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Alfred Brendel

© National Portrait Gallery, London. Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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Regarded as one of the world's great pianists, Brendel was born in northern Moravia in what is now the Czech Republic, and has lived in London since 1971. Brendel studied briefly at the Graz Conservatory but is largely self-taught. The first artist to record Beethoven complete works for solo piano, his repertoire includes Mozart, Schubert, Brahms and Liszt. He retired from performing in 2008. From the beginning of the commissioning consultation process it was clear that Alfred Brendel was not going to be satisfied with a conventional portrait and indeed he was reticent about sitting at all.

National Portrait Gallery, London


  • Date


  • Medium

    acrylic on canvas

  • Measurements

    75.6 x 67 cm

  • Accession number


  • Acquisition method

    Commissioned, 2005


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St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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