Biography

With her unique interpretations, pianist Ragna Schirmer is held in high esteem, even beyond Germany’s borders. Her artful way of nuancing, her attention to detail, and her passion for rediscovering well known and lesser known compositions and linking them to modern life – all these attributes distinguish Ragna Schirmer. She won the Leipzig International Bach Competition in 1992 and 1998 and made a remarkable album debut with Bach’s Goldberg Variations. In 2009, she obtained her second ECHO Klassik award for her recording of George Frideric Handel’s piano suites, which was highly praised by the critics, and in 2012, she was honoured with the Handel Prize of the city of Halle. 15 first prizes and special awards at national and international competitions are visible proof of the pianist’s impressive career.

A special passion of the pianist’s is her study of Clara Wieck-Schumann, which has led, among other things, to the release of a CD entitled Liebe in Variationen (love in variations), to mark the 175th wedding anniversary of Clara and Robert in 2015; a recording of pieces which seem to echo the musical messages exchanged between Clara and Robert and their friend Johannes Brahms.

Ragna Schirmer’s dramaturgic and programmatic skills, coupled with her lively presentations, make concerts an extraordinary experience. It is not surprising that the pianist is in theatre productions as well, written specifically for her.

Ragna Schirmer gives concerts in the biggest concert halls in Europe, China and New Zealand as well as at renowned festivals such as the “Heidelberger Frühling“ (artist in residence 2010), the Beethovenfest Bonn, the “MDR-Musiksommer” organised by Central German Broadcasting (MDR), the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt, and the Salzburg Festival. She has played together with Zubin Mehta, Sir Roger Norrington, Kurt Masur, Sir Neville Marriner, and Herbert Blomstedt, to name only a few, and has performed with orchestras such as the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, the German Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, the Orchestre National de France, the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

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