With their sublime and explosive recordings, Andreas Grau and Götz Schumacher have established themselves as the world’s leading piano duo, only comparable to the legendary Kontarsky brothers – but even in this comparison GrauSchumacher’s interpretational skill leaves the Kontarsky brothers in the dust. (Fonoforum)
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 (originally for two pianos) 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, for example Peter Eötvös, Philippe Manoury, Jan Müller-Wieland and Luca Francesconi. The duo regularly give world premieres of duo pieces in recitals, most recently works by Michael Beil, Bernd Richard Deutsch, Johannes Maria Staud, Vykintas Baltakas, and Philippe Manoury. Last season, they were particularly praised for their premiere performance of a large-scale trilogy by Brigitta Muntendorf (Kunstfestspiele Herrenhausen, BASF Ludwigshafen, Ultraschall Festival Berlin).
The duo’s interpretations are wide-ranging and multi-faceted, and have led to continuous invitations to international festivals and concert halls, as well as collaborations with renowned conductors such as Michael Gielen, Lothar Zagrosek, Markus Stenz, Emanuel Krivine, Heinz Holliger, Kent Nagano, Bertrand de Billy, Andrej Boreyko, Georges Prêtre and Zubin Mehta. Their most recent projects include concerts with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Bavarian, WDR, HR, NDR and SWR Radio Symphony Orchestras, Bavarian State Orchestra Munich, Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, as well as performances at the Musikfest Berlin, Ruhr Piano Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, Wigmore Hall, Kölner Philharmonie, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Wiener Konzerthaus, Mozarteum Salzburg, Tonhalle Zürich, Franz Liszt Academy Budapest De Doelen Rotterdam, Handelsbeurs Ghent and the Concertgebouw Bruges.
The duo began the new season by making their debut at the Suntory Hall Tokyo, and will close 2018 with a recital in honor of the 100th anniversary of B.A. Zimmerman´s birth and with a performance with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks. Other guest appearances this season include the DSO Berlin, the MDR Symphony Orchestra, the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lithuanian State Orchestra. The duo´s collaborative work with actors such as Klaus Maria Brandauer continues and is complemented by a new Schubert program with Ulrich Noethen.
Their carefully considered programmes are a hallmark of their numerous recordings, released, among others, on the label Neos, where the duo have their own series, including the CD Fantasias, with works by Schubert, Purcell/Kurtág, Mozart/Busoni, Scriabin and Rachmaninov (“A reference recording!”, Fono Forum). Most recently, their Concerti I-III series was recorded with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin to much critical acclaim.