Jan Loeffler’s career as a soloist, chamber musician, collaborative pianist and pedagogue has so far taken him to Hungary (where a piano recital of works by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin was partly recorded for Hungarian television), Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Ireland, the USA and China.
Critically acclaimed appearances with the Camerata Europeana, Philharmonie Heidelberg, Helios Chamber orchestra et al include piano concertos by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms.
Schubert’s song cycle 'Winterreise' at the National Concert Hall in Dublin with tenor Mark Duff was a particular highlight. The same programme prompted a standing ovation at Lipscomb University, Nashville, and the chair of the piano faculty commented as follows:
Jan has collaborated with chamber music partners including members of the Vienna Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the BBC Singers, as well as baritone Philip Smith, who gave his Royal Opera debut in 2015, and with whom he has recently performed Schubert’s 'Die Schöne Müllerin', a collaboration which is planned to result in a recording of the cycle.
Jan has performed UK premières of works for violin and piano by both the contemporary American composer Michael Slayton and the Mendelssohn contemporary Ferdinand David at Wilton’s Music Hall in London with Royal Academy of Music Viotti-Lecturer and violinist Peter Sheppard-Skærved, and, together with his wife, mezzo-soprano Ksynia Loeffler, he gave the world-première of a specially commissioned piece by Royal-Philharmonic-Society-Award and British-Composer-Award-winner Howard Skempton, called Brave Guy of Warwick.
Jan has been Visiting Lecturer of Piano at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire since 2013 and has since had several prize winners in his class: 2nd Prize in Città di Barletta International Piano Competition, winner of the Birmingham Town Hall Symphony Hall Prize, winner of the Beethoven Prize at RBC, winner of the Marjorie Hazlehurst Piano Award, winner of the Mario Lanza, English Song and Ashleyan Opera Prize (all three as collaborative pianists). A student has also gained full scholarships to study with Malcolm Martineau at the Oxenfoord International Summer School and on the Doctor of Musical Arts programme with Martin Katz at the University of Michigan, as well as being appointed Graduate Staff Teaching Assistant.
Having been educated in the European and Russian piano tradition of the 19th and 20th century through his teachers at the Hochschule für Musik Würzburg, Germany (Prof. Silke-Thora Matthies) and the Royal Academy of Music London (Ian Fountain), Jan can trace his teaching ancestry directly back to Haydn, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Busoni, Tchaikovsky, Taneyev and Nikolai Rubinstein, the founder of the Moscow Conservatoire.
Jan was keen to add science to his understanding of teaching in order to be able to cater for a large variety of student needs, hence him being the author of two dissertations dealing with teaching:
- Expert Learning - The Neuro-Scientific Approach to Expertise (Hochschule für Musik Würzburg, 2005)
- The Teaching of Excellence - Investigating the Role of the Teacher (Royal Academy of Music, 2009)
Jan has given piano solo and chamber music master-classes and coachings at the Hochschule für Musik Dresden, Vanderbilt University, Lipscomb University, Texas A&M University Commerce, Pepperdine University, Chongqing Normal University and at the Chongqing Guotai Arts Center. He teaches regularly at London Piano Masters Summer School and is a member of the teaching faculty at InterHarmony International Music Festival, where guest artists include Alfred Brendel, Bruno Canino, Nikolaj Znaider and Shlomo Mintz, amongst others.
Reviews and quotes:
"Loeffler interpreted Chopin's Scherzo No.2 with strong dynamics. He portrayed the highly virtuosic piece with a sense of wild drama. Under his fingers the grand-piano erupted like a volcano and the passionate sonorities seemed to run through the hall like streams of glowing lava.” (Sulzbach-Rosenberger Zeitung)
“You cannot but notice the fact that he is a very experienced Lied accompanist and chamber musician, which shows in his very nuanced pianism. The extremely dense texture of the Brahms D minor piano concerto was beautifully crafted with a lot of attention to detail, whilst getting rid of some of its potentially overbearing power. The artist found his ideal hunting ground in the dark sonic landscapes that characterise Brahms’ music.” (Die Rheinpfalz)
"This was a performance that displayed an interesting, intelligent, thoughtful and sensitive artist who possesses a real understanding of Brahms." (Ashley Wass)
"When I heard Jan perform, it was immediately clear that he had a formidable technique. [...] his performances were immensely thoughtful and imaginative. There was virtuosity in his touch, and in his ability to colour sound: evidence, I would argue, of a fine ear and keen attention to detail. [...] One of my ambitions is to write a concerto for Jan. He is a fine artist, with the sensibility and intelligence to be an invaluable teacher." (Howard Skempton)
"They [the students] have noted the remarkable elegance and facility with which you were able to help them improve - from minute details of technique to larger elements of proper music-making and understanding. [...] I was continually impressed by the dramatic changes students were able to make in a very short time, whether in technical skill, tangible sound of the instrument, or simply in the psychology of approach; this is a tribute to your adroit instruction. [...] it was especially helpful for our students to see firsthand that you apply the very same tenants you espouse in your teaching to your playing. Your beautiful, careful approach to the Brahms Intermezzi in your solo recital was a clear example (as was the stunning Beethoven!)." (Prof. Dr. Michael Slayton, Chair of Composition/Theory, Vanderbilt University, Blair School of Music)
"His work with my students in my Collaborative Piano class was perfect. His performance the next evening of the Schubert 'Winterreise' cycle was one of the most moving musical experiences in the twenty years I've been presenting these concerts." (Prof. Dr. Jerome Reed, Chair of Piano, Lipscomb University)