Boris Bloch

General information

Born in Odessa, the pianist and conductor Boris Bloch has long been regarded as one of the most important interpreters of classical and romantic piano music. After studying at  Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory under the world-renowned pianist and pedagogue Dmitri Bashkirov he soon built up a large and ever expanding repertoire extending from Scarlatti and Bach, the Viennese Classicists, Chopin and Liszt and covering the German and Russian Romantics to the most important  composers of the 20th century. Bloch’s detailed knowledge of the piano literature of the last three centuries, his familiarity with the entire history of music and its protagonists along with his stupendous pianism and above all things his strong artistic personality form the basis for the much vaunted depth of expression, the abundance of colour, the amazing stylistic originality and the incomparable “singing tone” of his playing, manifesting themselves equally in the careful composition of his recitals.

After graduating from Moscow Boris Bloch won several international piano competitions, including one of the most eminent awards for pianists, namely the first prize at the “Ferruccio Busoni” International Piano Competition in Bolzano, Italy,  in 1978.

Several of Bloch’s CD recordings have acquired benchmark status, especially his recordings of Liszt’s opera paraphrases, which were awarded the Grand Prix International du Disque Liszt by the Liszt Society of Budapest and the Diapason d’Or of Paris, the recording of Mussorgsky’s works for piano, which also received the Excellence Disque prize in Paris, or the live recordings of Mozart’s “Coronation Concerto” and Tchaikovsky’s third piano concerto in its complete version (the two last-named recordings appearing also on DVD along with Liszt-Busoni’s Spanish Rhapsody).

During the season 2009-2010 Boris Bloch was invited to give four matinée piano recitals in the Alfried-Krupp Hall of the Philharmonie Essen. These four programmes comprise works by Haydn (1.11.09), Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann (20.12.09), Chopin (14.2.10) and Liszt (28.03.10).

In the Summer and Autumn of 2011 Boris Bloch has again been invited to give piano recitals at the Chopin Festival in Marienbad, Czech Republic, as well as by the Chopin-Gesellschaft Taunus e.V. in Oberursel, Germany, and the Chopin-Gesellschaft in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland e.V. in Darmstadt, where he will also once again teach an international masterclass.

The Liszt year 2011 will see Boris Bloch performing at the most important Liszt centres throughout Europe: on October 19th in the Austrian town of Raiding, where Liszt was born 200 years ago on October 22nd and which is today the venue of an important Liszt festival run by Eduard and Johannes Kutrowatz; on 13th February and 10th November as part of the festivities of the town of Bayreuth, where Liszt died in 1886; and on June 24th in Weimar, one of the most important places of influence of Liszt.

Bloch’s teaching at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen likewise enjoys great popularity and recognition. In 2007 Boris Bloch was awarded the music education prize of the Köhler-Osbar-Foundation and of the city of Duisburg, the seat of the piano department of Folkwang University since 2002. At the recent XVI International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw the 4th prize was awarded to Evgeni Bozhanov, a pupil of Boris Bloch from 1999 to 2006.