The pianist and harpsichordist Moritz Ernst was born in East Westphalia in 1986. He already took up the piano at the age of 5, and not long afterwards received tuition from staff at the Detmold Academy of Music. After completing his A-levels at the age of 16, he began his formal training there, with musicology as his subsidiary subject. In 2005 he switched to the Basel Academy of Music to complete his studies with Jean-Jacques Dünki in 2008. He was already active as a pianist during his student years, giving concerts both at home and abroad, and after additional harpsichord studies at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis he added harpsichord performances to his activities. In 2002 he also began studying in London with Prof. Peter Feuchtwanger, who had a lasting influence on him.
Ernst’s unusually broad repertoire extends from Baroque virginal pieces to modern works, and he often switches between harpsichord and piano in the same concert. In the field of contemporary music he works with leading composers (including Klaus Huber, Sandeep Bhagwati, Wolfgang Rihm, René Wohlhauser, Michael Pelzel, Jimmie LeBlanc, Miklós Maros, Kent Olofsson, Michael Edgerton), who often dedicate pieces to him. In addition, his commitment and suggestions have also led to the composition of new works for harpsichord. As well as focusing on Rameau, Handel, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Busoni and Debussy, Moritz Ernst also champions unknown or forgotten composers. He demonstrated this with his recording of Malcom Arnold’s piano works (Gramophone: “a sparkling and stimulating interpretation”) or the complete edition of the surviving sonatas by Viktor Ullmann and Norbert von Hannenheim on EDA, which has been termed a reference recording. He has also recorded piano works by Arthur Lourié and Joseph Haydn. Ernst’s interpretations have been broadcast by German and international radio stations (including WDR, DeutschlandRadio, DLF, BR, SR, SRF2, BBC); he is regularly invited for recordings.
In addition to his worldwide activity as a soloist and with such conductors as Gabriel Feltz or Mario Venzago, Moritz Ernst regularly gives master classes, inter alia, at the Stuttgart Academy of Music, the Royal Academy in Malmö, the Conservatoire de Montréal, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music or the University of Malaya. The 2015/16 season will see his Canadian debut, performances with the German Radio Philharmonic, as well as extensive recordings for DeutschlandRadio.