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Beatrice Berrut

Pianist Béatrice Berrut is known for unusual concert programs that sometimes include her own transcriptions of orchestral works. She has appeared in major halls across Europe and the Americas. Berrut was born in 1985 and grew up in the canton of Valais in the Swiss Alps. She learned to ski when she was two and continues to enjoy the sport. At home, she heard her mother's piano playing, and she took up the piano at eight. Berrut was especially fascinated by Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 2 in B flat major, Op. 83. She also liked and continues to perform the music of Liszt, whom she imagined during his Swiss visits. As a young player, Berrut was influenced by the manual The Art of Piano Playing by Heinrich Neuhaus; the book advocated an "orchestral" approach to the piano that has influenced Berrut's style and activities. Already a talented pianist, she began studying at 16 with Esther Yellin in Zurich. In 2002, she was Swiss laureate at the Concours Eurovision for young musicians, and violinist Gidon Kremer invited her to perform at the Basel Festival. Later, she studied with Galina Iwanzowa in Berlin; both Yellin and Iwanzowa had been students of Neuhaus. Berrut went on to earn an artist's diploma at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, studying with John O'Conor. Her recording career began in 2003 on the Accord label with a recital of works by Beethoven, Schumann, and Liszt. Berrut has concertized widely, giving recitals in such major halls as the Musikverein in Vienna, the Philharmonie in Berlin, the Tianjin Grand Theatre in China, and Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago. Her concert programs are innovative and have included her transcriptions of orchestral works. She has played chamber music with Kremer, Itzhak Perlman, and others, including violinist Shlomo Mintz and cellist Frans Helmerson. As a concerto soloist, she has appeared with major ensembles, including the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in France, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana in her home country, and the Dortmund Philharmonic in Germany. In the 2010s and 2020s, Berrut has recorded a variety of repertoire for the Centaur, Fuga Libera, Aparte, and La Dolce Volta labels. On the latter, she released Jugendstil, featuring transcriptions and paraphrases of music by Mahler and Schoenberg, in 2022.
© James Manheim /TiVo
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