Felix Gottlieb received his earliest musical training in Riga, Latvia, a city with a thriving musical tradition. At the age of five he began taking piano lessons at the city’s Central Music School, and made his orchestra debut at the early age of fifteen, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor
By this time, the young Gottlieb had already begun studying under Professor Alexander Goldenweiser in Moscow, renowned teacher and afounder of the Russian piano tradition. Goldenweiser’s pupils include many famous Russian pianists, such as Lazar Berman, Dmitri Bashkirov and Grigori Ginsburg. Two years after his orchestra debut, Gottlieb gave his first solo recital performing Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin and the premiere of Rodion Schtschedrin’s first piano sonata. In 1963 Gottlieb began his studies at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow under one of the most important pianists of the past century, Emil Gilels. That same year he was awarded first prize for the best Mozart interpretation. Two years later he continued his studies with the highly acclaimed teacher Theodor Gutman who had studied under Heinrich Neuhaus.
In 1970 Felix Gottlieb began his career as soloist and chamber musician. He was awarded “best pianist for chamber music” at the 5th International Tchaikovsky Competition, which led to concert appearances worldwide. Gottlieb performed with such important artists as the Swiss flutist Aurele Nicolet, the Canadian singer Gaelin Gabora, the Korean singer Nelli Lee and many famous Russian musicians including the cellists Daniel Shafran and Alexander Rudin and the violinists Vladimir Spivakov, Sergei Stadler and Alexander Vinnitski. At this time Gottlieb produced numerous recordings for EMI, RCA VICTOR, ebs, Art & Electronics, MELODYA, including lieder by Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, Richard Strauss, Claude Debussy, Arnold Schönberg and Hugo Wolf, and chamber music works by Franz Schubert, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann, Richard Strauss and Sergei Rachmaninoff. The recording of the Brahms Cello Sonatas with Daniel Shafran reiceived special recognition and was listed in the series of reference recordings. In 1979 Gottlieb made his first concert tour of the United States, and in 1981 he toured Japan. His passion for the harpsichord led to recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s works including such monumental cycles as the Art of the Fugue, the Goldberg Variations and the Six Partitas, the very first recordings of harpsichord made in the Soviet Union. Gottlieb performed many premieres of solo and chamber works for the harpsichord. The well known Russian composer Efrem Podgaiz dedicated Gottlieb the first harpsichord concerto in the Russian literature, and Edison Denisow dedicated Gottlieb his Handel Variations. As harpsichordist and pianist Gottlieb participated in Sviatoslav Richter’s renowned “December Evenings” in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, where many outstanding musicians performed such as Natalia Gutman, Oleg Kagan and Yuri Bashmet.
In 1990 Gottlieb immigrated to Germany and was soon offered a professorship in Stuttgart. Five years later he accepted an invitation as professor at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg. In the past years Gottlieb has given master classes in Europe and the United States, and has been on the jury of national and international piano competitions. Live recordings of his concerts are regularly produced on compact disc.
In March 2000 he founded with his pupil prof. Christian A. Pohl the Internationale Klavierakademie Murhardt e.v. and in October 2005 the International Chamber Music Academy Gengenbach e.v. He was elected as chairman in both associations.
Felix Gottlieb is the founder and Chairman of the Emil Gilels Foundation gGmbH which he established in 2009.