"Diversity of tone, richness of colour, the possibilities of differentiation from the finest pianissimo to the orchestral fortissimo, exactness and touch control. I expect all this from a piano. Inspiration and creativity for in-depth interpretations, this is always my goal when I play and for this I need the "ideal tool", a Bösendorfer grand piano!
I am in the lucky position to own one of these wonderful instruments and this means I can experience such great pleasure and deep enjoyment on a daily basis."
Roland Batik, born on August 19th 1951 in Vienna, combines tradition and modernity as well as classical and jazz. "As a traveler between musical worlds" he is one of the most versatile musicians in the country. The musical language of the pianist and composer transcends traditional boundaries. Roland Batik sees himself as a pianist who also composes. The path to his compositions is always following the piano, the improvisation. As a teenager, Roland Batik actually wanted to become a keyboarder of a major rock or pop band. The Who, Queen and Keith Emerson were his role models. The decisive impulse for his musical development was a concert visit in 1971 at a performance of Friedrich Gulda's "Concertino for Players and Singers". Roland Batik became a student of Walter Fleischmann at the Musikhochschule in Vienna (today's University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna). A short time later, he enrolled at the Jazz Institute of the Vienna Conservatory, which Erich Kleinschuster had founded in 1969 (today: Music and Art Private University of the City of Vienna). He studied Jazz piano with Fritz Pauer and took lessons with Friedrich Gulda. Already during his studies Batik was a successful composer of several stage music compositions for the Burgtheater Vienna. As a soloist in Friedrich Gulda's "Concertino for Players and Singers" under the composer's leadership, Roland Batik made his breakthrough as a pianist. From Gulda, Batik not only learned the interpretation of Bach and Beethoven, but also discipline, which probably one of the essential requirements for a career as a musician. Roland Batik not only perfected his playing, he also felt confirmed in his simultaneous love of classical music and jazz: "Really great, style-creating musicians had just that: the perfect timing. A natural feeling, a completely natural relationship to the rhythm. Out of this ideal timing the right kind of playing style follows immediately." During the lessons with Friedrich Gulda, Roland Batik founded the Roland Batik Trio - a jazz band still performing today. Between 1982 and 1988 Roland Batik formed an internationally very successful classical piano duo, together with Paul Gulda. As a member of the Vienna instrumental soloists he composed numerous works between 1987 and 1991. After the separation of the duo Batik-Gulda, Roland Batik turned again to his solo career - often in combination of classical repertoire and own crossover compositions. Concert tours have taken the artist through Europe, the USA, Japan and Korea - but also on the local stages of the Bregenz Festival, the Carinthian Summer and others. Batik himself says of his style:
"I still have the courage to stay in the tonal domain; The innovative zeitgeist does not pass me by, but there are so many who work in this direction. It may not be entirely wrong to do something different. Besides, I just can not help it! [...] In my compositions, I strive for a fusion of classical-traditional formal elements with sound ideas influenced by jazz and ethno. [...] In my piano compositions you will find lyrical-cantabile elements to the influences of folklore, popular music and avant-garde soundscapes."
Except in his large-scale compositions, the batik jazz always tries to give the interpreter room for improvisation, without losing the formal Unbalance scaffolding. "But in terms of style, my ideas are already romantic impressionist - with a dose of jazz." Incidentally, the award-winning artist - among other things, he was awarded the title Professor in 2003 - as an organizer and artistic director of 1998 founded by him Schlosskonzerte Seibersdorf. Every year at the end of May excellent musicians gather and give concerts of high quality in a stylish setting. In 2001 he was awarded the Culture Prize of the Province of Lower Austria. Since 2014 he acts as musical mastermind of the concert series "Piano and More". Since 1977, Roland Batik has also been teaching at the Music and Arts Private University of Vienna, where until 1994 he taught jazz and concert piano at the same time and now concentrates solely on classical music. He is also a regular lecturer at the Vienna Master Classes, the International Summer Academy Mozarteum and the International Chamber Music Festival "Allegro Vivo".
In recent years, the versatile artist intensified his concert activities in solo, in the Duo with Yuko Batik and Roland Batik Trio. Recently a new project has been created, in the tradition from "Bridges" but also stylistically beyond: "The New Quartet" with the three shooting stars, Florian Eggner (violoncello), Tobias Meissl (vibraphone) and Martin Gasser (alto saxophone).