Piotr Folkert is widely regarded as one of the most gifted and sensitive pianists performing today. His “stellar technique and insightful interpretations” have won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences worldwide, whether for his solo recitals, his orchestral engagements or his growing catalogue of recordings.
His broad repertoire ranges from music of the Baroque period to new works of contemporary composers, with some especially commissioned and written for him. His performing schedule regularly takes him to the great concert stages of North America and has been highlighted by frequent engagements at the Carnegie Hall. Internationally, he has appeared in cultural capitols of Europe, Australia and Far East.
Mr. Folkert is a winner of The Annual Young Artist International Piano Award in New York (1995), The International Chamber Music Competition in Caltanisetta, Italy (1990) among others. He has participated in numerous festivals including The Flaine Music Festival (France), The Summit Music Festival (New York), The Guelph Spring Festival (Canada), Burg Music Festival (Berlin), The Music Festival of Baltic Countries (Poland), Kun-Ming Festival (China). He was bestowed the honor of performing a special recital for the King of Malaysia at the Royal Palace in Kuala Lumpur. Mr. Folkert gave the New York premiere performance of Henryk Mikołaj Gorecki’s Concerto for Piano and Strings. In 1995, he performed Gorecki’s Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall receiving excellent reviews in The New York Times by Allan Kozinn and other New York newspapers. During the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta his performance and musical tribute to Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and the Olympic Committee at Spivey Hall was broadcast nationwide on NPR’s “Performance Today”.
Concert tours including recitals and concert appearances with orchestras brought Piotr Folkert to the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, New Zealand, Russia, Turkey, India, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
Mr.Folkert has recorded many recitals for radio and television around the world, including a live performance on New York’s WNYC and WQXR Radio Stations, Washington’s “Performance Today” on National Public Radio, Dublin’s RTE Radio, Polish Radio and Television, and a live recording from Ongakonotomo Hall in Tokyo among others. His recording of J.S.Bach Keyboard Concertos with The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Poland, conducted by Grzegorz Nowak was highly acclaimed by both critics and audiences worldwide. In addition, Mr.Folkert has recorded solo and chamber music for European and American labels including: Arti, Zuk, Sanibel and Dux. His discography is further highlighted by a chamber music recording with music of Brahms, Berkley and Banks which was selected by German Music Magazine “Klassik Heute” as the Recording of the month (May 1998). His most recent releases of works for Piano, Violin and Cello by renown American composer David Diamond, which included world premier performances of these works, was hailed by David Lehman of the American Record Guide as “the best performances of David Diamond’s chamber music since the Beaux Arts Quartet ”. Upcoming releases include “Polish Piano Concertos of the 20th Century” (Gorecki, Szymanowski and Panufnik) and “Piano Concertos” with String Orchestra (Morton Gould, Malcolm Williamson and a work especially written for Mr.Folkert by American composer Thomas Ludwig).
Piotr Folkert received his Master’s degree from The Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. After winning several competitions for young pianists, he continued his studies at Yale University in New Haven, Indiana University in Bloomington and The Mannes College of Music in New York City. Mr.Folkert has worked with such distinguished musicians as Professor Andrzej Jasinski, Grant Johannesen, Richard Good, Oxana Yablonskaya, Murray Perahia.