András Schiff, born in Budapest in 1953, studied with Pal Kadosa, György Kurtag and Ferenc Rados at the Ferenc Liszt Academy.
Schiff prefers the intimate setting of the recital and the chamber concert, and limits his appearances with larger ensembles. He also accompanies singers, including Peter Schreier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Robert Holl, Thomas Quasthoff, Juliane Banse and Cecilia Bartoli.
Schiff has conducted orchestras from the piano since the early 1980s, and has also recently begun to direct occasional performances of Bach’s choral works and the symphonies of Mozart, Haydn and Schubert. In 1999, he founded the Cappella Andrea Barca, an orchestra made up exclusively of soloists and chamber music specialists, with whom he appears in Salzburg and Vicenza. The orchestra also performed at this year’s Weimar Kunstfest, where Schiff was the pianist in residence.
The many awards Schiff has garnered include the Bartok Prize, the Claudio Arrau Memorial Medal (presented by the Robert Schumann Society of Düsseldorf), the Kossuth Prize (the most distinguished Hungarian award), the Leonnie Sonnings Music Prize in Denmark, the Penna d’Oro from the city of Vicenza, and the Music Prize of the city of Bremen.
After collaborating for many years with Decca and Warner Classics, Schiff now records for the ECM New Series label. In early 2005, his recording of Beethoven’s complete works for cello and piano won a MIDEM Classical Award in the chamber music category.