Markus Becker’s monumental complete recording of the piano music of Max Reger is considered ‘one of the rare, truly great achievements in German pianism of the last half century’ (Fonoforum), winning the annual German Record Critics’ Prize in 2002. Whether on the concert platform or in the studio, he sets standards in the concertos of the great masters and in such rediscoveries as Pfitzner, Reger and Franz Schmidt. His recent readings of select Haydn sonatas were rousingly received by the international press. But he also creates a sensation with the ‘freestyle’ of his jazz improvisations. In the force field of jazz, avant-garde and allusions to the classics, he generates music ‘like dust particles in a beam of light: simply brilliant’ (Fidelity).
While studying with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling in Hanover, Becker drew formative inspiration from a collaboration with Alfred Brendel. National and international awards soon followed, including a first prize at Hamburg’s International Brahms Competition in 1987. He is a frequent guest artist at Germany’s leading music festivals and performs with orchestras of the stature of the Berlin Philharmonic, Germany’s radio symphony orchestras and the BBC Welsh Orchestra. His partners at the conductor’s desk have included Michael Sanderling, Antonello Manacorda, Marcus Bosch, Steven Sloane and Claudio Abbado. Among the major artists with whom he cultivates chamber music are Albrecht Mayer, Igor Levit and Alban Gerhardt. Today he is a professor of piano and ensemble playing at Hanover University of Music, Theatre and Media.
Markus Becker will play a Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven and Jazz improvisations.