PianoDuo Kutrowatz

© Reinhard Gombas

PianoDuo Kutrowatz

Eduard and Johannes Kutrowatz initially studied piano at the Joseph-Haydn Conservatory in Eisenstadt with Uwe Wolff, and later at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In addition to the piano, Johannes also studied the clarinet (under Peter Schmidl) and conducting (under Karl Österreicher), while Eduard studied percussion instruments in all their facets with Richard Hochrainer and Walter Veigl. Their shared teacher in Vienna, Renate Kramer-Preisenhammer, inspired them to explore original compositions for piano duets and for two pianos.

For many years now, the two have been teaching at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

Important impulses for their artistic work as a piano duo came from master classes in Freiburg by Karl Ulrich Schnabel (incidentally, the only course that the son of the legendary Arthur Schnabel, a specialist in piano duos and modern pedal technique, had held in Europe up to that point) and from the Chamber Music Festival in Lockenhaus by Franz Rupp, the congenial piano partner of the violinist Fritz Kreisler.

Their first international competition laurels came in 1986 in the Italian Stresa, where they won the 1st prize in the piano duo category. Numerous awards and honors followed, including the Culture Promotion Award of the state of Burgenland for both brothers, the Music Prize of the "Theodor Kery Foundation", the Grand Badge of Honor and the Commander's Cross of the state of Burgenland, as well as the EUROPAN 2017 and 2019 Franz Liszt Honorary Award from the Klassik Foundation Weimar. Johannes Kutrowatz also won a prize at the 1992 international Schubert competition in Graz and received a Bösendorfer scholarship.

The diverse training of the two pianists, their wide range of activities (as pianists, chamber music partners, song accompanists, conductors), as well as their keen interest in other art forms, contribute significantly to the immense depth of expression and richness of color in their play. It also lies in the nature of piano duo chamber music which requires so much constructive dialogue and fruitful dispute between players, something that might perhaps be more easily achieved "between brothers".

Concert tours have taken the Kutrowatz brothers from Austria to many European countries; to Asia (Japan, Korea); Canada; the USA; Africa; Australia; and Russia. Performances in the world's most prestigious concert halls (e.g., Vienna – Konzerthaus and Musikverein, Eisenstadt – Haydn Hall, London – Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre, Toronto – Centre of the Arts, Munich – Herkulessaal, Tokyo – Suntory Hall, New York – Carnegie Hall and 92nd Y), as well as invitations to major music festivals such as the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, Haydn Festival Eisenstadt, Ruhr Piano Festival, Kremerata Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival, Kuhmo Festival in Finland, Kowmung Festival Australia, and the Liszt Festival Raiding have made the two pianists sought-after international artistic personalities.

Radio and television recordings, along with highly-praised CD productions featuring works by Schubert, Brahms, Strauss, Liszt, Gershwin, Bernstein, Takács, Piazzolla, Sakamoto, Bach, Pärt, and Brubeck, round off their artistic endeavors.

With the foundation and artistic direction of the annual international festival "Klangfruehling" at Schlaining Castle in 2001, which they also led until 2015, Eduard and Johannes Kutrowatz have realized their dream of designing, experimenting, and programming in a globally encompassing context. Since 2007, Johannes Kutrowatz has been the artistic director of the Yamanakako-Klangsommer festival in Japan. Since 2009, the two have been directors of the international Liszt Festival Raiding.