Peter Serkin, piano
Recognized as an artist of passion and integrity, the distinguished American pianist Peter Serkin has successfully conveyed the essence of five centuries of repertoire. His inspired performances with symphony orchestras, in recital appearances, chamber music collaborations and on recordings have been lauded worldwide for decades.
Peter Serkin’s rich musical heritage extends back several generations: his grandfather was violinist and composer Adolf Busch and his father pianist Rudolf Serkin. He has performed with the world’s major symphony orchestras, led by such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Alexander Schneider, Daniel Barenboim, George Szell, Eugene Ormandy, Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, James Levine, Herbert Blomstedt, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos and George Cleve. A dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Serkin has collaborated with Alexander Schneider, Pamela Frank, Yo-Yo Ma, the Budapest, Guarneri, Orion, Shanghai, and Dover String Quartets and TASHI, of which he was a founding member.
An avid exponent of the music of many of the 20th and 21st century’s most important composers, Mr. Serkin has been instrumental in bringing to life the music of Schoenberg, Reger, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, Wolpe, Messiaen, Takemitsu, Wuorinen, Goehr, and Knussen for audiences around the world. He has performed many important world premieres of works written specifically for him, in particular by Toru Takemitsu, Hans Werner Henze, Luciano Berio, Leon Kirchner, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen and Charles Wuorinen. Mr. Serkin has recently made several arrangements of four-hand music by Mozart, Schumann and his grandfather, Adolf Busch, for various chamber ensembles and for full orchestra. He has also arranged all of Brahms’s organ Chorale-Preludes, transcribed for one piano, four-hands.
Mr. Serkin’s 2017-2018 season began with concerts in Japan, and he continues with solo recitals in Ashland OR, Sonoma, Fresno, and Santa Barbara CA, Ridgewood, NJ, and St. Paul, MN, performing Mozart Sonatas paired with Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Orchestral engagements include the Bartók Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion, and Orchestra with Anna Polansky, Orchestra Now, and Leon Botstein at Carnegie Hall. The pianist also performs with the Rogue Valley and Duluth-Superior Symphonies, and he joins the Dover Quartet for the Brahms Piano Quintet at South Mountain Concerts.
Last season, Mr. Serkin performed solo recitals in New York City, Beacon, NY, and Mount Kisco, NY, and orchestral programs with the Sacramento Philharmonic and Berkshire and Longwood Symphonies. In April, he joined members of the New York Philharmonic in a performance of the Busch Piano Quintet at New York City’s Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center. Following engagements with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in Philadelphia, Mr. Serkin embarked on a European tour with the orchestra, performing Brahms Piano Concert No. 1 in London, Berlin, Vienna, Salzburg, Dresden, Bremen and Wroclaw.
Recent summer seasons have featured engagements at the Ravinia, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Chautauqua, and Music Mountain Music Festivals, BBC Proms, Oxford Philharmonic and Bellingham Music Festivals performing concertos, chamber music, and duo piano programs. Mr. Serkin traveled to Havana, Cuba with the Bard Conservatory Orchestra in June 2016 and has been Artist-in-Residence at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Orchestral highlights of recent seasons have included the Boston, Chicago, American, Sydney and Saint Louis Symphonies, New York Philharmonic and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, while recital tours have taken Mr. Serkin to Hong Kong, Cologne, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Santa Monica, Princeton and New York’s 92nd Street Y.
Mr. Serkin currently teaches at Bard College Conservatory of Music.