[ Trust / CD ]
Release Date: Tuesday 1 August 2000
Renowned New Zealand pianist Michael Houstoun performs a solo piano recital of works by Franz Liszt. These recordings were featured in the New Zealand Television documentary Icon in b minor, which first aired in 1996. The romantic performer-composer Liszt is often considered to be the greatest pianist of his era. Liszt invented the public recital and career of travelling virtuoso. This album showcases a selection of his music that is poetic, virtuosic and at times ebbs to artistic repose.
Michael Houstoun was born in Timaru, New Zealand, in 1952 and showed an unusual and single-minded interest in music shortly thereafter. Studies with Sister Mary Eulalie in Timaru and Maurice Till in Christchurch and Dunedin helped propel him to success in musical examinations and competitions throughout the country. Under Till's guidance Houstoun prepared for and gained success in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in the United States in 1973 (3rd place) and the Leeds International Piano Competition in England in 1975 (4th place). In 1978 he undertook a valuable course of study with Brigitte Wild in London and in 1982 won 6th prize at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition in Moscow.
Since 1981 Houstoun has been resident in New Zealand, where he performs primarily and regularly. He draws from a wide-ranging solo, concerto and chamber music repertoire.
Highlights of the past 10 years include performing and recording the 32 sonatas of Beethoven; a collaboration with Tainui Stephens on a television programme about Liszt ('Icon in B minor'); and performances with conductors Eduardo Mata, Neville Marriner, Franz Paul Decker and Alexander Lazarev.
In May 1999, Houstoun received an honorary doctorate in literature from Massey University.
Away from the piano, Houstoun enjoys cooking, reading, driving, gardening and playing golf.
Sonata in B minor
Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude
Consolation No 3
Premiere Valse Oubliee