"Kempf has the maturity and musicality with which to harness his gifts to artistic ends. He has the fearless exuberance ofyouth. He is prepared to take risks, a readiness that brings spontaneous combustion to his playing; but he has sensitivity, too”
Freddy Kempf is one of today’s most successful pianists, performing to sell-out audiences all over the world. Exceptionally gifted with an unusually broad repertoire, Freddy has built a unique reputation as an explosive and physical performer not afraid to take risks as well as a serious, sensitive and profoundly musical artist.
Born in London in 1977, Freddy came to national prominence in 1992 when he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. In 1998, his award of third, rather than first, prize in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow provoked protests from the audience and an outcry in the Russian press, which proclaimed him "the hero of the competition". His international career was rapidly established and his unprecedented popularity with Russian audiences has since been reflected in numerous sold-out concerts and television broadcasts.
Many international debuts followed, and Freddy has since travelled all over the world to take up a wide range of invitations, from opening the Shanghai Concert Hall in October 2004 to recording Chopin’s Etudes for DVD in a Chateau near Paris for BBC Television.
Freddy’s collaborations have included such eminent ensembles and conductors as the Philharmonia Orchestra under Sir Andrew Davis and Kurt Sanderling, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Daniele Gatti, Matthias Bamert and Charles Dutoit, the City of Birmingham Symphony/Oramo, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Petrenko, La Scala Philharmonic/Chailly, St Petersburg Philharmonic/Temirkanov, Russian State Symphony/Sinaisky, Dresden Symphony/Herbig, Salzburg Mozarteum
Orchestra/Ivor Bolton, Seattle Symphony/Schwarz, San Francisco Symphony/Tortelier, Philadelphia Orchestra/Sawallisch, NHK Symphony/Simonov, KBS Symphony/Tovey, European Union Youth Orchestra/Ashkenazy, Prague Philharmonia/Belohlavek, the Residentie Orkest/Neeme Jaarvi, Luxembourg Philharmonic/Krivine and the Sao Paolo State Symphony/Kalmar.
In July 2011, Freddy made his debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Thomas Dausgaard at the Sydney Opera House. A favourite with orchestras in the region, he has also appeared recently with the Tasmanian Symphony, Adelaide Symphony and Queensland orchestras, as well as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. In the United States, following previous successes with the Oregon
and Detroit Symphony orchestras among others, Freddy was a featured artist last season at the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra’s Tchaikovsky Festival, performing both concertos under Sebastian Lang-Lessing.
The 11/12 season sees Freddy embarking on a major new project, in which he play/directs the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano concertos in many of the UK’s most important venues.
Other highlights of the current season include concerts with the Bergen Philharmonic under Andrew Litton and the RTVE Symphony Orchestra Madrid under Carlos Kalmar. Freddy also collaborates with the Australian Chamber Orchestra along with violinist/director Richard Tognetti and trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth in a performance at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall. Elsewhere, Freddy returns to the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Next season opens with a major UK tour with the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra.
A committed recitalist, Freddy has built up dedicated audiences worldwide appearing at London’s Barbican Centre and Cadogan Hall, Dublin’s National Concert Hall, the Sage Gateshead, St David’s Hall in Cardiff, Munich’s Herkulessaal, Hamburg’s Musikhalle, Grande Teatro di Verona, Milan Conservatorio’s Sala Verdi, Salón Teatro de Santiago de Compostela in Galicia and Zurich’s Tonhalle. Freddy has also performed at the ABC Southbank in Brisbane, the Symphony Hall in Osaka and St. Petersburg’s Philharmonic Hall. Freddy ended his 10/11 season with a recital at Sydney’s City Hall.
Last season Freddy completed an extensive Japanese recital tour including Tokyo’s Suntory Hall; such was its success that he returns to Japan for another recital tour in June 2012. Freddy’s other recital appearances this season include Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the Sociedad Filharmónica Bilbao and the Great Hall of the
Freddy records exclusively for BIS Records, his most recent release being a solo recital disc of Rachmaninov, Bach/Busoni, Ravel and Stravinsky, praised by BBC Music Magazine for its “wonderful delicate playing and fine sense of style”. Freddy’s latest orchestral disc is a highly-acclaimed recording of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton, which was nominated for the prestigious Gramophone Concerto award and described by the associated magazine as “A masterful Prokofievian pair”. The current season sees the recording of two new discs. In July 2010, Freddy took up an invitation to participate in a recording project featuring a new work ‘Genesis Symphony’ by Tolga Kashif, performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.