Grammy-nominated pianist Andrius Zlabys, has placed himself in the forefront of today’s practitioners of his instrument, having performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and Rotterdam Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra of Buenos Aires, among others.
In fact, when Andrius Zlabys – who was born in Lithuania and trained at the revered Curtis Institute of Music – was 18 years old, the Chicago Tribune wrote: “Pianist-composer Andrius Zlabys is one of the most gifted young keyboard artists to emerge in years,” and it was Zlabys whom The New York Sun pointed to in an article titled “A Shining Hope of Pianists” after his recital at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
It is not only Zlabys’ “easy virtuosity” (The Strad), or his “generous and all encompassing“ sound (The Philadelphia Inquirer), his “spell-binding interpretation” (The Plain Dealer) or his “wealth of musical perception” (Greenville News) that has brought him overwhelming acclaim, but a uniquely vulnerable honesty and selfless generosity in his playing that allows the audience to connect with the composers’ most intimate reasons for their work. It is exactly this notion in Zlabys’ playing that prompted the Philadelphia Inquirer to note: “The beloved C-major chord… rippled off of Zlabys’ hands with such open-hearted rightness that you couldn’t escape the notion that the pianist was acting as Bach’s ventriloquist…”
His “extraordinary refinement and artistry” (The New York Sun) has led him to many of the world’s leading stages, such as Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall, Teatro Colón, Wigmore Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein and Suntory Hall. Mr. Zlabys has also appeared at numerous festivals both in the U.S. and abroad, including the Menuhin, Salzburg, Lockenhaus and Caramoor music festivals, and made his Carnegie Hall debut at the Isaac Stern Auditorium with New York Youth Symphony in 2001 in a performance of Beethoven First Piano Concerto, Misha Santora conducting. He was also invited the following season as soloist with Kremerata Baltica to perform Benjamin Britten’s Young Apollo at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall.
Aside from his recital and solo engagements, Andrius Zlabys has enjoyed collaborations with such renowned musical personalities as violist Yuri Bashmet, violinist Hilary Hahn, and a long-time collaboration with violinist Gidon Kremer with whom Zlabys has toured extensively in Europe, Japan, South America, and the US, appearing at numerous world-leading venues. Notably, in 2003, Zlabys earned a Grammy nomination for his recording of Enescu’s Piano Quintet with Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica, and that year was also a prize winner at The Cleveland International Piano Competition. A multifaceted musician, Andrius Zlabys holds a special reverence for J.S. Bach, garnering a reputation for his “profoundly meaningful revelation of J.S. Bach’s music” (Septynios Meno Dienos, Vilnius, Lithuania), while remaining a strong advocate for the contemporary stage with numerous works commissioned by and written for him. Mr. Zlabys was a winner of Astral Artists’ National Auditions in 2000.
Andrius Zlabys began piano studies at the age of six in his native Lithuania and studied with Laima Jakniuniene at the Ciurlionis Art School for eleven years. Subsequent to his arrival in the U.S., he studied with Seymour Lipkin (Curtis Institute of Music), Sergei Babayan (Cleveland Institute of Music), and Claude Frank (Yale School of Music).