With generally brisk tempos, a mixture of daring and wit, and a keen sense to balance emotion and intellect, pianist Florian Uhlig stands as a sort of cross between Vladimir Horowitz and Alfred Brendel. He has impressed concert audiences with his bold and incisive interpretations in a range of repertory, while on disc he has scored notable success in his traversal of the complete works for piano and orchestra by Schumann and Shostakovich. He possesses a technique that allows him to play the most challenging keyboard fare, from works by Liszt and Chopin to music of Prokofiev and Rachmaninov. But he has also scored great success in the works of J.S. Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Debussy, and Bernard Stevens. In addition Uhlig, himself a talented composer and arranger, often plays his own works. He has performed at major venues throughout Europe, the U.K., Asia, Africa, and the U.S. He has collaborated with some of the leading singers, including the late Hermann Prey, Franz Hawlata, Roberto Sacca, and Willard White. Uhlig has given master classes at major educational institutions across the U.K., Europe, Asia, and South Africa. He has recorded for Hänssler Classics and Champs Hill Records.
Florian Uhlig was born in Düsseldorf, Germany, on October 28, 1974. He began piano studies early on and gave his first recital at 12. He relocated to London (where he now resides) for studies with Peter Feuchtwanger, continued his education there at the Royal College of Music, and concluded it at the Royal Academy of Music.
Uhlig debuted as a soloist in 1997 at the Barbican in London with the English premiere of the Clara Schumann Piano Concerto. In 1998 his first recording appeared, a disc of Schubert lieder on the SWR/Uracant label with Hermann Prey. Uhlig received a European Cultural Prize in 1999 from the Fondation Européenne de la Culture.
Other awards followed and in 2001 his first solo recording was issued, a Black Box Classics CD entitled Venezia, a collection of pieces by 13 different composers, including Liszt, Chopin, Alkan, Fauré, and Uhlig himself. In 2003 Uhlig, active as a teacher since 1997, gave a lecture-recital at the Royal Academy of Music in London. That same year he debuted at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with violinist Joji Hattori in a program of works by Schubert and Kreisler.
In 2004 Uhlig's acclaimed recording of the two Shostakovich piano concertos and concertino appeared on the Hänssler Classics label. A string of other successful recordings followed, including the 2005 Dutton Epoch CD of Piano Music of Bernard Stevens and a 2006 J.S. Bach disc on Champs Hill that included the Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.
Uhlig began serving as artistic director of the 2008 Johannesburg International Mozart Festival. Uhlig's busy 2010 schedule included acclaimed concerts in the U.K., Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, South Africa, and China. Vol. 2 of Uhlig's complete solo piano music of Schumann, Der Junge Virtuose, appeared in 2011 on Hänssler Classics and generally drew high praise from critics.