International attention focused on Canadian pianist Arthur Ozolins more than thirty-five years ago when The New Yorker heralded his emergence as 'one of the great virtuosos of our time'. His training on three continents has produced a musician keenly attuned to the cultural and stylistic idioms in repertoire ranging from baroque to contemporary. Audiences and critics around the world applaud his unique fusion of romantic ardour and uncommon clarity of thought.
A third generation pianist, Ozolins was born to Latvian parents in Lübeck. His studies began in Buenos Aires with his grandmother and mother, a pupil of Edwin Fischer. At the age of 13, he entered the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, studying first with Talivaldis Kenins and later Alberto Guerrero. The following year, Walter Susskind invited Arthur Ozolins to make his debut with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO). Since that debut in 1961, Ozolins has appeared more than 50 times with the TSO and collaborated with it in numerous recordings. It was with this orchestra under the direction of Andrew Davis that Arthur Ozolins was first presented in the Kennedy Center and in Carnegie Hall.
Three of the pianist's teachers figure among the legendary pedagogues of the instrument in the 20th Century: Nadia Boulanger, Vlado Perlemuter and Nadia Reisenberg. It was the advice of the revered Pablo Casals that first guided the young musician to Paris. Returning to North America, Arthur Ozolins entered the Mannes College of Music in New York and graduated in 1967 with the distinction of having achieved the highest scholastic record in the history of the school.
Mr. Ozolins has performed with such orchestras as the Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool and Hallé; the St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Stockholm and Oslo Philharmonics; and the orchestras of Montpéllier, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Ulster and Taiwan. His American orchestral debut was with the St. Louis Symphony, replacing an ailing Leon Fleisher. In Canada he appears with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony and l’Orchestre de Montréal, among others.
For more than 40 years Arthur Ozolins has been at the heart of music making in Canada. He has recorded the complete concerti and Rhapsody on the Theme of Paganini of Rachmaninoff with Mario Bernardi and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for CBC Records. The Los Angeles Times has called him 'Canada's leading virtuoso pianist.' Arthur Ozolins was recipient of the first Juno Award given in classical music. The Latvian government awarded Ozolins its Three Star Order award (2003), and its Grand Music Prize (2002). He has also recently been appointed as an Honorary Professor at the Latvian Academy of Music (2010).Tweet