The American harpsichordist and pianist, Byron Schenkman, is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and received the Master of Music degree from Indiana University with Honors in Performance. He studied with John Gibbons at the New England Conservatory and with Elizabeth Wright at the Indiana University. He was a finalist in the International Mozart Competition sponsored by the Cambridge Society for Early Music in 1991 and was presented with the prestigious Erwin Bodky Award by that organization in 1999.
Byron Schenkman began his career as a harpsichordist and fortepianist. He quickly rose to the top of that field with dozens of critically acclaimed recordings as well as solo and concerto appearances in Berkeley, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver, and other cities throughout North America. He co-founded the Seattle Baroque Orchestra with violinist Ingrid Matthews in 1994 and served as its artistic director for ten years. He performs internationally as a recitalist, concerto soloist, and in duo concerts with violinist Ingrid Matthews. He has also performed with many chamber ensembles and has toured with colleagues in Denmark, Holland, and Japan.
In 2001 Byron Schenkman made his debut as a modern pianist in a solo recital at Seattle's Town Hall. Since then he has performed solo piano recitals in Seattle, Vancouver, Boston, Peterborough (New Hampshire), Santiago (Chile), and at the Foothills Chamber Music Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His intense and commanding live performances have inspired comparison with musical geniuses as diverse as Vladimir Horowitz and Jimi Hendrix, and he was described in the Boston Globe as "a superb and imaginative instrumentalist" following his solo recital at the Boston Early Music Festival. Highlights of 2006-2007 season include a guest appearance with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, a L.v. Beethoven piano concerto with Philharmonia Northwest, the premier of a new work by Bun-Ching Lam with flutist Paul Taub at Seattle's Town Hall, and the Dvorak Quintet, op. 81 with the Daedalus String Quartet on the Meany Hall International Chamber Music Series in April.
A Byron Schenkman has taught Master Classes at Boston Early Music Festival, Northwestern University, St. Lawrence University, University South Dakota, Williams College.
Byron Schenkman's CD of George Frideric Handel Harpsichord Variations has been called "dazzling" by American Recorder Guide; his Jean-Henri d'Anglebert CD was "strongly recommended" by Fanfare Magazine; and his program of 17th-century French music from the Bauyn Manuscript was hailed as "overall one of the best harpsichord CDís Iíve come across" by Early Music Review (UK). Recent CD releases include J.S. Bach Harpsichord Concertos with Seattle Baroque, and solo sonatas from the "Essercizi" by Domenico Scarlatti. Schenkman's first modern piano CD, a program of Haydn sonatas on the Centaur label, is scheduled for release in 2006.