”[…] Struhal played with singing tone, lightness of touch and exactly the right measure of 18th-century rationality and clarity. […]”
“Now here, finally, is a young artist who you feel has something of her own to say, and delightfully so, instead of simply joining the ranks of generic musicians”, Fono Forum said in its 2007 review of Gerda Struhal’s two albums “Chopin, Scriabin” and “Schumann, Ravel”, published by Gramola.
“Viennese pianist Gerda Struhal, virtually unknown in the United States, might change your attitude about Domenico Scarlatti. […] These are the only available piano performances of some of these works, but even the familiar ones sound new”, the “The Dallas Morning News” praised Gerda Struhal’s album “Domenico Scarlatti: Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 12″, released by Naxos. And when she made her US debut in 2002, the Washington Post wrote: “Struhal played with singing tone, lightness of touch and exactly the right measure of 18th-century rationality and clarity.”
Extensive solo tours have taken the Viennese pianist through large parts of Europe, the US, Asia and Northern Africa.
This year, Gerda Struhal will present solo recitals at the Carinthian Summer Music Festival and the Wiener Konzerthaus as part of the “Music & Poetry” series, among others.
Gerda Struhal has been invited to perform at concert halls such as the Brucknerhaus in Linz, the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn, the Congress Center Villach (as part of the 2006 Carinthian Music Summer Festival’s Mozart concert series), the Wiener Konzerthaus, the Musikverein in Vienna, St.-Martin-in-the-Fields (London), the NDK (Festival Salon des Arts, Sofia), the National Library Concert Hall (Beijing), the Eskisehir Festival (Turkey), the RadioKulturhaus (Vienna), the Shanghai Concert Hall, the Maryland Hall of the Creative Arts (Annapolis/Maryland) and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.
Her solo guest performances with the Bruckner Orchester Linz, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong City Chamber Orchestra, the Vienna Sinfonietta Feuerhaus orchestra and others saw her work with conductors such as Howard Griffiths, Kaspar de Roo and Lior Shambadal.
“[…] This one by Viennese pianist Gerda Struhal is among the best I’ve heard in this or any series. Her dynamics are always well judged, her tempos somewhat on the brisk side—which in Scarlatti is a good thing—her articulation generally clear, her technique clean and her interpretations well conceived. She plays the leadoff work here, the perky Sonata in E flat, K. 193, with such spirit and joy that you know instantly you’re listening to a subtle musician, fully sensitive to the brighter side of Scarlatti. […]” .
Born in Vienna, Gerda Struhal was admitted to Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts (MDW) as a student of Imola Fonyad-Joo’s at the age of five. After a classical education (Latin, Ancient Greek) in Vienna, she majored in Performance Studies at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht with Alan Weiss and at MDW, primarily with Hans Petermandl. At MDW, she drew long-lasting artistic inspiration from the likes of Günter Pichler (Primarius of the Alban Berg Quartet), Oleg Maisenberg, Stefan Vladar and Manfred Wagner-Artzt. In addition to her studies, she completed master classes with Boris Bloch, Tatiana Nikolaeva, Earl Wild and others. Gerda Struhal graduated from her piano performance studies at MDW in Hans Petermandl’s class with the Advanced Performance Diploma with Distinction.
She subsequently studied conducting with Georg Mark and Reinhard Schwarz at Konservatorium Wien University.
A versatile pianist, Gerda Struhal has received a number of awards and scholarships, among them the Gonda Weiner Prize, the Appreciation Award of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (Würdigungspreis des BMBWK) and the Working Grant of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (Arbeitsstipendium des BMBWK), as part of which she focused on Austrian contemporary piano music. In 2003, her debut recording with solo literature by Chopin and Scriabin (Gramola) won the “Pasticcio Award” of Austrian classics broadcaster Ö1/ORF.
In addition to her international concert performances, Gerda Struhal has been teaching piano at MDW since 2002 and has taught master classes at the China Conservatory (Beijing), the Shanghai Conservatory, Hong Kong University and others.