The 2016-2017 Piano Series kicks off with a recital by guest artist Daniel Pollack on Saturday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. Audiences across North America, Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa recognize the pianism of Daniel Pollack for its signature colors in sound, coupled with over-the-edge thrilling virtuosity, giving his performances an electrifying element that catches the imagination of concert audiences. Critics speak about “his astonishing pianism,” Washington Post; “his dramatic tension, poignant lyricism,” Diapason Magazine, Paris, France; and “his torrents of sound that turned feathery flurries of delicate sounds,” Los Angeles Times.
Pollack has performed solo recitals in such major music centers as London’s Royal Festival Hall; Vienna’s Musikverein; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon; Seoul’s Arts Center; Moscow’s Bolshoi Zal; New York’s Carnegie Hall; Beijing’s National Concert Hall; and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. His recently released CD is on Classical Records, titled “Daniel Pollack in Moscow.” Other CDs include ‘COLORS’ on the RCM label, a Grammy-nominated CD for Naxos, the complete solo piano works of Samuel Barber, and an all-Chopin recital recorded in the Bolshoi Zal of the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia (Sony).
Pollack first garnered the music world’s attention when he became a prizewinner in the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Following, he concertized throughout the former Soviet Union and became the first American to record for the Melodya label, recordings that sold in the millions throughout the former Soviet Union. He has held several visiting artist faculty positions including The Juilliard School, Columbia University and Yale’s School of Music. Pollack is currently on the faculty of the Thornton School of Music, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
Next up on the Piano Series will be guest artist Stephen Prutsman on Saturday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. Stephen Prutsman has been described as one of the most innovative musicians of his time. Moving easily from classical to jazz to world music styles as a pianist, composer and conductor. In the early 90’s he was a medal winner at the Tchaikovsky and Queen Elisabeth Piano Competitions, and received the Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then Stephen has performed the classical concerto repertoire as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and his classical discography includes acclaimed recordings of the Barber and McDowell concerti with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.
Born in Los Angeles, Stephen first began playing the piano by ear at age 3, before moving on to more formal music studies. In his teens and early 20s he was the keyboard player for several art rock groups including Cerberus and Vysion. He was also during those years a solo jazz pianist playing in many southern California clubs and lounges and was the music arranger for a nationally syndicated televangelist program. A former student of Aube Tzerko, Leon Fleisher, and Jack Wilson, Stephen studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Peabody Conservatory of Music.