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Peter Serkin, piano

Overview

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.

"Peter Serkin is one of the handful of pianists who not only possess a cerebral understanding of the music of our time but the ability to communicate it with feeling. In his hands, even the most formidable works are fluid and expressive."

-New York Times

Peter Serkin, piano

Friday, January 18, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

The Program

Mozart: Adagio in B Minor, K. 540
Mozart: Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 570
Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

Pre-concert lecture w/ David Dubal at 6:30 pm

This concert is underwritten by Martin and Cynthia Heckscher, with support from the Gould Family Foundation.

Orion Quartet
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Orion Quartet w/ Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Friday, February 20, 2015 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Haydn: Quartet in C Major, Op. 50, No. 2
Reger: Piano Quartet in A Minor, Op. 133
Haydn: Quartet in F Major, Op. 77, No. 2
Schoenberg: Kammersymphonie, Op. 9 (Arr. by Webern)

 

This performance features a free pre-concert lecture at 6:45pm with Jonathan Coopersmith 

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2014 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Sweelinck: Capriccio
Nielsen: Theme and Variations
Beethoven: Six Bagatelles, Op. 126
Wuorinen: Scherzo for Piano
Beethoven: Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, “Les Adieux”

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Shanghai Quartet w/ Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Friday, October 19, 2012 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Mozart: String Quartet in B-flat Major, K. 458, "Hunt"
Sheng: Dance Capriccio [Philadelphia Premiere]
DvoÅ™ák: Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 81

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 -

Schoenberg: Drei Klavierstí¼cke, Op. 11
Debussy: Six épigraphes antiques
Kurtág: Játékok [Selections]
Wourinen: Scherzo [Philadelphia Premiere]
Chopin: Polonaise in C Minor, Op. 40, No. 2
Chopin: Impromptu in A-flat Major, Op. 29
Chopin: Etude in A-flat Major, from Trois nouvelles études
Chopin: Nocturne in E Major, Op. 62, No. 2
Schoenberg: Suite for Piano, Op. 25

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Wuorinen: Josquin: Ave Christe [Josquin motet recast for solo piano]
Takemitsu: For Away [1973] and Rain Tree Sketch
Carter: Intermittences [Philadelphia Premiere]
Bach: Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo in B-flat Major, BWV 992
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in B-flat Major, Op. 106, “Hammerklavier”

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Thursday, May 20, 2004 - 8:00 PM

Location: Perelman Theater, Kimmel Center, 300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Knussen: Variations, Op. 24
Takemitsu: For Away 
Berio: Wasserklavier 
Berio: Luftklavier 
Berio: Erdenklavier–pastorale
Berio: Feuerklavier 
Messiaen: Le moqueur polyglotte and Le cossyphe d’Heuglin
Beethoven: Thirty Three Variations in C Major on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli, Op. 120

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Sunday, May 13, 2001 - 8:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Persichetti: Flower Songs, Op. 157
Lauridsen: Les chansons des roses 
Brahms: Zigeunerlieder, Op. 103
and Early American Folk Hymns [Arr. by R. Shaw and A. Parker]

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Sunday, April 18, 1999 - 3:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Wolpe: Toccata in 3 Parts
Mozart: Adagio in B Minor, K. 540
Chopin: Nocturne in F-sharp Major, Op. 15, No. 2
Schoenberg: Suite for Piano, Op. 25
Mozart: Piano Sonata in F Major, K. 332
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in E-flat Major, Op. 81a, “Les adieux”

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Sunday, October 20, 1996 - 3:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Takemitsu: Rain Tree Sketch II
Reger: Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Bach, Op. 81
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, “Moonlight”
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 53,” Waldstein”

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Sunday, October 30, 1994 - 3:00 PM

Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center Auditorium,

Wolpe: Toccata in Three Parts
Beethoven: Piano Sonata in F Minor, Op. 57, “Appassionata”
Brahms: Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel in B-flat Major, Op. 24

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Monday, April 19, 1993 - 8:00 PM

Location: Port of History Museum,

Bach: Partita No. 6 in E Minor, BWV 830
Bach: Aria with Thirty Variations, BWV 988, “Goldberg Variations”

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Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Friday, January 12, 1990 - 8:00 PM

Location: Port of History Museum,

Lieberson: Breeze of Delight 
Knussen: Variations, Op. 24
Sheng: My Song 
Berl: Lord of the Dance
Street: Romanza 
Goehr: ...in real time, Op. 50 
Berio: Feuerklavier 
Henze: Piece for Peter 
Picker: Three Pieces for Piano
Kirchner: Interlude I
Takemitsu: Les yeux clos II
Lieberson: Scherzo No. 1

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Young Uck Kim, violin and Peter Serkin, piano

Date: Tuesday, October 10, 1989 - 8:00 PM

Location: Port of History Museum,

Beethoven: Violin Sonata in D Major, Op. 12, No. 1
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A Major, Op. 30, No. 1
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in A Minor, Op. 23
Beethoven: Violin Sonata in F Major, Op. 24, “Spring”

New York Times

“Peter Serkin is one of the handful of pianists who not only possess a cerebral understanding of the music of our time but the ability to communicate it with feeling. In his hands, even the most formidable works are fluid and expressive.”

The New Yorker

“Each phrase had a geometric, hard-edged, architectural precision and complexity.”

Chicago Classical Review

“No pianist currently before the public possesses the blend of intellectual rigor and stainless-steel technique of Serkin...”

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