Catalin Serban

"I always find the clarity and radiance of the sound of C. Bechstein concert grand pianos fascinating."

- Catalin Serban


Catalin Serban, who grew up in Bucharest, lives and works in and around Berlin as a soloist and chamber musician. He began his musical education at the age of six at the Bucharest Music High School "George Enescu". He studied with Professors Martin Hughes and László Simon at the Berlin University of the Arts and with Prof. Konrad Elser at the University of Music Lübeck. He received further artistic impulses in master classes with Professors Claude Frank, György Sebök, Pascal Devoyon, Theodor Paraschivesco and Elena Lapitskaja.

At the beginning of his piano studies, Catalin Serban was already a multiple first prize winner at piano competitions in Romania and was awarded prizes at international competitions such as the Senigallia Piano Competition in Italy or the Bremen Piano Competition in Germany. He was a scholarship holder of the Berlin University of the Arts, the Paul Hindemith Society Berlin and the Marie-Luise-Imbusch Foundation Lübeck.
As a soloist Catalin Serban has performed in the Chamber Music Hall of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Great Hall of the Berlin Konzerthaus, at the Bucharest Athenaeum,  the Bremen Glocke, the Stadtcasino Basel, Radiosaal Bucharest and performs regularly in solo recitals and as a chamber music partner with renowned musicians at festivals such as the Oberstdorfer Musiksommer, the Fränkischen Kammermusiktagen, Brahms Wochen, the Brahms Festival Lübeck, Kammermusiktage Rügen or Beethovenfest Bonn.

Catalin Serban is a piano faculty member at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin and the Musikhochschule Lübeck. In 2018, his solo CD with works by Enescu, Schubert and Scriabin was released on the dreyer gaido label. In 2021 his album with sonatas, fantasies and nocturnes by Chopin and Scriabin will be released by Genuin, recorded on a Bechstein D 282 grand piano.

Photos © Andrej Grilc

Catalin Serban: Resemblances

GENUIN classics Catalin Serban: Resemblances

The connection between the works of Chopin and the early Scriabin is audible with the first encounter. Not only musically but also in their titles, Scriabin's Préludes, Nocturnes and Etudes are reminiscent of those genres we particularly associate with the Polish composer's music. "Scriabin seems to me like a continuation of what Chopin developed," says Catalin Serban, who juxtaposes the works of these two composers on his latest release on the Genuin classics label. The development of melodic as well as harmonic material in a very small space was, Serban says, "completely new in Chopin, and Scriabin continued this in a direct line."

Romanian-born Catalin Serban knows how to flesh out the works of both composers with attention to detail. Especially in the two Sonatas No. 3, the musical similarities of the two composers shine through well, but pianistic differences are also presented in a differentiated way, creating a varied and stimulating listening impression. Wonderfully versatile are the timbres that Catalin Serban elicits from the C. Bechstein concert grand D282. This album was recorded at the Ölbergkirche recording studio in Berlin in April 2021.


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