- İdil Biret
İdil Biret (born
21 November 1941in Ankara, Turkey) is a Turkish concert pianist, renowned for her outstanding interpretations of the Romantic repertoire.
Biret began her lessons at the age of five with
Mithat Fenmen, who had studied under Nadia Boulangerand Alfred Cortot. When she was seven, the Turkish parliament passed a special law which enabled her to study abroad, studying at the Paris Conservatoryin Franceunder the tutelage of Nadia Boulanger. She also credits Madeleine de Valmalètefor having introduced her to composers such as Brahms, whose complete works she would later record. She graduated with three prizes at the age of 15. She continued her education with Alfred Cortotand Wilhelm Kempff.
From the age of 16, Biret played as a soloist with the most distinguished orchestras in the world including the London Symphony, the Philharmonia, the London Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the Leningrad Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the
Dresden Staatskapelle, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Franceand the Sydney Symphony. She collaborated with the eminent conductors such as Hermann Scherchen, Pierre Monteux, Erich Leinsdorf, Rudolf Kempe, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Aaron Copland, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Mackerras, Jean Fournet, Moshe Atzmon, Antoni Witand Hiroyuki Iwaki. Biret also gave concerts at the festivals of Berlin, Montreal, Istanbul, Dubrovnik, Montpellier, Nohant, Persepolis, Royan and Athens.
She has been a jury member at several piano competitions: Van Cliburn (USA), Queen Elisabeth (
Belgium), Montreal (Canada), Liszt ( Weimar, Germany) and Busoni (Italy).
In September, 2006 a biography book named “Idil Biret - Une Pianiste Turque en France” was written by a French author, Prof. Dominique Xardel and published by Buchet/Chastel in France. The book has been recently translated into Turkish and published by Can Yayinlari. The German translation of the book has been published by Staccato Verlag in September 2007.
Biret's wide repertoire encompasses much of the late Classical and Romantic piano literature. She is probably best known for her Chopin recordings, which won her the prestigious 'Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin' in Poland in 1995.
In the 1980s, Biret performed the 32 sonatas of Beethoven and the piano transcription of the 9 symphonies by
Lisztin a series of concerts. In the 1990s, she played Beethoven’s five piano concertos, the "Choral Fantasia" and the "Triple Concerto". In 1997, Biret played in Germany all the solo piano works of Brahms in five consecutive recitals during the composer’s centennial anniversary. In the same year, she also performed Brahms's two piano concertos in one concert in Istanbul.
Her numerous recordings (more than 70 in 1997) include the world-premiere recording of Liszt's transcriptions of the nine Beethoven symphonies (EMI 6LP/1986), complete solo piano works and concertos of Chopin (15CD/1992), of Brahms (12CD/1997), Rachmaninoff (10CD/2000) and the piano transcription of Stravinsky’s ballet music "
The Firebird" (2003).
Her recordings of 20th century classical pieces include the three piano sonatas of Boulez (
Naxos Records1995) as well as the piano works and editions of Wilhelm Kempff (Marco Polo 1991). Idil Biret also recorded the etudes (volume 1 and 2) of György Ligetifor Naxos, which was released in 2003. Idil Biret's recordings for Naxos sold over 2 million copies worldwide by 2004. Earlier, in the 1970s she recorded in New York for Finnadar/Atlantic records works by Boucourechliev, Webern, Berg, Mimaroglu, Brouwer, Castiglioni, Scriabin, Prokofiev and Miaskovsky.
She has completed the recording of the 32 Beethoven Sonatas for her own label IBA (Idil Biret Archives) in 2007.
Awards and recognitions
In 1995, Biret’s recordings of Chopin’s entire oeuvre was awarded the “Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin” in
Poland. The same year, she won the “Diapason d’Or” prize in France for her recording of Boulez’s sonatas, which was selected among the best recordings of the year by the newspaper ' Le Monde'.
Biret also received the following awards: the Lily Boulanger Memorial Prize in
Boston(U.S.), the Harriet Cohen / Dinu Lipatti Gold Medal in London(UK) the Polish Prize for Artistic Merits, the National Knight Merit Order of France, the Adelaide Ristori Prize, Italy. In 2007 she was decorated with the Order of Merit by the Polish President Lech Kaczynski for her contributions to Polish culture with her recordings and performances of Chopin's music.
Wilhelm Kempff(Germany) “My favourite disciple Idil Biret... This genius pianist belongs to the class of elect musicians of our time.”
*Igor Kipnis (USA) “The complete Chopin set by Idil Biret can stand among the highest echelons of contemporary Chopin playing.”
*Donald Henahan (USA) “Only a brave soul and a confident technician would set out in public to play Liszt’s transcription for piano of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique, as Idil Biret did.”
*Tully Potter (England) “The distinguished pianist Idil Biret shows herself to be one of the finest exponents of Chopin’s Concertos in the world today. I cannot think of any competitor who can offer better performances than these.”
*Henry-Louis de la Grange (France) “Idil Biret, this great pianist, who in 1986 victoriously launched an assault on Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, does it again today by playing Chopin in its entirety in a breathtaking interpretation.”
* [http://www.naxos.com/scripts/artists_gallery/artist_pro_new.asp?artist_name=Biret,%20Idil Biography and discography]
* [http://www.idilbiret.org Idil Biret’s official website]
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