It is no longer that happy time of life when we see every object wreathed in the glory of youth, but that fatal recognition of a wretched reality which I endeavor, with my imagination, to embellish as best I can. You will find evidence of this in two works for four-hand piano which I have already composed: a grand duo and a set of variations [D.812, D.813] on a theme of my own invention. The variations are proving to be an outstanding success.
Franz Schubert (Letter to his brother Ferdinand, Zseliz, 18 July 1824)
The Duo Crommelynck has earned international recognition for their performances for piano four hands. The Japanese review Musica Nova wrote: “They have revived a vast and marvelous repertoire. These two artists have succeeded in giving new life to a form which had fallen into almost complete neglect: piano four hands”.
Their repertoire includes works from the 18th century to contemporary compositions (many works have been dedicated to them), comprising some thirty programs of original music for piano four hands, as well as original versions of symphonic works for piano four hands.
The Duo Crommelynck has toured throughout the world and is regularly invited to the most important international festivals, including those in Roque d’Anthéron, Besançon, Chaise-Dieu, l’Abbaye de Fontevrault, Toulouse (Piano Jacobin), Paris, Salzburg, Kärnten (Ossiach), Vienna, Venice, Flanders, Québec, Chautauqua, Colorado, Perth, Adélaide, Singapore and Taipei.
The duo regularly performs with orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Residence Orchestra of the Hague, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra da Camera di Padova e del Veneto, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and with such conductors as Franz Bruggen, Uri Ségal, Alain Lombard, Dennis Russel Davis, Jesus Lopez-Cobos…
The Crommelyncks first met in Dieter Weber’s class in Vienna. Taeko Kuwata, born in Hiroshima, had previously studied with Kazuko Yasukawa in Tokyo and Bruno Seidlhofer in Vienna. Patrick Crommelynck studied with Stefan Askenase in Brussels and Victor Merjanov in Moscow.
Their numerous recordings, including works by Brahms, Mozart, Schubert, Strauss, Debussy, Ravel, Bizet, Fauré, Tschaikovsky and Dvorak, have won many international awards, the latest being the Choc du Monde de la Musique for their collection on two compact discs of Dvorak’s complete works for piano four hands.