His playing felicitously combines intelligence with virtuosity.
- Alfred Brendel
The pianist Thomas Hell has established his reputation in an unusually broad repertoire. His musical explorations include the standard masterpieces, but he is particularly known for his penetrating performances of works by twentieth-century composers.
Thomas Hell has performed and recorded major works by Elliott Carter, Charles Ives, Arnold Schoenberg, Luigi Dallapiccola and Pierre Boulez. More recently Thomas Hell has received great acclaim for his performances of the complete Etudes pour piano by György Ligeti in Darmstadt, Basel and Tokyo. His performance in Tokyo was selected as “Best Concert 2010” by the Japanese journal Ongaku no tomo. In the same year his CD with piano music by Eduard Steuermann, a pupil of both Busoni and Schoenberg, received the coveted German Record Critics' Award (“Jahrespreis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik” 2010). Thomas’ discography also includes piano works by Max Reger and Robert Schumann, as well as a disc containing the two violin sonatas by Béla Bartók, performed together with Adrian Adlam. The latest release is a recording of the complete Etudes pour piano by Ligeti (WERGO). His next CD project in 2016 will consist of Charles Ives' second piano sonata.
Thomas Hell has won prizes at several German and international competitions, including the first prize at the Concours international de piano d’Orléans. He has appeared widely throughout Europe as well as in Japan and in Russia and is regularly invited to perform at major international festivals and in renowned concert halls.
Already as a student at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media, Thomas Hell enjoyed approaching music from different angles. He obtained his concert diploma for piano whilst studying with David Wilde, but also earned a diploma in Music Theory, studying with the composer Reinhard Febel. Following several teaching posts at the universities of music in Hanover and Stuttgart, he was appointed professor of piano at the University of Music in Mainz in 2016. Hell has held master classes in Germany, at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo, the Tokyo College of Music, the Danish Royal Academy of Music Aarhus, as well as the Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavík.