Taking the musical world by storm, not by playing but by not playing, Polish pianist Piotr Anderszewski’s supreme act of self-criticism at the 1990 Leeds Piano Competition is a product of a profound musical integrity and exacting standards, qualities that have led him to make one of the most demanding works in the piano repertoire, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, almost his own personal property. Always rigorous and original in his choice of music, from Bach to Webern, his exploration of the poetic world of Szymanowski’s piano works has provided a showcase for his imaginative range of keyboard colour.
1975: Starts playing the piano at the age of six.
1987: After studying at the Chopin Academy in Warsaw and the conservatories in Lyon and Strasbourg, he spends a year at the University of Southern California. He later studies with Murray Perahia, Fou Ts’ong and Leon Fleisher.
1990: At the Leeds International Piano Competition he causes a stir when – having realistic chances of winning first prize – he stops playing in the middle of the semi-final, judging his playing not satisfactory.
1991: Début in London’s Wigmore Hall.
1999: Szymanowski Prize.
2001: First recording with Virgin Classics: Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, also documented by film-maker Bruno Monsaingeon.
2001–06: Numerous awards for his recordings, including the Gilmore Artist Award 2002, the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Award as “Instrumentalist of the Year” and a Grammy in 2006.