Freddy Kempf

Photo: Sara Porter

Freddy Kempf is one of today’s most successful pianists, performing to sell-out audiences all over the world. Exceptionally gifted with an unusually broad repertoire, Freddy has built a unique reputation as an explosive and physical performer who is not afraid to take risks as well as a serious, sensitive and profoundly musical artist.

Born in London in 1977, Freddy made his concerto debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 8 and further came to national prominence in 1992 when he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. In 1998, his award of third, rather than first, prize in the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow provoked protests from the audience and an outcry in the Russian press, which proclaimed him “the hero of the competition”.

Freddy has collaborated with conductors such as Järvi, Dutoit, Sawallisch, Sanderling, Chailly, Ashkenazy, Petrenko, Oramo, Davis, Belohlavek, Temirkanov, Altinoglu, and Dausgaard, and has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious ensembles including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, La Scala Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, NHK Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Tonhalle Orchester and the Dresden Philharmonic. A committed recitalist, Freddy has appeared in many of the world’s most important concert halls including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, the Berlin Konzerthaus, Milan’s Sala Verdi, the Concertgebouw, London’s Cadogan and Barbican, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, the Sydney Opera House and Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Highlights of Freddy’s soloist career include his 2018 debut at the BBC Proms and an extensive Asian tour including performances at the Seoul Arts Centre, PyeongChang Music Festival, and Singapore’s Esplanade Concert Hall. Freddy has also featured as a touring soloist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony, RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, Bergen Philharmonic, and has play/directed a tour of Beethoven’s 3rd and 5th Piano Concertos with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.

As a prolific recording artist, Freddy’s most recent albums includes both the BIS Records’ 2019 release of Prokofiev sonatas and the 2015 release of Freddy’s Tchaikovsky recital which received great critical acclaim. His 2010 recording of Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and Andrew Litton was nominated for the Gramophone Concerto Award with the associated magazine describing the collaborative duo as “a masterful Prokofievian pair”. This partnership was followed by the 2012 recording of Gershwin’s works for piano and orchestra, and was described in the press as “beautiful, stylish, light, and elegant… magnificent”. Meanwhile, Freddy’s 2011 solo recital disc of works by Rachmaninov, Bach/Busoni, Ravel and Stravinsky, was praised by BBC Music Magazine for its “wonderful delicate playing and fine sense of style”.

This 2023/24 season includes recitals at Kioi Hall in Tokyo and Izumi Hall in Osaka followed by soloist performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Westdeutsche Sinfonia in Leverkusen and the Vivaldi Orchestra in Milan’s Sala Verdi.

Freddy is based in Germany with his family and is a keyboard professor at Munich City Music School.