Gerhard Oppitz

Gerhard Oppitz’ international career began in 1977 when he was the first German to win the coveted Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv. The ninety-year-old Rubinstein himself was a member of the jury. Concert tours through Europe, Japan and the USA followed. In 1978 Oppitz recorded the first of numerous records, in the meantime 78 recordings have been made. In 1981 Oppitz was offered a professorship at the Musikhochschule Munich, which he held until 2013.

In the course of his artistic life, Gerhard Oppitz has repeatedly performed with legendary conductors such as Carlo Maria Giulini, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Colin Davis, Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti. CD and video recordings document this happy collaboration.

Oppitz has repeatedly performed complete cycles of works in concert – Bach’s Wohltemperiertes Klavier, the sonatas of Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart, Grieg and above all the piano works of Johannes Brahms. In Europe, the USA and Japan he performed the complete Brahms Sonata Cycle. At the Rheingau Music Festival he performed all of Schubert’s solo works in eleven full-length programs. His complete recording of all Brahms piano works in 1990 was followed in 1993 by a recording of the two piano concertos with Sir Colin Davis, as well as a series of seven CDs with the piano compositions of Edvard Grieg. His recording of the Beethoven piano concertos from 1995 and 1996 with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Marek Janowski is exemplary. In 1997 Oppitz’ recording of all works for piano and orchestra by Carl Maria von Weber, also with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis, was released. Recent releases include Beethoven and Schubert sonatas and a CD with Japanese piano music.

In 2009, Gerhard Oppitz received the Brahms Prize of the Brahms Society Schleswig-Holstein, previously awarded to Leonard Bernstein and Lord Yehudi Menuhin. Since 2014 he has received the Bavarian Maximilian Order for Science and Art, the highest award of the Free State of Bavaria, with which Johannes Brahms had already been honoured in 1873.

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