Boris Berman

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Biografía

El arte de Boris Berman es bien conocido por el público de cerca de cincuenta países en seis continentes. Sus actuaciones siempre aclamadas han incluido actuaciones con la Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, la Orquesta de la Gewandhaus, la Philharmonia (Londres), la Orquesta Sinfónica de Toronto, la Filarmónica de Israel, Minnesota Orchestra, Sinfónica de Detroit, Houston Symphony, Sinfónica de Atlanta, Filarmónica de San Petersburgo, y el Real Orquesta escocesa. Ha ofrecido con frecuencia importantes recitales y también ha participado en importantes festivales, como los de Marlboro, Waterloo, Bergen, Ravinia y el Festival de Israel, para nombrar unos pocos.

Nacido en Moscú, Boris Berman estudió en el Conservatorio Tchaikovsky de Moscú con el distinguido pianista Lev Oborin, y se graduó con honores como pianista y clavecinista. Actúa en toda la Unión Soviética como recitalista y como solista invitado con numerosas orquestas, incluyendo la Filarmónica de Moscú y las orquestas de Cámara de Moscú.

En 1973, Boris Berman dejó una floreciente carrera en la Unión Soviética para emigrar a Israel. Rápidamente se estableció como uno de los artistas del teclado más buscados, así como una de las personalidades más influyentes de este país en el ámbito musical. En la actualidad, reside en EE.UU.

Berman es un activo intérprete de música de cámara, habiéndose prodigado en esta faceta en numerosos conciertos y festivales con artistas y grupos como Misha Maisky, Heinz Holliger, Aurele Nicolet, Shlomo Mintz, Gyorgy Pauk, Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, Natalia Gutman, Tokyo Quartet, Vermeer Quartet, The Netherland Wind Ensemble y muchos otros.

Otro aspecto a destacar en la trayectoria profesional de Berman es su labor docente. Profesor de talla internacional, Boris Berman ha trabajado en las facultades de las mejores escuelas del mundo, como Indiana (Bloomington), Boston, Brandeis y las universidades de Tel-Aviv. En la actualidad, dirige el Departamento de Piano de la Yale School of Music. También imparte clases magistrales en todo el mundo. En 2005, fue nombrado Profesor Honorario de Shanghai Conservatory.

La capacidad de Berman para reconocer y fomentar el compromiso de los jóvenes talentos son razones obvias por las cuales es continuamente invitado a unirse como jurado de varios concursos nacionales e internacionales, como los de Leeds, Dublín y en el Concurso Artur Rubinstein en Tel-Aviv.

En el campo de las grabaciones, cuenta con una prolífica muestra que alcanza la treintena. Las aclamadas grabaciones realizadas con Deutsche Gramophon, Philips y Melodia fueron seguidas por 2 CDs del sello Music and Arts de todas las sonatas para piano de Alexander Scriabin y un recital de las obras para piano de Shostakovich (Ottavo grabaciones), que recibió el Premio Edison clásico en Holanda, el equivalente holandés de los Grammy. La grabación con Chandos de tres conciertos de Prokofiev con la Orquesta Real del Concertgebouw, dirigida por Neeme Jarvi, marcó el inicio de un ambicioso proyecto de grabación de la integral para piano de Prokofiev. Siendo pionero en llevar a cabo esta tarea, el Sr. Berman la ha publicado en nueve CDs Chandos con la aclamación de la crítica. Además, Chandos ha grabado los recitales de Boris Berman de las obras de Debussy, Stravinsky y Schnittke, así como música de cámara de Janacek, y – junto con la Orchestre de la Suisse Romande y nuevamente bajo la dirección de Neeme Jarvi – el Concierto de Stravinsky.

La discografía más reciente de Berman muestra la amplitud de su repertorio: un disco “de Debussy para los niños” (Ottavo), dos versiones de las obras para piano preparado de John Cage (Naxos), la cual fue nombrada la Top Recording por la BBC Music Magazine, el nominado al Grammy: Quintetos para piano de Shostakovich y Schnittke con Vermeer Quartet (Naxos), y, casi inesperadamente, una grabación de ragtimes de Scott Joplin (Ottavo). En la recientemente publicada por Naxos Colección completa de Sequenzas de Luciano Berio, Berman toca la Sequenza IV para piano. Para la grabación de las Sonatas de Brahms con el violonchelista Clive Greensmith (etiqueta Biddulph) utilizó un piano Bechstein de 1867.

En 2000, la prestigiosa Yale University Press ha publicado Boris Berman “Notes from the Pianist’s Bench”. En este libro, el profesor Berman se basa en su vasta experiencia como intérprete y profesor para analizar cuestiones de la técnica del piano y la interpretación de la música. El libro ha sido traducido a varios idiomas: la versión española “Notas desde la banqueta del pianista”, ha sido publicada por la Editorial de Música Boileau.

En la primavera de 2008, Yale University Press vuelve a publicar el nuevo libro de Boris Berman “Sonatas de Prokofiev para piano: una guía para el oyente y el intérprete”. Este libro, que se ha convertido en texto de referencia, complementa sus muy elogiadas grabaciones de este repertorio.

En la temporada 2011-2012 el Sr. Berman dará conciertos e impartirá masterclasses en Estados Unidos, Mexico, Corea del Sur, China, Turquía, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Israel, Italia, Francia, Portugal, España y Holanda.

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Críticas

“Berman shows why he’s a pianist’s pianist. Even though this is an age of spectacular pianists, there are yet relatively few spectacular musicians among them. Pianist Boris Berman is one of them. His performance…was one of those rare evenings that ended much too soon, despite the audience’s prolonged invitation. A performer with a technical polish equal to the best and a musician of a great refinement and taste, Berman exercises the kind of selfless commitment to stylistic integrity that gives composers as diverse as Beethoven, Debussy, and Prokofiev their own aesthetic space. He is not a pianist who relies on histrionics, emotional or physical, but neither is he in the least parsimonious with expression, color, or power. Without fail, he devotes his enviable technique to expressing subtleties.”
Boston Globe
“The Opus 118 pieces [by Brahms] were also exemplary: clean, carefully planned and then sensitively played, as if the pianist were in the midst of a meticulously structured reverie. Mr. Berman’s playing was technically adept and charged with energy and intelligence.”
The New York Times
“[Boris Berman has] the unmistakable stamp of the great Russian tradition of breathless virtuosity and absolute security…he proved himself capable of generating electrical excitement. On any terms, this was major piano playing.”
Los Angeles Times
“Berman seems to have absorbed the best the Russian training has to offer. There is little he doesn’t know about sonority, voicing of chords, variety of attack, and his performance of the Scriabin Sonata No. 9 indicates that he may be one of the greatest living masters of the pedal. His tone is unfailingly beautiful.”
Boston Globe
“A Prokofiev recital in the 92nd Street Y in New York] Prokofiev and Berman – a potent combination readily apparent to anyone who has been following Berman’s recordings of the complete keyboard works for Chandos… With a cool head, a warm heart, and lapidary precision, Berman defined the essential character of each score, impeccably integrating all the important musical gestures into a satisfying total picture…for a grand tour through the total Prokofiev, I can’t imagine a more observant or articulate guide.”
New York Magazine
“PIANIST KEYED TO BEETHOVEN [Concerto No. 5 with Boulder Philharmonic]. This was Beethoven the way Schnabel and Serkin used to play him. The real thing.”
The Denver Post
“Boris Berman gave a surprisingly expansive performance of the Piano Concerto No. 1 [by Bartok with the Houston Symphony, Christoph Eschenbach conducting]…His intelligent, probing interpretation was the highlight of Saturday’s concert… Throughout the work, Berman found…unexpected enrichment and that made his interpretation all the more successful, beyond the sheer virtuosity of his playing.”
Houston Chronicle
“The Schumann-Schubert double bill proved exceptional in Boris Berman’s spacious yet assertive piano playing.”
The Miami Herald
“BERMAN’S MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE REIGNS. At the end of Boris Berman’s rendition of [Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata] the audience collectively let out the sigh of relief as the manic tension was finally resolved. Moments later, many of the assemblage whistled, stamped their feet or jumped up to salute the man’s phenomenal musicality. Not only was Prokofiev’s show-stopper on the bill, but Debussy and Beethoven as well. And, through all of these works, he resolutely demonstrated his complete understanding of the widely diversified stylistic idiosyncrasies. Berman’s virtuosity was not about how stylishly his hands moved across the keyboard, but how intelligently he could articulate the shades of meaning. May he soon return.”
The Age, Melbourne
“PROKOFIEV’S LEADING INTERPRETER. Boris Berman emerges more and more as the dominant Prokofiev interpreter of our time. Berman now seems to be at the height of his faculties. He combines a sharp and witty intellect with a most discriminating emotional approach…he is the master of the long line, the deep breath, conjunction, providing a constant feeling of continuity and forward motion.”
The Jerusalem Post, Israel
“Magistral recital de Berman en el Festival de Música Cidade de Lugo – Leer Más
Julián Carrillo, El País
“INSPIRED RUSSIAN PIANIST BERMAN TREATS AUDIENCE TO SHOW OF MASTERY. Boris Berman is a pianist at the peak of his career, and his recital…gave a lucky audience to see a powerhouse Russian in full flight… It was a magnificent recital indeed.”
Winnipeg Free Press, Canada
“Beethoven Concerto No. 4 with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra] Boris Berman…hatte eine bemerkenswerte Interpretation anzubieten. Er rueckte das Konzert von der Aura weihevoller Dauer-Lyrik ab, die ihm so oft angeheftet wird. Berman legte es darauf an, dass das eroefnende Allegro moderato nicht in allzu unterschiedliche Tempozonen zerfiel, verhinderte, dass der Satz uebermaessig milde daherkam, betonte auch die Heiligkeit, Brillanz, Kraft, die in den Ecksaetzen steckt. Man erlebte einen Klavierspieler von hohen Graden mit erfreulich unverkrampfter Pianistik. Uebergaenge atmeten, heikle Lagenwechsel waren ganz natuerlich-flexibel gestaltet.”
Kieler Nachrichten, Germany
“(with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi conducting) Boris Berman… fit preuve, dans le Concerto n. 1 op. 10 de Prokofiev, d’une virtuosité électrisante, conciliant rubato et toccato dans un impétueux courant, plus slave que nature.”
Libre Belgique, Belgium
“BERMAN RECITAL LIFTS PERFECTION TO NEW HEIGHTS. Seldom do concert-goers hear such flawless musicality and perfect synthesis of technique and emotional intensity: whether Mozart or Brahms, Chopin or Debussy, and of course…Prokofiev, the audience was treated to virtuoso rendition of the highest order. The pianist’s rapt concentration was infectious and the conclusion of each work brought a sense of emergence from another universe… a remarkable recital from a remarkable pianist. In a word, entrancing.”
Cape Times, South Africa
“BORIS BERMAN BEGEISTERTE MIT RASANTEM SPIEL.”
Berliner Morgenpost, Germany
“Boris Berman is one of the most serious and profound pianist which the State of Israel “imported” (from Russia) and “exported” (to the USA.) Every visit of him is a feast of pianism in which the instrument serves the music and not the other way around.”
Ma'ariv, Israel
“Berman… is a Beethoven interpreter on the highest level of achievement, in terms of both technical and intellectual control. He has an unerring sense of rhythm, admirably clean articulation and a firm legato, delighting his audience in his understanding of the composer…”
The Daily Telegraph, UK
“Berman’s sound imagination and his ability to transfer it to the keyboard is unique, creating an intriguing world of sound- complexities which makes his performance a very special and unusual experience.”
The Jerusalem Post, Israel
“While Berman is impressive on recordings, it is in live performance that his astounding talent truly asserts itself. It was obvious to everyone in the audience that they were experiencing a power and a mastery that very few performers are destined to achieve. The 12 Preludes of Debussy, Book 1 had moments of such ethereal beauty that listeners stopped breathing, for fear of disturbing the music… His performance style is the antithesis of lesser artists who try to impress with flamboyance and individuality. There is no ego here, only the eloquence of the music, speaking directly to the heart of the listener. Bravo, Mr Berman. Come back soon!”
South China Morning Post, Hong Kong
“[with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Janos Furst conducting] Boris Berman was absolutely outstanding in the Fifth Piano Concerto [by Beethoven], the Emperor Concerto. From the first opulent bars he brought the piano to the center of attention, playing with great authority, brilliant technique and presenting the music in almost an improvisational way…One had to sit on the edge of the chair and listen to the thoroughly musical performance of Beethoven’s great drama: powerful and full-blooded in the outer movements; dreamy, floating and introverted in the adagio. It was the interpretation of a pianist who did not merely play the piano, but, being at all times attentive to the orchestra, was always completely absorbed by the music. His virtuosity was always the means, never the end in itself.”
Bergens Tidende, Norway
“…an undisputed aristocrat of the piano. Few artists have such a refined sense of sound and only the most dashing fanatic has a virtuoso technique of this order. Gieseking seemed to have been raised from the ashes in his hands… In short, Berman is a pianist who should be invited back many times now that we’ve gotten to know him. Playing of this level is far too rarely heard in these latitudes.”
Helsingin sanomat, Finland
“El piano razonado – Leer Más
Inés Mogollón, Mundoclasico.com

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Libros

“In 2000, the prestigious Yale University Press has published Boris Berman’s “Notes from the Pianist’s Bench”. In this book, Professor Berman draws on his vast experience to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation. Combining explanations and advice with anecdotes about his students, colleagues, and former teachers, he also provides many insights into the psychological aspects of musical performance and the teaching of music. Berman thoroughly examines such practical matters in piano playing as sound and touch, technique, pedaling, and articulation. He gives tips on choosing editions, selecting the best fingering, memorizing, and making the most efficient use of practice time. He gives equal emphasis to issues of interpretation, discussing ways to decipher the inner content of a piece of music. And he offers suggestions how to prepare emotionally for a performance, how to confront stage anxiety, and how to adapt teaching approaches to the individual students. The book has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Spanish.”
Named Outstanding Academic Title of 2001 by Choice Magazine
“…two things…recommend this book: the clarity of the writing, particularly in the description of the physical aspects of playing, supported by an excellent choice of musical examples, and the interpretative and educational insights in the second section. Berman has a broad range of interests and makes use of imagery from many other arts, visual, literary and dramatic. Most interesting is his incorporation of Stanislavsky’s ideas into his own teaching… Notes from the Pianist’s Bench does not replace Neuhaus[‘s book], but it does contain much of the same wisdom in a more concise language and a clearer format, making it very accessible for today’s student. An enjoyable and stimulating read.”
Classical Music, England, 17 March 2001
“A very instructive, imaginative, and stimulating book which attests to Boris Berman’s deep knowledge of the instrument, to the scope of his musical enquiry as an artist/performer, and to the creativity and dedication with which he invests his teaching.”
Radu Lupu
“What makes Mr. Berman’s book so persuasive and enlightening is his understanding that there is no one ‘method’ of teaching music; each relationship with a student is a process of discovery for teacher and student both.”
Emanuel Ax
“Whether the subject is rubato in Mozart and Chopin, pedaling in Bach, or merely the position of the thumb on the keyboard, Boris Berman deals with it comprehensively but concisely, imaginatively and realistically. The book is neither too elementary nor too advanced for any pianist, piano teacher or piano lover. It is informative, inspiring and entertaining.”
Claude Frank
“An eminently readable and enjoyable book for all who are associated with the piano, whether they be performers, teachers, or just piano lovers. Written with a sense of realism and humor, and a deep understanding of the instrument, this book provides a comprehensive, all-embracing vista of Boris Berman’s experience and creativity, both as a performing artist and teacher.”
Fou Ts'ong
“A thought-provoking, highly original, informative, and entertaining book about piano technique, interpretation, and performance. In the spring of 2008, Yale University Press hasl published a new book by Boris Berman “PROKOFIEV’S PIANO SONATAS: A Guide for the Listener and the Performer.”
Lois Svard, Bucknell University
“Good books on music are rare enough. Good books on performing are rarer still. In this admirable volume, Boris Berman has achieved something yet more exceptional. He has addressed two different readerships, more or less simultaneously, with equal success: the serious music lover and the professional pianist. What’s more, he is an excellent and commendably economical writer, and…a master of concise yet well-rounded biography. Equally concise and illuminating is his…analytical portrait of Prokofiev as a pianist… The bulk of the book is devoted to multifaceted exploration of the individual sonatas, each chapter divided into three sections: an informative and often thought-provoking  introduction to the work and its context, a more detailed analytical tour of the piece, movement by movement, and a coda labeled ‘Masterclass’, in which he guides the pianist in the finer points of interpretation.  Berman is a renowned interpreter of this repertoire and has devoted many years to its study and performance. On those grounds alone his views are worth heeding. But he airs the views, too, of such as Richter, Neuhaus, Gilels and, of course, Prokofiev himself. He also breaks new ground in Prokofiev scholarship, correcting munerous errors in existing editions. The format is clear, logical and orderly…”
Piano, England, 1st July 2008
“This new book by Boris Berman is a must read for those who care about the music of Prokofiev. It is a very in-depth guide by someone who has obviously spent many years thinking, rethinking, and playing the music of this great genius. Bravo to Boris Berman!”
Yefim Bronfman
“Drawing from a wide cultural background and vast experience as performer and teacher, Boris Berman has fashioned a remarkable guide to the Prokofiev piano sonatas.”
Christopher Elton, The Julliard School
“A lucid and originally conceived book from one of the most respected performers of this music –essential reading for the enquiring listener and the skilled performer alike.”
Jerome Lowenthal

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Galería de imágenes

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Discografía

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1.-
Prokofiev: Complete Works for Piano, Vol. 1
Sonata No. 5 (second version), Scherzo and March from Love of Three Oranges, Four Pieces op. 32, Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet (Chandos CHAN 8851)

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2.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 2
Sonata No. 7, Visions fugitives, Sarcasms, Tales of an Old Grandmother (Chandos CHAN 8881)

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3.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 3
Sonata No. 4, Music for Children, Six Pieces op. 52 (Chandos CHAN 8926)
“Pick of the Month” selection, Gramophone (June, 1991)

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4.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 4
Sonata No. 8, Four Pieces op. 3, Ten pieces from Cinderella (Chandos CHAN 8976)

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5.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 5
Sonata No. 1, Two Sonatinas, Four Pieces op. 4, Three Pieces op. 96, Gavotte from Hamlet, Buxtehude (arr. Prokofiev) – Organ Prelude and Fugue (Chandos CHAN 9017) “Critic’s Choice”, Gramophone (December, 1992)

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6.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 6
Sonata No. 3, Thoughts, Three Pieces from Cinderella, Ten Pieces op. 12 (Chandos CHAN 9069)

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7.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 7
Sonata No. 2, Dumka, Three Pieces op. 52, Six Pieces from Cinderella, Schubert Waltzes (arr. Prokofiev) (Chandos CHAN 9119)

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8.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 8
Sonata No. 9, Four Studies, Choses en soi, Divertissement (Chandos CHAN 9211)

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9.-
Prokofiev: Complete works for Piano, Vol. 9
Sonatas No. 5 (original version), 6 and 10 (fragment), Toccata, Gavotte from Classical Symphony, Juvenilia (Chandos CHAN 9361)

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10.-
Prokofiev: Complete Sonatas for Piano
(Chandos CHAN 9637(3))

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11.-
Prokofiev: Concertos Nos. 1, 4 and 5, with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Neeme Jarvi conducting (Chandos CHAN 8791)
“CD of the Month”, CD Review (November, 1990)

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12.-
Prokofiev: Sonatas for Violin and Piano Nos. 1 and 2, Five melodies, with Mark Lubotsky (Ottavo Recordings OTR C79136)

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13.-
Debussy: Pour le piano, Images, Berceuse héroique, Elégie, Six épigraphes antiques (Chandos CHAN 9294)

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14.-
Debussy – for Children – La boîte à joujoux, Children’s corner, Suite Bergamasque, Le Petit Nègre (Ottavo C59970)

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15.-
Scriabin: Complete Piano Sonatas (Music and Arts 865). Review

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16.-
Shostakovich: Sonata No. 2, Preludes and Fugues
(Ottavo Recordings OTR C38616)
Edison Classic Award,1990

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17.-
Shostakovich / Schnittke : Piano Quintets
Boris Berman, piano; Vermeer String Quartet
(Naxos 8.554830)
NOMINATED FOR 2004 GRAMMY AWARD

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18.-
Schnittke: Sonata Nos. 2,3, Variations on a Chord, Five Aphorisms, Four Pieces, Prelude and Fugue, Improvisation and Fugue (Chandos CHAN 9704)

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19.-
Schnittke: Sonata No. 1
Stravinsky: Sonata, Serenade in A, Piano-rag-music
(Chandos CHAN 8962)
Penguin Guide *** 3 stars

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20.-
Stravinsky: Concerto for Piano and Winds with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Neeme Jarvi conducting (Chandos CHAN 9239)

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21.-
Stravinsky: Petrouchka with Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Leonard Bernstein conducting (Deutsche Grammophon 429 493-2)

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22.-
Scott Joplin – Ragtimes (Ottavo Recordings OTR C70283)

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23.-
Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano
(Naxos 8.559042)
“Top Recording”, BBC Music Magazine (October 1999)

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24.-
Cage – Music for prepared piano Vol. 2.
(Naxos 8.559070)

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25.-
Janacek: Concertino, Capriccio, with Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Thierry Fischer conducting (Chandos CHAN 9399)

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26.-
Franck: Sonata for Flute and Piano
von Weber: Sonata for Flute and Piano, with Auréle Nicolet (Tudor 721)

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27.-
Brahms – Two Cello Sonatas, Schumann – Five Pieces in Folk Style with Clive Greensmith
(Biddulph Recordings 80226-2)

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28.-
Berio – Sequenza IV for piano
(Naxos 8.557661-63)

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29.-
Edison Denisov – Three Pieces for Piano 4 hands, Kuldar Sink – Four Compositions for 2 pianos with Alexei Lubimov (SoLyd Records 0333)

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30.-
Edison Denisov – Italian Songs with Lidia Davydova, Lev Markiz, Boris Afanasiev, Eri Klas conducting (SoLyd Records 0832)

 

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