Donald Sulzen is one of the few pianists who has attained highest international recognition in two realms of classical music. Not only is he a collaborator with some of the worlds most celebrated singers, such as Anna Caterina Antonacci, Laura Aikin, Doris Soffel, Thomas E. Bauer, Thomas Cooley and James Taylor, but is also the pianist of the renowned Munich Piano Trio. The London Times hails him as “spirited and stimulating” and the Süddeutsche Zeitung praises his “intelligent, brilliant interpretation.”
A native Kansas Citian, Donald Sulzen received his first degree at the École Normale de Musique in Paris (Jules Gentil), from which he graduated with honors. Under the instruction of Joseph Banowetz and Harold Heiberg he took a summa cum laude Master degree in Music at the University of North Texas. He then moved to Europe to specialize in German song through master classes with Martin Katz, Geoffrey Parsons and John Wustman.
His extensive concert activity includes tours through the most prestigious recital halls of Europe, the USA, South America and Japan. He has amplified his personal appearance schedule through numerous performances on radio and television: Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich; WDR, Cologne; Radio France, Paris; RAI 1, Rome; RAI 3, Naples; Südfunk Stuttgart; Radio Bremen; Nippon-TV, Tokyo. More than thirty CD productions for Orfeo International, Toshiba-EMI, Koch International, Genuin, Arte Nova, cpo and Amati document the high artistic level of this pianist. His most current releases are “Antonín Dvořák's Piano Trios Op. 65 / Dumky Trio, Op. 90” (Genuin), as well as “Georg Schumann's Piano Trios 1 & 2” (cpo), both with the Munich Piano Trio.
After teaching for several years at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst “Mozarteum” in Salzburg, he accepted a professorship for the instruction of song duos at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, where he presently resides. His interest in young singers is evidenced by his former activity as accompanist for the master classes of Astrid Varnay, Eleanor Steber, Magda Olivero, George Shirley and Hermann Prey. He also gives master classes for singers and pianists throughout America, Europe and Japan (Yale University, Cursos Internacionales “Manuel de Falla”, Granada ...).
Currently among the artists accompanied by Donald Sulzen are such well-known names as Anna Caterina Antonacci, Laura Aikin, Doris Soffel, Ofelia Sala, Marilyn Schmiege, Thomas E. Bauer, Thomas Cooley and James Taylor. He also collaborates with New York flutist Don Bailey for Voyage Unlimited, a not-for-profit organization committed to the performance, recording and publication of new and standard chamber music for flute.
Since 2001 he is the official pianist of the Munich Piano Trio, which cellist Gerhard Zank founded in 1982. Donald Sulzen’s passion to combine the musicians of his trio with his vocal artists is revealed through unique CD recordings involving works of Joseph Haydn, Alberto Ginastera, Ned Rorem and Astor Piazzolla.