Michael Korstick (born April 30, 1955 in Cologne, Germany) is a German pianist.
Michael Korstick received his first piano lessons at the age of 9 and was first prize winner of the "Jugend musiziert" competition in Cologne at the age of 11. After graduating from high school he entered the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Cologne as a student of Jürgen Tröster, and in 1974 he became a student of Hans Leygraf in Hanover. In the same year he took master classes from the Russian pianist Tatiana Nikolayeva and subsequently worked with her on several occasions. He made his formal concert début in Cologne in 1975, performing Beethoven's sonatas op.106 and op.111.
In 1976 Korstick went to the United States to continue his studies at The Juilliard School in New York where he was a scholarship student of Sascha Gorodnitzki until 1983. He spent several summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School as a student of Jeaneane Dowis. After winning the Competition of German Music Council, he returned to Germany in 1983 to start his concert career.
Critics have called Michael Korstick "one of the most important Beethoven performers of our time" (Audiophile, Fono Forum). His repertoire consists of more than 120 works for piano and orchestra and a large number of solo works from all periods, including the complete sonatas of Beethoven. On his worldwide concert tours he has given cyclical performances of the piano concerti of Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt, Rachmaninov, Bartók, and Prokofiev.
Michael Korstick has made more than 40 CD recordings so far, among them most notably Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas (the complete edition was released in 2012). He has been the recipient of Germany's Echo Klassik prize in 2005, the MIDEM Classical Award Cannes in 2009, as well as of six "Awards of the German Record Critics", most recently in November 2014.
His 2003 recording of Beethoven's Sonata op.106 ("Hammerklavier") has been the subject of feature articles in Die Zeit and Süddeutsche Zeitung. Jürgen Otten included him in his 2009 standard work "Die großen Pianisten der Gegenwart" (The Great Pianists of Our Time) as one of four German pianists. In Ingo Harden and Gregor Willmes' "PianistenProfile"(Pianists Profiles) his playing is described to be of "overwhelming intensity".
Michael Korstick lives and works in Linz, Austria, where he is a full professor at Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität.