Pianist and organist Burkard Schliessmann has distinguished himself in the music world as an artist of extraordinary insight. He has earned international recognition for his compelling performances, featuring clarity and subtlety at the highest technical level. Mr. Schliessmann has received many awards and honors as recitalist, recording artist, orchestral soloist and chamber musician. His album, 'Chopin-Schumann Anniversary Edition 2010’, released worldwide on MSR Classics, has received the "Critics' Choice Award" from American Record Guide. According to the New York Times, “Schliessmann is representative of the best of the modern school.” Most recent highlights in 2014/2015 include Mr. Schliessmann’s appearance at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt (Jan. 2015) with works of Beethoven, Schumann and Chopin and other venues in Germany and Eastern Europe plus various TV appearances on UNITEL Classica (HD) (February and March 2015) featuring music of Liszt-Transcriptions from Schubert-Songs. In December 2014 his new release of an all Bach programme on Divine Art label distributed worldwide by Naxos, received rave reviews and Fanfare magazine listed his CD as “Not To Be Missed” citing in an extensive article/interview “... he has a deep understanding of music, the arts, science, religion and history, and a keen grasp on the complex body of interdisciplinary studies that connects them in ways both obvious and obscure…” (March 2015).
In March 2013 Burkard Schliessmann has been bestowed with the distinguished Melvin Jones Fellow Award in recognition of his international achievements in the Arts and Culture. In the American Record Guide (March/April 2013), Donald Vroon placed Mr. Schliessmann amongst his 15 most favored pianists worldwide (only living and active pianists). In February 2013, Mr Schliessmann has been touring in Germany of which the “Frankfurter Neue Presse” noted that his performance was played with “virtuosic brilliance.” Mr. Schliessmann’s 2011/2012 higlights included a documentary of his musical life in the popular German cultural program “Doppelkopf” of Hessian Radio in Frankfurt/Main. In January 2012 he was honored for his major national and international success with the “Medal of Merit in Gold” in Bavaria. Burkard was also the featured artist at a gala concert at Duesseldorf’s Tonhalle and recorded music of Chopin and Bach at the Teldex Studios of Berlin.
In the same season, he concertized on the West Coast of the United States where the Bastyr University in Seattle re-engaged him, followed by a Ceremony where he was honored with the President’s Citation (spring 2012), the highest ranking US-academic distinction. In addition, Mr. Schliessmann was heard as recitalist in New York and Tennessee, where he also appeared as organist in the Inaugural Concert for the newly installed Rodgers organ at Lee University, Knoxville.
Burkard Schliessmann has regularly performed throughout Europe, in the United States, Japan, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. He has participated in many European festivals such as the Munich Piano Summer Festival, the festival “Frankfurt Feste”, the Valldemossa Chopin Festival, and the Maurice Ravel Festival in Paris, among others. As orchestral soloist, Mr. Schliessmann’s performance highlights include his orchestral solo appearances with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt, WDR Radio Symphony Orchestra Cologne, Symphony Orchestra Wuppertal and the New Philharmonic Westfalia, in addition to other orchestras. He enjoys great popularity in media and has been showcased at major German TV-studios, including the Philharmonie of Gasteig in Munich, the City Hall Wuppertal, and the WDR West German Radio studio in Cologne. Mr. Schliessmann has been featured by the WDR radio in its program “Aspekte” in a joint production of the ARD/ZDF TV- channels. He has also been featured by BR Bavarian radio, HR Hessian radio and was broadcast nationwide and throughout Europe in the cultural programs of ‘ARTE’, and ‘3sat.’
As official Artist of Steinway & Sons, Mr. Schliessmann performed at New York’s Steinway Hall. The “Classic Arts Show Case” invited Mr. Schliessmann to appear in their TV- Portraits for which he received high critical acclaim. The American “High Performance Review” magazine had no hesitation in placing him alongside the finest pianists and noted: "...This is the most imaginative playing one has heard yet on the level of Richter Michelangeli, Serkin, Wild and Gould - the highest order of artistry...” Mr. Schliessmann’s interpretation of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg-Variations, released on Bayer label in 2008, received the "Critics' Choice Award 2008" from American Record Guide. The same CD earned the distinction "Recording of the Year 2008" by Music Web International which also chose his recording of an all Chopin program to be the "Recording of the Year 2004."
A native of Germany, Burkard Schliessmann graduated from the Frankfurt Music Conservatory with a Master’s degree. He studied with Shura Cherkassky, Herbert Seidel, Bruno Leonardo Gelber and Poldi Mildner and participated in master classes held by Cherkassky and Gelber in Washington and in Paris. In his personal life, Mr. Schliessmann is dedicated to the study of philosophy and photography. He has been appointed the official Ambassador of the Project Aware Foundation for the “Protecting of Our Ocean Planet.” Mr. Schliessmann is also a passionate diver whose diving excursions have led him to oceans around the world. Exploring the depths to discover hidden treasures and dazzling colors is his motivation, similar to his approach in music. A profound understanding of music and an authentic interpretation is only possible by exploring its depths to uncover multifaceted colors and the smallest detail that leads to its structure. Burkard Schliessmann made the words of philosopher Hegel his principle: "Art isn't all about a pleasant or useful musical mechanism, but about laying bare the truth."