Anton Kuerti a sensation in Amsterdam

(Canscene) — Substituting on short notice for pianist Murray Perahia, Anton Kuerti scored a huge success at his solo recital last month in the packed 2,000-seat Great Hall of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.  The concert was part of a series of “Master Pianists”, which presents only the most illustrious names in the piano world.

Kuerti gave an all-Beethoven program, featuring two of his most famous sonatas, Les Adieux and the Appassionata, as well as the rarely-performed Diabelli Variations.

Reviews heaped superlatives on him. Here are some from Dutch newspapers.

Trouw wrote: ‘The miracle occurred when Anton Kuerti began his superior interpretation of the ‘Diabelli Variations’. … this work is considered an unconquerable fortress by many a pianist.  Not by Kuerti, whose performance was flawless, dazzling, lively and analytical, with an unparalleled ability to link the 33 variations with each other….. After this debut [he] will hopefully be world-renowned here as well.”

According to de Volkskrant, “Kuerti played [the Diabelli Variations] so flawlessly that you could have made it into a CD.  And, much more importantly, it was more poetically refined than you will ever hear anywhere else.”

The Noord-Hollands Dagblad raved, “His passion left a lasting impression and his tone production brought out many colours and nuances. It seemed as though we were hearing a new score…The great imagination Kuerti brought to the works elevated the performance to an absolutely top level. What perfection!”

One of Europe’s top agencies, The Riaskoff management, has offered to represent Kuerti in several countries, and has already booked him for orchestral performances in March 2009.

The Amsterdam event was the second time this year that Kuerti has scored a triumph replacing world-famous artists.  On March 11, while in Boston to hear his son Julian conduct the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Kuerti was called to replace the ailing featured soloist, Leon Fleisher, in Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto – two hours before the concert!  As in Amsterdam, the response from both audience and critics was unanimously enthusiastic. According to the Boston Globe, “Kuerti is one of the finest Beethoven interpreters around …something of a national treasure in Canada.”

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