Lars Vogt has established himself as one of the leading musicians of his generation. Born in the German town of Düren in 1970, he first came to public attention when he won second prize at the 1990 Leeds International Piano Competition and has enjoyed a varied career for over twenty-five years. His versatility as an artist ranges from the core classical repertoire of Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann and Brahms to the romantics Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov through to the dazzling Lutoslawski concerto.
Lars is now increasingly performing as a conductor and in September 2015 took up his post as Music Director of Royal Northern Sinfonia at Sage Gateshead. With Lars the orchestra has developed a strong international profile with concerts in Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul and Tokyo and regular visits to the La Roque d'Antheron International Piano Festival and Festival de Musique de Menton in France as well as the Rheingau Festival in Germany. In 2017 they performed a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle in Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul. The orchestra also recorded the cycle for a series of releases with Ondine, finishing with a disc of the 2nd and 4th piano concerti which was released in March 2018 receiving much critical acclaim. ‘‘Vogt’s direction is as masterly as his playing […], a richly satisfying disc.’’ (The Times)
Lars begins this season with a return to the Leeds Competition, this time as a member of the jury. Throughout the season he continues to work with many leading orchestras as a conductor with highlights featuring debuts with Singapore and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, Warsaw Philharmonic and the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Previous conducting collaborations include Cologne and Zurich Chamber Orchestras, Camerata Salzburg, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Hannover Opera Orchestra, Frankfurt Museumorchester and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Lars’ solo engagements this season include the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic in the prestigious ZaterdagMatinee series at the Concertgebouw and concerts with the San Francisco Symphony, St Louis and Baltimore Orchestras. He returns to North America in Spring 2019 for a tour with Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff including New York (Carnegie Hall), Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. He will also perform recitals in London, Salzburg, Barcelona and Beijing.
Highlights of Lars’ 2017/18 season included a season-long residency with the Frankfurt Museumorchester and concerto performances with the Orchestre de Paris under Daniel Harding, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester, NDR Hannover and Guerzenich Cologne. In Berlin he returned to the Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester Berlin to perform Berg’s Kammerkonzert with Vladimir Jurowski.
During his prestigious career Lars has performed with many of the world’s great orchestras including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Santa Cecilia Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Bayerischer Rundfunk Munich, Staatskapelle Dresden, Wiener Philharmoniker, London Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony and NHK Symphony. In 2015 Lars featured in the First Night of the BBC Proms season in London and the opening of the Orchestre de Paris’ season at the Philharmonie in Paris, repeated at La Scala, Milan. He has collaborated with some of the world’s most renowned conductors including Claudio Abbado, Daniel Harding, Mariss Jansons, Paavo Järvi, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle and Robin Ticciati. His special relationship with the Berliner Philharmoniker has continued with regular collaborations following his appointment as their first ever “Pianist in Residence” in the 2003/4 season.
Lars enjoys a high profile as a chamber musician and in June 1998 he founded his own chamber festival in the village of Heimbach near Cologne. Known as Spannungen, the concerts take place in an art-nouveau hydro-electric power station. Its huge success has been marked by the release of several live recordings on the CAvi and EMI labels. In addition to Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff, Lars has enjoyed regular partnerships with colleagues such as Thomas Quasthoff, Ian Bostridge and Julian Pregardian and collaborates with actor Klaus-Maria Brandauer and comedian Konrad Beikircher.
A prolific recording artist, Lars now works closely with the Ondine label, with recent solo releases including works by Schubert and the Bach Goldberg Variations which had unprecedented success in download charts as well as receiving widespread acclaim. Adding to his growing list of chamber recordings, recent releases on Ondine include Brahms, Mozart and Schumann sonatas with Christian Tetzlaff, and their GRAMMY nominated Brahms’ piano trios with Tanja Tetzlaff. In earlier years as an EMI recording artist, Lars made over ten discs with the label including the Hindemith Kammermusik No 2 with the Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado, plus the Schumann, Grieg and first two Beethoven Concertos with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra/Sir Simon Rattle. Lars has also recorded for the labels CAvi (most recently a charming recording of Larcher, Schumann and Bartók works for children), Oehms Classics (Mozart Concertos/ Mozarteumorchester Salzburg) and Berlin Classics (solo Liszt and Schumann).
A passionate advocate of making music an essential life force in the community, in 2005 Lars established a major educational programme Rhapsody in School which brings his colleagues to schools across Germany and Austria, thereby connecting children with inspiring world-class musicians. He is also an accomplished and enthusiastic teacher and in 2013 was appointed Professor of Piano at the Hannover Conservatory of Music, succeeding Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, his former teacher and close friend. Lars lives in Berlin with his wife, the violinist Anna Reszniak, and his family.