Idil Biret

Idil Biret


The Turkish pianist, Idil Biret, manifested an outstanding gift for music at the age of 3. Turks called her the Turkish Mozart, and when she was eight the financially strapped Turkish Parliament voted a special appropriation to make possible her musical education in Europe. Hypersensitive to music as a baby, she gained the ability to hear a tune and reproduce it on the piano when she was only two. She had an uncanny ability to learn music in her mind without practicing it at the keyboard, delivering it perfectly formed to the amazement of onlookers. Her first teacher in France was the famed pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, under whose tutelage she blazed through the curriculum at the Paris Conservatory. She graduated at the age of 15 with three first prizes. She studied piano with Alfred Cortot and was a lifelong disciple of Wilhelm Kempff who considered her as her best student.

Since the age of 16 Idil Biret has given concerts throughout the world with major orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Orchestras, Leningrad Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Dresden Staatskapelle, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, French National Orchestra, Polish Radio Symphony, L┤Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Warsaw Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Among the eminent conductors she collaborated with are Pierre Monteux, Joseph Keilberth, Hermann Scherchen, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Alexander Dimitreev, Eric Leinsdorf, Rudolf Kempe, Adrian Boult, Malcolm Sargent, Charles Mackerras, Moshe Atzmon, Rafael FrŘhbeck de Burgos, Andrew Davis, Anthony Wit and Aaron Copland.

Idil Biret made her first tour in the then USSR in 1960 upon the invitation of the great Russian pianist Emil Gilels giving 16 concerts. Over the years Idil Biret has made more than 70 records which include the world premiere recording of the nine Beethoven Symphonies┤ transcriptions by Franz Liszt for EMI (6 LP/1986). She also recorded the complete solo piano works and all the concertos of Chopin (15 CD/1992), Johannes Brahms (12 CD/1997), Sergei Rachmaninov (10 CD/2000) and the three piano sonatas of Pierre Boulez (1995) for Naxos. In 1995 her recording of the complete works of Chopin was awarded a "Grand Prix du Disque Chopin" prize in Poland. She recorded extremely adventurous music for composer Ilhan Mimaroglu┤s label Finnadar in the 1970's, and her 1995 Naxos disc of Pierre Boulez┤s three sonatas won France┤s Golden Diapason award and was selected among the best recordings of the year by Le Monde newspaper in France. Idil Biret has also recorded for Naxos the Etudes of Ligeti and the Firebird ballet music┤s piano transcription by Stravinsky which were released in 2003. The sale of her recordings for Naxos is nearing two million copies worldwide. Biret is presently recording the complete cycle of Beethoven┤s 32 Sonatas.