9 Songs, 1 Hour, 17 Minutes

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About Giorgio Koukl

Czech-born, Lugano-based Giorgio Koukl is best known for his performances and recordings of the piano music of Bohuslav Martinu. Koukl has recorded all the Martinu solo works, on seven CDs, and the five piano concertos and concertino, on two CDs, all for the Naxos label. But Koukl is not exactly a specialist in piano repertory: he plays many of the standards in concert and recital and has developed a repertory of rarely performed Czech solo piano music, including the 13 sonatas by Myslivecek and works by Dvorák, Smetana, Vanhal, Benda, Suk, Fibich, and Forster. Koukl also possesses a broad repertory of harpsichord compositions and is a composer with a substantial output of orchestral, chamber, and vocal music. Among his more important works are the ballet Pandoras and Te Deum, for soloists, chorus, and orchestra. Many of Koukl's compositions have been recorded and are available from several labels, including Gasparo Records, Altri Suoni, and Aulia.

Giorgio Koukl was born into a musical family in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1953. He studied music at the Prague Conservatory and, after relocating to Switzerland in 1968, had further studies at the Zurich Conservatory, as well as the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. His roster of keyboard teachers is impressive: Rudolf Firkusny, Nikita Magalov, Jacques Fevrier, and Stanislav Neuhaus.

Koukl would go on to win a string of prizes in important piano competitions, including at the Tolosa (Spain), Viotti International (Italy) and Aliènor Competition (Washington, DC). He built his career steadily, often performing in broadcast concerts on the BBC, SRG Zurich, Vatican Radio, ORF Vienna, and many others. Though he made regular appearances with major orchestras in Europe and gave critically acclaimed recitals at important concert venues throughout the 1980s and ‘90s, Koukl only began to draw broad international acclaim, both as a pianist and composer, in the new century.

With the 2002 CD Drops of Light, a collection of his chamber and harpsichord works on the Gasparo label, Koukl drew much deserved praise for his versatility and talent as a composer. In 2005 he began his ambitious Martinu project for Naxos, the nine CDs being issued between 2006-2010. The last of these housed the rarely performed Piano Concertos No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 and was issued in November 2010. In 2009 Koukl started another massive project for Naxos, the complete piano works of Alexander Tcherepnin, a cycle projected to run for a half-decade.

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