Kristian Bezuidenhout is one of today’s most notable and exciting keyboard artists, equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord, and modern piano. Born in South Africa in 1979, he began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music, and now lives in London. After initial training as a pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson, and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette. Kristian first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize, and audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.
Kristian is an Artistic Director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and Principal Guest Director with The English Concert. He is a regular guest with the world’s leading ensembles including Les Arts Florissants, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, Chicago Symphony Orchestra & the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester; and has guest-directed (from the keyboard) the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Tafelmusik, Collegium Vocale, Juilliard 415, Kammerakademie Potsdam and Dunedin Consort (St Matthew Passion).
He has performed with celebrated artists including John Eliot Gardiner, Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Trevor Pinnock, Giovanni Antonini, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Alina Ibragimova, Rachel Podger, Carolyn Sampson, Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore & Matthias Goerne.
Kristian’s rich and award-winning discography on Harmonia Mundi includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Diapason d’Or de L’année, Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, & Caecilia Prize); Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans; Mendelssohn and Mozart Piano Concertos with the Freiburger Barockorchester (ECHO Klassik); Beethoven, & Mozart Lieder, and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore (Edison Award). In 2013 he was nominated as Gramophone Magazine’s Artist of the Year and was awarded the ‘Wiener Flötenuhr’ by the Mozartgemeinde Wienin 2019 for his recordings of Mozart keyboard music. Recent releases include Winterreisse with Mark Padmore, Bach sonatas for violin and harpsichord with Isabelle Faust and a recording of Haydn piano sonatas.
In the 2019-20 season, Kristian play-directs programmes with the Handel & Haydn Society, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Kammerorchester Basel as well as Freiburger Barockorchester and The English Concert. He features as a Portrait Artist for the 19-20 season at BOZAR and is Artist in Residence at Köln Philharmonie. He has recitals and chamber music performances with Anne Sofie von Otter, Mark Padmore, Benjamin Appl, Carolyn Sampson in concert halls and festivals in Seattle, New York, Amsterdam, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid and Salzburg.