Born in Hannover in 1995, 24-year-old pianist Elisabeth Brauß is quickly establishing herself as one of the most exciting and versatile musicians of her generation. We caught up with Elisabeth on welcoming her to the AH family, and found out more about her journey so far, her collaborations and her inspirations.
Growing up in a musical family – “both my parents are professional musicians,” she says – a career in music was always on the cards: “[it] was the most natural thing from the very beginning.”
Elisabeth began playing the piano aged four, and later studied at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in her hometown of Hannover. Her teachers have included Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetzke and Jelena Levit, all of whom have been big inspirations to her: “[they] gave me the tools to explore the world of music, and the freedom to use them in my own way.” In addition to her teachers, she draws inspiration from both those close to her and those who came before her. “In life, my parents and my siblings are my biggest inspirations – in music, my father [the conductor Martin Brauß] and my experiences with Mozart and Carlos Kleiber.”
As a performer, Elisabeth possesses a maturity and sophistication well beyond her years. “It is rare to encounter this degree of instrumental mastery wed to musical depth and sensitivity in one so young,” Gramophone magazine said of her debut album, released in 2017. “Brauss’s exhilarating Beethoven is so thoroughly integrated that each movement is emotionally and spiritually amplified by what has gone before.”
She has been a member of the prestigious BBC New Generation Artist scheme since the 2018/19 season. “[It’s] been one of the greatest experiences of my musical life,” she tells us. “I got so many fantastic opportunities, experiences, concerts, collaborations and just overall the feeling of great support which has helped me to grow, and to constantly find new ways to be a better musician.”
As a soloist, Elisabeth has collaborated with orchestras including Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, BBC Scottish Symphony, NDR Elbphilharmonie Hannover, Dortmund Symphoniker and Bochum Symphony. The start of the 19/20 season saw Elisabeth make her BBC Proms in the Park debut in Belfast with the Ulster Orchestra, and further highlights of the season include concerto appearances with BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic and Südwestdeutsche Kammersinfonie among others.
Elisabeth also regularly joins forces with Dutch violinist Noa Wildschut, who she met in Heidelberg in 2018. Together they have performed at the Concertgebouw, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Philharmonie Essen and Schloss Elmau, and look forward to an extensive European tour of major venues including the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Kölner Philharmonie and Konserthuset Stockholm among others. What role does chamber music play for Elisabeth? “In the end, everything is chamber music: working with orchestras, singers, ensembles as much as playing solo piano. You always need to give each voice a meaning, let the different voices communicate, find natural phrasings and articulations. Playing together with other musicians teaches you multiple ways to achieve that and always something about your music-making in general as well.”
Our final question: What’s the dream? “Maintaining a sense of art and an understanding for the music.”
Askonas Holt is delighted to welcome Elisabeth to the AH family for general management, and to collaborate with her over the years to come. She will be represented by Olivia Lyndon-Jones and Sara Edwards.