Peter Breiner

conductor, composer, piano

Peter Breiner is one of the world's most recorded musicians, with over 200 CDs released and millions of units sold - both as albums or online streams/downloads. Known as a conductor, pianist, arranger and composer he has conducted, often doubling as a pianist,  the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, the Hungarian State Radio Orchestra, the Nicolaus Esterhazy Orchestra Budapest, the Polish Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra, the Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, Capella Istropolitana, the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra National de Lille, France, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, to mention just a few.

Some of his most acclaimed recordings include Beatles Go Baroque (over quarter of million CDs sold worldwide) and Elvis Goes Baroque representing the collections of his commercially most successful Baroque arrangements together with Christmas Goes Baroque 1 and 2 His arrangements of national anthems of ALL participating countries were used during the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and illegally in Beijing in 2008.  He recorded his own arrangements of the anthems of the participating countries of the Rugby World Cup 2011 and a new 10 CD set of the National Anthems of the World for Naxos to coincide with the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Most recently Peter recorded two new albums for Naxos due for release in October 2012. They are his own arrangements of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition, Songs and Dances of Death and The Nursery and Tchaikovsky's Operatic Suites from The Voyevoda and The Queen of Spades. These recordings with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Peter, is the subject of a new movie documentary entitled Bask also due for release this October. These albums will take a unique place in recording history being Naxos' inaugural virtual-only release available for stream/download only and not available as CD product. Following this will be the release of Peter's own arrangements of Debussy's Piano Preludes also for the Naxos label.

Currently under preparation is a huge Transmedia project consisting of audio recording, several interactive videos, and audience-involvement platforms. It is based on his own 85 minute orchestral piece Slovak Dances, Nasty and Nice, which will be recorded by a world renowned orchestra and pull together all the latest trends in technology and communication across the world today.

The world premiere recording for Naxos of his own arrangements of Janacek's Six Operatic Suites with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and himself conducting earned tremendous acclaim, Gramophone stating "Splendid disc .... conducted with passion and sympathetic understanding .. " the Chicago Tribune adding "Breiner fills the void with beautifully crafted symphonic suites based on the music of Jenufa". Ten Best Classical CDs of 2009.

Breiner's compositions and arrangements have been played in concerts worldwide. Films that include his musical scores have enjoyed very wide international exposure (such as Anne of Green Gables,Timothy Findley's Piano Man's Daughter, produced by Whoopi Goldberg, and The Magic Flute) and his music has been featured many times on the most popular TV shows (including CBC television show Wind at My Back and a CBS movie Seasons of Love

It is difficult to assign a title to this artist - is he the conductor who composes or is he the pianist who arranges? As he simply states, "I am a musician". In this age of high specialization, it is not so easy to find someone who, with the same ease, takes the podium for a popular light classics concert, plays/directs from the piano, conducts a symphonic orchestra in Barber or Janacek or in a program of his own arrangements, a chamber orchestra with baroque programme while playing harpsichord or a group of almost 200 musicians recording a score for Universal Studios' movie

Upcoming projects include a tour of An Evening of Michel Legrand across Germany and Europe combining Peter's own arrangements of the music of Legrand and those of Debussy; Valentines programs in Hong Kong and the US; further tours and concert programs of his acclaimed arrangements worldwide collaborating with such esteemed artists and ensembles as Giora Feidmann, Gitanes Blondes, Takako Nishizaki and his trio Triango who's latest album was released in the fall of 2011.

Breiner began to study piano in his early childhood (1961) and his exceptional artistry led to his early acceptance at the Conservatory in Kosice (1971). He studied piano (L. Kojanova), composition (J. Podprocky), conducting and percussion. In 1975-1981 he studied composition at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (former Czechoslovakia) with Prof. Alexander Moyzes, one of the most significant figures in modern Slovak music - and this way he became a compositional great-grandson of Antonin Dvorak. Peter Breiner   lived in Toronto, Canada since 1992 till 2007 when he moved to New York, where he lives just one house apart from the place Dvorak lived while in New York.

He is proficient in seven languages. He has hosted various TV and radio programs about music,  in 1993, was a co-host and music director of the most popular TV talk show in Slovakia, attracting over 2 million viewers in a country with a population of 5,5 million, has his own column in one of Slovakia's most influential weekly newspapers, while his first book "Maple Leaves" came out in April 1998 and became a No.1 non-fiction national bestseller immediately.

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Neue Klänge für Mussorgskys ‘Bilder einer Ausstellung’
2013-11-25 Pizzicato,
"Peter Breiner , whose orchestral arrangements we have already praised on other albums, finds tonally new ways and reaches different instrument distribution and especially in the percussion, new timbres that breaks new ground ( Mussorgsky arr Breiner : Pictures at an Exhibition" ) . Overall the music sounds exotic and maybe even more visual than that of Ravel. Peter Breiner has quite a number of different ideas than Ravel and gets new colors from the orchestra. Together with the well done arrangements of "The Nursery" and "Songs and Dances of Death" this makes a very interesting program.
    (Remy Franck)
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