The Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University has awarded Sir András Schiff the $50,000 Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance.

Established in 2005, the biennial Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance honors pianists who have achieved the highest levels of national and international recognition. Previous winners include Richard Goode (2006), Stephen Hough (2008), Yefim Bronfman (2010), Murray Perahia (2012), Garrick Ohlsson (2014), Emanuel Ax (2016) and Marc-André Hamelin (2018). The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the awarding of a 2020 prize by one year.

“It is a great honor to receive the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize, and I am looking forward to my visits to the Northwestern campus in April and October 2022. After suffering through long absences during the pandemic, it is a joy to return to live audiences and in-person lessons,” said Schiff. 

In addition to a $50,000 cash award, the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize includes a public recital and two nonconsecutive residencies at the Bienen School of Music. During his first residency in April 2022, Schiff will engage with students and faculty in activities such as master classes, chamber music coaching and question-and-answer sessions. He will present a public recital during his second Bienen School residency in October 2022.

“We are honored that Sir András Schiff has accepted our invitation as the 2021 recipient of the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance, said Toni-Marie Montgomery, dean of the Bienen School of Music. “Our students and faculty look forward to welcoming him to Northwestern for two exciting in-person residencies.”

András Schiff

Sir András Schiff is world-renowned as a pianist, conductor, pedagogue and lecturer. Music critics and audiences alike continue to be inspired by the masterful and intellectual approach he brings to each masterpiece he performs. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1953, Schiff studied piano at the Liszt Ferenc Academy with Pál Kadosa, György Kurtág and Ferenc Rados; and in London with George Malcom. Recitals and special cycles, including the complete works of Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Bartók, constitute an important component of his work. Having collaborated with the world's leading orchestras and conductors, he now focuses primarily on solo recitals, performing/conducting appearances and exclusive conducting projects.

During his fall 2019 tour of North America, Schiff conducted and played with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, pairing concerti by Bach, Beethoven and Haydn with Brahms’ “Variations on a theme by Haydn” and Bartok's “Dance Suite.” He was joined by violinist Yuuko Shiokawa for an all-Mozart program opening New York's 92nd Street Y season.

Schiff founded the chamber orchestra Cappella Andrea Barca in 1999, consisting of international soloists, chamber musicians and friends. Together they have appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Lucerne Festival and the Salzburg Mozartwoche. Forthcoming projects include a tour of Asia and a cycle of Bach's keyboard concertos in Europe. Schiff also enjoys close relationships with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE). In 2018 he accepted the role of associate artist with the OAE, complementing his interest in performing on period keyboard instruments.

He has established a prolific discography and since 1997 has been an exclusive artist for ECM New Series and its producer, Manfred Eicher. Highlights have included the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas recorded live in Zurich; solo recitals of Schubert, Schumann and Janacek; as well as J.S. Bach's Partitas, “Goldberg Variations” and “Well-Tempered Clavier.” His most recent two-disc set of Schubert Sonatas and Impromptus were released in spring of 2019.

He continues to support new talent, primarily through his “Building Bridges” series, which gives performance opportunities to promising young artists. He also teaches at the Barenboim-Said and Kronberg academies and gives frequent lectures and masterclasses. In 2017 his book “Music Comes from Silence,” a compilation of essays and conversations with Martin Meyer, was published by Barenreiter and Henschel.

Schiff's many honors include the international Mozarteum Foundation's Gold Medal (2012), Germany's Great Cross of Merit with Star (2012), the Royal Philharmonic Society's Gold Medal (2013), a Knighthood for Services to Music (2014) and a Doctorate from the Royal College of Music (2018). 

Jean Gimbel Lane Prize

Established in 2005 and endowed in 2015, the Jean Gimbel Lane Prize in Piano Performance is made possible by a generous gift from the late Jean Gimbel Lane and the late Honorable Laurence W. Lane, Jr. A 1952 graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in art history, Jean Gimbel Lane was a lifelong supporter of the arts.

  • Jean Gimbel Lane Prize