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Frederic Kempf (Piano soloist)

Freddy Kempf is one of today’s most successful young artists performing to sell-out audiences all over the world. He has built a unique reputation both as an explosive and physical performer not afraid to take risks as well as serious, sensitive and profoundly musical artist.

Born in London in 1977 Freddy began piano lessons at the young age of four. He came to national prominence in 1992 when he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition following a memorable performance of Rachmaninov Paganini Variations. It was perhaps his award of third prize in the 1998 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow that rapidly established his international career. For him not to have won the first prize provoked protests from the audience and an outcry in the Russian press, which proclaimed him "the hero of the competition" and his unprecedented popularity with Russian audiences since then has been reflected in several sold-out concerts and numerous television broadcasts.

Many international debuts followed including engagements at the Munich Gasteig, the Alter Oper in Frankfurt, Berlin’s Philharmonie & Konzerthaus, New York’s 92nd Street “Y”, Chicago’s Grant Park festival, Vienna’s Musikverein & Konzerthaus, Salzburg’s Mozarteum and the Concertgebouw amongst others. His immense versatility as a performer has since taken him all over the world from opening the Shanghai Concert Hall in October 2004, to recording Chopin’s Etudes for DVD in a Chateau close to Paris for BBC Television and acclaimed Beethoven Concerto Cycles in London and Sydney.

Freddy has worked with the world’s leading orchestras and acclaimed conductors such as the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis and Kurt Sanderling, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniele Gatti and Matthias Bamert, City of Birmingham Symphony/Oramo, La Scala Philharmonic/Chailly, St. Petersburg Philharmonic/Termirkanov, Russian State Symphony/Sinaisky, Dresden Symphony/Herbig, Seattle Symphony/Schwarz, San Francisco Symphony/Tortelier, Philadelphia Orchestra/SawallischNHK Symphony/Simonov, European Union Youth Orchestra/Ashkenazy, Prague Philharmonia/Belahovek, Rotterdam Philharmonic/Viotti, the Residentie Orkest/Jaarvi, Vancouver Symphony/Tovey, Luxembourg Philharmonic/Krivine and the Sao Paolo State Symphony/Kalmar.

Recent and forthcoming highlights include engagements with the Philharmonia Orchestra, several concerts with the RPO in Europe, at London’s Cadogan Hall and Royal Festival Hall, City of Birmingham Symphony, English Chamber, projects with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, a major UK tour with the Moscow Philharmonic,Prague Philharmonia, Staatstheater Stuttgart, Oregon Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Bergen Philharmonic to perform and record Prokofiev’s 2nd and 3rdPiano Concerti, New Zealand Symphony, a Beethoven cycle with the Orchestra della Toscana amongst others. A favourite to Australian and Asian audiences, Freddy will return for concerts with the Tasmania, Adelaide and Queensland Orchestras, tour Japan with the RPO and he recently made his debut with the KBS Symphony Orchestra.

A committed recitalist, Freddy has built up dedicated audiences world-wide appearing at London’s Barbican Centre, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Hamburg’s Musikhalle, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, Osaka’s Symphony Hall, Grande Teatro di Verona, Milan Conservatorio’s Sala Verdi, Zurich’s Tonhalle, Moscow’s Great Hall of the Conservatoire and St. Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall. Current highlights include return visits to the Moscow Grand Conservatory, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Conservatorio G.Verdi Milano and in October 2009 Freddy will perform a UK recital tour with a programme featuring Bach’s Goldberg Variations in leading concert halls including London’s Cadogan Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the Sage Gateshead, Cardiff’s St. David’s Hall and Dublin’s National Concert Hall.

Freddy records exclusively for BIS Records, for whom he has recorded recital discs of Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, Schumann and his most recent release includes the works of Mussorgsky, Ravel and Balakirev. This recording has already been received with critical acclaim being chosen as Editor’s Choice in the Gramophone Magazine and Geoffrey Norris writes for the Telegraph that:

Freddy Kempf here tackles three giants of the piano repertoire and conquers them with spirit and imagination. Armed with all the necessary technical resources, he is able to bring colour and well-defined character to Pictures from an Exhibition, revealing how ingeniously Mussorgsky exploited the piano's palette of sound without the aid of all those later arrangers who chose to embellish it with orchestral timbres.

One of those was Ravel, whose Gaspard de la nuit here glows, ripples and, in "Scarbo", bristles with malevolence. The bravura of Balakirev's Islamey is brilliant.

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