Elżbieta Sternlicht


Elżbieta Sternlicht​

Without Chopin
Piano recitals with Elżbieta Sternlicht and Arcadi Volodos

Elżbieta Sternlicht played two entire piano cycles, both obviously bound to the formal models established by Chopin:

The Préludes op. 34 by Dmitri Schostakowitsch – arranged in all keys as Chopin’s – and Douze Études by Claude Debussy written “a la memoire de Frédéric Chopin”, two great cycles that are heard much too rarely.

Sternlicht’s pianistic art is descriptive…

Wolfgang Fuhrmann

Berliner Zeitung ,12/13 April 2003
Piano recital with Elżbieta Sternlicht in the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie

The fact that the Polish pianist is popular and well-known could be seen from the audience streaming into the Kammermusiksaal of the Philharmonie. In addition Elżbieta Sternlicht presented a highly remarkable evening programme. Pieces that are almost unmanageable for every pianist, interlarded with technical and rhythmic difficulties, and also tremendously complex regarding the contents.

The pianist interpreted Schostkowisch (24 Preludes op.34) with deliberation and gave the cycle an own shape through articulate finesse.

Debussy’s 12 Études, which’s playing from memory deserves high respect, were always presented according to their programmatic titles so that the real Études character of the pieces came to the surface, avoiding the usual romanticism.

Adelheid Krause- Pichler

Neue Musik Zeitung September 2003
In the Soundworld of Modern Music Promising prologue to the 4th International Piano Forum "...antasten..." in Heilbronn

…on Thursday night the 4th International Piano Forum “…antasten…” was opened in the City Museums of Heilbronn. The only shortcoming of the opening concert with Elżbieta Sternlicht was the acoustic of the museum hall in the Deutschhof, which was less than ideal. The hall was completely filled when Elżbieta Sternlicht sat down at the grand piano and made clear at once with Menachem Zur’s “Center” and “Circle of Time” what an excellent pianist was presenting herself here.

The “…antasten…” prologue was a promising one which made clear: here the quality of previous Piano Forums is being continued without interruption.

Uwe Grosser

Heilbronner Stimme, September 23rd, 1999
A Trio for Violin, Alto Saxophone and Piano

But the real surprise of the evening was the pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht. The Polish pianist convinced the audience with a performance characterised by definition and richness of power that would not have been expected from her rather small and frail appearance. In Elżbieta Sternlicht’s interpretation of Debussy’s “L’Isle Joyeux” and Schoenberg’s “Sechs kleine Klavierstücke op.19” a distinguished creative power based on a completely sovereign pianistic technique could be heard.

Ilse Cordes

Cuxhavener Nachrichten, July 5th, 1998
In the Shade of the Brother

One is the more thankful for the recordings at hand, which take into consideration the eight piano pieces of the time between 1838 and 1840. Thus Elżbieta Sternlicht deserves great credit for this very welcome enlargement of repertoire.

Giselher Schubert

Fono Forum, August 1998
Sternlichte Sternstunde
In the Kammermusiksaal mystery is triumphant- and Elżbieta Sternlicht too, playing Messiaen's opus magnum for piano.

Olivier Messiaen began composing his full-length piano cycle “Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus” in March 1944 during the occupation of Paris and completed it after the liberation. Elżbieta Sternlicht invited the public in the Kammermusiksaal. of the Philharmonie Berlin to the absorption appropriate to this work. The Messiaen-specialist challenged the 2nd part of the pianistic opus magnum with requirements on sparkling virtuosity and guarded concentration which she met brilliantly. Her colour balanced touch provided transparency in the tonally dense structures, and her concentrated articulation of even the shockingly rapid appoggiatura figures secured rhythmic clarity in spite of the complex structure. …This cultivated interpretation was not stingy with great moments of tonal delicacy: mystery was led to triumph.

Volker Straebel

Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), November 2nd, 1997
Mozart in Minor and Black Mass with Light and Shade.

…the dark mood of Mozart’s Sonata A minor K. 310, with which Elżbieta Sternlicht opened her piano recital in the Philharmonie. With Chopin’s Nocturnes she was completely in her element. In the Nocturne F minor sounds of pastel-coloured delicacy were to be heard. Referring to the music of the Polish composer, Heinrich Heine once spoke of virtuosity in the garment of poetry: Elżbieta Sternlicht’s piano playing brought this. thought to life.

Alexander Scriabin’s 9th Sonata seems like a cornucopia of pianistic possibilities. The pianist proved her great mastery once more in the forming of the soft and frail passages. Here she succeeded in creating a kind of shiver of creepy well-being in the audience. Elżbieta Sternlicht mastered the 2nd book of Debussy’s “Preludes” with its high musical and technical demands in a manner highly astonishing: a Debussy-interpreter of rank


Berliner Morgenpost, September 6th, 1995
Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn
Lyrische Stücke für Klavier

The Polish pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht introduces the “Lyrische Stücke für Klavier” by Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn. She does it with pleasure of playing and precision, with atmospheric denseness and clear structuring. She refrains from pathetic gestures that could also be imagined in music that is romantic through and through. This is what distinguishes this production.

Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, November 1993
Fragments for Vacuum Cleaner
Sounds of a somewhat serious kind: "Unerhörte Musik" in the BKA

A virtuous climax is to be expected next Tuesday with “New American Music”, the Polish pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht is known to be a master in her field.

Jochen Metzner

Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), September 1st, 1992
Piano Music: Fanny or Felix

The lyrical pieces by Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn are becoming an object of speculation within feminist history of music. Fanny is in any case a master of the small form and the character piece; Elżbieta Sternlicht proves this thesis by playing the piano with warmth and deliberateness of sound.

Frankfurter Neue Presse, December 4th, 1992
Record Box

The small but committed label Thorofon puts a first recording of lyric piano pieces on the market.
The Polish pianist living in Berlin, Elżbieta Sternlicht, interprets these “Lieder ohne Worte” both unsentimentally and feelingly, always bringing out the melody clearly and singingly, and so closes a small gap in the in no way depleted repertoire of this so far underestimated composer.


Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), December 13th, 1992
Fanny Mendelssohn Lyrische Stücke

In the Thorofon production at hand, the pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht makes herself the champion of an undiscovered artist.

Keyboards, December 1992
Unheard of Music in the BKA

A variety of nuances which she brought out impressively in Arnold Schoenberg’s Sechs kleine Klavierstücke opus 19 and Drei Klavierstücke opus 11. The aphoristic style of the Kleine Klavierstücke as well as the differentiated “timbre melodies” of the Drei Klavierstücke were performed by Elżbieta Sternlicht with the utmost concentration and expressiveness… in this unheard of, exciting piano recital.

Franz Groborz

Der Tagesspiegel (Berlin), April 18th, 1991
The Audience Thanked with Rapturous Applause

With her performance the Berlin pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht entered the hearts of the Sao Paulo friends of classical music. The concert was an absolutely beautiful aesthetic treat. The audience thanked her with rapturous applause.


Deutsche Zeitung (Sao Paulo), August 9th,1991
Concert with the Poles

With its traditional concerts the Polish Cultural Centre contributes to the musical life in Prague. In the previous concert the pianist E. Sternlicht, who is of Polish origin, gave a performance.

Three Mazurkas from op. 50 by K. Szymanowski impressed the audience with invention, humour and the harmonic harshness of the music of our century. In the performance given by the artist they revealed intense sound and sudden dynamic contrasts.


Lidova demokracie (Prague), November 20th, 1991
Women Composers Yesterday and Today
An exhibition in the Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek, Berlin

In the “Erotiques” by Joanna Bruzdowicz the excellent pianist Elżbieta Sternlicht shaped every nuance and drew a delicate dialogue between two compositional principles. A composition by Arvo Pärt with the title “Fratres” delighted the audience with a spherical lyricism in arpeggios, clear plainness, magically, beautifully.

Ursula Stürzbecher

Das Orchester, February 1982