"The Alma Quartet, along with pianist Severin von Eckardstein, exhibits a wonderful cohesion in this performance. The recording too is excellent, with great tonalities across the board and just enough studio ambience to create a nice soundstage around the performers."Fanfare Magazine, 01-3-2024
Severin von Eckardstein, one of the leading German pianists of his generation, has an already lengthy record of solo concerts and concerto performances on major stages around the world.
He gave highly acclaimed concerts for example in Berlin, Munich, Milan, Moscow, Madrid, London, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Budapest, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul, as well as at great music festivals, including Klavier-Festival Ruhr, Aldeburgh / UK, the Gilmore Festival in Michigan / USA, La Roque d’Anthéron / France, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Husum Festival (“Raritäten der Klaviermusik”) and the Miami International Piano Festival.
He has performed with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, Philippe Herreweghe, Lothar Zagrosek and Marek Janowski, and made important debuts, among others with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Paavo Järvi, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Jaap van Zweden and the Hungarian National Philharmony together with Zsolt Hamar. During the worldwide lockdown in November 2020 he debuted with Mariinsky Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev and the Ural Philhamonic in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
Von Eckardstein played 8 recitals during the prestigious series “Meesterpianisten” at Concertgebouw Amsterdam. In 2022 he was invited for the 7th time at the Klavier Festival Ruhr, Germany.
The artist won prizes at numerous noteworthy international competitions. In 2003 he has been awarded the first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. In 2002 He received the “European Culture Prize” and the “Echo Classic Prize.”
Von Eckardstein’s education in the musical arts was predominately shaped by his teachers Prof. Barbara Szczepanska, Prof. Karl-Heinz Kämmerling and Prof. Klaus Hellwig, University of Arts, Berlin, where he also successfully completed his studies (Konzertexamen). In an additional course of study at the International Piano Academy Lake Como, Italy, he profited from further instruction and inspiration. He has been teaching masterclasses at many places, among others in South Korea, Finland, Belgium and at the University of Arts Berlin.
Chamber music also plays a significant role in his repertoire with performances at festivals such as the Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Finland, Delft Chamber Music Festival, Netherlands, and the Risør Chamber Music Festival, Norway, where he appeared with cellist Heinrich Schiff. His current partners are Isang Enders, Sophia Jaffé, Isabelle van Keulen, Igor Levit, to name only a few. In 2015 he founded the chamber concert series “Klangbrücken” at Konzerthaus Berlin together with violinist Franziska Hölscher.
Von Eckardstein‘s comprehensive repertoire spans the baroque period up through music of the 21st century. As such, he has premiered several works of contemporary composers, in particular the American Sidney Corbett. One of his special focuses is late romantic piano music of less known composers, especially Nicolai Medtner.
CD recordings with compositions by Medtner, Scriabin, Wagner, Schubert, Schumann, Debussy and others are highly regarded. His album of Dupont´s cycle “La maison dans les dunes” was awarded with “Diapason d´Or”. His album featuring Schumann´s Kreisleriana and Adolf Jensen was released in March 2023.
The Alma Quartet, along with pianist Severin von Eckardstein, exhibits a wonderful cohesion in this performance. The recording too is excellent, with great tonalities across the board and just enough studio ambience to create a nice soundstage around the performers.
Fanfare Magazine, 01-3-2024
Pianist Severin von Eckardstein pulls the quartet in the Piano Quintet op. 15 and unleashes more unity and energy. Pianist and quartet come together beautifully in the phenomenal second variation movement, with more intimacy and refinement.
Everything is Korngold through and through, from the slippery harmonies to the sometimes crazy approach (hear the sway with which the First String Quartet starts off). The Alma Quartet is not shy about color and atmosphere. Part two is peppered with alternating fleshy and glassy sounds. Tripping seems to be the marching order in part three.
De Volkskrant, 05-10-2023
Although this absolute music precedes Korngold's glittering career in Hollywood, there is undeniably a very image-rich core to his pieces. The musicians know how to interpret this in a compelling way. In the high registers they provide an entertaining lightness with pronounced pizzicatos and light keyboard touches, while the lower regions vibrate with the brooding warmth of the cello playing.
De Standaard, 04-10-2023
It's beautiful, too, but it's never just about the surface; and when the string players are joined by Eckardstein in the Quintet, everything falls perfecty into place, with the pianist matching the string players for concentration and tone colour, whether dark-hued chromatic menace, the moonlit inwardness of the slow movement or that final, euphoric sweep up to the finish. It's gorgeous stuff, and if you're old enough to remember the 1990's, when any recording of Korngold music was a cause for celebration, you'll have all the more reason to admire this achievement.
These are really five mood makers that are perfect for the romantic idiom. A tradition once established is continued.
Opus Klassiek, 15-9-2023