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 who is not afraid to take risks as well as a serious, sensitive and profoundly musical artist. Born in London in 1977, Freddy made his concerto debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 8 and further 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”.
Freddy has collaborated with conductors such as Dutoit, Petrenko, Davis, Chailly, Tortelier and Sawallisch and has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious musical institutions including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, La Scala Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Dresden Philharmonic.
Most recent concerti highlights include appearances with Taiwan National Symphony, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic, in addition to an extensive twelve date tour with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra across the UK for which he received critical acclaim:
Kempf is a pianist in a million… the incredible definition of Rachmaninov's inner filigree which emerges all the clearer for a refusal to use the sustaining pedal to blur the sound… his colossal but perfect weight simply stuns. (The Arts Desk)
Building upon successful past play/direct appearances across the globe, Freddy begins the 2017/18 season by opening the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra’s season with a seven date tour across the country. He also plays Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No 2 at the opening concert of the Romanian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest. Further concerti highlights include Bartok Piano Concerto No 3 with the NOSPR in Katowice and Grieg Piano Concerto with the CBSO.
A committed recitalist, Freddy has appeared on many of the world’s most important stages including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Milan Conservatory, Sala Verdi, London’s Cadogan Hall and Royal Festival Hall, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Sydney’s City Hall and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall. This season’s recital highlights include a debut at the Fribourg International Piano Series in Switzerland, a return to the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and recitals across the UK.
A prolific recording artist, Freddy records exclusively for BIS Records. His latest Tchaikovsky CD released in Autumn 2015 was received to great acclaim. In 2013, Freddy released a Schumann recital disc which was warmly received by the critics and, in 2010, his recording of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton was nominated for the prestigious Gramophone Concerto Award, with the associated magazine describing the collaborative duo as “a masterful Prokofievian pair”. This highly successful collaboration was followed by a recording of Gershwin’s works for piano and orchestra, released in 2012 and described in the press as “beautiful, stylish, light, and elegant… magnificent”. Freddy’s solo recital disc of Rachmaninov, Bach/Busoni, Ravel and Stravinsky, released in 2011, was praised by BBC Music Magazine for its wonderful delicate playing and fine sense of style.