“To play on a Steinway grand is always an experience. With its unfailing power reserves, big belcanto bows and subtle nuances, it always complies willingly to the touch of the pianist.”
For decades now, Steinway Artist Elisabeth Leonskaja has been among the most celebrated pianists of our time. While still a student at the Conservatory, she won prizes in the prestigious Enescu, Marguerite Long and Queen Elizabeth international piano competitions. Elisabeth Leonskaja’s musical development was shaped or influenced to a decisive degree by her collaboration with Sviatoslav Richter. The master recognized her exceptional talent and fostered her development not only through teaching and advising her, but also by inviting her to play numerous duets with him. The musical partnership and personal friendship between Sviatoslav Richter and Elisabeth Leonskaja endured until Richter’s death in the year 1997.
In 1978 Elisabeth Leonskaja left the Soviet Union and made her new home in Vienna. Her sensational performance at the Salzburg Festival in 1979 marked the beginning of her steadily blossoming career as a concert pianist in the west. Since then, Elisabeth Leonskaja has appeared as a soloist with virtually all the leading orchestras in the world, such as the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra London, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the radio orchestras of Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and many others, under the baton of such leading conductors as: Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Kurt Sanderling, Maris Jansons, Yuri Temirkanov, Tugan Sokhiev, and many others.
She is a frequent and welcomed guest at prestigious summer music festivals, such as the Salzburg Festival, the Vienna and Lucerne Festivals, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Schubertiade in Hohenems and Schwarzenberg. Chamber music has always played a prominent role in her creative work, and she frequently appears with the Emerson, Borodin and Artemis Quartets.
Other significant recordings include the Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Kurt Masur, the Chopin Piano Concertos with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, and the Shostakovich Piano Concertos with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Leonskaja was awarded both the Caecilia Prize and the Diapason d´Or; she recently received the ICMA Lifetime Achievement Award. In her adopted home of Austria, she has been made an Honorary Member of the Konzerthaus of Vienna, and in 2006, she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honor, First Class, for her services to the cultural life of the country – the highest award of its kind in Austria. She is managed by EAS Musikmanagement GmbH.
Elisabeth Leonskaja has been a Steinway Artist since 1988.