• Born 1980
Often appears with
Pianist Martin Stadtfeld specializes in Bach, in a time when there are fewer such specialists who play a modern piano. As his career has developed, he has extended his repertory forward as far as the Romantic era.
Stadtfeld was born on October 19, 1980, in Koblenz, then in West Germany. He grew up a half-hour away, in the tiny mountain town of Gackenbach. Stadtfeld was something of a child prodigy, making his concert debut at age nine after lessons with Hubertus Weimer. He enrolled at 13 in the Hochschule für Musik in Frankfurt, studying with the Lev Natochenny while attending regular secondary school classes at the Landesmusikgymnasium Rheinland-Pfalz. By the time he graduated from that institution in 2000, he had already won the Nikolai Rubinstein Competition in Paris (1997). Stadtfeld scored another major first prize at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig. That drew invitations from several Bach festivals around Europe, and then from top summer festivals around German-speaking Europe, including the Salzburg Festival, the Rheingau Music Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Stadtfeld has appeared as concerto soloist with major orchestras, again mostly in German-speaking countries (the Munich Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Dresden, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra), but also beyond (the Czech Philharmonic and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields).
Stadtfeld is perhaps best known for his recording career, which began early when he was signed to the Sony Classical label in 2003. His first recording was of Bach's Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, a confident act that had been undertaken by few young pianists since Glenn Gould. Stadtfeld has continued to be associated primarily with Sony Classical and to record the music of Bach, but in the 2010s and 2020s, his output has become more diverse, with albums devoted to Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Schumann. Stadtfeld is interested in bringing classical music to children, and in 2020, he issued the album Beethoven für Kinder (Beethoven for Children). For that Beethoven Year (the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth), he planned a series of children's concerts in schools.