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 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.
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. He is a dedicated marathon runner and is currently training with former US national swimming champion and Olympic coach Paul Nelsen for his first IRONMAN triathlon in June 2015.
A documentary about his life and work will be released by dreama.tv in the winter of 2015.
This 2010 talk at TEDxPannonia, titled “Finding Our Hidden Dreams,” offers further details on his path to musical self-discovery: