Jan Schultsz

Jan Schultsz (1965) is one of the leading pianists and conductors of our time and teaching at the conservatory in Basel.

Jan Schultsz was born in 1965 in Amsterdam and received his first piano lessons at the age of 4 and his first horn lessons at the age of 10. He studied both instruments in Amsterdam and Basel.He is giving concerts with singers and instrumentalists in numerous European countries and in 1996 for the first time in the Carnegie Hall (New York). He is playing as soloist with orchestras in Basel and several chamber orchestras. Additionaly he was leading classes at the Bruckner Conservatory in Linz. Currently he is teaching piano at the conservatory in Basel.Jan Schultsz completed his education as an conductor in Basel, Bern and Zürich under Horst Stein, Manfred Honeck, Wilfried Boettcher and Ralf Weikert. Additionaly he participated in numerous conducting courses (amongst others with Jorma Panula) and studied at Conservatory in St. Petersburg (Russia). He is winner of several prices and scholarships.Jan Schultsz lead many European Orchestras as guest conductor, for example the "Tonhalleorchester Zürich", the "Mozarteum-Orchester Salzburg" or the Orchestre de Chambre de Neuchâtel. He has always a lot of success in working with youth and conservatory orchestras. He has been musical director at the "Norske Opera" in Oslo (Sweeden) and conductor at the Hungarian state opera in Budapest.

Jan Schultsz participated in numerous radio and TV productions and recorded several CDs. His recording of Franz Schubert's "Die schöne Müllerin" with Werner Güra (tenor) was honored with the "Diapasson d'or". This CD just as his performance of  "Dichterliebe" and "Liederkreis" by Schumann was recorded on a C. Bechstein grand piano. From his earliest years Schultsz is closely linked with Bechstein.

Jan Schultsz sings on Bechstein

Jan Schultsz sings on Bechstein

On the CD cover, the pianist’s name is smaller than that of the tenor. How come? Just imagine Werner Güra singing Die schöne Müllerin without an accompaniment and you immediately understand the importance of a piano accompaniment in Schubert’s song cycles. Jan Schultsz, a trained pianist, hornist and conductor, is more than Güra’s expert partner in this Harmonia mundi recording from 1999. He truly “carries” the tenor, preparing the changes of registers and commenting his voice on the piano. Just like Güra, Schultsz does not exaggerate the expression but lets the music flow.Schubert is in good hands with Schultsz.

Kurt Malisch shares this opinion, writing in Klassik heute: “The pianist Jan Schultsz decisively contributes to this recording’s excellent musical quality. Accompanying a tenor on the piano is a crucial, yet awkward task, but Schultsz masters it with such sensitivity: he is audible without being loud; his presence is non-intrusive. Last but not least, the singing, slightly bell-like voice of the Bechstein grand piano provides this recording with a unique, pleasant touch.

An homogenous duo around the Bechstein

An homogenous duo around the Bechstein

As an article published in Stereoplay states: “Werner Güra and Jan Schultsz have recorded an excellent version of Schumann’s major song cycles”. Indeed, the two artists’ interpretation of Dichterliebe is set to become a reference work. Güra’s tenor voice and Schultsz on the Bechstein complement each other to perfectly render the ups and downs of Heinrich Heine’s unhappy love that swings from emotional shock to subtle/angry irony.

The duo also recorded an excellent version of Liederkreis: this work with poems by Eichendorff includes typically Romanesque features (loneliness, wood and lunar landscapes, foreign countries, unlucky love) but dispenses with Heine’s mood swing.  With this new CD, Güra and Schultsz demonstrate the improved depth of their interpretations since their first recording — a CD with songs by Schubert that was already of outstanding quality.

Jan Schultsz at the C. Bechstein Center

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