Robert Benz – Germany
The German pianist Robert Benz received his first piano lessons at the age of four. After being taught by N. Taneda at the University of Music Karlsruhe, where he also graduated in conducting, he went to the Juilliard School New York as a student of R. Lhevinne and M. Canin. Benz became famous as the winner of the first prize of both the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano 1974, and the International Liszt-Barto`k Piano Competition in Budapest 1976. He started his wide-ranging career as a recitalist and soloist playing with orchestras around the world. Benz’s recordings include all 32 piano sonatas by Beethoven for the label Thorofon. In 1990, he became professor of piano at the University of Music Mannheim, and then decided to withdraw as a soloist and concentrate on chamber music. Since 1996 Benz has been the pianist of Trio Bamberg, and together they have performed and recorded most of the piano trio repertoire. In 2005 he became artistic director of the Ettlingen International Piano Competition. Today Robert Benz enjoys an international reputation as a teacher, and regularly serves as a jury member at international competitions.