Listen to my Productions


Heike Matthiesen is a rate 1 classical guitarist and lady composer. The darkish piece "Dark Moon" was originally written for guitar. The colored flagolets can also be performed on the piano. So it made sense for me to arrange the work for piano. Sadly Ms. Matthiesen passed away on Dec. 22nd, two days before the release, and had no chance to listen to the production.


As the night falls: No, Chopin did not invent the Nocturne. It was the Irish composer John Field who captured nightly impressions musically. This is the singing Nocturne in Bb Major, a typical piece for English Fortepianos.


A pleasant Ragtime from the early 1900s. The composer. Robert Hampton, is not that famous as Scott Joplin, but truly a high quality composer of syncopated music.


Ratko Delorko performs on an original 1850 Klems (Düsseldorf) fortepiano. Robert Schumann's Papillons were written between 1829 and 1831; in a sense, these were the decision-making years of his artistic life: officially still a law student in Leipzig and Heidelberg, he felt the urge to pursue exclusively creative activities growing ever stronger, planned a career as a pianist, but - already inwardly determined to give up his law studies in any case - was initially unable to decide between music and poetry. This musical-literary double talent led Schumann again and again to an intimate interweaving of the numerous literary impressions with his musical creativity. Concerning Papillons, he pointed out the literary references when he sent the dedication copy of the first edition for the three sisters-in-law to his mother on April 15, 1832, and wrote: "Then ask everyone to read the final scene from Jean Paul's Flegeljahre as soon as possible, and that the Papillons should translate this larval dance into sound". 


A cheeky and friendly sonata for fortepiano in two movements and with a smiling sideways glance at the gallant style.


Pensive Bells in the Moonlight - a great musical painting in the style of Fantastic Realism. Searching hands on the piano are following the traces of improvisation. Improvisation still today is an important composer's resource.


A “Bagatelle” is, literally, something of little or no importance — a trifle. You don’t need it, but it’s nice to have, like an expensive car. It has been commissioned for Susanne Kessel’s project „250 Pieces for Beethoven“. It is in this short and pleasant format that my Bagatelle has been composed. It works perfectly on a fortepiano from Beethoven’s era and is characterized by the first two notes spreading over the whole compass of an early Hammerclavier. It can be performed equally well on a modern piano and on a historic fortepiano. The playful character is set in the style of a classical Allegro. Characteristic are the non-metric rhythms and the dissonant seconds in major chords that tickle your ear.



Fantasy is a form of condensed and composed improvisation. The repetitions are modified by ornamentation. This recording was produced with high respect to the baroque rules. Where necessary, the renditions have been carefully adapted for the modern instrument.


A friendly prelude for a good-humored fugue. This recording was produced with high respect to the baroque rules. Where necessary, the renditions have been carefully adapted for the

modern instrument.


A pounding prelude for a brisk fugue with a high chromatic content. This recording was produced with high respect to the baroque rules. Where necessary, the renditions have been carefully adapted for the modern instrument.



My preferred Preludes and Fugues from the Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. II



My preferred Preludes & Fugues from the Well Tempered Clavier Vol. I



I use an Upright GOLDON Toy Piano from the former GDR. Wooden hammers strike small steel rods in the matching frequency for sound generation. The instrument has a compass of 2 octaves. The fallback of the wooden hammers creates a distinct sound, which I include in the rhythmic patterns. The three games for children's piano I had written for Bernd Wiesemann, I promise you an extraordinary listening experience. John Cage was the first to introduce the toy piano as a serious instrument in the fifties.


This sonata comes along like a little opera. A lovely aria here and a mighty tutti there, pumped with some recitativo secco. It is unclear if Mozart wrote the sonata while visiting Munich in 1781, or during his first two years in Vienna. However, it is said, that Mozart possibly wrote this sonata during a summer stay in Salzburg (1783) when introducing his wife to his dad.


And again it was an experiment: When a commission came in to create a boogie woogie for a movie, it was new territory for me. But as a composer, I also have to be able to work on the fringes. Since it was my first boogie, I named it "Beginner's Boogie". Authentically recorded on an American Upright from the 1890s, of course.


A cheeky and friendly sonata for fortepiano in two movements and with a smiling sideways glance at the gallant style.


The juvenile and rather stormy sonata in three movements was written in 1796-98, supported, and sponsored by Anna Margarete von Browne, the wife of a Russian diplomat in Vienna.


One of the most popular Ragtimes by Scott Joplin, authentically recorded on an American Upright from the 1890s.



Twelve selected etudes from op.10 and op. 25, live from the Berlin Philharmonic Hall.




The 24 Preludes Op. 11 are a set of preludes based on Chopin's structure of defining the keys in his Preludes. This pretty early work composed by Skrjabin in the span of eight years between 1888–96 is still kept "chopinesque", while his later works start heading more into modern times. He was able to associate musical notes and keys with colors. Later, in his "Prometheus", he introduces coordinated colored lighting, a kind of a precursor of today's Light Shows and enters the ambient of the concept of "total work of art". His choice of colors was not arbitrary, but guided by the theory on colors by Rudolf Steiner, who had based his research on Goethe’s "Color Theory".




A vast selection of encores from about 50 years on stage. The art of putting the keys on fire…


My favorite pieces by Chick Corea arranged in trilogy. Always suitable for a classical recital, too.




My favorite Nocturnes by Frederic Chopin. Live from the Berlin Philharmonic Hall




For Dussek, the London piano maker John Broadwood extended the range of his instruments to 6 octaves. It is likely that he was the first to point the piano sideways to the audience, supposedly to be able to "present his shapely profile to the ladies". Until then, performing with the profile facing the audience was not appropriate because the player's emotions were not to be seen. Haydn held him in high esteem - Dussek's three Preludes are presumably condensed and notated improvisations and provide a glimpse into the art of free improvisation in the 18th. century. In his late years he seemingly had become too fat to be able to reach the keys in a meaningful way.



Red Grapes for Piano from Auburn to Zinfandel. In the past, the labels were placed on the neck of the bottle and documented the grape. The 31 short miniatures are condensed to the max. As always: Complexity in Simplicity. 



The "Pictures at an Exhibition" are based on pictures by the artist Viktor Hartmann. In the "Promenades" which are connecting the ten pieces, Mussorgsky describes himself musically walking through his friend's exposition, turning left and right, walking resolved or even hesitant from one picture to the next.

A Live recording from Essen Philharmonie. Cover art by Roberto Delorko (10 years old). Ratko Delorko arranged the "Pictures at an Exhibition" in 2002 for Piano and Orchestra as well.




The 12 tattoos represent a compact selection of classic tattoo designs. It could have been a hundred, there are so many ... Even when we talk about so-called realistic tattoos, the representation always remains fantastic and tells of the stories that could be behind the illustration. And an attitude that you wear on your skin. It corresponds to the view of fantastic realism to which my music is counted.


# 1 The Koi is a large, colored, ornamental carp that is very expensive to purchase. Not only in Asia it is considered a status symbol and adorns many backs. He swims very calmly, completely undeterred, just as the "D" is repeated. His changes of direction and small actions on the surface of the water are harmonious and figurative.


# 2 Putto - A small, fat, chubby baroque angel who actually only wants to bring love and flutters around between the embellishments and decorations. He gets bogged down in baroque phrases and is a bit awkward. He is resting in what is pretending to be a Siciliano. But it is not.


# 3 Corvus - The raven stalks across the field, looking for something that can be useful. Every object is checked. He is very resourceful and capable of learning. The black-feathered fellow can plan complex actions and is a master at hiding his prey - when he feels unobserved.


# 4 Clipper - The three-master with wind-filled sails in wild spray. The figurehead and the bowsprit could also be the scroll and fingerboard of a violin and the hull the violin itself? Fantastic realism ...


# 5 Sugar Skull - Friendly and cheerful skulls as placed by a grave or shrine in Mexico on the Day of the Dead. Traditionally, sugar skulls symbolize a deceased soul and are colorful, with lots of flowers and often with a smile. They remind not only the bereaved that their loved ones are at peace.


# 6 La Catrina was initially a skeleton woman from Mexico who represented the upper class, wearing an expensive dress and a large, ornate hat. It comes from the work of José Guadalupe Posada (1854-1913). The name Catrina, which means something like "the wealthy", is meant in a derogatory way. Today, the skull is only indicated by the rims around the eyes, a black tip of the nose, white facial paint and made-up teeth that resemble seams. Catrina is a fleeting and morbid beauty.


# 7 Rosa - Rhodology knows up to 250 species. It provides wonderful rose oil and was already considered a medicinal plant by Hildegard von Bingen. In curved shapes, with finely chiselled leaves, spikes and perhaps even a drop of blood, the Fantastic Rose sways in three-four time with subtle dissonances.


# 8 Ganesh is one of the most important and at the same time most accessible gods of India. It stands for a new beginning and wisdom, intelligence and creativity. At the time, Ganesha had a human head. Ganesha came to an elephant head through the anger of Shiva, who did not yet know about Ganesha's existence. Ganesha blocks Shiva's way to his wife Parvati, because he has a guardian function. Shiva became so angry that he cut off Ganesha's head with his sword. The mother was then completely beside herself and begged Shiva to give her son Ganesha life back. Shiva promised to replace the severed head with the head of the first being who came by. No sooner said than done. The first being was an elephant.


# 9 Betty B. refers to a cartoon character from the 1930s. With a short skirt, garter belt and a bob haircut with curls, she represents the so-called flapper girl who seems to have sprung from the Roaring Twenties. Dressed sexy, the flapper girl loves to party, dance and simply disregard the rules of good behavior. The young women were at least considered cheeky because they put on make-up, liked to drink hard liquor and smoke. Betty also appears as a singer and is, well, a little clumsy in between.


# 10 Strigiformes - the bird of wisdom. The owl is a nocturnal hunter with keen senses and it patiently spends the time waiting for potential prey to feed. Or she goes on a stalking flight and spreads her large wings for a quiet hunting approach.


# 11 Vulpes vulpes. The Fox. He's a friendly fellow, although he's also a bit sly. Just a fox. He has just visited his vixen, is in good spirits and whistles his song as he springs along. It is a downward triad followed by an upward triad. Very simple and yet complex. His opponent is the hunter with his dogs, who has already indulged in something high-proof. He made a mistake when he shot at the fox. He couldn't wait to kill the fox and pulled the trigger way too early with his nervous finger. After the unsuccessful attack, the fox flutes away.


# 12 Faith, Love, Hope, uses three images: cross, heart and anchor. These stand for the three divine virtues of faith, love and hope, which are mentioned in the Bible. In the saying of the Apostle Paul in “Songs of Love” it says: “But now there remain faith, hope, love, these three; but love is the greatest of them.” The isolated anchor motif used to be a distinguishing mark for seafarers who had crossed the Atlantic. Whereby: Every person can use an anchor point in life. The anchor today symbolizes above all hope and home. The heart stands for love and the cross for faith.



Quoting Mr. Prokofiev: “It will one movement: pretty, interesting, and practical.” In a few words he describes one of the most technically demanding pieces he has ever written for the piano. The strict architecture of the Sonata in one movement is classical, subdivided in fast-slow- fast sections with a few more tempo twists.


The MIDI_Sonata for Piano and Synthetic Sounds is a kind of a modern time piano concerto. While there is an acoustic grand piano in the solo part, the accompanying synthetic sounds are trigged by a computer. The selected sounds are willingly artificial. The structure of the three movements is typically classical: fast-slow-fast.




The Songbook Complete: All the hits from Gershwin's Broadway shows were published in simply arranged individual editions for piano, the difficulty of which had to be geared to the limited abilities of their purchasers. Gershwin himself was not bound by this, of course, and so when he entertained at the piano, as he did at every party, he performed his songs with improvised extensions. When the requests for these enriched versions increased, he decided to offer some of them to the experts among the piano players as well. With the Songbook of 1932, however, he surprisingly did not present fixed improvisations of the theme-with-variations type, as he was to do two years later with the concertante variations on "I Got Rhythm"; nor were they more difficult piano arrangements of the hit songs for advanced players, as he portrayed them in his preface. Rather, they are concentrated extracts, so to speak, from the song themes, usually limited to the chorus of each title. All are very short and enormously condensed: all touched upon only very briefly - a procedure reminiscent of Anton von Webern's compositional style. No feel-good music for "easy listening," then, but the most concise, at times almost brittle miniatures that demand and deserve the listener's full attention. An astonishing metamorphosis, from which the seriousness of the composer Gershwin speaks only too clearly.



The piano cycle "Zeitklang" returns to the roots of the pianist composing in personal union for his own hand, who also plays the music in his own concerts. Only for his own hands? But no, for many other hands as well; “Zeitklang” originates from my often improvisatory searching hands and then inserts itself by way the compositional process into formal levels. The musical thought that is delivered from improvisation has been condensed and distilled in the process of writing until it becomes as simple as possible, without being able to be plain? Complexity in simplicity is the basic idea. I love the technique of escamotage, five-note themes with a dissonant second as a recognizable troublemaker, and alternating, crooked rhythms that become straight again through their periodicity. "Zeitklang" describes ten daily moods.



From Porgy & Bess: All of Gershwin's other solo piano works apart from "The Three Preludes" and "Rhapsody in Blue" are transcriptions of his songs, like the excerpt from Porgy and Bess presented here. With this opera, his last work of weight, Gershwin achieved perhaps America's most significant contribution to contemporary musical theater. Although he attached importance to writing a through-composed opera and not a number musical, of course the hits were not missing here either. The best-known song from it besides Summertime, "It Ain't Necessarily So," proves here its potential for far-reaching climaxes despite its so melancholy beginning (after Summertime).


Rhapsody in Blue: The version of the Rhapsody in Blue for one piano commonly used today is necessarily heavily reduced. When Gershwin recorded the Rhapsody for piano rolls, he reinforced some passages in a kind of overdub procedure. Ratko Delorko has produced a new version for one pianist from the original two-piano version, which presents all the themes, thus remaining as close as possible to the original and surpassing the impetus of the symphonic version in its truly orchestral virtuosity.


The Three Preludes: Gershwin planned a series of 24 preludes for piano .This cycle remained incomplete due to his intense work on other projects and his early death. On December 4, 1926, Gershwin premiered the first five completed pieces at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York. In 1927, he selected three of these pieces for publication, today known as "The Three Preludes" in a classical format of a kind of movements "fast-slow-fast". The slow movement in a 12-bar blues structure is a wonderful playground for an improvisation.


23 Treasured Christmas Carols: The idea of creating this Christmas recording was delivered from the feeling that I can find a lot of fantastic recordings with choirs, winds, organ players and famous singers performing Christmas Carols. But as I am crazy about pianos, I found it hard to find a selection of great Christmas Carols at the piano in a standard that I expect from every classical recording – pleasant to listen to both as non-professional and professional. So here it is–enjoy!


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Long Distance Lessons

Ratko Delorko | Online Piano Academy

Since 2008, Ratko Delorko provided professional online piano instruction. These are referred to as long distance lessons ... more


Ratko Delorko | Compositions

Ratko Delorko performs various compositions such as "Ice Palace" or the grotesque "Penguinesque"  -Tracks and Insights of the Penguin ...  more


Ratko Delorko | Programs

A colourful potpourri of classical, romantic and contemporary programs, Gershwin,  history of the piano  and ... more


Ratko Delorko | Publications

Books that  bring together the cumulative knowledge of a pianist who is not solely concerned with piano playing.   more


Ratko Delorko | Recordings

Take a journey through classical, romantic and contemporary recordings: from Brahms, Beethoven, Händel, Liszt to Gershwin. Enjoy!   more

Coachings & Lectures

Ratko Delorko | Coaching, Lectures, Masterclasses

Professional support and insights: Coaching for diploma and competition, master classes or lectures on the history of the piano. more

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