Armed with formidable technical mastery and profound musical sensitivity, Alice Sara Ott stands among the most compelling artists of her generation. The musician’s poetic pianism, hailed by critics for its refinement and intensity, has prompted favourable comparisons with great performers from the past. Ott’s music-making is guided by a desire to connect with the essential spirit of the works in her repertoire; above all, it flows from her innate ability to channel a vast range of emotions and imaginative responses into every performance.
Born in Munich in 1988 to a German father and Japanese mother, she fell in love with the piano at the age of three while attending a recital with her parents and soon after her fifth birthday, she appeared in the final of a youth music competition at Munich’s Herkulessaal. At 12, Ott joined Professor Karl-Heinz Kämmerling’s renowned piano class at the Salzburg Mozarteum and at just 13, she became the youngest finalist in the history of the Hamamatsu International Piano Academy Competition, named its Most Promising Artist.
Ott appeared in the closing phase of the decade-long 100 International Pianists series in Tokyo in 2006 and has since secured a large and loyal following in Japan, but her desire to share classical music with the broadest possible audience has allowed her to connect with people worldwide. Her international career developed with a series of high-profile debuts in Europe, including a critically acclaimed performance with Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra and David Zinman in 2006. She scored a notable success in 2008 in Basel when she replaced Murray Perahia at short notice in recital and her passion for making chamber music in company with other outstanding young instrumentalists has led to invitations from major European promoters, including debut appearances at the 2010 Lucerne Festival and the 2012 Verbier Festival.
Highlights of subsequent years included debuts with the Toronto and Chicago Symphony orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, her recital debut at Wigmore Hall, and a tour of pieces from The Chopin Project, a collaboration with pioneering Icelandic composer and instrumentalist Ólafur Arnalds. Ott continues to release a wide-ranging discography through her exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon, recording works from Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Clara Schumann, Stravinsky, Grieg, Mussorgsky, Schubert, Debussy, Satie and Ravel. The release of her latest album, Nightfall, marked both her 30th birthday and the tenth anniversary of her partnership with the yellow label.