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Idil Biret

  • Pianist


Idil Biret first toured the then USSR in 1960 upon the invitation of the great Russian pianist Emil Gilels giving sixteen concerts. Over the years she made many more visits performing nearly 100 concerts in Moscow, Leningrad and all the other major cities and in the great concert halls of the country.

In the 1980s she toured Australia twice giving sixty concerts, fourteen of them at the Sydney opera House. Idil Biret has participated at many Festivals including Montreal, Berlin, Paris, Nohant, Duszniki, Athens, Persepolis, Dubrovnik, Montreal, Royan, Montpellier and Istanbul. She has played Beethoven Sonatas with Yehudi Menuhin and the Mozart Concerto for two pianos with Wilhelm Kempff. Idil Biret has been member in the juries of many competitions including the Van Cliburn (USA), Queen Elisabeth (Belgium), Montreal (Canada), Busoni (Italy), Liszt (Weimar, Germany). She has received the following awards; Lily Boulanger Memorial, Boston; Harriet Cohen - Dinu Lipatti gold medal, London; Adelaide Ristori prize, Italy; Artistic Merit, Poland; Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite, France.

Over the years Idil Biret has made more than seventy records which include the world premiere recording of the nine Beethoven Symphonies' transcriptions by Liszt for EMI (6LP/1986). She also recorded the complete solo piano works and all the concertos of Chopin (15CD/1992), Brahms (12CD/1997), Rachmaninov (10CD/2000) and the three piano sonatas of Pierre Boulez (1995) for Naxos. In 1995 her recording of the complete works of Chopin was awarded a "Grand Prix du Disque Chopin" prize in Poland. The same year, her recording of the Boulez sonatas won the annual Golden Diapason award and was selected among the best recordings of the year by Le Monde newspaper in France.

Idil Biret has recorded for Naxos the Etudes of Ligeti in 2001, the Firebird piano transcription by Stravinsky in 2002. Her recordings for Naxos have sold over one million copies worldwide. Idil Biret has played in cycles of concerts Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas, 5 Concertos, Choral Fantasy, Triple Concerto and the piano transcriptions (by Liszt) of the nine Symphonies. She also played all the solo piano works of Brahms in a series of five recitals in Germany during the composer’s centennial anniversary in 1997.