Tal & Groethuysen
• Founded 1985
Often appears with
Yaara Tal and Andreas Groethuysen have become one of the world's top piano duos, playing both piano four hands and, generally later in their career, repertory for two pianos.
Tal, born February 27, 1955, in Kfar Saba, Israel, studied in her home country with Ilona Vincze and Arie Vardi before moving to Germany for further instruction. There she met Andreas Groethuysen, born September 2, 1956, in Munich. Groethuysen, the son of noted modern architect Herbert Groethuysen, was a student of Ludwig Hoffmann and Peter Feuchtwanger. They joined forces in 1985 for what was to be a single concert, not realizing that it would turn into a lifetime's work. Both have individual careers; Groethuysen is a professor at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, and Tal has recorded several albums, including, in 2017, a disc of the polonaises of Franz Xaver Mozart. The bulk of the professional activities of both, however, is devoted to the Duo Tal & Groethuysen.
The duo made its recording debut in 1991 on the Sony Classical label with an album of four-hand piano music by Carl Czerny, and they have remained with Sony and its associated labels throughout their career. They issued Schubert's complete music for piano four hands in the late 1990s, collected into a single release on Sony in 2002, and the year 2008 brought an album devoted to the four-hand piano music of Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel. Duo Tal & Groethuysen has specialized in four-hand and two-piano reductions of orchestral works, of considerable general interest because those were the way most listeners experienced orchestral music at home prior to the advent of recordings. They issued an album of Wagner transcriptions in 2013, and 2017 brought Colors, a collection of orchestral works by Debussy and Richard Strauss, that might have been heard in Paris in the first years of the 20th century. In 2020, the duo issued an album of Reinhard Febel's two-piano studies on The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080, of Bach. Tal and Groethuysen justifiably claim "an unsurpassed homogeneity and spontaneity in their playing." Their recordings, often acclaimed for their innovative programming as well as for technical reasons, have been honored with the Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, the Echo prize of the German Phonograph Academy, and the Cannes Classical Award. The recordings have been praised for their programmatic ingenuity, as well as their pianistic transparency and the brightness of the duo's interpretations.