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Musical World

Babette Hierholzer

  • Pianist

Biography

Babette Hierholzer has made a number of recordings with MARUS/EMI Electrola playing works by Schumann (including the recently discovered Exercises, variations on a theme by Beethoven), Couperin, Debussy, Mozart, and Scarlatti: Sonatas Vols. 1, 2 and 3. Her most recent releases were a CD of posthumous works of Franz Schubert, and "Music for Children", Kinderszenen. She performed the sound track and the double/stand-in role for Clara Wieck (Nastassia Kinski) in Peter Schamoni's movie Spring Symphony, about the life of Robert Schumann.

Babette Hierholzer has won numerous first prizes in international competitions, including the Steinway Piano Competition, in Berlin, seven times; the All German National Piano Competition, twice; first prize in the "G.B. Viotti" Concorso Internazionale di Musica in Vercelli, Italy; the Medaille d'Argent of the Festival International des Jeunes Solistes in Bordeaux, France; first prize in the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition plus the prestigious Andy Petlansky Memorial Award in Palm Springs. In February 1992 she played her New York debut recital as winner of the East & West Artists Prize for New York Debut.

Born in Freiburg, Germany, Ms. Hierholzer had her first piano lessons at the age of five with Elisabeth Dounias-Sindermann and Wolfgang Saschowa in Berlin, making her first public appearance at the age of eleven in the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin, playing Mozart's Concerto K. 488. She then studied with Herbert Stessin at The Juilliard School, Precollege Division, in New York, with Paul Badura-Skoda at the Folkwang-Hochschule, Essen and in Vienna, with Maria Tipo in Florence, and with Bruno Leonardo Gelber in Buenos Aires. She was awarded scholarships by the Study Grant of the German People and Oskar and Vera Ritter-Stiftung.

Recent performances include appearances with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, the DeKalb Symphony in Atlanta and Orquesta del Nuevo Mundo in Mexico City. Previously, she stepped in for Horatio Gutierrez in a recital in Berlin's Philharmonic Hall.

Ms. Hierholzer played the opening concert of the season with the South Carolina Philharmonic, playing Liszt No. 1, conducted by Nicholas Smith. On 11 November 2001, she played a recital at the Frick Collection in New York City on very short notice and this season she returned to perform at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, with a recital of music by Clara and Robert Schumann.

Babette Hierholzer is the Artistic Adviser to the GERMAN FORUM.