Interview - Till Fellner
Regarding his way of studying repertoire, Fellner affirms he always had some pieces in mind, and that he have tried to study one after the other. He wanted to “play the whole Well-Tempered Clavier, for example, I really wanted to play the 32 Beethoven Sonatas. Then I quite recently, I dedicated three or four years to Schumann to really study some of his big pieces, to symphonic studies, Davidsbündlertänze, Papillons. And I played again Kreisleriana in the fantasy. So there is, of course, very big repertory”.
I admire some of the old pianists like Wilhelm Kempff, Edwin Fischer, Cortot. And then, of course, Alfred Brendel. So I keep listening to these pianists (...) until now, it's a source of inspiration to listen to these recordings.
First prize in the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Vevey, Switzerland in 1993.
Till Fellner’s international career began in 1993 when he won first prize at the Clara Haskil Competition in Vevey, Switzerland. Since then, he has been regularly invited to play for prestigious orchestras, festivals and music centres of Europe, the United States and Japan. He collaborates with world-famous musicians. In addition, he has produced numerous recordings of the most important works in the piano repertoire. He has been teaching at the Zurich Hochschule der Künste since 2013.
Till Fellner’s international career began in 1993 with the 1st prize at the renowned Concours Clara Haskil in Vevey (Switzerland). Since then, he has been a sought-after guest at the major orchestras and the major music centres of Europe, the USA and Japan, as well as at numerous festivals.
As soloist he performs with orchestras like Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra. Till Fellner has collaborated with Claudio Abbado, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Manfred Honeck, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Kent Nagano, Jonathan Nott, Kirill Petrenko, Hans Zender among many others. In the field of chamber music, Till Fellner regularly collaborates with British tenor Mark Padmore and with the Belcea Quartet. In autumn 2020 he will tour with violinist Viviane Hagner. Over the past few years he has dedicated himself to two milestones of the piano repertoire: The Well-Tempered Clavier of Johann Sebastian Bach and the 32 piano sonatas of Ludwig van Beethoven. He performed the Beethoven cycle from 2008 to 2010 in New York, Washington, Tokyo, London, Paris, and Vienna. Till Fellner has premiered works by Kit Armstrong, Harrison Birtwistle, Thomas Larcher, Alexander Stankovski and Hans Zender. The ECM label, for whom Till Fellner is an exclusive recording artist, has released the First Book of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Two & Three-Part Inventions of J. S. Bach, Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 5 with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano, chamber music by Harrison Birtwistle and in 2018 a CD “Till Fellner in concert” with live recordings of works by Liszt and Beethoven. In 2016 Alpha Classics released the recording of the piano quintet by J. Brahms with the Belcea Quartet, this recording received the “Diapason d’Or de l’Année”. In his native Vienna, Till Fellner studied with Helene Sedo-Stadler before going on to study privately with Alfred Brendel, Meira Farkas, Oleg Maisenberg, and Claus-Christian Schuster.
He has taught at the Zurich Hochschule der Künste since 2013. In 2019 he was jury president at the 62nd Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano.