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Biography

Hailed as “one of the finest American pianists of his generation,” Stephen Prutsman is one of the most versatile and brilliant pianists of today.  Active as an orchestra soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, composer and conductor, Mr. Prutsman’s artistry has been acclaimed by critics and audiences worldwide.

In January 2004, he was appointed by the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as one of their new Artistic Partners for the next three concert seasons, beginning in 2004-05.  In this role, Prutsman’s duties include concert programming, performing and leading the SPCO from the keyboard, performing chamber music, and writing two commissions performed by the orchestra during the 2004-05 season.

Mr. Prutsman’s solo engagements have included appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Colorado, Baltimore, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Omaha, and Seattle Symphony.  Overseas, he has made numerous appearances with such orchestras as the Belgian National Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Flanders Philharmonic, the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra, the Bremen Chamber Orchestra, and the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra.  As a recitalist, he has performed in prestigious music centers in new York City, Chicago, Boston, Brussels, Berlin, Geneva, Moscow, Mexico City, Santiago, Johannesburg, and Tokyo, to name but a few.

Mr. Prutsman first won international recognition as a medalist at the 1990 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, where he received special awards for his performance of Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev.  The following year he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant and received a medal in the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition of Belgium

Committed to chamber music, Mr. Prutsman is a founding member of Nobilis and has performed with the St. Lawrence, Borromeo, and Audubon String Quartets, as well as with members of the Guarneri and Juilliard Quartets.  He has performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, toured with “Music from Marlboro” and appears frequently at Spoleto/USA.  Other festival appearances include Tanglewood, the Vancouver, Seattle, and Australian Chamber Festivals.  In addition, Mr. Prutsman is the founder of the El Paso Chamber Music Festival, where he served as Festival Director for ten years and was also the creator of “A Festival of Music” in Guam.

Active as a composer and arranger, Mr. Prutsman has seen several of his arrangements performed and recorded by leading musicians throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including the Kronos Quartet, Dawn Upshaw, Leon Fleisher, and Yo-Yo Ma.  His arrangements are featured on the Kronos Quartet’s 2003 Grammy-nominated CD, Nuevo.  Mr. Ma performed and recorded Prutsman’s arrangements for The Silk Road Project, Sony Records and Japanese television.  Future projects include works for Kronos’ upcoming “Visual Music” concerts and vocal/piano arrangements for Dawn Upshaw of popular music from the 1960s.

Mr. Prutsman’s award-winning compositions include Dramatis Personae for clarinet and string quartet, which won first prize at the 2001 ICA International Composition Competition.  Other works have been premiered by the Sinfonia of Colorado, Todd Palmer and the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and the Opus Chamber Orchestra, among others.  Mr. Prutsman’s recent compositions for piano and orchestra include Ocean Parables, a multi-media piece for solo piano, orchestra, exotic percussion and video that was premiered by the Santa Cruz Symphony, and Jazz Fantasy on the name B-A-C-H for piano and string orchestra.  His trademark fantasy of jazz themes, I got Rhythm, Not!,  has been performed with various ensembles a multitude of times throughout the United States.

Mr. Prutsman has received exceptional acclaim as a recording artist.  His latest release of Barber’s Piano Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra was called “breathtaking” by Time Out New York.  Other titles in his growing discography include acclaimed recordings of the MacDowell Piano Concerti with the Irish National Orchestra, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with the National Orchestra of Belgium, music for solo piano by Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, and Liadov, the Prokoviev Sonatas for violin and piano with violinist Evgueni Bushkov, works for three pianos by Bach, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff with the Collegium Instrumentale Brugense, and a collection of piano trios by Bridge.  Planned for future release is a solo recording of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II.

Mr. Prutsman is heard frequently on National Public Radio’s Performance Today, and on numerous syndicated and local radio programs across the United States and abroad, including performances on the CBC, Berlin Radio, Radio France, and BBC London.  He was also featured in the PBS documentary on the Tchaikovsky Competition.  His film and video performances include Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata with violinist Pamela Frank, which was featured in the film, Immortal Beloved.  Mr. Prutsman’s radio and television credits also include compositions for the sports television station ESPN and arrangements for the films, The Man Who Cried and Big Bad Love.

A former student of Aube Tzerko and Leon Fleisher, Stephen Prutsman studied at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Peabody Conservatory of Music.  He has served the American Pianists Association as Fellow, Adjudicator, and as Artistic Consultant.

   

 

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