Arie Vardi (Hebrew: אריה ורדי; born in Tel Aviv in 1937) is an Israeli classical pianist, conductor and piano pedagogue. He is currently teaching at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in Tel Aviv and at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover.
Arie Vardi graduated from the Rubin Academy of Tel Aviv University, Israel, and obtained the soloist diploma from at Musik Akademie - Basel, Switzerland. His teachers included Paul Baumgartner (piano), Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen (composition). Alongside his study of music he succeeded in obtaining a law degree at the same University. He then went on to become professor of piano and Head of Department at the Rubin Academy (renamed the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music in 2005), and later became the Head of the School.
Winner of the Chopin Competition in Israel and the George Enescu International Competition in Bucharest, Arie Vardi launched his concert career at the age of fifteen. He has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and has collaborated with other conductors such as Semion Bychkov, Sergio Commissiona, Gustavo Dudamel, Lukas Foss, Kurt Masur, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Paul Paray, Paul Sacher and David Zinman, among others. His concert tours have taken him to Europe, the United States, Latin America, the Far East and Australia. His first Russian tour, in 1992, included performances in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other cities.
Arie Vardi’s extensive repertoire includes various Israeli works, many of which were dedicated to him. He also performs regularly as soloist-conductor, playing the complete set of concerti by Bach and Mozart, part of which he has played on the Hammerfluegel. In the 2001 season, Arie Vardi directed, conducted and played a series of five concerts with the Israel Chamber Orchestra. The series, entitled “The Piano Concerto,” featured twelve concertos ranging from Bach to the 21st century. In the 2004-5 season he launched a new weekend series with the Israel Philharmonic, “Morning Intermezzo”, where he serves as conductor and presenter. For television viewers he is best known for his series “Master Classes”, the family series of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra which he conducts and presents, and also currently for his new series “Intermezzo with Arik”. There are more than 500 video clips on these series as well as his other performances on YouTube.
He has been a Jury member in many major international competitions, namely the Beethoven (Bonn), Busoni (Bolzano), China, Chopin (Warsaw), Cleveland (Ohio), Cliburn (Texas), Gina Bachauer (Salt Lake City), Hamamatsu (Japan), Leeds (England), Dino Ciani (Milan), ARD (Munich), Santander (Spain), Scottish (Glasgow), Shenzhen (China), Shanghai, Sydney, Tchaikovsky (Moscow), Tokyo, and others. Vardi is currently the Artistic Advisor and Chairman of the Jury of the Arthur Rubinstein International Master Competition.
Arie Vardi has held master classes and presented lecture recitals at the Juilliard School, Paris Conservatoire, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, London Royal Academy, Beijing Central Conservatory, Seoul National University and many other major music centers. He has been guest artist at festivals such as Aspen, Bowdoin, Goslar, Hamamatsu, PianoTexas, Verbier and Ravinia.
In recent years Arie Vardi has specialized in the literature of the Impressionist period, including the entire repertoire of Debussy and Ravel. His recordings of the music of Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel have won many prizes and critical acclaim. His CDs of Mozart Concerti have included the Concerto for Three Pianos with Yefim Bronfman and Radu Lupu. In 2004, the Minister of Education Award was bestowed upon him for his lifetime achievement.
- Baldassin, Rick (1989) "An Interview with Concert Artist Arie Vardi", Piano Technician's Journal, Volume 32, p. 12
- "מקום 78 (בשנה שעברה - לא הופיע): פרופ' אריה ורדי - פסנתרן, מרצה ומנצח" (in Hebrew). Ynet. Retrieved November 29, 2011.
- "אריה ורדי מסביר איך להפוך תחרות ל"מסיבת הפתעה" עבור הקהל" (in Hebrew). Globes. May 4, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2011.