Acclaimed as much for her distinguished performances of the standard repertoire as for her consistent championing of the works of lesser- known composers, Seta Tanyel’s artistry and virtuosity have excited much attention from audiences around the world.
A major prize-winner at the International Beethoven Competition in Vienna in 1973 and at the inaugural Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Israel in 1974, Seta Tanyel has toured extensively in Europe, Russia, the Middle and Far East, Canada and North and South America, performing with orchestras including the Vienna Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic, the Radio-Philharmonie Hanover, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony, the Philharmonia and the BBC Scottish. She has collaborated with conductors including Vaclav Neumann, Carlo Rizzi, Yuri Simonov, Stefan Solyom, Tadeusz Strugala, Enrique Batiz, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Andrew Manze, Martin Brabbins and Hilary Davan-Wetton.
Also active as a chamber musician, Seta Tanyel has been a juror at International Piano Competitions, has given masterclasses, has taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School in London and has adjudicated for the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music.
With a discography encompassing works by Bax, Beethoven, Brahms, Babadjanian, Chopin, Franck, Grieg, Khatchaturian, MacDowell, Moszkowski, Poulenc, Scharwenka, Shostakovich, Schubert, Schumann and Stenhammar, Seta Tanyel has received critical accolades for her 22 recordings on the Chandos, Collins Classics and Hyperion labels. Her first recital CD of Beethoven and Brahms Variations was hailed in America as “the most stunning debut disc heard to date”, which also received a Diapason D’or in France. She has won particular plaudits for her series of the piano works of the lesser known composers Moritz Moszkowski and Xaver Scharwenka.
“Few pianists have worn their virtuosity and musicianship with such enviable lightness. Seta Tanyel’s performances are beyond praise in her invaluable Scharwenka series”, declared Gramophone , while the same magazine went on to describe the Moszkowski cycle as an “enchanted odyssey…her performances are of the most engaging insouciance and dexterity. A pianist with an unerring sense of keyboard graciousness, weaving her way through every intricacy with nonchalant expertise”.
Her recordings of the Scharwenka Piano Concertos 1&2 and Edward MacDowell’s Piano Concertos in Hyperion’s Romantic Piano Concerto series were both selected as “star of the month” in Fono Forum, Germany; the latter having also been described by the American Magazine Fanfare as “distinguished addition to the catalogue…a winner”.
“This is exhilarating music performed with considerable sparkle and joie the vivre by Tanyel. With breathtakingly tender sounds, waves of sonority and breathing virtuosity, Seta Tanyel rises magnificently to the wonderful climaxes.” (CD Review)
Born in Istanbul of Armenian parents, Seta Tanyel studied at the Vienna Hochschule of Music with Dieter Weber and Bruno Seidlhofer, continuing her studies with Louis Kentner in London where she has been based since 1985.