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BIOGRAPHY

Austrian pianist Ingolf Wunder achieved worldwide recognition after receiving ‘Best Concerto’ and ‘Best Polonaise-Fantasy’ prizes as well as taking second prize overall at the 2010 International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. Since then, he has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia and America, performing at venues such as Zurich's Tonhalle, Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall and Berlin Konzerthaus.

During 2013/14, Ingolf Wunder will perform with orchestras such as the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, Brussels Philharmonic, Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, Orquesta de Valencia and Haydn Orchestra Bolzano. Recital performances will include numerous dates in Italy and Spain including Verona, Treviso and Bilbao as well as a South American recital tour. Highlights of the season are Wunder’s debuts at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and at the Theâtre du Palais-Royal in Paris.

Ingolf Wunder exclusively records for Deutsche Grammophon. His first recording featured a Chopin recital and was released in June 2011, followed by his second CD '300', released in January 2013. Upcoming projects include a concerto recording in collaboration with Vladimir Ashkenazy and St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, to be released in Autumn 2014.

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REVIEWS

"This scintillating recording was made live at St Petersburg's 2012 White Nights Festival. Certainly there are moments that are revelatory in these familiar works as Wunder gives every note appropriate weight and emphasis." (Classic FM [Recording of the Week], June 2014)

“It's a long time since I've heard a young pianist make such an impression on his debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. On this evidence, Wunder seems a fearless player, with a totally secure technique that he never flaunts unnecessarily, and the musical intelligence to put it to good use. Just to show that Wunder can charm and beguile as well as anyone, there was some Chopin… the B major Nocturne Op 9 No 1, spun out like the finest silk, and the Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, equally ravishing to begin with, and then wonderfully paced and varied as the tension mounted towards the close. It was difficult to imagine that the pianist who could float a line so exquisitely in Chopin could make Beethoven's variations so earthily direct and physical, almost challenging, or generate as much dramatic excitement in the Liszt, while ensuring that every section of the Sonata was clear within its overall scheme. In both works, the security of the playing was taken for granted and it wasn't until the encore, Arcadi Volodos's gleefully OTT paraphrase of Mozart's Rondo alla Turca, that Wunder showed that he can strut his stuff as flagrantly as any flashier pianist. A wonderful recital.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, March 2014)

“A name to remember… Ingolf Wunder stands at the peak of today’s pianistic scene and is there to stay… He plays like the great masters of the past, and yet he sounds 'all new'. In Beethoven, his stylistic sense makes one think of Backhaus, in Chopin - Lipatti or perhaps Pollini and, in his Schubert, Kempff. Nothing hampered the feeling of being in the presence of a deeply grounded and great pianist.” (La Nación, October 2013)

“Ingolf Wunder began his recital with the delicate sounds Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. The first movement was shrouded in haze; the sound, a whispered secret, holding the audience’s full attention. Emotions are kept on a tight rein, but paradoxically, this only adds to the wonderful sensitivity... Schubert’s fourth Impromptu came alive with fluid musicality and Schubert/Liszt’ Ständchen was filled with lyricism." (resmusica.com, September 2013)

"[Wunder's] playing was virtuosic but not arrogant; the phrasing intelligent and yet traditional. Everything came across at the highest technical and musical level. This benchmark performance should have been recorded and put in a library." (Rheinische Post, April 2013)

"Wunder’s tone is full and noble, and he allows the music to unfold with natural ease, forgoing temptations for any kind of grandstanding. At the same time his music-making has a sinewy grip that can generate cumulative power in a way that makes for compelling listening." (5* - The Irish Times, August 2011)

"Ingolf Wunder is the undisputed wunderkind of the Austrian piano scene...This debut for Deutsche Grammophon allows us all to judge his competition pieces, from the masterly handling of the mandatory "Polonaise-Fantaisie in A flat major" to the dazzling resolution of extrovert and introvert sensibilities displayed in the "Piano Sonata No 3 in B minor": the Scherzo alone moves from rippling, ebullient industry to soul-searching intimacy, and back again, within three minutes, Wunder displaying a poise and tonal command way beyond his tender years." (5* - The Independent, July 2011)

 “Wunder produced the most exquisitely poised Chopin sound, characterised by bel canto elegance, and it is hard to imagine a finer account of the Polonaise-Fantasie than his in Warsaw.” (The Telegraph, October 2010)

“From the start the Austrian was in control, consistent, confident and professional. Most important of all, he had that subtle extra magic, and, even before the last chord had finished sounding, the audience erupted.” (Gramophone, October 2010)