The year: 1989: The story: one of the most curious in Germany's academic history. Young pianist Bernd Glemser was appointed as the country's youngest professor. Still a student of Russian pianist and teacher Vitaly Margulis at the time, he had to officially leave college to take the post, but was given the reassuring news that he would be allowed to complete his examinations during the following two years…
One of the few opportunities that piano students have to perform internationally – above all with orchestras – is during the course of competitions. For this reason, the young pianist travelled the entire world until 1987 and unknowingly broke a record that had been on the books since 1890: he won 17 competitions and special prizes in succession. "The prize money allowed me to buy my first grand piano…"
33 highly-acclaimed CDs, television recordings, between 15 and 20 radio broadcasts a year worldwide of concerts with big-name conductors such as Blomstedt, Chailly, Welser-Möst, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Dimitri Kitajenko all confirm Glemser's exceptional status among the international elite of pianists.
A new CD of Chopin's complete Ballades and Scherzos was released in early 2011. It was named "Recording of the Month February 2011" by US reviewer Robert Cummings. A further CD will be released in the autumn of 2012, contrasting works by Felix Mendelssohn.
The pianist has particular affinity for the works of Sergey Rachmaninov. This makes Glemser the obvious choice for Wolfgang Sawallisch to have invited to perform the composer's Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Philadelphia Orchestra. The ensemble, which recorded with Rachmaninov during the composer's lifetime, celebrated its 100th birthday with this work.
A long journey for a boy from the hills of Southern Germany, who often had to ski to his piano lessons…
In addition to his many awards, Bernd Glemser received the Andor Foldes Prize in 1992 and the European Pianist's Prize in 1993 in Zürich, to be followed by the Bavarian Cultural Prize in November 2012.
In 2003, he was awarded the Federal Cross of Merit by Germany's Federal President Johannes Rau.