BIO: Recognized as an artist of passion and integrity, the distinguished American pianist Peter Serkin is one of the most thoughtful and individualistic musicians appearing before the public today. Throughout his career he has successfully conveyed the essence of five centuries of repertoire and his performances with symphony orchestras, recital appearances, chamber music collaborations and recordings are respected worldwide.
Peter Serkin's rich musical heritage extends back several generations: his grandfather was violinist and composer Adolf Busch and his father pianist Rudolf Serkin. In 1958, at age eleven, he entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he was a student of Lee Luvisi, Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Rudolf Serkin. He later continued his studies with Ernst Oster, Marcel Moyse and Karl Ulrich Schnabel. In 1959 Mr. Serkin made his Marlboro Music Festival and New York City debuts with conductor Alexander Schneider and invitations to perform with the Cleveland Orchestra and George Szell in Cleveland and Carnegie Hall and with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Eugene Ormandy in Philadelphia and Carnegie Hall soon followed. He has since performed with the world's major symphony orchestras with such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, James Levine, Herbert Blomstedt and Christoph Eschenbach. Also a dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Serkin has collaborated with Alexander Schneider, Pamela Frank, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Budapest, Guarneri and Orion string quartets and TASHI, of which he was a founding member.
An avid proponent of the music of many of the 20th and 21st century's most important composers, Mr. Serkin has been instrumental in bringing the music of Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, Wolpe, Messiaen, Takemitsu, Henze, Berio, Wuorinen, Goehr, Knussen and Lieberson, among others, to audiences around the world. He has performed many important world premieres, in particular, works by Toru Takemitsu, Peter Lieberson, Oliver Knussen and Alexander Goehr, all of which were written for him. Most recently, Mr. Serkin played the world premieres of Charles Wuorinen's Piano Concerto No. 4 with the Boston Symphony/James Levine in Boston, at Carnegie Hall and at Tanglewood as well as a fifth piano concerto by Mr. Wuorinen with the Met Opera Orchestra/Levine, also at Carnegie Hall; a solo work by Elliot Carter commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival; and Mr. Wuorinen's new piano quintet (commissioned by the Rockport, MA Music Festival) with the Brentano String Quartet.
Highlights of Peter Serkin's recent and upcoming US appearances include performances with the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, and the Boston, Chicago, National, Detroit, St. Louis, Toronto, Cincinnati and Atlanta symphonies; recitals in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Orchestra Hall in Chicago and New York's 92nd Street Y; and summer festival appearances at Ravinia, Aspen, Ojai, Caramoor, Tanglewood, Blossom, Mostly Mozart, Saratoga and the Mann Center with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Internationally, in August and September of 2011, Mr. Serkin is the featured soloist at the Saito Kinen Festival in Matsumoto, Japan where he appears with both of the festival's orchestras led by Seiji Ozawa and Diego Matheuz and then tours China with the festival orchestras. He also plays recitals in Matsumoto, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. His recent and upcoming engagements in Europe include appearances with the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, Deutsches Symphony Orchestra, Danish Radio Orchestra and the Bamberg Symphony.
Peter Serkin's recordings also reflect his distinctive musical vision. The Ocean that has no West and no East, released by Koch Records in 2000, features compositions by Webern, Wolpe, Messiaen, Takemitsu, Knussen, Lieberson and Wuorinen. That same year BMG released his recording of three Beethoven sonatas. Additional recordings include the Brahms violin sonatas with Pamela Frank, Dvorak's Piano Quintet with the Orion String Quartet, quintets by Henze and Brahms with the Guarneri String Quartet, the Bach double and triple concerti with Andras Schiff and Bruno Canino and Takemitsu's Quotation of a Dream with Oliver Knussen and the London Sinfonietta. His most recent recording is the complete works for solo piano by Arnold Schoenberg for Arcana.
Mr. Serkin's recording of the six Mozart concerti composed in 1784 with Alexander Schneider and the English Chamber Orchestra was nominated for a Grammy and received the prestigious Deutsche Schallplatten as well as "Best Recording of the Year" by Stereo Review magazine. Other Grammy nominated recordings include Olivier Messiaen's Vingt Regards sur l'Enfant Jesus and Quartet for the End of Time on BMG and a solo recording of works by Stravinsky, Wolpe and Lieberson for New World Records.
Mr. Serkin currently teaches at Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Longy School of Music. He resides in Massachusetts with his wife, Regina, and is the father of five children.
America's Longest Running Chamber Music Festival presents 88th Exhilarating Season!
by BWW News Desk - June 01, 2017
America's Longest Running Chamber Music Festival, Music Mountain, continues its 88th Season with Alexander Fiterstein, Clarinet, Michael Brown, Piano, and Nicholas Canellakis, Cello performing Beethoven, Debussy, and Brahms on Sunday, June 18th (3pm). The weekend begins with the first Twilight Serie...
Music Mountain to Present Cassatt String Quartet & More, 6/25-26
by BWW News Desk - June 06, 2016
Music Mountain, America's oldest continuing summer chamber music festival, continues its extraordinary 87th Anniversary Season with the inspiring Cassatt String Quartet with guest artist, Colin Carr, cello on Sunday, June 26th (3PM) performing Tchaikowsky and Shubert. The New Black Eagle Jazz Band r...
Richard Goode, Emerson, Borromeo, and More Lead MUSIC MOUNTAIN's 2016 Season
by BWW News Desk - January 10, 2016
Concert aficionados from around the country will want to mark their calendars for Music Mountain, America's oldest continuing summer chamber music festival, when it kicks off its record-breaking 87th Anniversary Season beginning Sunday, June 5th!...
Rosanne Cash to Curate Music Series as Part of 2015-16 Carnegie Hall Season
by BWW News Desk - September 24, 2015
Beginning this fall, singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash will curate a four-concert Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall—a residency that offers a glimpse of the rich and disparate elements of American southern roots music, from traditional bluegrass to country and soul music, and from Western swing to h...
MUSIC MOUNTAIN Presents Musical Fireworks with Arianna String Quartet
by BWW News Desk - June 14, 2015
The sky will illuminate with musical fireworks when America's Oldest Continuing Chamber Music Festival, Music Mountain, celebrates the 4th of July! The weekend begins on Friday, July 3rd (7:30pm) with Colin Carr, cello and Jonathan Yates, piano, in recital performing Bach and Beethoven....