• Born 1955
Often appears with
Michael Korstick has steadily built his keyboard career, rising from the ranks of a little-known but highly respected artist in the early '90s to front-rank status among German pianists of his generation. Since 2000 he has emerged as a versatile, technically accomplished, and thoroughly sensitive pianist whose Beethoven has drawn rave reviews and whose Koechlin and Milhaud, not exactly household names in piano music, have helped focus attention on undeservedly neglected composers. While Korstick is at home in German repertory, particularly J.S. Bach, Beethoven (the complete piano works!), Schubert, Schumann, and Brahms, he plays with the same authority in Russian, American, and other fare, as evidenced by his Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky, Chopin, Liszt, Bartók, MacDowell, and Barber (he gave the Chilean premiere of the Barber piano concerto in 1992). His admirers will point out that such descriptions don't convey the breadth and depth of Korstick's repertory: he plays countless solo works and 110 piano concertos! Needless to say, Korstick has become one of those tireless and prolific pianists, turning out numerous recordings over a short period of time and carrying a heavy schedule of concerts, with many performances coming in regular tours across the globe. Korstick has recorded for Oehms Classics, Hänssler Classics, CPO, and ARS Musici.
Michael Korstick was born in Cologne, Germany, on April 30, 1955. He took piano lessons from age nine and had later studies in Cologne with Jürgen Tröster. He also took instruction from Hans Leygraf in Hanover and attended master classes in Moscow with Tatiana Nikolayeva.
Korstick moved to New York City in 1976 to enroll at Juilliard. He would continue studies there with, among others, Sascha Gorodnitzki, until 1983. In the coming years Korstick would capture prizes at major piano competitions, including the Tchaikovsky International Competition and the Beethoven Competition in Vienna.
In the 1990s Korstick built his reputation largely on concert tours that took him all over the globe, from Korea and Morocco, to the Americas and Europe. In the new century Korstick has garnered particular success for his recordings: in 2005 he was given an Echo Klassik award for his ARS Musici CD of the Schubert B major Sonata, D. 960. That same year he signed a recording contract with Oehms Classics, and in 2009 was given a MIDEM award for his Oehms Classics recording of a group of sonatas that was part of a cycle of the complete Beethoven piano sonatas.