• Born 1962
Often appears with
German pianist Michael Rische has been a stalwart of the piano scene in his native country since his teenage years, known as a Beethoven specialist and especially for his experimentation with genuine improvisation in concerto cadenzas. Rische was born in 1962 in Leverkusen, Germany. His father was a municipal art librarian. Rische made his performing debut in 1970 and was accepted as a student at the prestigious Robert-Schumann-Hochschule in Düsseldorf when he was only 14. He later studied in Vienna with Rudolf Buchbinder, and also took composition lessons from Milko Kelemen and Jürg Baur. Rische has made concerto appearances with major orchestras in Germany and abroad, including the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Orchestre National de Belgique, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, he has performed in Israel, China, and the U.S., in addition to major German venues. Rische's chamber music activities are of a somewhat unusual sort: He has performed in a saxophone-and-piano duet with Detlef Bensmann. He is the composer of a saxophone-and-piano piece called permanent isolation. It was with Bensmann that Rische made his recording debut in 1990, and the pair issued several duo recordings in the early '90s. His solo recordings have appeared on the major EMI, BMG, Universal, and Sony labels. Many of his early releases were devoted to Beethoven, and his 2008 recording of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37, was furnished with no fewer than six cadenzas, five from the 19th century and one of his own compositions. Rische has also played jazz and has advocated a closer rapprochement between the classical and jazz worlds. In the 2010s, he turned to the music of C.P.E. Bach, recording for the Hänssler Classic label and releasing a fifth album of three of that composer's piano concertos with the Berliner Barock Solisten in 2017. Rische has taught piano since 1990 at the Musikochschule in Cologne. In addition to technical piano issues, his classes include instruction in repertoire planning, communications, media, and marketing.