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 theFreiburger Barockorchester, Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs Elysées,Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, 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 withMark 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 theDunedin Consort.
Bezuidenhout has been appointed Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester for three years from the 2017/18 season.
Text courtesy of Askonas Holt Photos by Marco Borggreve