As a young pianist, András Schiff earned wide esteem for his 1980s recordings of the major keyboard works of J.S. Bach; in recent years, as part of his long-term relationship with ECM, he has gone back to Bach as a sage veteran, earning even more acclaim for his New Series versions of the Goldberg Variations (2001) and the Six Partitas (2007), both intimate concert recordings. In August 2011, Schiff turned his focus to the 48 preludes and fugues of Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier, recording both Books I and II in the Auditorium Radiosvizzera Italiana, Lugano. The performance of these influential works sets new interpretive standards. For the recording, Schiff’s own Steinway was brought to Lugano, and the production beautifully captures a masterful player and his instrument of choice.
András Schiff, born in Budapest in 1953, puts a strong focus on cyclic performances of the important piano works by the masters from Bach to Bártok. His wide-ranging discography on ECM includes works by Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Janáček, among many others. One of Schiff's most ambitious projects to date, the complete Beethoven sonata cycle was performed in 20 major musical centers worldwide and recorded for ECM in concert at the Zürich Tonhalle. In 1999, Schiff created his own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca, which consists of international soloists, chamber musicians and friends. In addition to working annually with this orchestra, he conducts London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.