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Krystian Zimerman

Krystian Zimerman, 2004

Krystian Zimerman (born December 5, 1956) is a Polish classical pianist who has been hailed as one of the finest living pianists.[1][2]


  • Biography 1
  • Criticism of US policy 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Discography 4
    • Studio albums 4.1
    • Live albums 4.2
    • Video releases 4.3
  • Awards 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Zimerman was born in Zabrze, Poland, and studied at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice under Andrzej Jasiński. His career was launched when he won the 1975 Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition. He performed with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan in 1976 and he made his debut in the United States with the New York Philharmonic in 1979. He has toured widely and made a number of recordings. Since 1996 he has taught piano at the Academy of Music in Basel, Switzerland. In 1999, Zimerman created the Polish Festival Orchestra to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death.[3]

Zimerman is best known for his interpretations of Romantic music, but has performed a wide variety of classical pieces as well. He has also been a supporter of contemporary music. For example, Witold Lutosławski wrote his piano concerto for Zimerman, who later recorded it. Amongst his best-known recordings are the piano concerti of Grieg and Schumann with conductor Herbert von Karajan; the Brahms concerti with Leonard Bernstein, the piano concerti of Chopin, one recording conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini and a later one conducted by himself at the keyboard; the Third, Fourth and Fifth Piano Concertos of Beethoven under Bernstein (Zimerman himself led the accompaniment of the Vienna Philharmonic from the keyboard in Beethoven's First and Second Concertos); the first and second piano concerti of Rachmaninoff; the piano concerti of Liszt with Seiji Ozawa, the piano concerti of Ravel with Pierre Boulez, and solo piano works by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and Schubert. In 2006, Zimerman recorded Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle (DG 477 5413; Limited Edition DG 477 6021).

Criticism of US policy

On April 26, 2009, Zimerman vowed to his audience at

  • Krystian Zimerman at AllMusic
  • Krystian Zimerman discography
  • Biography from Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra website
  • Works by or about Krystian Zimerman in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
  • Krystian Zimerman collected news and commentary at The New York Times
  • Krystian Zimerman at

External links

  1. ^ "In praise of ... Krystian Zimerman".  
  2. ^ a b Swed, Mark (2009-04-27). "Review: Krystian Zimerman's controversial appearance at Disney Hall".  
  3. ^ (2015-10-15). "Krystian Zimerman - Biography | Artist". Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  4. ^ Krystian Zimerman, declares US boycott in protest at Disney Hall in Los Angeles
  5. ^ Gumbel, Andrew (2009-04-28). "Classical music and opera Polish pianist stops show with anti-US tirade". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  6. ^ "Piano great says he won’t return to U.S. - today > entertainment - Music". Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  7. ^ Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles (2009-04-28). "Polish pianist stops show with anti-US tirade | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  8. ^ (2015-10-23). " : Pianist Krystian Zimerman unterbricht Konzert wegen Smartphone-Mitschnitt aus dem Publikum". Retrieved 2015-10-28. 
  9. ^ Vasagar, Jeevan (2013-06-04). "Pianist Krystian Zimerman storms out of concert in protest at being filmed on phone". The Daily Telegraph (London). 
  10. ^ "Krystian Zimerman speaks : Times Argus Online". 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2015-10-28. 



Video releases

Live albums

Studio albums

Most of Zimerman's recordings have been released by Deutsche Grammophon, with which he has an exclusive lifelong contract.


Zimerman lives with his wife and two children in Basel, Switzerland, where he has spent the greater part of his life. He divides his time between family, concerts, and performances of chamber music. When not touring or building pianos, he has been editing piano editions of the works of Władysław Szpilman for Boosey & Hawkes and has written a piece on aesthetics, which was published in Poland in March 2005.

Personal life

[10][9][8][7][6] Part of his disenchantment with the USA may be that with the stepped up militarization and security at US airports, it has become increasingly difficult to bring his piano into the country. In incidents in 2001 and 2006, one of his Steinway pianos was completely destroyed and another one damaged by security staff at New York's JFK airport.[5]

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