Ronald Brautigam completes his acclaimed series with Beethoven’s last great work for solo piano.
In the beginning of 1819 Anton Diabelli sent a short waltz to a long list of composers well-known to the Viennese public, asking them to write one varia tion each on his theme. As a composer Diabelli is now remembered most ly for the piano duets that many young pianists still play with their teach - ers, but in the first decades of the nineteenth century he was both a popular com poser and a successful publisher who knew everyone there was to know about the flourishing Viennese music business. With the completed set of varia - tions, Diabelli purportedly wanted to raise funds for the war widows and orphans, victims of the Napoleonic Wars that had raged through Europe in the first decades of the century.
Ronald Brautigam has deservedly earned a reputation as one of Holland’s most respected musicians, remarkable not only for his virtuosity and musicality but also for the eclectic nature of his musical interests. He has received numer - ous awards including the Nederlandse Muziekprijs, the highest Dutch musical award. A student of the legendary Rudolf Serkin, Ronald Brautigam performs regularly with leading orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orch estra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de France and Gewand haus - orchester Leipzig. Among the distinguished conductors that he has per formed alongside are Riccardo Chailly, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, Marek Janow - ski, Sir Roger Norrington, Marin Alsop, Sir Simon Rattle and Iván Fischer. Besides his performances on modern instruments Ronald Brautigam has estab lished himself as a leading exponent of the fortepiano, working with orch - estras such as the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik, the Frei - burg Baroque Orchestra, the Wiener Akademie, Concerto Copenhagen and l’Orchestre des Champs-Elysées.
In 1995 Ronald Brautigam began what has proved a highly successful association with the Swedish label BIS. His discography of over 60 recordings to date includes the complete works for solo keyboard of Mozart and Haydn on the fortepiano, and with the present disc he completes his 15-disc Beethoven cycle, which has al ready become firmly established as the benchmark cycle on the fortepiano. 2009 saw the start of a collaboration with the Kölner Akademie and the con ductor Michael Alexander Willens that has resulted in a series of eleven discs of Mozart’s complete piano concertos on the fortepiano. His record ings meet with critical acclaim worldwide, and have received prestigious awards such as the Edison Klassiek Award, Diapason d’Or de l’année, MIDEM Classical Award and the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Ronald Brautigam is a professor at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel.