Detlev Eisinger



Detlev Eisinger was born in Munich. He began playing the piano at the age of seven and, by the time he was 13, he had given his first piano recital and was performing concertos with an orchestra.


He studied first under Walter Krafft (school of Dinu Lipatti), and later under Professor Erik Then-Bergh at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, passing his state examination with distinction ("mit Auszeichung") in 1980. In 1986 a scholarship took him to the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. After graduating, Eisinger embarked on a busy concert schedule both at home and abroad, which included solo performances in Paris, Menton, Montpellier and Berlin, at the Kissinger Sommer, the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Kodály Festival in Hungary. He completed five concert tours in South Africa, as well as performing briefly in Canada (Toronto) and the United States (San Francisco). Numerous recordings for broadcasts and CDs followed.


A significant landmark in Eisinger’s career was his performance of Schumann’s Carnaval at the  Philharmonie Munich during the "Münchner Klaviersommer" of 1990. (The soloist in the second half of the concert was Friedrich Gulda.) He subsequently made his debut at the Philharmonie Berlin with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, and this was followed by piano recitals in a number of European capitals. 


Eisinger has delighted audiences with his acclaimed lecture recitals, whereby he delivers introductions to major works, illustrating his points by playing excerpts from the music. His approach has proved particularly successful in the case of more complex compositions such as Bach’s Goldberg Variations, Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and the Beethoven cycle of 32 piano sonatas. The method enables Eisinger’s listeners to attain a deeper and more appreciative understanding of the music. 


Eisinger’s introductions to the works of Richard Wagner - most unusual for a pianist - are testament to his versatility. From 2002 to 2008 he appeared at the Bayreuth Festival, where he performed introductions to all the Wagner operas at matinées for solo piano. These introductions are now available on CD.  In recognition of this outstanding achievement Eisinger was recently awarded the Pro Musica Viva Prize by the Maria Strecker Daelen Foundation.


In addition to his appearances as a solo artist, Eisinger has also enjoyed his involvement in performing chamber music and has accompanied recitals by some of the great names in German Lied interpretation, notably Hermann Prey and Kieth Engen.


In 2012, Eisinger began working closely with violinist Franziska Pietsch, and this has led to a number of successful concerts and recordings. The first CD in collaboration, featuring works by Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, was released on the Musicom label in 2014. 


Then, in 2015 and 2016, when the prestigious "Audite" label launched CDs featuring all the works by Grieg and Prokofiev for violin and piano, it caused a sensation. Both productions were nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award ("Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik"). 


Shortly afterwards, a third CD with works by Szymanowsky and Franck was released, and, just recently, this recording was awarded the Supersonic prize by the music magazine Pizzicato, as well as gaining a nomination for the International Classical Music Award (ICMA). Production of the next recording is already at the planning stage.


At present, Detlev Eisinger is working on a complete recording of all Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, accompanied by his explanatory comments.


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