Alice Sara Ott
Piano

“Her technique is ­dazzling, her tone ­wonderfully varied, from ­crystalline purity to powerfully raw, and the energy propelling her playing seems unstoppable.” (The Guardian)

Contacts

Jasper Parrott +44 (0)20 7229 9166
Tuğçe Tez +44 (0)20 3725 9148
Yukiko Shishikura +44 (0)20 3725 9134

Biography

Alice Sara Ott has recently debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Gustavo Dudamel), Chicago Symphony (Pablo Heras-Casado), Indianapolis (Krzysztof Urbański) and Toronto (Cristian Macelaru) symphony orchestras. She also returned to Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Esa-Pekka Salonen) and toured with the Philharmonia Orchestra in China (Vladimir Ashkenazy) and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan (John Storgårds).

Alice Sara Ott has recently debuted with the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Gustavo Dudamel), Chicago Symphony (Pablo Heras-Casado), Indianapolis (Krzysztof Urbański) and Toronto (Cristian Macelaru) symphony orchestras. She also returned to Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Esa-Pekka Salonen) and toured with the Philharmonia Orchestra in China (Vladimir Ashkenazy) and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Japan (John Storgårds).

Highlights of the 2015/16 season include concerts with Wiener Symphoniker (Pablo Heras-Casado), the National Arts Centre in Ottawa (Alexander Shelley) and London Symphony (Antonio Pappano) orchestras and Münchner Philharmoniker (Nikolaj Znaider). Alice will also tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Charles Dutoit), hr-Sinfonieorchester (Andrés Orozco-Estrada), Sinfonieorchester Basel (Dennis Russell Davies) and Tonkünstler Orchestra (Yutaka Sado).   

Recording exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon since 2008.  The latest album, The Chopin Project, with Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds, was released in March 2015 on Mercury Classics. The album reached No.1 in the Official UK Classical Chart and the iTunes chart in 25 other countries. They will take the project on a European tour in September 2015, including performances in Copenhagen, Hamburg, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Frankurt, Paris and London.

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Contacts

Jasper Parrott +44 (0)20 7229 9166
Tuğçe Tez +44 (0)20 3725 9148
Yukiko Shishikura +44 (0)20 3725 9134

Reviews

“Before the symphony, Alice Sara Ott had been the sparky, intelligent soloist in Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto, doing her very best not to turn it into a sequence of show-off pianistic tricks, or to make it seem more grotesque and bumptious than it really is. Even if he could not make the single-movement concerto an entirely likable piece, she did conjure some pristine quiet playing out of it, making its more rampaging moments as elegant as possible. Her duet with the LSO’s principal cellist Rebecca Gilliver in the third section was the quiet high point.” (The Guardian, February 2015)

“Ott's fluent fingers captured well the music's poised lyrical serenity along with the "night music" dialogs for the piano and chirpy woodwinds” (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, November 2014)

“Before the symphony, Alice Sara Ott had been the sparky, intelligent soloist in Liszt’s Second Piano Concerto, doing her very best not to turn it into a sequence of show-off pianistic tricks, or to make it seem more grotesque and bumptious than it really is. Even if he could not make the single-movement concerto an entirely likable piece, she did conjure some pristine quiet playing out of it, making its more rampaging moments as elegant as possible. Her duet with the LSO’s principal cellist Rebecca Gilliver in the third section was the quiet high point.” (The Guardian, February 2015)

“Ott's fluent fingers captured well the music's poised lyrical serenity along with the "night music" dialogs for the piano and chirpy woodwinds” (John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, November 2014)

“…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)