Hungarian maestro at December concert

Daniel Lebhardt
Daniel Lebhardt

Chichester Chamber Concerts welcome Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt for their December recital.

Taking place on a Wednesday rather than the usual Thursday, it will be on Wednesday, December 6 at 7.30pm in The Assembly Room, Chichester Council House, North Street, Chichester.

Daniel studied at the Liszt Academy in Budapest and at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Now living in Birmingham, he won first prize at the 2014 Young Concert Artists Auditions in Paris and then won YCA’s International Auditions in New York.

This season he makes his recital debut in the Kennedy Center in New York.

“I came to England seven years ago to study at the Royal Academy,” says Daniel.

“I did my bachelors and masters programmes there, and this year I moved to Birmingham. I am involved with the Birmingham Conservatoire on a flexible course. When I am available, I have my lessons with my professor.”

Otherwise, he is focusing on building his career.

“The UK is a good place to be.

“It can be difficult, but I am in a good place because I am one of the artists on YCAT (the Young Classical Artists Trust).

“Before that it was difficult to get concerts booked, but YCAT has got good connections, a good reputation for good artists on its roster.

“I am still learning, and if you are still unknown it can be hard to get those connections yourself.”

Daniel grew up in Budapest: “My parents are both music fans.

“My mother took me to lots of concerts in Budapest, and I always loved music. My grandparents had an upright piano, and I asked my mum to find me a teacher.

“I didn’t know what it was that I loved about the piano when I was six, but I find it a very exciting instrument, and the music you can play on it is very challenging. It has got such range.

“It is almost like you can play a whole symphony on one instrument. But it is also the great variety of the music which is very exciting.

“I like anything from Bach to Scarlatti and Rachmaninov and Bartok and Stravinsky. I am lucky that I like it all. I am still on a learning curve. I can still allow myself all the repertoire that I enjoy. I don’t have to specialise. I am almost fascinated by too many composers.

“I don’t have to make a conscious decision yet to choose.”

For Chichester, he will play Beethoven – Sonata in D minor Op. 32 No. 2 Tempest Sonata; Bartók – Piano Sonata Sz 80 (1926); Mozart – Rondo in A minor K511; and Rachmaninov – Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor Op. 36.

“I love building up a programme. It is a question of looking around, and it can be incredibly difficult.

“I always try to develop a narrative or some kind of logic behind it. I had to include the Beethoven which I really want to do. Chichester will be my first time of playing the piece in public.

“Like any other piece, you have got to try to find a way to play it which is intelligent and to find a way to communicate the piece which feels the right way for you to communicate it.

“With the Bach and the Rachmaninov, there is an extra challenge, certainly in the real technical difficulties, and the Mozart is a challenge because of its exposure and the thinness of the texture. It is a question of getting the pulse for the piece which is not necessarily related to the pace of the piece.”

Tickets from Chichester Festival Theatre on 01243 781312 Tickets are also available at the Assembly Room from 7pm on the day of performance.

Daniel's concert closes the series for the year. It resumes on Thursday, January 25 at 7.30pm in The Assembly Room with the Bernardi Music Group (director/violin: Andrew Bernardi).