Biography - GrauSchumacher Piano Duo

Not to be missed. The GrauSchumacher Piano Duo have perfected the art of piano playing for four hands. […] The decisive factor is the freedom they achieve in concert at the moment of making music. (Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher have established themselves as one of the world’s top piano duos, with a talent for putting together clever and innovative programmes. Their collaboration at the piano is evidence that the two expert pianists are nothing short of musical soul mates.

Through their performances of well-known orchestral concertos by composers such as Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Bartók, and Poulenc, the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo is always striving for new ways to extend the repertoire for two pianos and orchestra. They have, for example, initiated an arrangement by Stefan Heucke of Franz Liszt’s famous Concerto Pathétique for two pianos and orchestra. Inspired by the duo’s virtuosic and delicate playing, some of the most important contemporary composers have written new concertos for Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher, such as Peter Eötvös, Philippe Manoury, Jan Müller-Wieland, and Luca Francesconi. The duo regularly give world premieres of duo pieces in recitals, including works Bernd Richard Deutsch, Philippe Manoury, and Johannes Maria Staud. Most recently, they delighted audiences with the world premiere of a large-scale trilogy by Brigitta Muntendorf.

The duo’s wide-ranging and multi-faceted interpretations have led to ongoing invitations to international festivals and concert halls, as well as collaborations with renowned conductors such as Michael Gielen, Markus Stenz, Emanuel Krivine, Kent Nagano, Andrej Boreyko, Georges Prêtre, and Zubin Mehta. As soloists, they have played with all of the German Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as at the Ruhr Piano Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Kölner Philharmonie, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Wiener Konzerthaus, Tonhalle Zürich, Franz Liszt Academy Budapest, Suntory Hall Tokyo, De Doelen Rotterdam, and the Concertgebouw Bruges.

In September 2020, the GrauSchumacher Piano Duo performed Bartók's Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Robin Ticciati at the Philharmonie as part of the Musikfest Berlin. Further invitations in the current season include the SWR Symphony Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival, Schwetzingen Festival, and the KunstFestspiele Herrenhausen. In addition to their recital and orchestral appearances, Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher are also realizing interdisciplinary art and music projects. This season, for example, they are continuing their collaboration with actor Ulrich Noethen, with the world premiere of a monodrama based on Jean Paul's Flegeljahre for an actor and two pianists, composed by Stefan Litwin, at the Musikfestspiele Saar. For the 75th anniversary of the Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, the duo has also premiered the audiovisual fantasy Aries by composer and filmmaker Stephan Boehme.

The duo’s carefully considered programmes are also a hallmark of their numerous recordings, released, among others, on the label Neos, where they have their own series. Their most recent recordings include the CD Fantasias, with works by Schubert, Purcell/Kurtág, Mozart/Busoni, Scriabin, and Rachmaninov ("A reference recording!", Fono Forum), as well as the Concerti I-III series recorded with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin featuring works from Bach and Mozart to Adams. Their recording of Philippe Manoury's large-scale Le temps, mode d’emploi was awarded the 2019 German Record Critics' Award. The jury’s verdict? "With their inimitable delight in playing, Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher navigate a labyrinth [...]. Listening becomes pleasurable, timeless, completely in the moment.”