The American piuanist and music pedagogue, Christopher Atzinger, studied at the Trinity Lutheran School and Concord High School. He obtainded his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano from the University of Texas at Austin (1995-1999); his Master of Music in Piano from the University of Michigan (1999-2001); and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University (2001-2005). He counts among his teachers Julian Martin, Robert McDonald, Anton Nel, David Renner, and Carolyn Lipp, among others. Additional keyboard studies were undertaken with Timothy Lovelace, Edward Parmentier and Penelope Crawford.
As a medalist of the Cincinnati, New Orleans, San Antonio, Shreveport and Seattle International Piano Competitions, Christopher Atzinger has been praised by critics for his “personal interpretive vision” and “virtuoso aplomb”. He was first place winner of the 2005 National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Competition, the gold medalist of the 15th annual Nina Plant Wideman International Piano Competition, and winner of the Simone Belsky Piano Competition. Also active in competitions abroad, Atzinger won the Premio Città di Ispica prize with special recognition for his performance of music by Samuel Barber at the IBLA Grand Prize Competition in Ragusa-lbla, Italy. He also received honors from the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition, the Mary Graham Lasley Competition, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and MTNA. Additionally, he has received grants and fellowships from the Theodore Presser Foundation (Presser Music Award), the American Composers Forum (Encore grant), the Minnesota State Arts Board, Foundation La Gesse, and the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation.
Christopher Atzinger enjoys an expanding career and reputation for excellence throughout the USA, Canada, Austria, England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Malta and Spain. He was praised in Gramophone for his “abundant energy, powerful fingers, big sound and natural musicality”. European performances include recitals in Toulouse and Carcassonne, France, in conjunction with Foundation La Gesse, and a concert tour of the Valencia region of Spain. In addition to orchestral appearances at the Banff International Keyboard Festival and the Brevard Music Festival, he has been soloist with the Shreveport and Jackson (Ml) Symphony Orchestras. Engagements for the 2006-2007 season included appearances in Vienna, Paris, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa.
As guest soloist, Christopher Atzinger has appeared with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, North Carolina’s Brevard Repertory Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of Jackson (MI), Shreveport, Springfield (MA) and St. Olaf, under the batons of Klauspeter Seibel, Steven Smith, Stephen Osmond, Dennis Simons, Kevin Rhodes and Steven Amundson, while recital performances have been heard at New York City’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York University and St. Paul’s Chapel and Liederkranz Hall; Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series and The Phillips Collection and Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC, in addition to performances across the USA, including Boston, Baltimore, Austin, Little Rock, and Ann Arbor.. Festival appearances include the Banff International Keyboard Festival, Brevard Music Festival, Bridge Chamber Music Festival and the Chautauqua Institution. As a collaborative artist, he also won First Prize at the Sydney Wright Memorial Accompaniment Competition. In the spring of 2012, Atzinger was awarded a $25,000 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Artists.
A dedicated teacher and coach, himself, Christopher Atzinger served on the faculty of Pennsylvania’s Dickinson College (2004-2005), prior to his current appointment in September 2005 as Associate Professor of Piano at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He has also lectured at The Juilliard School and Berklee College of Music and conducted master-classes throughout the USA (Minnesota, Maryland and Ohio). He has received honors from the Music Teachers National Association Competition.
Christopher Atzinger’s live performances have aired on radio stations WFMT-Chicago, WJR-Detroit, WXEL-South Florida, KPAC-San Antonio and WGTE-Toledo, while his artistry has also been heard on WGBH-Boston, KING-Seattle and Minnesota and Wisconsin Public Radio, as well as on television stations in Chicago and Cincinnati. On CD, Atzinger has two albums released on MSR Classics - a debut solo recording of J.S. Bach, L.v. Beethoven, S. Barber and Fritze (2007; a portion of that program, S. Barber's Piano Sonata, Op. 26, has already received acclaim at the 8th annual International Web Concert Hall Auditions), followed by an all-Johannes Brahms album. He has also recorded music of Amy Beach for Centaur, and the spring of 2012, saw his latest album - the music of Judith Lang Zaimont - released on the Naxos label.