Markus Schirmer

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Markus Schirmer

Markus Schirmer (born June 10, 1963) is an Austrian pianist.


Born in Graz, Schirmer studied with Rudolf Kehrer, Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Paul Badura-Skoda and Doris Wolf, among others. He performed on a number of major concert halls and festivals such as Wiener Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Herkulessaal and Philharmonic (Munich), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Wigmore Hall (London), Gewandhaus (Leipzig), Rudolfinum (Prague), Konzerthaus Berlin, Megaron (Athens), Finlandia Hall (Helsinki), Teatro Teresa Carreño (Caracas), Victoria Hall (Geneva), Teatro Olimpico (Vicenza), Festival international de piano "La roque d'Antheron", Rheingau Musik Festival, Bregenz Festival, Ruhr Piano Festival, styriarte,[1] Lucerne Festival,[2] Mondseetage,[3] ISCM-World Music Festival etc.

Schirmer has worked with orchestras and conductors such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Symphony, Mariinsky Orchestra, Sinfonia Varsovia, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Radio-Symphony Orchestras of Vienna, Munich and Leipzig, Czech Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, Sir Neville Marriner, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Michael Gielen, Philippe Entremont, Sir Charles Mackerras, Pinchas Steinberg, John Axelrod, Fabio Luisi, Roy Goodman oder Philippe Jordan.

He adores Schubert above all but is also enthusiastic about more obscure works such as Britten's ironic piano concerto, the transcendental oeuvres of Szymanowski or Apostel's „Kubiniana“. Chamber music plays a very important role in his work and so he has performed with Julian Rachlin, Renaud Capuçon, Clemens Hagen, Christian Altenburger, Danjulo Ishizaka, Patrick Demenga, the Artis Quartet,[4] the Auryn Quartet,[5] the Chilingirian quartet, the Gaede Trio[6] and many others.

Through the years Schirmer has written many songs, e.g. for [[|Sandra Pires]] (|de)[7] (a Portuguese-Australian singer living in Vienna) and many other vocalists. Furthermore he has worked on a number of artistic projects, for example Scurdia,[8] a crossover partnership with the Kurdish lutist Risgar Koshnaw and other exceptional artists from all over the world, which was initialized in 1988.

Schirmer is a professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, where he has been teaching concert piano students from Austria, Greece, Finland, Italy and Japan. He is often invited to adjudicate in many international piano competitions and to give master classes all over the world.[citation needed] Schirmer has become very committed to Live Music Now,[9] a charitable scheme that was founded by Yehudi Menuhin to support gifted musicians.

Schirmer was awarded the Music Manual Award at the international Music Convention EUROMUSIC. He was recently awarded the Karl-Böhm-Interpretationspreis, an award for Austrian artists.


  • W. A. Mozart: piano concertos: K. 271 (E-flat major), K. 365 (E-flat major, for 2 pianos), K. 414 (A major), K. 459 (F major), K. 466 (D minor), K. 467 (C major), K. 482 (E-flat major), K. 488 (A major), K. 491 (C minor), K. 503 (C major), K. 537 (D major), K. 595 (B-flat major)
  • K. Ditters v. Dittersdorf: Piano Concerto in A major
  • L. v. Beethoven: All 5 Piano Concertos, Triple Concerto, Choral Fantasie
  • F. Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat major, Danse macabre
  • F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdi: Piano Concerto No.1 (G minor, op.25), No.2 (D minor, op.40)
  • R. Schumann: Piano Concerto in A minor
  • E. Grieg: Piano Concerto in A minor
  • J. Brahms: Piano Concertos: No.1, D minor; No.2, B-flat major
  • P. I. Tschaikowski: Piano Concerto No.1, B-flat minor
  • S. Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No.2, C minor
  • S. Prokofieff: Piano Concerto No.1, D-flat major; Piano Concerto No.3, C major
  • M. Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
  • G. Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
  • F. Poulenc: Concerto for 2 Pianos, D minor
  • A. Honegger: Concertino
  • B. Britten: Piano Concerto
  • L. Bernstein: 2nd Symphony for piano and orchestra – "The Age of Anxiety"
  • I. Strawinsky: Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra
  • P. P. Palsson: Capriccio Serioso (1996) for piano and orchestra


  • Pictures & Reflections (Maurice Ravel "Miroirs", Modest Mussorgsky "Pictures at an Exhibition") Tacet 2005, T 132
  • Ludwig van Beethoven: Early Piano Sonatas, op. 13 "Pathetique"; op. 2,2 and op. 2,3; Tacet 2003, T 128
  • W. A. Mozart: The Piano Quartets, Tacet 2002 (CD: Nr. 116, DVD: Nr. D116)
  • Franz Schubert: Piano sonatas D 625 F minor, D 845 A minor, Lotus Records (LR 9414CD)
  • Joseph Haydn: Piano Sonatas Vol. 1, Lotus Records (LR 9517CD) (presently not available)
  • Markus Schirmer & Wolfram Berger – Engel im Kopf
  • Scurdia – Risgar Koshnaw "My songs from Kurdistan" (presently not available)


  • Engel im Kopf

A cabaret written by Markus Schirmer and Graz-based actor Wolfram Berger.[10] It can be seen as a mix of spoonerisms, pop songs, troubadour songs, folk songs und nursery rhymes.

  • Scurdia

Scurdia[11] is an improvisation project, which brings together extraordinary musicians from all over the world on one stage, thus allowing completely new artistic-creative energies to be set free by bridging various cultures. Among them internationally renowned Venezuela-born Arnoldo Moreno, Ismael Barrios (former active percussionist for Opus, EAV, STS[12]) from Venezuela, the German flutist/saxophonist Reinhard Grube and keyboarder Franz Kreimer (Ausseer Hardbradler[13])

  • The Seven Deadly Sins

In collaboration with the American singer and actress Helen Schneider he presents his own adaptation of Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins for voice and piano.


  1. ^[full citation needed]
  2. ^ "Lucerne Festival". Retrieved 2012-02-10. [full citation needed]
  3. ^ "Muskiktage Mondsee 2012 – Schubert und das Fin de Siècle in Wien". Retrieved 2012-02-10. [full citation needed]
  4. ^ "Artis-Quartett Wien". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  5. ^ Wegge Internet Services, D-41466 Neuss, "Auryn Quartett – Streichquartett – string quartet". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  6. ^ "Streichtrio Berlin". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Markus Schirmer & Friends". Scurdia. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Live Music Now". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Wolfram Berger". Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  11. ^ "Markus Schirmer & Friends". Scurdia. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  12. ^ "die offizielle Fanpage". STS-Page. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  13. ^ [1]

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