Viennese pianist Stefan Vladar is one of the U.S. concert world's best-kept secrets.
"I play all over the world," he said from his New York hotel earlier this week, before performing two sold-out solo recitals at the Austrian Cultural Forum. "But I've not played often in the U.S. I don't know why."
He has wowed Japanese audiences on 28 different tours; performed with the Concertgebouw, Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, among other orchestras. Audiences in Chicago and Pittsburgh have marveled at his playing. Just last month he stepped in for an ailing Ivan Moravec at the Moravian Fall Festival in Brno, in the Czech Republic.
Now, thanks to Vladar's friendship with Toledo Symphony conductor Stefan Sanderling, local audiences will have a chance to hear him perform. Vladar, Sanderling, and the symphony will perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 tomorrow and Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art.
Also on the program is Brahms Symphony No. 2, and "Telemanniana" by 20th-century composer Hans Werner Henze.
"I like Stefan a lot," Vladar said, adding that they first worked together in Quebec.
He began playing piano at age 5. "There was all this music in the family," he said. "My two brothers also are professional musicians." He studied at the Vienna Music Academy.
At 41, Vladar is one of the most recorded pianists in Europe: his discography already tops 20 albums, with emphasis on the great Classical and Romantic composers of Europe: Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorak, Schumann, and Brahms.
He has begun to conduct as well as perform with the Stuttgart Philharmonic, Beethoven Academie, and Camerata Salzburg. At home in Vienna, Vladar is professor of piano at the University of Music and Performing Arts.
He also shines in chamber music performances, working with such groups as the Ensemble Wien-Berlin and the Artis Quartet in Europe.
Tonight, the symphony will perform the Brahms and Henze works at 8 in Corpus Christi Church.
Viennese pianist Stefan Vladar performs with the Toledo Symphony in a Classics Concert at 8 p.m. tomorrow and Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art Peristyle. Tickets range from $25 to $60. Information: 419-246-8000.
Contact Sally Vallongo at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6001.