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Idil Biret (b1941)

Born in Ankara, Idil Biret started to play the piano at the age of three and later studied at the Paris Conservatoire under the guidance of Nadia Boulanger, graduating at the age of fifteen with three first prizes. She was a pupil of Alfred Cortot and a lifelong disciple of Wilhelm Kempff. She embarked on her career as a soloist at the age of sixteen, appearing with major orchestras in the principal music centres of the world in collaboration with conductors of the greatest distinction. To many major festival appearances may be added membership of juries for international competitions including the Van Cliburn, Queen Elisabeth of Belgium and Busoni competitions. She has received the Lili Boulanger memorial Award in Boston, the Harriet Cohen / Dinu Lipatti Gold Medal in London, the Polish Artistic Merit Award and the Distinguished Service Medals, the Adelaide Ristori Prize in Italy, the French Chevalier de l’Ordre national du Mérite and the State Artist distinction in Turkey. Her more than eighty records since the 1960s include the first recordings of Liszt’s transcriptions of the Nine Symphonies of Beethoven for EMI, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique for Atlantic / Finnadar and for Naxos the complete piano works of Brahms, Chopin, Rachmaninov, the three Sonatas of Boulez, the Etudes of Ligeti and the complete Firebird piano transcriptions by Stravinsky, as well as a Marco Polo disc of the piano compositions and transcriptions of her mentor Wilhelm Kempff (). Idil Biret has also recorded the 32 Sonatas and all the Piano Concertos of Beethoven. Her Chopin recordings received a Grand Prix du Disque Frédéric Chopin award in Poland and the Boulez recording the Golden Diapason of the year award in France. In 2007 the Polish president decorated Biret with the Distinguished Service Order – Cavalry Cross for her contribution to Polish culture through her recordings and performances of Chopin’s music.

Between the Lines: Idil Biret talks to Jeremy Siepmann

Idil Biret during a rehearsal of the Hindemith Concerto for Piano, 2 Harps and Brass with the Halle Orchestra, conducted by Nadia Bouanger (Manchester, 1963)
Photo: N. Boulanger Foundation Archive

Box Set Release Catalogue Number
25th Anniversary Boxed Sets - Piano Concertos Naxos 8.501056
25th Anniversary Boxed Sets - Sacred Naxos 8.501062
A to Z Gift Pack Naxos 8.554775
Beethoven Complete Edition Naxos 8.501901
BEETHOVEN Complete Piano Concertos Naxos 8.503069
BEETHOVEN Complete Piano Sonatas Naxos 8.501053
BEETHOVEN Complete Symphony Transcriptions Naxos 8.506027
BRAHMS Complete Works for Piano Naxos 8.501201
CHOPIN Complete Piano Music Naxos 8.501501
CHOPIN Complete Piano Music Vol 1 Naxos 8.505014
CHOPIN Complete Piano Music Vol 2 Naxos 8.505015
CHOPIN Complete Piano Music Vol 3 Naxos 8.505016
Cinema Classics Box II (Vols 6-10) Naxos 8.505027
Classic Romance Naxos 8.506004
Idil Biret LP Originals Edition Naxos 8.501402
Les Romantiques Naxos 8.505059
Los Grandes Románticos Naxos 8.505193
Meditation Naxos 8.508010
Night Music Vol 3 Naxos 8.505025
RACHMANINOV Complete Piano Works Naxos 8.501005
The Very Best Of Naxos 8.502020



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Shostakovich – Symphony No. 14 - Petrenko


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