„The delicacy of their interpretation cannot be praised highly enough … brilliant playing by two exceptional brothers“ … „between meditation and ecstasy“ … „a fiery torrent from two pianos“ … „pure musicality, coupled with temperament and intelligence“ … „when they play together they seem to blend into one“ … „a superlative piano duo!
– a selection from international press reviews.
Both brothers studied first at the Josef Haydn Conservatory in Eisenstadt piano with Uwe Wolff, then at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Johannes chose as his subsidiary subjects clarinet (with Peter Schmidl) and conducting (with Karl Österreicher), Eduard all facets of percussion (with Richard Hochrainer and Walter Veigl). The initial stimulus for studying original works for four hands or two pianos came from their piano teacher Renate Kramer-Preisenhammer. Now Eduard and Johannes Kutrowatz are teaching at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.
Their work as a piano duo gained decisive impetus at master classes in Freiburg with Karl Ulrich Schnabel (the only course held in Europe until then by the son of the legendary Arthur Schnabel, specialist for piano duo and modern pedal technique) and in Lockenhaus with Franz Rupp, the famous violinist Fritz Kreisler’s congenial piano partner.
Their first success in international competition was in Stresa/Italy in 1986, with 1st prize in the piano duo class. To this they added numerous awards and honours, including the Arts Prize of the Province of Burgenland and the Theodor Kery Foundation Prize, the “Grosse Ehrenzeichen” and “Komturkreuz” of Burgenland and EUROPAN 2017 and 2019 the Franz-Liszt-Ehrenpreis of the Klassik Stiftung Weimar. Johannes Kutrowatz is also prize-winner in the International Schubert Competition Graz 1992 and was awarded a Bösendorfer scholarship.
The varied training of the two musicians, their wide range of activities (as pianists, chamber musicians, lied accompanists, conductors) and their keen interest in other fields of the arts certainly contribute to the great depth of expression and the versatility of their playing. Another factor may well be that the art of piano duet performance requires a measure of constructive dialogue and stimulating debate between the players that is more readily achieved between siblings.
Concert tours have taken the Kutrowatz brothers to many European countries, to Asia (Japan, Korea), Canada, the USA, Australia, Africa and Russia. Through performances in foremost concert-halls world wide, including: Vienna (Konzerthaus and Musikverein), Eisenstadt (Haydnsaal), London (Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre), Toronto (Centre of the Arts), Munich (Herkulessaal), Tokyo (Suntory Hall), New York (Carnegie Hall, 92ndY) and invitations to leading music festivals such as the Schwarzenberg Schubertiade, Haydn Festival/Eisenstadt, New York Schubertiade, Ruhr Piano Festival, Kremerata Chamber Music Festival/Lockenhaus, Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival/Finland, or the Australian Kowmung Festival, Liszt Festival Raiding, the two pianists are now in great demand as international performers.
Radio and television appearances and much acclaimed CD productions with works by Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Strauss, Gershwin, Bernstein, Takács, Piazzolla, Sakamoto, Bach, Pärt, Brubeck document their musical achievements.
Eduard and Johannes Kutrowatz are the founders and artistic directors of their own international music festival „klangfruehling“ at the castle of Schlaining/Burgenland/Austria (2001-2015). Since 2007 Johannes Kutrowatz is also artistic director of the Yamanakako Klangsommer Festival/Japan. Starting 2009 they are artistic directors of the international Liszt Festival Raiding/Burgenland/Austria.