PETER RITZEN (b 1956 )
Peter Ritzen was born in the historic Flemish city of Ghent, in Belgium. He studied piano and chamber music at the Royal Conservatory in Ghent and continued his studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, with the renowned Russian pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva (1924–1993). He graduated with the Diplome Superieure d’Execution for piano from the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris ‘Alfred Cortot’ in 1984. As a concert pianist, Ritzen has performed throughout Europe, Asia and the US. He is an acclaimed interpreter of Franz Liszt and Theodor Leschetizky, and has made several CD albums for Naxos featuring the latter. His deep immersion in Chinese culture has given Ritzen, a composer of large scale works, a whole repertoire of compositions inspired by China and Chinese traditions. Peter Ritzen possesses an unparalleled gift for free improvisation on the piano. His improvisation draws strongly and unmistakably on the great traditions of the nineteenth century. Peter Ritzen is a recording artist for Naxos.