’s pair of cycles by Schubert and Beethoven, performed with keyboard partner Kristian Bezuidenhout. […] The term recital sounds too coldly objective. Certainly it fails to do justice to the sense they achieved of a “through-composed” emotional journey, without the benefit of staging or design elements: Gesamtkunstwerk of music and poetry on an intimate scale…." Thomas May, Musical America, October 2015
"With artists as intrepid and lucid as Padmore and Bezuidenhout, Schubert's art of the song proved to be an specially revealing vehicle for exploring the intersections of text, hieghtened speech, and the musical translation of feelings." Thomas May, Thomas May, 19 October 2015 19 October 2015

Recital 30 October 2015

Wigmore Hall

"Best were the closing four late Schubert songs to poems by Seidl, where emotional depth was communicated with a lightly-spoken ease. The encore, Schubert’s “Die Taubenpost” (another Seidl song), rippled a near-heavenly warmth in the accompaniment. With due respect to Padmore, this was the fortepiano’s evening." Financial Times

Mozart

Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K 466

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, City Recital Hall

"This was Mozart under the microscope, played with tiny details: exquisitely crafted phrasing, subtle shading and a lightness of touch. Rather than simply turning up the volume, Bezuidenhout used a tasteful rubato to place a climactic chord or highlight a significant transition.

It's a level of artifice which, paradoxically, made the music sound effortlessly spontaneous, like it was being made up on the spot."
Harriet Cunningham, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 September 2015
"Bezuidenhout’s own solo turn in the Piano Concerto No 20 was notable for its refined delicacy, astute timbral variety and the way his crystalline passagework sparkled as much as the subdued colours of his instrument would allow." Murray Black, The Australian, 11 September 2015
"The melodic phrasing of the music making for the program 'Mozart’s Fortepiano' conducted and played with great dexterity by Kristian Bezuidenhout was effortlessly elegant, highly expressive and shining with subtlety." Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 15 September 2015
"The first movement had a strong, emphatic opening from the Orchestra and Bezuidenhout’s impassioned playing was sparkling, rippling and luminous.

The second movement was a teasing dialogue between piano and orchestra, the piano cascading and shimmering."

Lynne Lancaster, Sydney Arts Guide, 14 September 2015
"The loudest cheer of the night greeted Bezuidenhout’s dazzling performance of the D minor Mozart concerto with its brilliant cadenzas improvised on the spot. The virtuoso’s speed and lightness of touch was matched by his attention to every nuance in the orchestral writing."


Steve Moffatt, Manly Daily/Saily Telegraph, 11 September 2015

Recital 22 June 2015

Gregynog Festival

Bezuidenhout’s touch was superlative and his musical intelligence, in terms both of detail and of larger structures and patterns was consistently and deeply impressive. He drew some ravishingly beautiful and clear textures from his fortepiano...The performance of the A minor sonata was revelatory. This is a sonata I thought I knew reasonably well, but I heard it with a new freshness and brightness of effect on this occasion. I can only compare the experience of the first sight of a previously familiar painting, now well restored, after the removal of layers of accumulated dirt and varnish or to a landscape – previously half-hidden by mist – now seen beneath a crystalline sky. Seen & Heard International 30 June 2015

MOZART

Recital

Vancouver Recital, 8 March 2015

The opening piece Sonata in E flat major, K. 282 was immediately bewitching. It drew the listener into a conversation as if between friends, regretful but not bitter. The latter movements displayed Mozart’s typical music box charm leavened with a cheeky humour and sparkle...Expressive and reflective [Mozart Rondo in A minor K511], each iteration of the theme deepens the mood and is so inventive, like the siren’s song, the listener longs to hear more. Sensitive and nuanced in touch, bold in dynamics and tempo, deeply emotional, this was a performance to remember.

Reviewvancouver.org

MOZART

CD Recording, Keyboard Music Vol 5&6

Harmonia Mundi

“He’s a remarkable virtuoso, and a dazzlingly imaginative, multi-skilled Mozartian."

Max Loppert, BBC Music Magazine, February 2015

Hearing the discs themselves, one can hardly take one's ears off the performances because they go so farinside the music and reverse much of what you thought you knew.

Gramophone 'Editors Choice', February 2015

MOZART

CD Recording Keyboard Music Vol 7

Harmonia Mundi

"Kristian Bezuidenhout’s latest Mozart piano album has a peacock flourish about it. That’s partly due to the instrument, a
modern reproduction of an 1805 fortepiano. The crisp attack and variety of tone are exceptional. Then there’s Bezuidenhout’s
ornate artistry in sonatas K284 and K310 and two variations sets: one particular keyboard sweep got my spine shivering. Put
instrument and artist together, though, and you have a perfect example of “going at it hammer and tongs”..." Geoff Brown, The Times 20 February 2015

Mozart Sonatas

Recording for Harmonia Mundi

Kristian Bezuidenhout offers joyous, deeply expressive readings of a selection of Mozart’s keyboard music, including the Sonatas K. 331, K. 282 and K. 309; the 12 Variations on “Ah, vous dirai-je Maman” and the Adagio in F. Mr. Bezuidenhout performs on a fortepiano, the predecessor of the modern piano and an instrument whose trajectory profoundly influenced Mozart’s development as a keyboard composer.

New York Times Arts Beat

Recital 21 February 2014

Boston Early Music Festival

"Mozart’s Suite in C major, K. 399, was an homage to the Baroque, yet its forward looking harmonies would have surprised Bach and Handel. Bezuidenhout’s playing was astonishingly fluid on an instrument not known for its ease of use, but he also played a kind of game of shadow and light to draw out the piece’s darker undercurrents, especially in the Courante...

A Sonata in E minor by C.P.E. Bach, again full of mood contrasts, was the prelude to Mozart’s Rondo in A minor, K. 511, one of his most quietly radical works. Bezuidenhout’s performance was masterful, underscoring the music’s persistent gloom. At one point he introduced a completely new sound from the fortepiano, giving the music an almost Debussian wash of color...

He earned every moment of the ovation he received, and he responded by recognizing the remarkable instrument he had played on. There was a single encore — the mesmerizing slow movement of Mozart’s C-major Sonata, K. 330.
330."
Boston Globe 24 Feb 2014

Bach Concerto in D minor

With Ensemble Signal

"Setting fleet tempos, Mr. Bezuidenhout played with a rewarding blend of lilting elegance and rhythmic sweep. And he brought nobility to the lyrical twists of the wistful Adagio." New York Times

Mozart Piano Concertos

Recording for Harmonia Mundi

“Bezuidenhout still shapes and shades this music with almost romantic finesse, and releases the historic instrument’s full expressive potential. In every register the sound changes: proudly growling down in the bass, bird-bright in the treble reaches, round and velvety in the middle.”
Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. The Times, 5 December 2012.

Chamber Concert April 2012

With Jonathan Manson, cello

"The Beethoven cello/piano sonata, in particular, was a beautiful marriage of these two period approaches. One could hear Beethoven's linkage with the Baroque tradition of Bach." Connect Savannah, 3 April 2012.

MOZART

CD Recording, Keyboard Music Vol 3

Recording for Harmonia Mundi

"Kristian Bezuidenhout plays Mozart on the fortepiano like no-one else. Here he performs an assortment of solo works...with all the sensitivity, expressivity, flair and stylistic integrity that has marked him out as a supreme master of the early keyboard."
Mozart Volume 3 on Harmonia Mundi The Scotsman, 30 January 2012

Mendelssohn Piano Concerto

Recording for Harmonia Mundi

"Urgent and convincing...tender and playful in turns"
Mendelssohn Piano Concerto & Sonata for violin & piano. International Record Review, December 2011

Bach Harpsichord Concerto

With the Seattle Symphony Orchestra

"Bezuidenhout wove his web of relentless precision. Its no mean trick to take a piece with almost no rhythmic variation, written for an instrument with no volume variation, and make it expressive, but Bezuidenhout pulled off this alchemy." Seattle Times, 29 October 2011

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Recordings

Mendelssohn

Mendelssohn
Concerto for Piano in A minor
Concerto for Violin, Piano & Orchestra in D minor
Freiburger Barockorchester, Gottfried von der Goltz, violin & direction
HARMONIA MUNDI 902082
Harmonia Mundi USA

BEETHOVEN

BEETHOVEN Violin Sonatas in E flat Op 12, No 3 & Op 47 ‘Kreutzer’
With Viktoria Mullova, violin
Onyx Classics 4050 (2010)
Onyx Classics

MOZART

MOZART Complete Sonatas, Fantasies & Variations, Vol 1 
Harmonia Mundi USA 907497 (2010)
Awarded a Diapason Découverte and Caecilia Prize 2010

MOZART Keyboard Music, Volume 2.
Harmonia Mundi USA 907498 (2010)
Harmonia Mundi USA