Bernd Glemser is a rare breed of pianist both in his phenomenally broad and eclectic repertory and in his seemingly ubiquitous presence on the concert stage. Indeed, and so much about his career appears worthy of the record books: he has won outright or captured a prize in 17 consecutive international competitions since 1981 (as far as it is known, that IS the record!); in 1989 he became the youngest professor to teach at a German university; in 1996 he was invited to become the first western musician to perform on live Chinese television (playing the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto); and he has made over 30 recordings, with the first appearing only in 1994. Glemser has performed with major orchestras and conductors throughout Europe, Canada, the U.S., South America, China, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere on the globe. His repertory encompasses most major composers from J.S. Bach to the moderns and takes in large chunks of Schumann, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, and Prokofiev. Most of Glemser's recordings have been issued on Naxos, with a handful appearing on Oehms and Membran/NCA.
Bernd Glemser was born in Dürbheim, Germany, in 1962. He studied piano in his youth, often traveling on skis through heavy snow to take lessons. Glemser became a student of the Russian pianist Vitaly Margulis at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg. From his early student years he began qualifying for competitions, including some of the most prestigious, like the Busoni, Cortot, Tchaikovsky, and the ARD.
Gaining his professorship in 1989 at the Saarbrücken College of Music as a pianist still in his twenties, Glemser managed to maintain an active concert career in Europe. 1992 was a pivotal year for him: Glemser was awarded the Andor Foldes Prize and also signed a recording contract with Naxos, his first CDs not appearing, however, until 1994.
Glemser would go on to receive critical acclaim and various awards for most of his recordings, particularly for his series of Rachmaninov concertos (1998-2000) and Prokofiev piano sonatas (1994-2003).
At a November 2000 concert serving as part of the 100th anniversary celebrations for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Glemser appeared with the feted ensemble under conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch in an acclaimed performance of the Rachmaninov Third Piano Concerto. In 2003 Glemser was given the Federal Cross of Merit by the German government. Among Glemser's later recordings is the 2009 Oehms CD of preludes and fugues by J.S. Bach and Shostakovich.