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John Blacklow (Piano)

Born: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The American pianist, John Blacklow, studied piano with Tatiana Yampolsky, graduating from Harvard University (Bachelor of Arts), The Juilliard School (Master of Music), and the University of Southern California (D.M.A.).

Hailed for his "powerful and eloquent" playing (New York Times), as “a gifted musical presence with a high sense of pianistic fantasy” (Salzburger Nachrichten) and “capable of the utmost in virtuosity” (Fanfare Magazine), John Blacklow is a pianist of unusual versatility, as a soloist, as a collaborator with many ensembles and recital partners, and as an interpreter of repertoire both past and current.

John Blacklow has been presented in many prestigious venues and concert series throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia. As soloist, he has been presented in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall and Carnegie Hall’s “Distinctive Debuts”series in New York City, Wigmore Hall in London (Music Masters series), Musikverein in Vienna, Royal Conservatoire in Brussels, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and both the Kennedy Center and the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. Recent seasons have also included performances in Athens, Birmingham (UK), Brussels, Chicago, Oakland, Palm Beach, Pasadena, Memphis, Paris, Sarasota, Venice, Zürich, Seoul, and Busan.

John Blacklow has performed in several capacities with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. As keyboardist, he has worked under conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, and Marin Alsop, and performed in the world premiere of Soundings by John Williams at the gala opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. He has also participated on numerous occasions with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra's Chamber Music Society, on the Green Umbrella New Music Series, and appears on the orchestra's Deutsche Grammophon/iTunes recordings. In spring of 2014, he was invited to perform in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra's Minimalist Jukebox festival at Disney Hall, including the west coast premiere of Louis Andriessen's De Materie.

During 2003-2004 season, John Blacklow was selected with violinist Jennifer Frautschi by Carnegie Hall and the European Concert Hall Organization (E.C.H.O.) for their “Rising Stars” program, and the duo was received with high acclaim at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Philharmonie in Cologne, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Cité de la Musique in Paris, Konzerthaus in Vienna, Wigmore Hall in London, and Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, as well as on Carnegie’s own “Distinctive Debuts” series. They have since appeared in Symphony Hall in Detroit, the Windham Music Festival in New York, the Wilson Center for the Arts in Wisconsin, Harvard Musical Association, Wellesley College, as well as on NPR’s “Performance Today", Radio France and BBC 3 in the UK. He was invited by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to perform at the Grammy Hall of Fame awards for both Zubin Mehta and Isaac Stern.

John Blacklow has made national television appearances in the USA, Korea, and Japan. Radio performances have included National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” in the USA, BBC’s “In Tune” in the UK, and on many other radio broadcasts across USA, Europe, and Asia.

A Steinway Artist, John Blacklow d has recorded for Universal Music, Ltd. and Deutsche Grammophon/iTunes. In 2009, EDI Records released a solo piano CD Prism, featuring works by Alban Berg, J.S. Bach, Robert Schumann, and Frédéric Chopin. In 2014, Albany Records released a recording of the Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano of Robert Schumann, which was praised by Fanfare Magazine: "Frautschi and Blacklow really get this music, and because of this they deliver performances with both finesse and passion. Not one phrase goes by without some detail striking the listener, and the best part is that none of this sounds forced or artificial in feeling." “Last year violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt released a recording of all three Sonatas…and it is the only true competition for the Frautschi and Blacklow disc.” Blacklow and violinist Hahn-Bin first performed together for the Grammy Awards in 2000, honoring Isaac Stern. In addition to highly acclaimed recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Carnegie's Zankel Hall, they have performed throughout the USA., in Korea, at the Louvre in Paris, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and recorded the album HAZE for Universal Music, Ltd., which was praised for its "great intensity and energy" (The Gramophone.) Blacklow has also appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Princeton Sound Kitchen, the Coolidge and Corigliano Quartets, Atlantic Brass, Quartetto Prometeo, and many prominent recitalists.

Blacklow is an enthusiastic interpreter of new music, premiering works by composers such as Louis Andriessen, Steve Mackey and Magnus Lindberg. In 2011, Albany Records released a CD of works by Barbara White, featuring world premiere recordings of both chamber and solo piano works. The following year, Bridge Records released Dmitri Tymoczko's Eggman Variations for piano and strings, recorded with the Corigliano Quartet, and Centaur Records has just released a recording of three Soviet era sonatas (Dmitri Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Dmitry Kabalevsky) for cello and piano with Karen Buranskas. In 2015, Albany Records released "American Duos", with Blacklow in collaboration with violinist Jennifer Frautschi. The CD features five works by American contemporary composers Dan Coleman, Stephen Hartke, Steve Mackey, Elena Ruehr, and Barbara White.

John Blacklow serves as Professor of Piano at the University of Notre Dame.

“a brilliant performer - a gifted musical presence with a high sense of pianistic fantasy” - Salzburger Nachrichten
"stylistc breadth and virtuosity, clarity and elan" - Strad Magazine
"great intensity and energy" - The Gramophone

Source: John Blacklow Website; University of Notre Dame Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2009); John Blacklow (May 2016)

John Blacklow: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

John Blacklow (Official Website)

University of Notre Dame: Department of Music: John Blacklow

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Explanation | Acronyms | Missing Biographies | The Sad Corner


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