Tribute by Gramophone's Jed Distler
András Schiff may be the Busoni of his generation. His physically and intellectually demanding programmes grow more epic in size and scope as they sharpen in focus, from the Bach Goldberg and Beethoven Diabelli variations in one evening to Schumann marathons and volumes of Schubert sonatas. Yet for all his uncompromising vision and scholarship, Schiff is never pedantic. Eschewing received opinion and easy interpretative solutions, his fastidious attention to detail nearly always puts a fresh spin on works we think we know well. Schiff is also aware of how timbral and tactile distinctions between piano brands and vintages can lend themselves more to certain works than others. At the same time, he consistently strives to ‘sing’ at the piano. Schiff approaches the concerto repertoire as a collaborator rather than as a star soloist, and the same holds true for his work as a conductor, either at the keyboard or on the podium.