Home > Artists > Alice Sara Ott


Recent concerts have seen Alice perform with the Münchner Philharmoniker in Munich and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, both under Lorin Maazel, and on a very successful European tour with Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Krzysztof Urbański. In recital, she had great success in London’s International Piano Series, at Chicago Symphony Center, New York’s Le Poisson Rouge, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle and Berlin’s Kammermusiksaal.

Highlights of the 2013/14 season include appearances with the Philharmonia Orchestra (Vladimir Ashkenazy), Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra (Neeme Järvi), Chamber Orchestra of Europe (Thomas Dausgaard) and tours with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Hannu Lintu), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (Vasily Petrenko) and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France (Myung-Whun Chung). In recital, she makes return visits to Beethovensaal in Stuttgart, Prinzregententheater in Munich and Vienna’s Konzerthaus. 

Alice records exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. Upcoming recording projects include a two piano programme based on Russian ballet with Francesco Tristano in autumn 2013, and which will be on worldwide tour in the 2014/15 season.


The short biography displayed on this page is for information only. For concert programmes and promotional materials please use the downloadable versions.


“…the performances and recording are terrific… the sections of motoric rhythm in [Stravinsky’s] two-piano version of The Rite seem made for the percussive character of the instrument, while some of the slower passages reveal more so than in their original garb… ‘The Kalender Prince’… provides lyrical contrast before La valse, deftly, brilliantly executed… Tristano’s A Soft Shell Groove… with its foot-tapping (literally) rhythm, is bound to find many friends among listeners and other two-piano teams.” (Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone, July 2014)

"She gave an elegant and sparkling account of the Mozart variations. Her passagework was articulate, shapely and flowing... In her vibrant performance she drew out, more than in other performances I have heard, the quirky rhythmic complexities that churn below the seemingly jovial surface of the music." (Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, June 2013)

"Indeed, what was so impressive Sunday was how she was able to channel her obvious talents with such self-assuredness, maturity and élan, drawing an impressively nuanced tonal range from the piano and achieving a pleasing musicality throughout the afternoon." (Kyle MacMillan, Chicago Classical Review, June, 2013)

“This was music-making of the highest order.” (Barry Millington, London Evening Standard, February 2013)

"Ott is a sensitive artist always in search of a distinctive timbre. Her playing vibrated with emotional fervor, underpinned by an elegantly discreet virtuosity. You may have heard this concerto many times, yet Ott guarantees something of a rediscovery." (Classical.net, April 2012)

"Alice Sara Ott is a fine young pianist...How did she acquire such mastery in her twenty-three years? Her technique was never in question; it was perfect, and what is more, she made beautiful sonorities. Her technique was used as a springboard towards making significant music. And in the second half she transported us to a higher plane. During my long life I have heard Gieseking, Cortot, Lipatti, Horowitz, Richter, Michelangeli, Schnabel, Brendel, Lupu, Perahia and many other great pianists – added to them now is Alice Sara Ott, no doubt about that." (Classical Source, November 2011)

"Ott's Beethoven is beautifully cleanly played, with subtlety and sensitivity alongside plenty of power and personality. The pedalling is minimal, and the veiled tone in the finale of Op. 53 is especially effective through half-pedalling the long phrases as is marked but often ignored, Her finger legato is pristine and the musicianship is never in question. The technical demands are superbly accomplished and whilst these are full-blooded readings they are conspicuously unhurried." (Beethoven CD - International Record Review, October 2011)

“Grieg's Piano Concerto starts big and builds from there. For some, its sound and fury signify not much at all but soloist Alice Sara Ott brought thoughtful engagement and a pleasingly warm tone to the piece. Quiet passages had a crystalline purity, and while she had ample power for the music's many tempests, she didn't use muscle just for the sake of it. In fact, her strength allowed a glorious flexibility in her rhythmic attack, so that she seemed to be playing both with and against the orchestra.” (Evening Standard, August 2011)

“The piano concerto that came between the symphonies was Grieg's, with the young German-Japanese Alice Sara Ott as soloist, making her Proms debut. While it was good to hear live the qualities that shine through on Ott's recordings – the crystalline tone and prodigious range of colour, the perfectly even, crisp technique – the Grieg gives the soloist less interpretative latitude than many concertos, and it was a dazzling encore, Liszt's La Campanella, that displayed Ott's remarkable talent most convincingly.” (The Guardian, August 2011)

“She played Grieg’s horse chestnut with a fresh, clean attack and a poetic ease that lifted her above the pretty piano dolls who can’t reach beyond technical brilliance. Ott has plenty of that, of course; but she wields her expertise with imagination and a freedom of spirit, something also apparent in her regular decision to play barefoot. Splinters must be a hazard, but she’s an artist who clearly likes to feel physically loose. There was certainly flexibility in her playing, with heroic attack when needed, though she convinced more when underplaying, with the nonchalant fingers semi-detached, or when magic was spun from the finale’s arpeggios or the slow movement’s dream murmurs. Showier virtuosity came with her encore of Liszt’s tinkling whatsit, La campanella, articulated with the lightest and brightest of touches: you could almost see the fairy dust sprinkled over the keys.” (The Arts Desk, August 2011)


Jasper Parrott
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Tuğçe Tez
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