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Joseph Banowetz, Pianist

Described as “a giant among keyboard artists of our time” (
Fanfare Record Review), Joseph Banowetz continues to create excitement and receive accolades wherever he performs. With an extensive career taking him to over 35 countries worldwide, he has appeared on stages for audiences both large and small alike. Often referred to as one of the “Three Bs” for his performances of Liszt (the other two being Jorge Bolet and Alfred Brendel), this incredibly gifted and imaginative pianist’s career has spanned over forty years. In 2010 he was honored with his second GRAMMY® nomination for his latest recording. That CD featured the piano works of composer Paul Kletzki, with Thomas Sanderling conducting and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra (Naxos label). “A superb job all around, and strongly recommended.” (Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Record Review)

A graduate with a First Prize from the Vienna Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Joseph Banowetz studied with the renowned Carl Friedberg (who was himself a pupil of Clara Schumann) and also with György Sándor (a pupil of Béla Bartók). In 1992, this exceptional artist was awarded the prestigious Liszt Medal by the
Hungarian Liszt Society in Budapest, in recognition of his outstanding performances of Liszt and the Romantic literature.

Equally skilled with both orchestral and recital repertoire, Banowetz has graced countless stages across five continents performing with many prestigious institutions including the St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) Philharmonic, the Moscow State Symphony, the Prague and Bratislava Radio Orchestras, the Budapest Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony (on a twelve-concert national tour), the Beijing Central Philharmonic, Barcelona Concert Society Orchestra, and the Shanghai Symphony. Publications from some of those countries have honored him with wonderful praise as “a magnificent virtuoso, who amazed the public by his deep understanding of the composer’s spirit” (Russia’s
News – Moscow) and as “a virtuoso in the noblest sense of the word.” (Ruch Muzyczny - Warsaw)

Recent U.S. performances have included a number of notable organizations and festivals where he was the featured soloist. And this past summer 2012, he was invited to Singapore where he gave a solo recital in addition to offering master classes and was an adjudicator for the 1
st Ars Nova International Piano Competition. His engagement was so successful that he was invited to return in April 2013 for a series of concerts in both Singapore and Malaysia. Other festivals have included the International Piano Festival, hosted by Catholic University in Washington DC and the Chatham Festival (Manchester England) where he has been a regular for many seasons. In the summer of 2013, he was invited to the prestigious Lancaster International Piano Festival.

Because he is so highly respected as an adjudicator of many prestigious piano competitions, Joseph Banowetz has also made a number of guest appearances at those as well. In November 2012, he judged the Liszt International Piano Competition in Los Angeles. During the summer of 2012, he was featured in recitals and master classes in China. The previous summer, he was presented in a recital in Taipei Taiwan and played the Rubinstein 4
th Concerto with orchestras in both Taipei and in Taichung.

Joseph Banowetz has maintained a long-standing relationship with a number of performing ensembles and institutions in Poland, including the Chopin Academy and Warsaw’s Paderewski Museum and returns regularly to give concerts and master classes.

Banowetz discography is extensive with over forty compact discs recorded for various labels. In 2016, he has 3 CDs that will be released, the first one in March 2016 of piano works of Ignaz Friedman, with the 2nd one for a release date in June 2016. He also has the Carl Cherny piano four-hand concerto that will also be released in 2016, but the date has not been announced yet.

The Complete Piano works of Karl Weigl, was released in June 2012 for the Naxos label. Other recordings include Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1, the Liszt Concerti and
Totentanz and the d’Albert Concerti. He has also been a forerunner with numerous world-premiere recordings of many, heretofore, under-recorded works from the piano repertoire including Taneyev’s Piano Concerto, the Balakirev Fantasy on Russian Folk Songs, the Kletzki Piano Concerto, and the Huang Piano Concerto No. 1, and eight discs of the entire works of the Anton Rubinstein for piano and orchestra. Of the solo repertory for piano, his discs include works of J. S. Bach, Balakirev, Busoni, Chopin, Debussy, Godowsky, Kletzki, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rubinstein, Schumann, Stevenson, and Taneyev. Fanfare Record Review named one of the Rubinstein orchestra and piano series recordings as “an outstanding international release for 1993”. The German Music Critics Association gave a similar citation in 1987 for his world-premiere recording of works by Balakirev. Banowetz is currently a recording artist for the HNH International Naxos label.

Starting in 1983, Joseph Banowetz has been invited to perform numerous times with orchestras and institutions in the People’s Republic of China. Not only has he made solo appearances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Beijing Central Philharmonic, the Beijing Central Opera Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony, and the Guangzhou Philharmonic, he has also been at the forefront of giving master classes in piano pedagogy at China’s national conservatories in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In 1984, ground breaking news was made when Joseph Banowetz was bestowed the honor of the world premiere performances with the Central Opera Orchestra of Beijing and the Hong Kong Philharmonic performing Concerto No. 1 by noted Chinese composer Huang An-Lun. This was a momentous occasion in that it marked the first time a foreign artist had ever been officially invited to give both the world-premiere performances and record a concerto by a composer from the People’s Republic of China. The recording was released on the China Records and HK Records labels.

As if a concert and recording career is not already daunting, Joseph Banowetz is also a recognized author and editor on an international scale. His book,
The Pianist’s Guide to Pedaling (Indiana University Press, US) has been printed in six languages, including Chinese. He has published numerous editions of piano works for several distinguished publishing companies and is considered preeminent in this arena. And, his much-awaited book, The Pianist’s Guide to Fingering (Indiana University Press, U. S.) is due to be released in early 2013.

Joseph Banowetz has adjudicated many major piano competitions: Arthur Rubinstein Master Piano Competition (Israel), the Scottish International Piano Competition (Glasgow), the Belarussian International Piano Competition (Minsk), the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition (U. S.), the 2001 World Piano Competition (U. S.), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (U. S.), the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, and the Antonín Dvoƙák International Piano Competition (Czech Republik). He has lectured at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, the Juilliard School, London’s Royal College and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Artmúsic Escola de Música I Dansa of Barcelona, the Chopin Academy of Warsaw and Hong Kong’s Academy for the Performing Arts.

Friday, 23 February 2018 03:57