Lifetime Achievement

The great Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel, now 79, who retired from the concert stage at the end of 2008, received the Lifetime Achievement award. Writing in the Awards issue of Gramophone, his protégé Till Fellner says: “As a pianist, as a lecturer and as an essayist...his is a very important career...Some musicians are so concerned with detail that they can sound pedantic and lose the sense of line; others play with a lot of passion but miss some of the refinement. The combination of these concerns is what makes his playing so great…As his pupil you feel part of a tradition emanating all the way from his own teacher, Edwin Fischer, in which the composer, rather than the interpreter, comes first...It is far more important to him to be absorbed into the music than to let his own personality dominate, yet one can always recognise his playing.”

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