Kristian Bezuidenhout was born in South Africa in 1979. He began his studies in Australia, completed them at the Eastman School of Music and now lives in London. After initial studies as a modern pianist with Rebecca Penneys, he explored early keyboards, studying harpsichord with Arthur Haas, fortepiano with Malcolm Bilson and continuo playing and performance practice with Paul O’Dette. During this time he gained considerable experience as a continuo player in Baroque opera productions in the USA and Europe.
Bezuidenhout first gained international recognition at the age of 21 after winning the prestigious first prize as well as the audience prize in the Bruges Fortepiano Competition. Kristian Bezuidenhout is a frequent guest artist with the world’s leading ensembles including The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Orchestre des Champs Elysées, The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Concerto Köln, The Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Collegium Vocale Gent, in many instances assuming the role of guest director. He has performed with celebrated artists including Philippe Herreweghe, Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Pieter Wispelwey, Daniel Hope, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust, Viktoria Mullova, Carolyn Sampson and Mark Padmore.
Bezuidenhout now divides his time between concerto, recital and chamber music engagements, appearing in the early music festivals of Barcelona, Boston, Bruges, Innsbruck, St. Petersburg, Venice and Utrecht; the Saintes Festival, La Roque d’Anthéron, the Chopin Festival Warsaw, Musikfest Bremen, the Tanglewood Festival and Mostly Mozart Lincoln Center, and at many of the world’s most important concert halls including the Berlin and Köln Philharmonie, Suntory Hall, Theatre des Champs Elysées, Symphony Hall, Konzerthaus Vienna, Wigmore Hall and Carnegie Hall.
In 2006, Bezuidenhout was invited by Frans Brüggen and the Orchestra of the 18th Century to perform the complete late piano concertos of Mozart; this was followed by a weekend cycle of the Beethoven piano concertos at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since 2009, Bezuidenhout has embarked on a long-term recording relationship with Harmonia. Recent recordings include Mozart Violin Sonatas with Petra Müllejans, and Volumes 1 & 2 of the complete keyboard music of Mozart (Volume 1 was awarded a Diapason Découverte and won a Caecilia Prize). Other projects for Harmonia Mundi include Mendelssohn piano concertos with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and Schumann Dichterliebe with Mark Padmore. His recording of Beethoven violin sonatas with Viktoria Mullova (ONYX label) won an ICMA for the best chamber music album of 2011.
Future plans include debuts at the Salzburg Festival (with the Mozarteum Orchestra and Giovanni Antonini) and at the Schleswig Holstein Festival; Beethoven concertos with the Chicago Symphony and Trevor Pinnock; a recording of Mozart piano concertos with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra; and recitals in Luzern, Cologne, Nottingham, Paris, Brussels & Oxford. For more information, please visit www.kristianbezuidenhout.com