The 27 years of Krystian Zimerman artistic activity have been marked by regular meetings with his own dedicated audiences, which ardently look forward to every concert. Wherever his concert tours take him, in the music centers of Europe, Asia and America, he always recognizes familiar faces.
During the last 12 seasons, since he has resolved to travel with his own concert piano, he has managed to accustom his audience and concert organizers to this unusual and only seemingly inconvenient gear. Mr. Zimerman has applied several technical inventions of his own which have made it possible for him, as for other musicians, to take his instrument along on tours.
The confidence afforded by his own thoroughly familiar instrument, combined with his piano-building expertise-first acquired in Katowice and developed through permanent cooperation with the Steinway Company in Hamburg-allows him to eliminate, or reduce to the absolute minimum, everything that might distract him from purely musical issues.
Mr. Zimerman's comparatively early acquaintance with the main developments of European music-German, Russian, French and others-precluded him from becoming a "Chopin specialist." Instead, it stirred in him the ambition, which he has achieved in the last 10 years, of performing music in the place and culture of its origin: French works in Paris; Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert in Vienna; Brahms in Hamburg; American music played in New York and, in one notable instance, conducted by the composer himself-Leonard Bernstein. "If I were an actor," he argues, "I would also set myself the aim of performing Shakespeare in London and Chekhov in Russia."