Sir András Schiff Performs on the Bösendorfer 280VC

Chris Lee

The eminent pianist and composer, Sir András Schiff, completed his most recent two-year concert tour cycle in February with performances on a Bösendorfer Model 280 Vienna Concert Grand Piano. The series of recitals entitled The Last Sonatas took place from February 12 – 26 at seven notable concert halls in the northeastern United States. The concerts introduced listeners to the final three piano sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert, as Sir András presented them in three distinct concert programs featuring twelve of the composers' works.

The Bösendorfer Model 280 Vienna Concert Grand Piano, provided by Yamaha Artist Services New York was the instrument of choice for this tour by the internationally acclaimed pianist. "We were very pleased to provide this extraordinary Bösendorfer piano for Sir András throughout the dates of his U.S. tour. This is clearly a very special piano to him and he's a very special artist to us, and to pianists everywhere," commented Bonnie Barrett, director, YASI.

Sir András Schiff commented further: "The sound and tonal spectrum of the Bösendorfer VC piano are fascinating. This is truly a singing instrument, producing a wonderfully warm, resonant and transparent sound capable of making 'cantabile' in a way no other piano can."

Following its official introduction in October, the Model 280VC was named the exclusive piano of the American Jazz Pianist Competition and it has since been played in several high profile U.S. concert venues including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall in New York; Strathmore Music Center in Maryland, as well as Vienna's Musikverein and Konzerthaus and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

The handcrafted 280VC Grand Piano possesses the distinctive Viennese sound, responsive action and sophisticated dynamic response that have made Bösendorfer a beloved piano for generations of pianists, yet the instrument benefits from many new technical developments instituted during a multi-year refinement process. This exceptionally versatile concert stage instrument holds its own against the power of a large orchestra, but also has the sensitivity to offer nuanced accompaniment to chamber music.

In his performances of The Last Sonatas, Sir András demonstrated the distinctions and parallels among the three final sonatas of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. These U.S. concerts featured the exquisite Bösendorfer Model 280VC Grand Piano in performances at Finney Chapel, Oberlin, Ohio (February 12); Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Illinois (February 14); Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan (February 16 and 18); Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan (February 20); Kilbourn Hall, Rochester, New York (February 22); Strathmore Music Center, North Bethesda, Maryland (February 24); and Jordan Hall, Boston, Massachusetts (February 26).

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1953, Sir András Schiff has earned critical acclaim over the course of an exceptional career spanning more than four decades. As a prolific ECM label recording artist, and acclaimed concert pianist, Sir András has been awarded numerous international prizes for his interpretations of the works of Beethoven, Schumann, Mozart and other revered composers, as well as The Royal Philharmonic Society's Gold Medal and honorary degrees from Leeds University and Music Schools in Budapest, Detmold and Munich. He was awarded a Knighthood by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in the June 2014 Birthday Honours.

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