Christopher Atzinger
pianist
  • Biography
  • Repertoire
  • Discography
  • Reviews
  • Itinerary
  • Media

A native of Michigan, CHRISTOPHER ATZINGER enjoys an expanding career and reputation for excellence throughout the United States, Canada, Austria, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta and Spain.

Christopher Atzinger is a medalist of the Cincinnati, New Orleans, San Antonio, Shreveport and Seattle international piano competitions. He was also a winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Competition and the Simone Belsky Piano Competition, as well as the Premio Città di Ispica prize at the IBLA Grand Prize Competition in Italy. Additionally, he is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Theodore Presser Foundation, Foundation La Gesse, American Composers Forum and Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation. As a collaborative artist, he also won First Prize at the Sydney Wright Memorial Accompaniment Competition. In the spring of 2012, Dr. Atzinger was awarded a $25,000 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Artists.

As guest soloist, Christopher Atzinger has appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, North Carolina’s Brevard Repertory Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of Jackson (MI), Shreveport, Springfield (MA) and St. Olaf, under the batons of Klauspeter Seibel, Steven Smith, Stephen Osmond, Dennis Simons, Kevin Rhodes and Steven Amundson, while recital performances have been heard at New York City’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York University and St. Paul’s Chapel, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series and The Phillips Collection and Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Festival appearances include the Banff International Keyboard Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Bridge Chamber Music Festival and the Chautauqua Institution.

Christopher Atzinger’s live performances have aired on radio stations WFMT-Chicago, WJR-Detroit, WXEL-South Florida, KPAC-San Antonio and WGTE-Toledo, while his artistry has also been heard on WGBH-Boston, KING-Seattle and Minnesota and Wisconsin Public Radio, as well as on television stations in Chicago and Cincinnati.

On CD, Christopher Atzinger has three highly praised albums released on MSR Classics - a debut solo recording of Bach, Beethoven, Barber and Fritze; an all-Brahms album; “American Lyricism” with scores by Richard Danielpour, Monica Houghton, Pierre Jalbert, Justin Merritt and Christopher Theofanidis. He has also recorded music of Amy Beach for Centaur Records and works of Judith Lang Zaimont on the Naxos label.

Christopher Atzinger holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and University of Michigan, and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Among his principal teachers he counts Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, Anton Nel, David Renner and Carolyn Lipp. Additional keyboard studies were undertaken with Timothy Lovelace, Edward Parmentier and Penelope Crawford. A dedicated teacher and coach, himself, Dr. Atzinger served on the faculty of Pennsylvania’s Dickinson College, prior to his current appointment at St. Olaf College in Minnesota. He has also lectured at The Juilliard School and Berklee College of Music and conducted masterclasses throughout the United States.

 www.christopheratzinger.com

[CHAMBER ENSEMBLE REPERTOIRE FOLLOWS CONCERTO LIST]

BARBER

Concerto, Op. 38

BEETHOVEN

Concerto #2 in B-flat, Op. 19
Concerto #4 in G, Op. 58
Concerto #5 in E-flat, Op. 73 ("Emperor")
Concerto in C, Op. 56 (“Triple”)

GRIEG

Concerto in a, Op. 16

LISZT

Concerto #1 in E-flat

MacDOWELL

Concerto #2 in d, Op. 23

MENDELSSOHN

Concerto #1 in g, Op. 25

MOZART

Concerto #9 in E-flat, K. 271
Concerto #10 in E-flat for 2 Pianos, K. 365
Concerto #19 in F, K. 459

RACHMANINOFF

Concerto #2 in c, Op. 18

SAINT-SAËNS

Africa, Op. 89
Concerto #2 in g, Op. 22

VINE, Carl

Concerto #1 (1997)

 

ARENSKY Piano Trio in d, Op. 32
BRAHMS  Piano Quartet #1 in g, Op. 25
BRITTEN  Canticle III: Still Falls the Rain for Tenor, Horn & Piano, Op. 55
BRUCH   8 Pieces for Clarinet, Viola & Piano, Op. 83
FRANCK Piano Quintet in f
HARBISON   Songs America Loves to Sing (2004)
HAYDN Piano Trio #39 in G, Hob. XV:25 (“Gypsy”)
MOSZKOWSKI Suite for 2 Violins & Piano, Op. 71
MOZART  Clarinet Trio in E-flat, K. 498 (“Kegelstatt”)
Piano Quartet in g, K. 478
RUSH, Stephen   Sextet
SAINT-SAËNS  Carnival of the Animals
Septet in E-flat for Trumpet, Strings & Piano, Op. 65
SCHUBERT   Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D. 965
SCHUMANN   Piano Quartet in E-flat, Op. 47
TURINA Círculo (Piano Trio), Op. 91
WEBER   Trio in g for Flute, Cello & Piano, Op. 63
Judith Lang Zaimont

"AMERICAN LYRICISM"

Theofanidis: All Dreams Begin with the Horizon (2007)
Danielpour: The Enchanted Garden: Preludes, Book II (2009)
Houghton: Sonata for Piano (1998)
Merritt: Chaconne: Mercy Endures (2009)
Jalbert: Toccata (2001)

MSR Classics: MS 1534

Judith Lang Zaimont

JUDITH LANG ZAIMONT:

Sonata (1999-2000)
Nocturne: La fin de siècle (1979)
A Calendar Set (1978)

NAXOS: 8.559665

Brahms

BRAHMS:

7 Fantasies, Op. 116
3 Intermezzos, Op. 117
Variations on a Theme of Haydn, Op. 56b
with Kathryn Ananda-Owens

MSR Classics: MS 1235

Debut

"DEBUT"

J.S. BACH: Prelude & Fugue in g#, BWV 863
BEETHOVEN: Sonata #28 in A, Op. 101
BARBER: Sonata for Piano, Op. 26
FRITZE: Sonata for Piano (1989)

MSR Classics: MS 1189

Music by Amy Beach

"MUSIC BY AMY BEACH"

Variations on Balkan Themes for Two Pianos, Op. 60c
with Kathryn Ananda-Owens

Centaur Records: CRC 2990

Atzinger is blessed with abundant energy, powerful fingers, a big sound and natural musicality. He makes the best possible case for Gregory Fritze’s well made 1989 Sonata, moulding the jagged, proclamatory unison motifs and full-throated chords in contrary motion with immense authority, taking great care with the slow movement’s inside-the-piano strumming and plucking. Atzinger more than holds his own against the Barber Sonata’s finest recorded practitioners (Horowitz, Cliburn, Browning and Wild) and benefits from MSR’s warm, roomy and most attractive engineering.

GRAMOPHONE

Soloist Christopher Atzinger gave the work [Barber Piano Concerto] a marvelous ride. He projected a thorough mastery of its numerous Himalayan hurdles, his hands blurring over the keyboard, churning out fusillades of octaves and parallel sixths in the craggy ‘Allegro appassionato’ and galloping ‘Allegro molto’ movements, caressing the ivories in the melancholy traceries of the central ‘Canzone.'

THE REPUBLICAN (Springfield, MA)

Atzinger proves himself to be a master of the fugue in his debut recital. Beginning with Bach, the original and supreme master of the fugue, then progressing through late Beethoven to arrive at the brilliant final movement of the Barber sonata, we are treated to a great overview of this form. There are no weak movements, only wonderful music-making. Christopher Atzinger is surely a pianist to keep a watch for.

AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE

The Barber Sonata seems to be an Atzinger calling-card, with its high-flown, percussive lyricism. Atzinger bestows upon the opening Allegro energico the same taut, hard-edged patina we know from the Horowitz and Browning versions. The second movement Scherzo might be Barber’s equivalent of a Liszt etude, according to Atzinger’s playful fingers. The Adagio brings out Barber’s concession to ‘modernism’ and Schoenberg, but it retains a bluesy, American character. The fugal last movement has Atzinger in molten form, providing ardent, scintillating evidence of his technical and sympathetic commitment to this music.

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION

[Schubert’s Sonata in B-flat major] is beloved less for its technical arrangement than for the festive, gently hymn-like feeling it projects. This was brought across masterfully by Christopher Atzinger with an aesthetically rich performance. He unlocked the thematic richness of the first movement, gave the andante sostenuto an introverted, song-like treatment, and lent ‘delicacy’ to the scherzo. The rondo of the final movement was charged, stirring.

SCHWARZWÄLDER-BOTE (Germany)

The first is an uncommonly fine release. Late Brahms piano pieces are intricate, sometimes difficult works, so I like to follow them with a score. With the music in front of me I was doubly aware of the hundreds, no thousands of little rhythmic adjustments–agogic accents, rubato, and the like–that Atzinger brings to the music. He has fantastic control of rhythm in his shaping of phrases, and his ability to bring a hidden melody to the foreground is exemplary. All the pieces are paced very well, and the piano sound is excellent. Atzinger is a pianist to watch.

AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE

The two large pieces on this disc [Zaimont SonataA Calendar Set], played with fervency and panache by pianist Christopher Atzinger, provide a glimpse of both her monumental vein and her more intimate voice - and both are compelling.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

9/20/2016 (1pm)

SHELTON STATE UNIVERSITY (Tuscaloosa)

Martin Campus Alabama Power Recital Hall

Mozart: Piano Sonata #17
Paine: Christmas Gift
Paine: Nocturne
Paine: Romance
Barber: Piano Sonata

10/9/2016 (2pm)

ST. OLAF COLLEGE (Northfield, MN)

Urness Recital Hall

Paine: Christmas Gift
Paine: 4Characteristic Pieces
Paine: Romance, Op. 12
Paine: 3 Piano Pieces
Paine: 10 Sketches: In the Country
Paine: Funeral March in Memory of President Lincoln
Paine: Romance, Op. 39
Paine: Nocturne

10/20/2016 (12pm)

THE SCHUBERT CLUB (St. Paul, MN)

Courtroom 317, Landmark Center

Paine: Nocturne
Paine: 4Characteristic Pieces

1/15/2017 (2pm)

OWATONNA FINE ARTS CENTER (MN)

Paine: Christmas Gift
Paine: 4Characteristic Pieces
Paine: Romance, Op. 12
Paine: 3 Piano Pieces
Paine: 10 Sketches: In the Country
Paine: Funeral March in Memory of President Lincoln
Paine: Romance, Op. 39
Paine: Nocturne

2/4/2017 (8pm)

WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY (Kalamazoo)

Dalton Center Recital Hall

Mozart: Piano Sonata #17
Brahms: 7 Fantasias
Jalbert: Toccata
Paine: Romance, Op. 39
Paine: Nocturne
Barber: Piano Sonata

2/7/2017 (12pm)

TUESDAY’S MUSIC LIVE

St. Paul’s Church (Augusta, GA)

Paine: Romance, Op. 39
Paine: Funeral March in Memory of President Lincoln
Paine: Nocturne
Paine: 4Characteristic Pieces

2/9/2017 (8:15pm)

ST. OLAF COLLEGE (Northfield, MN)

Urness Recital Hall

Duo-Recital with Igor Yuzefovich, violinist
Brahms: Violin Sonata #2
Grieg: Violin Sonata
Arensky: 4 Pieces
Theofanidis: Fantasy
Puts: Aria

2/17/2017 (12:10pm)

FOURTH PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF CHICAGO (IL)

Brahms: 7 Fantasias
Paine: Romance, Op. 39
Paine: Nocturne
Paine: 4Characteristic Pieces

4/2/2017 (2pm)

ARROWHEAD MUSIC TEACHERS ASSOCIATION

Concordia Lutheran Church (Superior, WI)

Lecture/Recital: “The Piano Music of John Knowles Paine”

4/4/2017 (10am)

MINNEAPOLIS MUSIC TEACHERS FORUM

Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West

 

9/10/2017 (3pm)

CROCKER ART MUSEUM (Sacramento, CA)

Recital

3/6/2018 (7:30pm)

SOUTHEASTERN OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY (Durant)

Fine Arts Recital Hall

Recital

Chopin: Fantaisie in f, Op. 49

St. Olaf College (Northfield, MN)
January 5, 2016

Brahms: Capriccio in g, Op. 116, #3
Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
July, 2007

Brahms: Intermezzo in E, Op. 116, #4
Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
July, 2007

Brahms: Capriccio in d, Op. 116, #7
Loyola University (New Orleans, LA)
July, 2007