Three years before the Midsummer Night’s Dream Overture, Felix Mendelssohn wrote this amazing Concerto for (forte)piano and violin, built on the Classical model but brimming with new, even iconoclastic ideas. And yet, when it had its first performance in May 1823, the composer was aged just 14! By then he had already written around 100 works, including a Piano Concerto premiered a year earlier. It was not until the late 20th century that they appeared in a critical edition, on which this recording is based.
Kristian Bezuidenhout first gained international recognition at the age of 21, after winning the prestigious first prize as well as the audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition. He has fully explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette. Bezuidenhout is a frequent guest artist with the Freiburger Barockorchester, the Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, The Orchestra of the 18th Century, Les Arts Florissants, Concerto Köln and The Chamber Orchestra of Europe, in many instances assuming the role of guest director.
Bezuidenhout now divides his time between concerto, recital and chamber-music engagements, appearing in the early-music festivals of Barcelona, Boston, Bruges, Innsbruck, St. Petersburg, Venice and Utrecht, as well as the Saintes Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, the Chopin Festival Warsaw, the Tanglewood Festival and Mostly Mozart Lincoln Center, and at many of the world’s most important concert halls including those of Amsterdam, Berlin, Cologne, London, Vienna, Tokyo, Paris, Boston and New York.
He is a guest professor at the Schola Cantorum (Basel) and the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, Ney York); in 2007 he was awarded the Erwin Bodky Prize and the Deutschlandfunk Förderpreis. Kristian Bezuidenhout is Artistic Advisor for the Constellation Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts.