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John McArthur (Piano)

Born: Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies

The Jamaician-born pianist, John McArthur, began his studies in piano at age 8 in the USA. His early studies were with the late Belgian pianist, Suzanne Shader, a student of Dr. Clarence Adler and Eduard van Remoortel, followed by studies with Ernest Ulmer, Joseph Villa, Dalmo Carra and Earl Wild while attending New York University and the Manhattan School of Music. It was during his tenure at the Manhattan School of Music as Teaching Fellow that he earned his doctorate in performance under the instruction of the eminent American virtuoso, Earl Wild.

As a participant in master-classes, John McArthur's playing has been praised by such pianists as Daniel Pollack, Constance Keene, Earl Wild and John Browning leading to an invitation by the State Department of the USA to join a delegation of educators and serve as Cultural Ambassador of the USA to Indonesia. It was also at the invitation of the Vice-Chancellor for Education, Sichuan Province, that John McArthur performed at the Sichuan College of Education in the People's Republic of China in June, 1995. His performances in France, Spain and South Korea are always enthusiastically received and his highly communicative playing, engaging programmes and appeal with audiences have led to him being the pianist of choice in Inaugural Recitals for new Baldwin concert grand pianos at the Cultural Arts Center Performing Arts Series, New York, the Morris L. Brown Performing Arts Series, Georgia, also leading to his inclusion in the 1989 and 1991 publication of American Keyboard Artists. McArthur has also appeared as guest artist at the Command Performance Series, Stony Brook, New York; the Brambltye Estate Performing Arts Series, New York; Teatro Bellas Artes, Venezuela and Carnegie Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. His orchestral appearances have been with the Sarah Lawrence Orchestra, the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra, both in New York, and the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra, Venezuela.

In Venezuela in 1987, John McArthur r performed the world-premiere of four transcriptions based on songs of Sergei Rachmaninov written for him by American pianist/composer, John Tibbatts, and has the distinction of also premiering in New York in 1996 a multi-media performance of French composer, Maurice Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit, with original oil canvases by American artist, James Jones, along with readings of the poems by French author, Aloysius Bertrand, which served as the inspiration for Ravel's music. His innovative programmes have included the works of S. Rachmaninov, Leopold Godowsky as well as the transcription repertoire of Franz Liszt. "The Genesis Project," a collaborative effort between McArthur and artist, Dean Field, will explore through the music of F. Liszt, among others, and original oil paintings, the ecclesiastical account of the fall of man from Grace in the garden of Eden, his separation from that Grace and, finally, his ultimate restoration.

In January of 2000 John McArthur released "Hidden" on the Boston and Blue Street label. Soon afterward, this album was the #2 best selling classical emerging artist at Second only to the 1999 Grammy Award winning, Benjamin Britten's War Requiem -featuring the Washington Chorus, the Shenandoah Conservatory Chorus, and the Maryland Boy Choir.


Source: CD Baby Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2007)

John McArthur: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

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