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English Section

Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman turns 65

05.12.2021 09:00
World-renowned Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman celebrates his 65th birthday on Sunday.
Krystian Zimerman
Krystian ZimermanPAP/Grzegorz Michałowski

Born on December 5, 1956 in Zabrze, southern Poland, into a family with a musical tradition, Zimerman took his first steps in music under his father’s supervision.

At age seven, he began studying formally under Andrzej Jasiński, then a senior lecturer at the State Higher School of Music in the regional capital Katowice. Jasiński remained his teacher until 1976.

Zimerman’s victory at the 1975 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, at age 19, skyrocketed him to international stardom. He has since enjoyed a spectacular career performing with the world’s leading orchestras and giving a number of recitals in the most prestigious concert venues.

He has collaborated with many pre-eminent musicians, including Yehudi Menuhin and Gidon Kremer, and conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, and Bernard Haitink.

His latest album, released by Deutsche Grammophon earlier this year, consists of three CDs featuring all of Beethoven’s five piano concertos recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle.

Zimerman’s distinctions include the Commander’s Cross with Star of the Order of Reborn Poland and honorary doctorates from the music academies in Katowice and Warsaw.

A resident of Switzerland since 1984, Zimerman has dual Polish-Swiss citizenship.