Artist Biography

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Eugene Asti

Accompanist

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Artist Manager: Sioned Jones sioned.jones@harlequin-agency.co.uk

Assistant: Carys Davies carys.davies@harlequin-agency.co.uk


Eugene has devised many recital series for St John’s Smith Square, London and St George’s Bristol to mark anniversaries of Brahms, Mendelssohn, Poulenc, Strauss and Schumann, which included many of today’s leading artists. His recordings include three volumes of songs and duets by Felix Mendelssohn, the complete works of Clara Schumann, the complete Mozart Songs with Sophie Karthäuser and Stephan Loges and a disc of Schumann Lieder entitled 'Songs of Love and Loss' with Sarah Connolly.

Eugene Asti studied at the Mannes College of Music, New York with Jeannette Haien where he earned his B.Mus. and M.A. and subsequently studied piano accompaniment with Graham Johnson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Eugene now teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is Vocal Accompaniment Coordinator at Trinity College of Music and regularly gives masterclasses both in the UK and abroad.

One of the foremost accompanists of his generation, he has performed with many great artists including Dame Felicity Lott, Sir Willard White, Sir Thomas Allen, Angelika Kirchschlager, Bryn Terfel and the late Dame Margaret Price  in venues such as the Wigmore Hall and the Barbican, London, the Musikverein in Vienna, Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Kölner Philharmonie, the Megaron in Athens, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Symphony Hall in Birmingham and the Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York.

He has done much recording work for the BBC, having featured regularly on Radio 3’s “Voices” programme with Sarah Connolly, Sophie Daneman, Rebecca Evans, Susan Gritton, Jared Holt, Christine Rice, Stephan Loges, Kate Royal, and James Rutherford. His many recordings for Hyperion Records include songs and duets by Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn and the complete songs of Clara Schumann. Other recordings include a live recital disc with Sarah Connolly for Signum Records, the complete Mozart songs with Sophie Karthäuser and Stephan Loges for Cyprès, a disc of Schumann Lieder entitled Songs of Love and Loss with Sarah Connolly for Chandos, a recital of English song for BIS with James Rutherford and most recently, a disc of Poulenc Melodies Les Anges Musiciens and Hugo Wolf Kennst du das Land both with Sophie Karthaüser for Harmonia Mundi.

In 2009 Eugene devised a recital series to honour the anniversary of Felix Mendelssohn, for London’s King’s Place. He has also completed an edition of Mendelssohn songs for Bärenreiter which was published in 2008.

Engagements last season include a recital with Sophie Karthaüser at the Oxford Lieder Festival, a concert with Sir Willard White and Sylvia Kevorkian at the Pamoja Hall in Sevenoaks, concerts with Sarah Connolly at the Bridgewater Hall and for the Painswick Music Society and a recital with Susan Gritton at Oxford Lieder's Spring Weekend of Song. In the summer of 2015, Eugene was invited to give masterclasses at the prestigious Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden-bei-Wien. He was also on the adjudication panel for the 2016 Kathleen Ferrier Award. Future plans include recitals with Sophie Karthaüser at La Monnaie in Brussels, the Landeskonservatorium, Innsbruck and the Wigmore Hall, London and recitals at the Oxford Lieder Festival with Sophie Karthaüser, Sarah Connolly, Stephan Loges, Mairi Lawson and Dame Felicity Lott.

In 2009 Eugene became an official Steinway Artist.


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DateDetails
09/01/2017Accompanies Sophie Kärthauser in Recital at the Théâtre Royal des Galeries, La Monnaie, Brussels
21/04/2017Accompanies Sophie Kärthauser in Recital at the Tiroler Landeskonservatoriums in Innsbruck
30/05/2017Accompanies Bryn Terfel in Recital at the Kulturpalast, Dresdner Musikfestspiele

Concerts / Recitals

Recital with Sarah Connolly at the Wigmore Hall, September 2010
The Times
. . . accompanied with perceptive insight by Eugene Asti. Asti’s stylish rippling piano accompaniment and Ms Connolly’s soaring phrases really impressed in Speak to me, my love!, building up in intensity on the phrase ‘’The day will dawn’’ and then continuing to the climactic ‘’and go on our different paths’’…. The most greatly anticipated
Concert at the Jaqueline du Pré Music Building accompanying Sophie Daneman, October 2006
Oxford
Asti's accompaniments upon the keys meanwhile, brought out its own displays of perfect timing - not least one thought within his own intriguing work Three e.e cummings songs. He had especially a lovely lucid touch, which if only life were fair would launch forth with a full appreciation of its own.
Recital at the Lincoln Center, New York accompanying Susan Gritton, April 2003
The New York Times
…matching the full-bodied playing of Ms. Gritton’s solid accompanist, Eugene Asti.

Recordings

Hugo Wolf: 'Kennst du das Land'. Sophie Karthäuser (Soprano) Eugene Asti (Piano)
Gramophone
Throughout, Eugene Asti, recorded with proper prominence, is a model partner, commentator and animator (‘accompanist’ is an insult in Wolf): subtly fluid in rhythm, hyper-sensitive to the flux of Wolf’s liquescent harmonies and conjuring textures of gossamer delicacy in songs such as ‘Frühling über’s Jahr’, with its diaphonous bell chimes, and the two elfin sketches.
Hugo Wolf: 'Kennst du das Land'. Sophie Karthäuser (Soprano) Eugene Asti (Piano)
Opernwelt
Belgian soprano Sophie Karthäuser is perfectly matched with pianist Eugene Asti. The two set an incomparable spontaneity. On this CD, Karthäuser and Asti present a whole new interpretation of Hugo Wolf - timelessly modern without stilted naivety. We look forward to following the two through their exploration of the song repertoire.
Hugo Wolf: 'Kennst du das Land'. Sophie Karthäuser (Soprano) Eugene Asti (Piano)
Basler Zeitung
Goethe’s words are placed at the heart of this recording with the musical line taking the back seat. Sophie Karthäuser has precise diction and the wordless pianist, Eugene Asti is absolutely great.
Hugo Wolf: 'Kennst du das Land'. Sophie Karthäuser (Soprano) Eugene Asti (Piano)
Der Neue Merker
The most perfect creation of music and poetry. Renowned pianist, Eugene Asti has a lot of experience with gifted song singers - Felicity Lott and Margaret Price to name a couple. Alone, the piano part exceeds almost all historical comparisons. Asti’s prolonged and ornamented interpretation deepens the lyrical content of the highly ornate seals. One of the special things about this album is the equal importance given to the text and the music. The lovely team, Karthäuser and Asti, have created a delicate CD of art song that is most welcome.
Hugo Wolf: 'Kennst du das Land'. Sophie Karthäuser (Soprano) Eugene Asti (Piano)
Rondo Magazin
Soprano Sophie Karthäuser and pianist Eugene Asti give us a true musical blessing, an album of Goethe and Mörike poems placed to Hugo Wolf’s Lieder. You cannot escape the wonderful, narrative atmosphere. Eugene Asti accompanies Sophie Karthäuser like a gentleman. He allows Karthäuser to bathe in Hugo Wolf’s idiosyncratic harmonies whilst keeping the upper hand over the rough syncopations.
Hugo Wolf: 'Kennst du das Land'. Sophie Karthäuser (Soprano) Eugene Asti (Piano)
Crescendo
Belgian soprano Sophie Karthäuser recorded this CD with pianist Eugene Asti. This setting of Goethe and Mörike poems and Hugo Wolf’s Lieder is emotionally intense and glazed with sensitivity.
Hugo Wolf: 'Kennst du das Land'. Sophie Karthäuser (Soprano) Eugene Asti (Piano)
Kurier
The Belgian soprano performs the rarely played composer Hugo Wolf. Karthäuser and Asti stylishly awaken the songs to texts by Goethe, Eichendorff and Mmorike. This is Lieder singing at its finest, excellently accompanied by Eugene Asti.
Franz Schubert's 'Schwanengesang' with James Rutherford, April 2016
American Record Guide
This is one of the best recordings of these songs I’ve heard. Both artists employ excellent pacing and expression, and both apply just the right amount of discreet rubato and dynamic variety. Asti is just as gifted in conveying the nuances of the songs. This is quite simply an outstanding lieder program.
Franz Schubert's 'Schwanengesang' with James Rutherford, April 2016
Ihr Opernratgeber by Sven Godenrath
Der Pianist Eugene Asti versteht es ausgesprochen kunstvoll, einen singenden Klavierton zu erzeugen, auf welchem die Stimme des Sängers wundervoll zum Tragen kommt. Dieser “Schwanengesang” stellt einen Höhepunkt in der Diskographie dieses Liederzyklusses dar. (The pianist Eugene Asti understands very artfully, how to produce a singing piano tone, with which the singers wonderful voice comes to fruition. This "Swan Song" represents a high point in the discography of this song-cycle.)
Poulenc Melodies recording with Sophie Karthäuser for Harmonia Mundi, July 2014
Limelight Magazine, Australia
Eugene Asti’s piano is assured, well balanced, and the perfect complement to Karthäuser’s beautiful soprano. The pair’s rendition of Poulenc’s hit chanson sentimentale, Les Chemins de l’amour, is simply to die for. Très jolie!
Mozart Songs cyp1650 [GF], March 2008
MusicWeb-International
Eugene Asti is a pliable accompanist and the recording is first class
The Exquisite Hour Album with Sarah Connolly, February 2006
The Guardian
Eugene Asti is her sensitive, technically assured accompanist
Recording of Mendelssohn Songs & Duets with Sophe Daneman & Nathan Berg for Hyperion, November 1999
Classical Review
Mendelssohn’s writing is so masterfully handled - especially in pianist Eugene Asti’s hands – that it’s the skill and virtuosity of the composer we experience……..tossed off with breathtaking agility.
Recording of Mendelssohn Songs & Duets with Sophe Daneman & Nathan Berg for Hyperion, November 1999
Gramophone
….accompanied with delightful vitality by Eugene Asti….
Recording of Mendelssohn Songs & Duets III with Sophie Daneman for Hyperion, November 1999
Fanfare, USA
There is much to recommend in this collection. First of all, the songs themselves, some deeper than others, are sweet and forthright, and shown to their best advantage by the equally sweet and forthright playing of Eugene Asti. Displaying a remarkable ease at the keyboard and a deep sense of these pieces, he seems to be the inspiring and unifying force behind the entire enterprise
Recording of Fanny Mendelssohn Lieder with Susan Gritton for Hyperion, March 1999
International Record Review
Asti provides the beautifully limpid, balanced accompaniment you imagine Fanny herself might have played.
Recording of Fanny Mendelssohn Lieder with Susan Gritton for Hyperion, March 1999
Gramophone Magazine
In less sensitive hands than Eugene Asti’s this could sound muddy, and much else might sound merely complacent; but his clarity and feeling for rhythm and harmony obviate that.

This Artist Biography was last updated on 30 September 2016. It is our policy to update biographies every six months. If this information is to be used after 30 March 2017 please contact us and we shall be delighted to supply you with the latest version by return.