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World-reknown Pianoforte Artist Kristian Bezuidenhout to Perform Feb. 12

By Betsy Hnath

Hailed by the UK's Herald as the "finest living exponent of the fortepiano," international keyboard artist Kristian Bezuidenhout will perform at 8 p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Wilson G. Chandler Recital Hall in Old Dominion University's Diehn Center for the Performing Arts.

Bezuidenhout will play selected works by Beethoven and Haydn on an 1830s-style piano. His performance is part of the F. Ludwig Diehn concert series.

Born in South Africa in 1979, Bezuidenhout began his studies in Austria, but completed them at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

His first international recognition came at age 21 after winning both first prize and the audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition.

Bezuidenhout is equally at home on the fortepiano, harpsichord and modern piano.

He is a frequent guest artist and director with the world's leading ensembles.

Bezuidenhout lives in London, where he serves as the 2017-2018 artistic director of the Freiburger Barockorchester and principal guest conductor with The English Concert. He play-directs programs with both orchestras and also with Camerata Salzburg, Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Zürcher Kammerorchester.

As a soloist, he performs with Orchestre des Champs Elysees/Herreweghe, Les Violons du Roy/Cohen and Le Concert Olympique/Caeyers. Solo recitals and chamber music have taken him to London, Rome, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne, Berlin and Japan.

Bezuidenhout's discography includes the complete keyboard music of Mozart; Mozart Violin Sonatas; Mendelssohn and Mozart Piano Concertos; Beethoven and Mozart Lieder, and Schumann Dichterliebe, for which he received an Edison Award.

In 2013 he was nominated as Gramophone magazine's Artist of the Year.

"It's not every day that we have a chance to hear a master performer play these pieces on the type of instrument that existed back when the music was composed," said Cullen Strawn, Old Dominion's executive director for the Arts. "Modern pianos are very different."

Strawn sees the Diehn series, and the venue, as the perfect pairing for a concert like Bezuidenhout's

"Kristian Bezuidenhout is a great example of the top-caliber artists that we bring to perform in the very intimate Chandler Recital Hall," he said. "The Diehn Concert Series keeps ticket prices low and also creates educational opportunities for students who are critiqued by the visiting artists in public master classes and workshops."

Tickets for the Feb. 12 concert are available at ODUArtsTix.com.

Bezuidenhout will also give a master class, free and open to the public, on Feb. 13 at 12:30 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall.

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