Duo Uriarte-Mrongovius

A world of magnificent sound that surpasses that of an orchestra

The well-thought-out structure and supple music have an intense rhythm that is unrivaled, and overflowing energy.

best piano duo ever




Karl-Hermann Mrongovius

Begoña Uriarte and Karl-Hermann Mrongovius - in the music world two names which have longepitomized the piano duo, the field in which they have achieved world-wide recognition.
International critics have fêted them as the finest of their kind, bestowing superlatives upon them.
In the opinion of many insiders, this partnership, which has existed for several decades, has now become the model, setting the standard for others.
They have won national and international competitions not only as a duo, but also as solo artists.
Composers have written specially for them and dedicated their compositions to them. They have performed other works for the first time, one example being the compositions for four hands by György Ligeti.

Spanish born Begoña Uriarte studied under Jose Cubiles (the original performer of Manuel de Falla's "Nights in Spanish Gardens") in Madrid, with Ives Nat in Paris and at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, attending the master class of Rosl Schmid.
Karl-Hermann Mrongovius, a native of Munich, participated in the same master class for piano, also studying conducting with G.E. Lessing and A. Mennerich, and Lied accompaniment with Hans Altmann.

From 1981 to 2001 Mrongovius was professor of piano at his Alma Mater.
His master class produced a large number of young pianists, who went on to win international awards, Begoña Uriarte having also played an important part in their development.
Both pianists began their careers as solo performers. Begoña Uriarte's debut appearance was with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, playing Prokofieff's Third Piano Concerto. Karl-Hermann Mrongovius made his debut with the same orchestra, playing Schubert's Wandererfantasie in Liszt's version for piano and orchestra. After their marriage they naturally turned increasingly to playing together as a duo, having discovered that sound, touch, flexibility and individuality were not necessarily diminished or sacrificed when playing together on two pianos.

Notwithstanding their success as a duo, they have never retired from playing as soloists. Only recently Begoña Uriarte made solo recordings of the "Iberia Suite" by Albéniz and the "Fantasia Baetica" by Falla while Karl-Hermann Mrongovius appeared as guest soloist, playing "Prometheus" by Scriabin with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
Begoña Uriarte and Karl-Hermann Mrongovius often make guest appearances at music festivals such as the Festival d' Autommne in Paris, at Hohenems, Cervo, Cuenca, Luxemburg, Echternach, Ludwigsburg, the Rheingau and Saar Festival, the Ruhr festival, Granada, Lucerne Festival, etc. and have played under many conductors, including Gerd Albrecht, Sir Andrew Davis, Michael Gielen, Jan Krenz, Rafael Kubelik, Jesús López-Cobos, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Hiroshi
Wagasuki and Antoni Wit.
In 1995 together with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra they gave the premiere performance of the concerto for two pianos and orchestra composed by Harald Genzmer. This work not only bears a dedication to them but was written specially for them. In 2001 at the Fiftieth Festival of Granada they gave the first performance of the concerto for two pianos and orchestra by Spanish composer Tomás Marco–as well composed and dedicated to them–with the BBC Symphony Orchestra London with Sir Andrew Davis conducting. They also gave a repeat performance recently in Madrid with the Orquesta Nacional de España conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos.
Meanwhile their discography comprises over 20 CDs (Harmonia Mundi, Calig, Wergo, ARTS,) and includes solo and duo recordings of works from Antonio Soler, Brahms, Schubert, the complete recording of four hands works and the concertos for two pianos and orchestra of Mendelssohn, the complete recording of solo works and works for four hands and two pianos of Ravel until to Messiaen and Ligeti and for them composed works by Spanish contemporary composers.
Many of these recordings have been praised by well known critics as benchmark performances and have featured repeatedly in the listings of the best recordings of the year.

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