Price: $125.00


Autographed and inscribed, youthful photograph of the Austrian-American-Canadian pianist, February 27, 1975.

Kuerti (1938 -     ) was born in Vienna.  He was brought to America after the Anschluss settling in Boston where his first teacher was Edward Goldman.  He made his public debut with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops at the age of nine. He became a naturalized American in 1944. The following year in 1948 he was brought to the Longy School where he studied piano with pianists Edwin Bodky and Gregory Tucker through 1952.  In 1952 he was accepted at the Peabody Conservatory where he studied with the Hungarian pianist Ernö Balogh and composition with Henry Cowell. From 1953 to 1955 he studied with Arthur Loesser and Beryl Rubinstein at the Cleveland Institute of Music receiving his bachelors of music in 1955.  He then went on to study at Curtis with Rudolf Serkin and Mieczyslaw Horszowski through 1958.     From 1950 to 1956 he generally gave concerts and recitals with smaller venue halls and student orchestras including the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston.  He also played annually from 1953-1956 at the Marlboro Festival.  In 1957 Kuerti won two awards, the Philadelphia Orchestra Youth Prize and the prestigious Leventritt Competition which opened up his options and career.  For the next thirty years he performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia both in recital and with the major orchestras of the world.  Against the Vietnam War, he moved to Canada in 1965, though he did not become a citizen until 1984.  He became a Professor at the Toronto Conservatory of Music while still pursuing his concert activities around the world. 

As a concert pianist Kuerti is admired for his intellectual approach to the music he performs and also his prodigious technique, both endeared him to his followers and at times have brought him tete-a-tete with his critics.  It was reported by the New York Times in October, 1959 that his “Impressive Vienna Debut…. After a performance of works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Bloch, Faure and Schumann, had, extraordinary technique and sensibility bordering on virtuosity….  In September, 1966, New York Times Music Critic Theodore Strongin stated after Kuerti’s Town Hall recital, ...The pianist’s special capabilities - care for detail and design, a perceptive ear for sonority best fit the Scriabin.  Here he gave some magical performances….

Harold Schoenberg who was perhaps his most ardent critical adversary wrote after a recital in February, 1978, He is a powerful technician, and there were some unusual feats in the Scriabin etudes. The G sharp minor, for instance, had marvelous lefthand octaves, magnificently controlled. Both of the doublenote etudes, in A and D flat, were fleetly and impressively played.

Tim Page wrote in October, 1986 after an all-Beethoven recital, Mr. Kuerti's temperate manner, assured technique and steady rhythmic spring served to unify the music, without, however, homogenizing it into a bland spread. Beethoven's quirks and digressions remained intact, but they were presented with unusual forthrightness, allowing the listener to follow the workings of the composer's mind with unusual clarity.

Bernard Holland who followed Schoenberg as the Times Chief Music Critic was one of the Kuerti converted, his comments after a recital in March, 1995,  He is an artist of serious purpose and courage. Virtuosos avoid Schumann's early F-sharp-minor Sonata, but on Wednesday night Mr. Kuerti rendered its denseness clear and its dark technical demands manageable. His powers grow from a profound respect for music's grammar: tempos that allow rhythmic impulse and correct detail to be heard, accentuation that uses pianistic weight to express the subtle fluctuations of harmonic tension and release.


Mr. Kuerti who suffered a stroke mid-concert in Miami in 2013.  A disc of his 2011 Australian studio recordings of Beethoven piano works, including the “Diabelli Variations” was released in 2017.


Early autographed photographs of Kuerti are quite uncommon.  This one dedicated to Larry Davis Manager of the Indiana University Music School auditorium.


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