The Austrian pianist Rudolf Buchbinder is known for a very focused approach to his repertoire choices. It's the core: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms. And it's done with utmost conviction and thoughtfulness. OK, he's comfortable with Gershwin's Piano Concerto in F (but not Rhapsody in Blue), he's mad at Puccini for never writing a piano concerto, and when he was younger he even played in a bar. But Buchbinder is in his element when those core composers are on the menu.
He's a person with deep convictions and strong opinions, something that comes across quite definitively in a conversation with Cathy Fuller during a live performance recorded when he was visiting Boston with the Dresden Staatskapelle (listen on demand below). And from another conversation, which you can find at excellent music blog, Ionarts, you can read just how strongly he feels about everything from interpretations of Beethoven's dynamic markings to what he sees as a decline in courageous individualism amongst not only musicians, but in society in general.
That conviction will be on full display this afternoon at 2pm, when I'll have a concert performance by Buchbinder in one of the real monuments of the concerto repertoire, the Piano Concerto No. 1 by Johannes Brahms. It's from January of 2009, when Buchbinder was a guest soloist with the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig. Tune in and enjoy!