Daniel Lebhardt

“…He brought narrative sweep and youthful abandon to the piece [Liszt Sonata in B minor], along with power, poetry and formidable technique… ”

New York Times

Photo credit: Kaupo Kikkas


In 2014 Daniel Lebhardt won 1st Prize at the Young Concert Artists International auditions in Paris and New York. A year later he was invited to record music by Bartók for Decca and in 2016 won the Most Promising Pianist prize at the Sydney International Competition.

Recent highlights include Daniel’s Hallé Orchestra debut performing Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5, a work he also performs at his Barbican and Symphony Hall Birmingham concerto debuts. In recital he had debuts at the Lucerne and Miami International Festivals and in Dublin and Kiev, with further appearances in Oxford and London.

As a chamber musician, Daniel regularly collaborates with violinist Benjamin Baker and the Castalian Quartet.

Born in Hungary, Daniel studied at the Franz Liszt Academy with István Gulyás and Gyöngyi Keveházi and at the Royal Academy of Music with Pascal Nemirovski. He was selected by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2015 and is currently based in Birmingham, where he is enrolled on an Advanced Diploma in Performance at the Royal Conservatoire.



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    Schubert: Ländler, Minuets, Écossaises

    Label: Naxos

    Release Date: 26 Feb 21

    Social and musical life in Biedermeier Vienna during the first decade of the 19th century created a great demand for dances which took place in the residences of wealthy citizens. With their echoes of the Austrian countryside Schubert’s folk-type Ländler are dances in 3/4 time, precursors of the waltz. Composed towards the end of his life when Schubert wrote his greatest music, the sets of 16 and 17 Ländler are notable for their melodic inventiveness. The 16 are dedicated to the ladies of Vienna and known as the Wiener Damen-Ländler; while the Écossaises were intended for facing lines of dancers rather than couples. Daniel Lebhardt relishes the joy and ‘irresistible and sometimes quite delirious’ ingenuity of these jewel-like dances.

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    Franz Schubert: 30 Minuets with Trios / 8 Ländler / 5 Ecossaises

    Label: NAXOS

    Release Date: 04 Dec 20

    Dances were an important element in Schubert’s compositions. He favoured the Ländler, triple time country dances—perfect material for Viennese middle-class tastes—and the Écossaise, supposedly Scottish, cast in duple time and performed with women and men facing each other. The 30 Minuets with Trios, of which ten are lost, sport especially captivating and varied Trios, while the two Écossaises from the German Dances, D. 783 are vivacious examples of Schubert’s genial mastery of the genre.

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    Featured in 'Béla Bartók - Complete Works'

    Label: Decca

    Release Date: 18 Mar 16

    Marche funebre (from Kossuth), BB31

    Decca presents a 32-CD set comprising the complete works of Bartók…

    Includes new recordings of never before recorded early piano works and vocal works (from Daniel Lebhardt, Mária Celeng, Gyula Nagy and Simon Lepper), plus the new recording of 44 Duos for Two Violins by the Nemtanu sisters.

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    13 Mar 20 Daniel Lebhardt’s compelling account of Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ with the Hallé in Blackburn Hallé
    King George's Hall, Blackburn

    ”Lebhardt was plainly unfazed by the demands of this courageous and magnificent score. Throughout this frequently encountered work I relished the soloist’s unerringly stylish and frequently ebullient playing in a bold performance that abounded with fresh ideas. With a significant sense of purpose this compelling account from Lebhardt displayed unquenchable verve in the outer movements drawing the listener into the affecting Adagio with a lovely affecting tone and impressive degree of concentration.”
    Michael Cookson, Seen and Heard International, 16 March 2020

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    23 Feb 20 Lebhardt conquers a challenging program and acoustic at Miami Piano Festival South Florida Classical Review
    Miami Piano Festival

    ”Opening the second half was Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 18, one of the composer’s most deceptive, joke-infused sonatas. Lebhardt’s playing showcased his understanding of its tricky structure and rhetorical devices. He effectively enunciated the articulations and stark dynamic shifts to give an exciting account of the sonata.

    […] Easily the highlight of the evening, Bartók’s Out of Doors suite (1926) made for a magical exploration of folk customs and nature, with Lebhardt taking full advantage of Bartók’s evocative soundscape. He captured and confidently delivered the essence of each movement with flair and an inventive color palette.”
    Inesa Gegprifti, South Florida Classical Review, 24 February 2020

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    02 Mar 16 Daniel Lebhardt Shows Daring Command in a New York Debut New York Times
    Merkin Concert Hall

    “Even before the 23-year-old Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt began his New York debut recital on Tuesday night, I was impressed by the adventurous program he had chosen. For this performance at Merkin Concert Hall, Mr. Lebhardt, a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, played an overlooked Beethoven sonata, followed by the premiere of a substantive piece by Tonia Ko, ending with a cornerstone of the repertory (by a fellow Hungarian): Liszt’s daunting Sonata in B minor.
    It took imagination to open with Beethoven’s Sonata No. 16 in G (Op. 31, No. 1). […]The opening Allegro unfolds in bursts of spiraling runs and scale fragments punctuated by chords that are slightly, and deliberately, out of sync. Taking a daringly fast tempo, Mr. Lebhardt dispatched the music with scintillating crispness and conveyed its brash humor. But the breathless energy of his account also teased out the sonata’s heedless daring. He revealed the slyness at work in the Adagio, with its almost mock-elegant trills and swirling passagework. The final Rondo was an impish, brilliant delight. […] Liszt’s visionary Sonata in B minor is an epic fantasy lasting nearly 30 minutes, shifting from bursts of wildness to passages of profundity. Just playing it commandingly, as Mr. Lebhardt did, is difficult enough. He brought narrative sweep and youthful abandon to the piece, along with power, poetry and formidable technique…”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 2 March 2016

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    06 Nov 17 The Audience Roared their Approval Nottingham Post
    Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham

    “Daniel Lebhardt was a hit with Sunday morning’s RCH audience – and not just because he is a brilliant, multi-prize-winning pianist. He’s also a very endearing personality, young (still only 25) and able to chat informatively to his listeners about the music, even getting his phone out to find helpful quotations.
    His programme was both meaty and well-balanced, starting with Schubert’s Three Piano Pieces , immediately showing how well he could create sharply contrasting moods. The first piece started darkly and turbulently but then blossomed into a lyrically expansive show section. The final piece offered him similar opportunities to perform a quick change from the breathless urgency of the opening to a central section almost hymn-like in texture and atmosphere.
    Daniel’s introduction to Mozart’s Rondo in A minor helped open ears and minds to this unusually sad piece […] Daniel certainly captured the Rondo ‘s yearning and melancholy, its feeling of unease and of resignation to fate.
    Then came Rachmaninov’s 2nd Sonata , in the original, longer and more difficult 1913 version. Daniel Lebhardt rose to its fearsome technical challenges giving the work both a propulsive dramatic sweep and lots of soulful lyricism. The result was intensely exciting, imaginative and full of colour.
    He made the piano sing in the slow movement and roar in the supercharged finale. If Rachmaninov had heard such a performance of the 1913 version, maybe he wouldn’t have felt the need to rewrite it in 1931.
    The audience roared their approval, no doubt hoped for an encore, but seemed to know that they had already had more than their share of musical fireworks for one November the Fifth.”

    William Ruff, Nottingham Post, 6 November 2017

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    07 Dec 17 An Extraordinarily Talented Pianist West Sussex Gazette
    Chichester Chamber Concerts

    “From the opening chord of Beethoven’s ‘Tempest’ Sonata, it was clear we were in the hands of a magician. […] Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt transported us Prospero-like to a magic “isle full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs that give delight”. His calm concentration focussed our attention on the music: its fierce contrasts of tempestuous outbursts stilled by those magic chords, and the curiously inward-looking recitative holding our thoughts before plunging into the recapitulation. It was all masterfully done. […] But all this magic was just the curtain-raiser for the next item which for me was the star of the show: Bartók’s Piano Sonata. What energy, what wild rhythms! Lebhardt played as if possessed – completely winning over any of the audience who might have been timid about Bartók by his sheer love of this wonderful Hungarian music. The final devilish dance whirled faster and faster to the end and our enthusiastic cheers. I could not imagine a better performance […] Rachmaninov is rich fare and Lebhardt played this passionate and complex music with extraordinary technical prowess and a powerfully concentrated conviction. Daniel Lebhardt is an extraordinarily talented pianist. Well done Chichester for giving him a platform; watch out for him in the future…”

    Chris Darwin, West Sussex Gazette, 7 December 2017


JS BACH Concerto No. 1 in D minor BWV 1052
JS BACH Concerto No. 5 in F minor BWV 1056
BEETHOVEN Concerto No. 3
BEETHOVEN Concerto No. 4
BEETHOVEN Concerto No. 5 ‘Emperor’
BRAHMS Concerto No. 1
BRAHMS Concerto No. 2
GRIEG Piano Concerto
HAYDN Concerto No. 11 in D
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1
LISZT Totentanz
MOZART Concerto No. 26 in D K537
MOZART Concerto No. 9 in E flat K271
MOZART Concerto No. 12 in A K414
MOZART Concerto No. 21 in C K467
PROKOFIEV Concerto No. 2
RACHMANINOV Concerto No. 1
RACHMANINOV Concerto No. 2
TCHAIKOVSKY Concerto No. 1