The Mozart / Nyman Concert
“For my project, “The Mozart Nyman Concert”, I chose two tremendous and highly esteemed composers: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Michael Nyman. Both have accompanied and fascinated me since my youth. Mozart’s piano compositions occupy a large and important place in my repertoire, and over the many years since I first heard Michael Nyman’s “In Re Don Giovanni,” I have followed his musical work with great enthusiasm.
It has long been my dream to connect the two composers in a special project. In 2021, for the occasion of my fiftieth birthday, I seek to fulfill this wish and have asked Michael Nyman, who is just as much an admirer of Mozart as I am, to compose six piano pieces directly related to Mozart’s piano sonatas.
The classical and traditional form of the piano recital, in which we are accustomed to hearing entire works of one or more composers, continues to develop, and so I have conceived of a new and modern piano recital for myself. I have put together two “new,” three-movement sonatas from the first, second and third movements of six different Mozart sonatas and the c Minor Fantasy, each connected by one of Michael Nyman’s piano pieces. At the end, serving as an “encore,” are Mozart’s Twelve Variations, KV 265.
The soundscapes of the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries are closely interwoven, the transitions between Mozart and Nyman are fluid, and a listening experience is created which makes the connection between antiquity and modernity a thrilling and innovative concert program for me.” – Sebastian Knauer
Sebastian Knauer can look back at a career spanning more than three decades since his debut at the age of 14 at the Laeiszhalle in his hometown Hamburg. He has performed in more than 50 countries across 4 continents, playing at important venues, festivals and series in cities such as Berlin, Munich, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, London, Zurich, Vienna, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Milan, Warsaw, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul & Tokyo.
Sebastian Knauer‘s repertoire is varied and extensive and is currently reflected in more than 20 highly praised CD recordings. For his CD “ÜberBach” he has been awarded with the Klassik ECHO in 2017.
The Piano concerto „This is (not) Beethoven – Variations for Piano & Orchestra“, which Sebastian Knauer commissioned from composer Arash Safaian – released via Modern Recordings in August 2020 – entered the German Classic Charts (#6) and the US Billboard Charts (#15).
Now, Sebastian Knauer makes himself a special present for his 50th birthday: he commissioned the legendary composer Michael Nyman (“The Piano”) to write 6 new compositions for him. These titles are complemented with some Mozart pieces. This is how classical music comes alive!