A supervirtuoso… an excellent musician able to draw music out of Godowsky’s ‘lab experiments’ on the Chopin Etudes. This pianist will go far.

Music and Vision

Albert Frantz

Albert Frantz began piano studies at the unusual age of seventeen—years after a childhood teacher proclaimed he would never be able to play the piano. Under the tutelage of Steven H. Smith at Penn State University, where he sacrificed engineering studies in favor of music and philosophy, he won first prizes at the 1995 Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association Collegiate Artist Competition and Penn State University’s concerto competition (with Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand) after having played the piano for only four years.

In 1998, after winning local, state and national piano competitions, Albert became the first pianist to win a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Vienna, Austria (with Roland Batik at the Vienna Conservatory) in nearly a decade. In Vienna, he studied intensively with Paul Badura-Skoda, later becoming assistant to him and musicologist Eva Badura-Skoda. He has also studied extensively with Carlo Grante, Sally Sargent, Marylène Dosse, Harvey Wedeen and preparatory teacher Nancy Lou Pellett.

Albert records for the Gramola label and is a Bösendorfer Artist. His debut CD of works by Charles-Valentin Alkan was an official jury nomination for best piano CD by the German Record Critics Award, among the most distinguished prizes in classical music.

As a performing and speaking professional, he is the world’s leading TEDx presenter. As president of Vienna Toastmasters for the two years ending in June 2015, he led his club to becoming one of the largest and most successful in Europe.

Albert is also an avid amateur athlete. As a passionate race car driver, he has trained on Formula One tracks with renowned race car drivers, including Susie Wolff (currently the only woman in Formula One), Bernd Schneider (top DTM driver in history), and the Aston Martin racing team. As an IRONMAN triathlete, he is coached by former US national swimming champion and Olympic coach Paul Nelsen.

A documentary about his life and work will be released by dreama.tv in the summer 2015.

Selected performances by Albert Frantz



Mag. Carmen Meissner
Email: c.meiss@gmx.de
Mobile: +43 (699) 10477537 (Austria)
Office: +43 (1) 7962501 (Austria)
Mobile: +49 (176) 72994711 (Germany)


This 2010 talk at TEDxPannonia, titled “Finding Our Hidden Dreams,” offers further details on his path to musical self-discovery:

  • http://www.musicartfilm.net/ Paul Bennett

    A great musician & thinker…

    • http://www.key-notes.com/ Albert Frantz

      Thanks so much, Paul—that’s truly kind of you!

  • http://www.key-notes.com/ Albert Frantz

    Do you have a local university with a strong music program in Iran? I suggest making an appointment at the nearest university with a music degree program, auditioning for one or more professors and asking their advice. They should then be able to help you the most. Good luck—wishing you every success!

  • Anna Laurel

    This has been so inspiring to me! My dream is to become a classical musician someday.
    I am only in High-school, but I have already been making plans to attend the Boston Conservatory when I graduate next year.
    Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed with my dream because it seems so hard to face, but I know that if I think I can’t do hard things, I will never do them and that could be a great loss on my part. I know now that I will never give up on my dream! This was very encouraging to me.
    Thank you so much for sharing this, Mr. Frantz!

    • http://www.key-notes.com/ Albert Frantz

      Your kind words inspire me too, Anna! Wishing you every success!

  • Nate

    A living example that you can learn the piano as and adult. Great talk. For Classical Music check out Albert’s school. If you want to learn improvisation check out smart piano lessons at http://bit.ly/1G9zKJQ

  • Peter Joosten

    Watching this video is very inspiring. Also, I was amazed by your recording of Alkan’s piano sonata – I remember hearing your playing on mp3.com 15 years ago, when I was looking for recordings of Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu, I never realised that the next time I’d come across one, years after the site was closed down, it’d be the infamous Sonate Dans Quatre Ages.

    You prove that the seemingly impossible can become reality – a great source of inspiration to me – having played piano aged 10 to 18 and started again at 26. I am 29 now, and can do a haphazard (no derailments, correct tempi, just too many wrong notes) performance of the Appassionata and Chopin’s Allegro de Concert. I wonder, as I would have never expected this when I took up playing again, where this will lead. I am interested what you think, are significant gains in technique still possible at my age, with enough practice and the right choice of pieces?

    • http://www.key-notes.com/ Albert Frantz

      Thanks for your very kind words! That really means a lot to me. I believe it is indeed possible to make significant progress in technique at your age. In fact, I changed my entire technical approach to the instrument when I was around 30. It’s important to realize that there is a distinction between facility and technique, and that the two are often confounded. It’s possible to have great facility but no discernible technique, meaning no organized, carefully thought-out and trained mental and physical approach to every physical movement. Such an approach can increase your facility and maximize your individual potential. Personally, I’m exceedingly grateful to have benefited from this kind of retraining even though it was a difficult process. It gave me not only a better technical foundation, it also helped me to learn music much more thoroughly.

      My advice to you would be to find a teacher who can train you from the ground up in a real technical school if you haven’t had that benefit already, so that every physical movement at the keyboard is the result of deliberate thought. Feel free to contact me privately if you have more questions along these lines.

      • Peter Joosten

        Actually, I plan to do just that…thnx! I just added you on Facebook, if you don’t mind. We’ll discuss things there further, ok?

        • http://www.key-notes.com/ Albert Frantz

          I’ll be honored!

  • Scott Wilkinson

    This is wonderful. i was always told I was not talented enough to be a professional musician- that musicality is something you are born with and that is the end of it. As a child and as an adolescent I gravitated to music in many ways- listening, learning to sing, learning guitar and banjo and I began to write songs. My parents told me I should be a doctor or a lawyer or an accountant. So I was a good kid and went to medical school and became a surgeon. However, all through my arduous medical training I would always find time for performing, writing, and recording- professionally. All the way through my career as a physician, the music would not “leave me alone” and I began to grow through formal course work in composition, arranging, lyric writing and learning some music technology. This has evolved to several full length recordings, hundreds of performances and today I am working on developing a Broadway musical as composer/lyricist with a team in New York City. This will be no small task, but despite the external uncertainty, I know that this is something I need to be doing. One should not ignore these internal cues, longings,gentle ( or not so gentle) prodding’s as they are an indication of what is possible- and maybe your giftedness.
    I have recently taken in Albert’s course for piano. It is one of the best educational tools in piano I have ever seen. It takes nothing for granted. It has been very helpful to me as a person who has knowledge of the keyboard and theory for the purposes of composite and arranging, but has not developed appropriate technique to become more competent as a pianist . Albert has approached this educational resource as he has his life- with passion and vitality which inspires all of us to do the best we can with what talent we have. And even better, no one can reach through the screen and clobber our wrists with a ruler :)