Pianist and fortepianist David Breitman may be best-known for his collaboration with baritone Sanford Sylvan, spanning twenty-five years and including hundreds of concerts, as well as four CD’s (two of which were nominated for Grammy awards), but his career has many other facets. One unusual project was a complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle shared among seven fortepianists.
The brainchild of Malcolm Bilson, this series of eight concerts was held at New York’s Merkin Hall in 1994 and led to a critically-acclaimed recording. Since then, the seven performers have made two pilgrimages to Italy, reviving the series at the “Accademia Bartolomeo Cristofori” in Florence in 1999, and for the “Amici della Musica” in Palermo, in 2002.
Breitman received his early musical training in Montreal, then briefly turned away from music, earning a Bachelor’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He continued his piano studies with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory, then pursued the specialized study of the fortepiano and eighteenth-century performance practice with Malcolm Bilson at Cornell University.Mr. Breitman now teaches at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he directs the Historical Performance program.