Elizabeth Rich has been called "a poet — with a beautifully cultivated way of playing" (Berlin: Die Welt), "an incontestable discovery" (Amsterdam: De Telegraf) and "an artist of importance and integrity" (Boston Globe). A scholarship student at Juilliard from childhood, she was an early competition winner. Less typical was her training with the late Ernst Oster in applying Schenkerian analysis to performance.
Among the highlights of her career are her two Beethoven series, her late-Brahms and Schumann programs and her acclaimed complete cycle of Mozart piano sonatas, which Musical America called: "A triumph . . . Never has Mozart sounded more profound, more complex or more pertinent to the present." (Faubion Bowers)
Ms. Rich has since played Mozart concerti widely in the US and Europe, in Queen Elizabeth Hall, London and opening the "Mozart Days in Prague" Festival in Prague at Dvorak Hall. She gave the first English performance of the Clara Schumann piano concerto at Queen Elizabeth Hall and has recorded it with the two Weber Concerti (Centaur Records). "Evident mastery, both technical and interpretive. These may well be the most persuasive advocacies the Weber Concertos have ever enjoyed." (Fanfare)
Other recordings include a Haydn and C.P.E. Bach CD — "Magical aura . . . extraordinary disc . . . Ms. Rich is a magnificent Haydn player. A treasurable release." (Fanfare) and the Schumann Carnaval and Noveletten (Connoisseur Society): "Five stars — a meeting of two kindred spirits: a quintessential romantic composer and an equally romantic player at their best." (Classical Pulse) Her disc of Brahms will appear this year.
Extraordinary recognition has been accorded Ms. Rich's Complete Mozart Piano Sonatas (5 discs) for Connoisseur Society. "So brilliant is the conception and execution of each that it would be my first choice." (Stereophile, Tuscon Citizen) "A revelation. This entire Mozart project warrants serious consideration as a major contribution to the genre." (Audiophile Audition) And in a three page review in Stereo Times: "Amazing musicianship, coherency...absolute emotional certainty, intelligence, truth. These performances open portals to Mozart I've never heard before. Elizabeth Rich belongs among the exalted few."
A committed teacher and chamber musician, Ms. Rich has been a frequent participant in the Mt. Desert Festival (Maine) and has partnered the late David Glazer, clarinettist, and Constantine Cassolas, tenor. She plays widely in recital and with orchestra in the US and in Europe, where she has appeared In London, Oxford, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Zurich, Luxembourg, Oslo, Stockholm, Prague and other cities. Recently she was "Artist of the Week" on Israeli Radio.
Miss Rich writes probingly about music in her program notes and in published essays and offers lecture recitals. Her essay "On Late Style" — in painting and literature as well as music — appeared in a recent issue of the literary quarterly Pequod. Such interests also lead her to a shared program (October 2009) with the writer Eva Hoffman at N.Y.'s Jewish Museum.
In addition to Mozart programs and lectures, she offers an all Schumann program which includes the rarely played Variations on Schubert's "Sehnsucht Waltz" and the recital titled "Late Style" of works by Haydn, Schubert, Beethoven and Chopin. A program "In Their Own Words" contains pieces with atypical descriptive titles by Bach, Schumann, Weber and Beethoven.
Last year the American Record Guide (March-April 2008) reviewed a new disc of Mozart Piano Concerti (K.482 and K.271). It called Ms. Rich "A Cult Figure. She has a reputation for incompromising integrity...spontaneity as a function of disciplined study. Ms. Rich's love and understanding of Mozart's idiom come through with striking force. I'd go so far as to say she seems born to play this music."