Biography | Testimonies
Andrei Vieru was born in Bucharest in a family of musicians. His father is composer Anatol Vieru, his mother musicologist Nina Vieru.
Andrei Vieru studied in Bucharest, at the National Conservatory of Music, where his piano teacher was Dan Grigore. Hence his musical filiation goes back to Florica Musicescu, but also to Schnabel, Busoni, and Neuhaus, since he took the advanced piano courses of Zecchi and Naoumov.
Andrei Vieru is happy to acknowledge his debt to the musical and moral influence of Philip Herschkowitz.
In 1988 he leaves Romania and chooses exile in France. His debut concert, at the Grand Auditorium of Radio France, opens to critical acclaim. This is followed by concerts in many prestigious venues throughout Europe, among others Salle Gaveau, Auditorium du Châtelet, Grande Salle de la Cité de la Musique in Paris, UDK in Berlin, Salle Flagey in Bruxelles, the Philarmonic Hall, as well as the Radio Hall in Bucharest, etc.
Gives several recitals of contemporary music (Festival Musica in Strasbourg, IRCAM - "Musical Studies Anatol Vieru", Festival of Contemporary Music, Valencia).
His first CD released in France contains, among other pieces, live concert recordings of The Art of Fugue and Liszt’s Sonata in B minor (INA-Mémoire Vive). This double album received top awards from such periodicals as Le Monde de la Musique and Répertoire. Radio Europe 1 and Le Monde chose it among their ‘discs of the year’.
Vieru has also made numerous studio recordings that have been highly acclaimed by the press, including the Diabelli Variations, the Goldberg Variations, The Well-tempered Clavier, Pictures at an Exhibition, and Le Sacre du printemps, for Harmonia Mundi and Alpha.
The French and foreign media have often compared him to his compatriots Dinu Lipatti, Radu Lupu, and Clara Haskil, or to such personalities as Arthur Rubinstein, Sviatoslav Richter, Alfred Cortot, Mieczysław Horszowski, and Alfred Brendel.
The unconventional character of his interpretations has also led to comparisons with artists as varied as Wanda Landowska, Glenn Gould, Sergiu Celibidache, Thelonious Monk, Keith Jarrett, and even Jean-Luc Godard.
Andrei Vieru is probably the only pianist to have played all four of Bach’s legendary cycles involving the keyboard, namely the Goldberg Variations, The Art of Fugue, The Well-tempered Clavier, and The Musical Offering. In the last of these (orchestrated by Anatol Vieru), he played the piano and harpsichord parts alongside Janne Thomsen (flute), Elina Vähälä (violin), Nicholas Daniel (oboe), and Garth Knox (viola) at the 2011 Kuhmo Festival.
Andrei Vieru is a recipient of the coveted “Nadia and Lili Boulanger” Prize by the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
In 2007 he published with Éditions du Seuil Le gai Ecclésiaste, a collection of essays and polemics warmly received by the press, which compared the purity of his language to that of Émile Cioran.
During the period between 2005 and 2011 he devoted himself to mathematical research (Dynamical Systems Theory, Number Theory).
In 2013, he published Éloge de la vanité with Grasset. The critics compared this work to La Rochefoucauld, Chamfort, Mme du Deffand, and Cioran, not forgetting a number of other Romanians who left their mark on the literature of the twentieth century, such as Benjamin Fondane, Gherasim Luca, Eugène Ionesco, and Paul Celan.
In June 2014 Andrei Vieru was awarded the Prix Casanova for Éloge de la vanité. This prize was founded by Pierre Cardin in 2011 to recognise the achievement of European authors writing directly in French. The winner of the previous year’s prize was Andreï Makine.