Pianist Oliver Schnyder has a long résumé, performing with many of the world's top orchestras and conductors. He is also an avid chamber music performer and, back home in Switzerland, has been involved with innovative concert programming.
Schnyder was born in Brugg, in northern Switzerland, on October 3, 1973. He took up the piano early, earning 1994 diplomas in both teaching and performance from the Swiss Music Pedagogy Association. He went on to master classes with Homero Francesch at the Zurich University of the Arts, settling on a performing career and earning a degree there in 1998. Schnyder then moved to the U.S. for further studies with Ruth Laredo in New York in 1998, and Leon Fleisher in Baltimore from 1998 to 2001. By that time he had begun to make an impact, winning the Pembaur Competition in Bonn in 1999 and making an imposing debut recital at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington the following year. He returned to Switzerland to make his debut appearance as a concerto soloist, with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra under David Zinman in 2002. Since then, almost without interruption, Schnyder has been a worldwide star. He has toured the Americas, Europe, and the Far East repeatedly, playing in most of the world's top venues including the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Orchestras with which he has appeared include the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields (repeatedly, on a tour with violinist Julia Fischer), and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Schnyder has also been a fixture at Central European music festivals, including the Ruhr Piano Festival, the Lucerne Festival, and the Lugano Festival, in many cases being invited back for repeat appearances. In 2012, he founded the Schnyder Trio (also known as the Oliver Schynder Trio) with violinist Andreas Janke and cellist Benjamin Nyffenegger. He has played duo repertory with such major figures as Fischer, violinist Veronika Eberle, and cellist Sol Gabetta.
In his home Swiss canton of Aargau, he has founded two music enterprises. The Piano District aims to mount classical piano concerts in disused industrial spaces, while Piano Legends was a new all-star concert series.
Schnyder has recorded for Avie, RCA, and Sony Classical among other labels. In 2017, he released The Beethoven Project, a complete set of Beethoven's concertos with the Luzern Symphony Orchestra. The following year he backed tenor Daniel Behle, a frequent performing partner, on a holiday release titled Meine schönsten Weihnachtslieder. ~ James Manheim