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BIOGRAPHY

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Biography

 

Markus Groh gained immediate world attention after winning first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels in 1995, the first German to do so. 

Since then his unique sound and astonishing technique have confirmed his place among the finest pianists in the world. Sharing the same birthday with Alfred Brendel, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, and Maurizio Pollini, he has proven himself worthy of their company. In 2019 Sony Classical released its first recording featuring Markus Groh performing Danny Elfman’s piano quartet with members of the Berlin Philharmonic. Mr. Groh’s previous solo recordings all won prestigious awards including “Editor’s Choice” (Gramophone Magazine), “Stern des Monats” (Fonoforum), “Recording of the Month” (Musicweb International), and “Supersonic Award” (Pizzicato Magazine). 

With a career spanning three decades, Mr. Groh has performed with over 140 orchestras worldwide. In North America those orchestras include the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra; in Europe Mr. Groh has appeared with the London Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and most of the top German orchestras under such distinguished conductors as Ivan Fischer, Neeme Järvi, Hannu Lintu, Fabio Luisi, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, and David Robertson. A captivating recitalist, Markus Groh elicits shapes, textures, and colors that one seldom hears in live performance. He performs solo recitals all over the world in some of the most important venues in cities such as Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver, Vienna, Washington, D.C., and Zurich. 

In addition to his successful performing career, Markus Groh is the founder and director of the Bebersee Festival, a chamber music festival near Berlin which in 2019 celebrated its 20th anniversary. The innovative concerts, regularly broadcast on German national radio, take place in an aircraft hangar that was previously used by Soviet troops during the Cold War. The contrast between the space’s former use and the beauty of the great chamber music repertoire inspire meaningful and memorable performances. This dichotomy also fosters unique ideas that include multimedia presentations, collaborations with stage actors, and unusual and thoughtful programmatic ideas, all of which will be expanded upon in coming seasons. Musicians performing at the festival include the Artemis Quartett, Claudio Bohórquez, Maximilian Hornung, Jens Peter Maintz, Alina Pogostkina, Wolfgang Schmidt, Arabella Steinbacher, Akiko Suwanai, Lars Vogt and many others. 

A project from 2010 in which he traveled throughout Germany by horse-drawn carriage performing recitals on a replica of the 1836 Steinway No. 1 “Kitchen Piano” also illustrates Mr. Groh’s visionary thinking. The tour was documented by the renowned German filmmaker Ralf Pleger, broadcast multiple times on German public television. The film highlighted many of the stark differences between the 19th and 21st centuries and also made reference to the environmental impact of modern society, an idea that ten years later is one of the most urgent issues facing the world. 

Markus Groh was a student of Konrad Richter in Stuttgart and Hans Leygraf in Berlin and Salzburg. During his studies he attended masterclasses of Dmitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher, Andrzej Jasinski, Vitalij Margulis, Murray Perahia, Karl-Ulrich Schnabel, Lew Vlasenko to name a few. From 1999 to 2004 and 2010 to 2014 he was professor at the HMTM Hannover. Taking over the position of renowned piano pedagogue Klaus Hellwig in 2014, Mr Groh is currently Professor of Piano at the University of the Arts in Berlin. His students have won numerous first and other top prizes at important international competitions such as Aarhus, Brussels, Ettlingen, Hongkong, Prague, San Marino, Sendai, Tel Aviv, Vienna, and some of them have published recordings on major international labels such as Naxos and Sony Classical. 

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