The Australian pianist Roger Woodward performs both traditional and contemporary repertoire although his musical training is steeped in church music and the romantic repertory. He rose to international prominence in prestigious collaborations with Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Jean Barraqué, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Toru Takemitsu, Franco Donatoni, Luciano Berio, Leo Brouwer, Iannis Xenakis, Arvo Pärt, Larry Sitsky, Richard Meale, Anne Boyd, Ross Edwards and Barry Conyngham, and worked with such contemporary German composers as Peter Michael Hamel, Rolf Gehlhaar, Hans Otte and Karlheinz Stockhausen. Such collaborations were recorded by the ABC, BBC, French and German Radio and Television and by the EMI, Decca and RCA recording companies, to launch a major career as soloist with orchestras such as the Leipzig Gewandhaus, five London orchestras, Los Angeles and New York Philharmonic orchestras, the Cleveland orchestra under such distinguished conductors as Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Herbert Blomstedt, Erich Leinsdorf, Witold Rowicki et al.
Roger Woodward’s recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier was Editor’s Choice for The Gramophone’s February, 2010 publication and German and UK critics described this release as setting a new standard after Gould and Barenboim. He was awarded the prestigious Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for his Celestial Harmonies recording of Bach C-minor and E-minor Partitas and is a recipient of the Goethe Prize and Diapaison d’or by German and French critics for recordings of works dedicated to him by Morton Feldman. Current recordings for Celestial Harmonies of the Chopin Nocturnes, F-minor Concerto and Debussy Préludes, were released to exceptionally high praise from critics worldwide.
As a chamber musician he worked with Ivry Gitlis, Philippe Hirschhorn, the Tokyo and Arditti String Quartets and is the frequent partner of the Alexander String Quartet. Their recording of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet for the Foghorn label received brilliant reviews as did their recent recording for Celestial Harmonies of the Chopin F-minor Concerto and C-major Beethoven Piano Quartet WoO 36. At the invitation of the late Sviatoslav Richter Roger Woodward performed with the Arditti String Quartet at La Grange de Meslay, Tours, and he has frequently performed at Le festival d’automne à Paris and BBC Promende Concerts.
In 2009, he premiered Of the Sound of Life (a sixty- five-minute collection of twelve etudes) by the contemporary German composer Peter Michael Hamel, at the Gasteig, Munich. His recording of this work for Celestial Harmonies was greeted enthusiastically by the German critics as was his recording of Hans Otte’s Book of Hours and Rolf Gehlhaar’s Diagonal Flying. His live recording with Claudio Abbado for DGG, from the Wienerkonzerthaus received very high praise.
Resident in San Francisco, he is recipient of the Polish Order of Merit, Order of the British Empire, Chevalier of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and is a Companion of the Order of Australia.
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