“Floating on air, closer to the stars tonight… What a joy!”
Maria Lettberg (1970) is a rising young pianist of our time. Due to her recording of all pieces for piano solo of Scriabin she also acquired a reputation as Scriabin expert. Maria Lettberg was born in Riga as the daughter of a professor of Russian literature and a mathematician. Her instrument has been an integral part of her life since she was seven years old. At the age of nine she made her first public appearance playing Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto. Maria is Swedish and has lived in Berlin for several years. She speaks five languages.Ms Lettberg's talent was recognised and nurtured at an early age; she went straight from the central Latvian elite school for musically gifted children to the Petersburg Conservatory. There, she was able to develop her personality as a pianist considerably and perfect her virtuoso technique until she graduated with distinction in her concert examination.
Following her concert examination, she took the conscious decision to forgo what seemed so obvious; to try to make a name in the worldwide competitive arena. Instead of perfecting a repertoire to compete in this arena, she made good use of the freedom which scholarships afforded her to develop musically by participating in further courses of study, master classes and individual programmes (Royal College in Stockholm; Sibelius Academy, Helsinki). In this way she was able to widen her repertoire and to deepen her musical interests. Important teachers included Tatjana Zagorovskaja, Andrej Gavrilov, Paul Badura-Skoda, Menachem Pressler, Emanuel Krasovsky, Roland Pöntinen und Matti Raekallio.Her most important achievement so far has been - besides a large number of solo recitals, orchestra and chamber music performances, and radio and television programmes - the recording of Alexander Skrjabin's complete Solo-Piano work, in autumn 2007.
Maria Lettberg became known to the German public because of her work on Skrjabin's Piano Solos and the concerts and regular radio broadcasts which accompanied the recordings. These recordings were a cooperation between Deutschland radio Kultur and Capriccio. The positive experience in the intensive exploration of Skrabjin's work motivated Maria Lettberg to continue working in this direction recording, discovering and creatively reviving important composers who interested her.
In 2008 the first part (Piano Concertos) of Alfred Schnittke's piano music was released in collaboration with Ewa Kupiec and the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin conducted by Frank Strobel. In the meantime, Maria Lettberg has recorded the second part of the programme in cooperation again with Deutschland radio Kultur and Phoenix Edition: "Music for Piano and Orchestra" with the RSO conducted by Frank Strobel and Schnittke's "Piano Trio" and "Piano Quartet" with the Petersen Quartet. In 2011 Maria Lettberg presented the piano compositions of the Finnish composer Erkki Melartin in a set of two CDs, which she recorded for Deutschland radio Kultur in a co-production with Delta/Crystal Classics.
The fresh impulses which these recordings have generated have enriched Maria Lettberg's wide repertoire. A personal selection of favoured composers such as Brahms, Schumann, Liszt and Chopin, but also Ravel and Debussy, Mozart and Haydn or Bach make for a very interesting concert programme with virtuoso elements and a musically coded idea.