Ramin Bahrami – Pianista

Bahrami Ramin © UDallaPorta

RAMIN BAHRAMI is considered to be one of the most remarkable living interpreters of Bach on an international level.

Following his performance in Leipzig in 2009, when he played J.S. Bach’s Concertos together with the Gewandhausorchester directed by Riccardo Chailly, German critics started to consider him as “a virtuoso of the sound, a poet of the piano… an extraordinary artist who dares dealing with Bach in a truly unique way” (Leipziger Volkszeitung).

The Iranian artist’s interpretative research is currently aimed at the huge production for piano of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bahrami takes up this challenge with the respect and the cosmopolitan sensitivity in which his background and training are embedded. German, Russian, Turkish and of course Persian inspirations influenced all his childhood and allowed him to approach Bach’s music, exalting its innate universality.

Bahrami played in important piano festivals such as “La Roque d’Anthéron”, the Uzés Festival, the “Piano aux Jacobins” festival in Toulouse, the Estonian “Barokkmuusikafestival” and the Chinese “Beijing International Piano Festival”. In February 2010, he made his outstanding debut in Paris with the Goldberg Variations and in March same year he went on a successful tour alongside Festival Strings Lucerne. In May 2010 he had an incredibly successful performance with Riccardo Chailly in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, where he played the whole of Bach’s Concertos. Subsequently, Bahrami performed in prominent Italian venues such as the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the Teatro La Fenice in Venice and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Here, he not only played during the prestigious piano-only festival along with Maurizio Pollini, Grigory Sokolov, Daniel Barenboim, Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Evgeny Kissin, but was also invited to take part in the Bach Marathon in March 2008 with the violoncellist Mario Brunello. In June 2008 he made his first appearance in Wigmore Hall, London, where he was greatly appreciated by the audience, and in Spring 2009 he was asked to play The Art of Fugue in the “Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli” international piano festival in Brescia and Bergamo; he was a protagonist of that festival together with other famous pianists such as Andràs Schiff, Lang Lang, Angela Hewitt, Grigory Sokolov and Alexander Lonquich.

The Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia has got exclusive rights on Ramin Bahrami for his performances in Rome; the Iranian pianist is the creator and president of the World Bach-Fest, whose first edition was held in Florence. He regularly plays with Festival Strings Lucerne. His next performances will take place at the Ravello festival, with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, and at the Berlin International Music Festival; he will then record the Concertos for two and three pianos with Saleem Aboudd Ashkar, Nareh Aghamanyan and the Gewandhaus Orchestra under the direction of Riccardo Chailly. His last recordings of the Concertos, with Chailly, and of the English Suites have gathered great success among the audience and the critics, and they also entered Nielsen pop music chart.

Bahrami was born in Teheran; after his country’s political revolution, he found protection in Italy, where he could study piano and get his degree with Piero Rattalino in the “G.Verdi” conservatory in Milan.
He then perfected his education in the piano academy “Incontri col Maestro” in Imola, and with Wolfgang Bloser in the Stuttgart Hochschule für Musik. Afterwards, he further perfected himself with Weissenberg, Charles Rosen, András Schiff, Robert Levin and in particular with Rosalyn Tureck, the artist who has contributed more than anyone to spread the modernity of Bach’s piano production through his studies and performances. His first important debut took place in 1998 in the Teatro Bellini in Catania: his success was so extraordinary that, after that performance, the city of Catania awarded him with the honorary citizenship. Starting from that moment, he performed in major Italian musical venues, theatres, tours and prestigious international festivals. In January 2009 he was awarded the “Città di Piacenza – Giuseppe Verdi” prize for being one of the great protagonist of the musical scene. Other important artists who received this prize before him are Riccardo Muti, Josè Cura, Leo Nucci and Pier Luigi Pizzi.

Ramin Bahrami only records for Decca-Universal. His discography entails the Goldberg Variations (2004), the Seven Suites (2005), The Art of Fugue (2007), the collection “Ramin Bahrami plays Bach” (2009) containing some live performances, and the French Suites (2010). His recording of The Art of Fugue got to the top of the charts for seven weeks and reached selling numbers that are usually a prerogative of pop music. In 2009 Decca published his first recording on a modern instrument of Bach’s Sonatas and he received once again great acknowledgements and success from audience and critics. Ramin Bahrami’s recordings have been included many times in Decca and Deutsche Grammophon’s anthologies. In 2011 Deutsche Grammophon published a Bach collection, including the Goldberg Variations and The Art of Fugue by Ramin Bahrami, together with other Bach compositions played by Karl Richter and Wilhelm Kempff, among many others.

The disc containing the five keyboard Concertos by J.S. Bach, recorded in Leipzig with the Gewandhausorchester under the direction of Riccardo Chailly, was published by Decca in June 2011 and deserved 5 stars in the Amadeus monthly magazine.

In November 2012, Mondadori published his first book “Come Bach mi ha salvato la vita” (How Bach saved my life). In addition, Decca published a 2-CDs anthology named “Amare Bach” (Loving Bach) comprising a compilation of the most famous performances by the Master Ramin Bahrami.

In December 2012 he made his debut in the Teatro alla Scala in Milan during a session for the Museo Diocesano in Milan, in memoriam of Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini.

Recently, he recorded the Inventions for two and three voices by J.S. Bach with the great English producer John Fraser in Potton Hall, Suffolk.
He played in the S. Cecilia hall for a concert/event promoted by both the Accademia and the charity Insè, in memoriam of the great Nobel Prize for medicine Rita Levi Montalcini.

Following his great success during an awarding ceremony of Paulo Coelho organized by the editor Bompiani in the Cathedral of Milan, where he played the Goldberg Variations, a new CD by Ramin Bahrami is set to be released in November, containing the Variations for two and three voices of J.S. Bach and some very rare pieces never recorded before.

“Ramin Bahrami decomposes and recomposes Bach’s music taking inspiration from his model Glenn Gould, but without imitating him. I taught him to bear the yoke, but I did not tame him; and I hope he will always remain as he is.” Piero Rattalino