Bart Berman, pianist
"He is the quintessential musician's musician ... one of the premier Schubert interpreters of our time." American Record Guide
"His performance ... revealed a mature artist at the height of interpretive powers ... a deep felt identification with the style projects an impression of speaking intimately with friends of things brave, awesome and beautiful." Jerusalem Post
"Berman, who proved himself earlier on the same stage as a tremendous Schubert interpreter, showed a striking affinity with the contemporary idiom, and moreover, with the amazingly different dialects of which the idiom consists." Volkskrant
Bart Berman, an internationally acclaimed concert pianist with a wide-ranging classical repertoire, is best known for his interpretations of Franz Schubert and 20th Century music. A student of Jaap Spaanderman at the Amsterdam Academy of Music, he graduated with a Piano Soloist and a Piano Teacher degree, both with distinctions, as well as the Dutch Prize of Excellence for soloists. His piano education was complemented with Theo Bruins and a master class with Alfred Brendel.
As a soloist, Bart Berman was awarded the First Prize at the international Gaudeamus Contest for interpreters of contemporary music, the Friends of the Concertgebouw Award and four first prizes at contests for young performers. Berman recorded two solo albums: a record of Dutch Contemporaries [Golf 1], and a double CD containing all Schubert's unfinished piano sonatas with Berman's completions [Erasmus WVH 203-204], as well as many solo programs for multiple Dutch, Israeli and German radio stations.
Bart Berman gave numerous recitals at important venues all over Western Europe and Israel, at such events as the ICSM World Music Days, the Israel Festival and the Musica Da Camera Festival, many of which included world, continental or national premieres. He performed with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Jerusalem, Dutch Radio and Arnhem Symphonies, the Israel Sinfonietta and other Dutch and Israeli orchestras. Most recently he debuted in the US with recitals in the Chicago area, notably at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University.
Simultaneously, Bart Berman is extremely involved in Chamber Music. His earliest professional collaberation was with his brother, pianist Peter Berman. Immediately after winning the Gaudeamus Contest, Berman began a lasting partnership with another laureate, the Dutch flautist Abbie de Quant. Together they performed in Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Israel and Ireland, such as for the Östersund Festival and the Como Musical Fall, Radio Eire and the Israeli Liszt Society.
In Israel, Bart Berman formed a piano duo with Sara Fuxon, performing countrywide, in Germany, Belgium and for the Israeli, German and Dutch radio. The Duo Beer Sheva recorded a US published Schubert CD [Stradivari Classics SCD 6037] an album of Israeli Kibbutz Composers [Jerusalem Records], participated in a Swiss production of Frank Martin [Gallo CD 633] and five CDs by Israeli contemporaries. The duo performed at the Düsseldorf Rhine Music Days, the Israel Festival and the Kfar Blum Upper Galilea Music Days and was selected to demonstrate at workshops by György Ligeti (frequently showed on TV), Henri Pousseur and Ralph Shapey. The Council for Culture and Art awarded them with an honorable mention for the performance and promotion of Israeli music.
Somewhat after Fuxon´s sudden death in 1992, Bart Berman formed Duo 4 with pianist Meir Wiesel. They recorded a CD with highlights from their repertoire and participated in an album by Tsippi Fleischer [Opus One CD 175]. The piano duo performs throughout Israel for audiences of all ages. Current ensembles further include the Tamar piano trio, with violinist Yitzhak Segev and Julliard-trained cellist Eliezer (Louis) Rowen and duos with four vocalists: Batsheva Zeisler, Ofer Levi and Shimrit Carmi in Israel, and Tamar Berman in the US.
In greater ensembles, Berman performed in two prestigious Holland Festival productions, also published on records, and broadcasted on Radio and TV. He was a pianist for the Dutch Ensemble M, a harpsichordist for the Israeli Negev Baroque and both for the Israel Sinfonietta.
A creative musician, Bart Berman studied composition with Bertus van Lier and Wouter van den Berg. His early compositions were performed at the Eindhoven Philips Theater and by ensembles of the Amsterdam Academy of Music. Later works comprise variations, cadenzas, endings, additional piano parts and arrangements, some of which were performed worldwide. After his Four Melodies were published by the Israel Music Institute, he served six years as its editor, working with virtually all of Israel's composers.
As an educator, Bart Berman taught scores of students at the Music Academies of Rotterdam and Arnhem - and in Israel as an independent - some of which now successful pianists and composers in their own right. In addition, he taught at master classes for piano students and teachers, a workshop in creative cadenza writing, mini-courses on various music subjects. He gives lectures in such specialties as Bach´s Art of Fugue, Franck´s cyclical works and contemporary music. Bart Berman was appointed to many audition committees and juries on composition and performance.
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