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. Schenkman co-founded the Seattle Baroque Orchestra with violinist Ingrid Matthews in 1994 and served as its artistic director for ten years. He has also performed with many chamber ensembles and has toured with colleagues in Denmark, The Netherlands, and Japan.
Schenkman is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and received the Master of Music degree from Indiana University with Honors in Performance. 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.
In 2001 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.
Highlights of this season include a guest appearance with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, a 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. Schenkman's first modern piano CD, a program of Haydn sonatas on the Centaur label, is scheduled for release in 2006.
"A superb and imaginative instrumentalist" (Richard Dyer, The Boston Globe)
"Stylish, invigorating performances" (John Von Rhein, The Chicago Tribune)
"A dazzling player... Schenkman does more than impress with digital fireworks" (Rob Haskins, American Record Guide)
"Schenkman is an extraordinary keyboard virtuoso... his interpretation of Mozart's gorgeous, theatrical Fantasia in D Minor, K.397, was stunning" (Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times)
"His playing was intense and commanding, yet effortless and virtuosic" (Eric Haines, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
"Byron Schenkman pushes the limits in classical music. This keyboard wizard brings 300-year-old music into the 21st century with his vibrant interpretations" (Roberta Cruger, The Advocate)
"Schenkman demonstrated relaxed affability along with diamond-hard precision" (Grant Menzies, The Oregonian)
"Schenkman is a musician who never does just the conventional thing... his scholarship is deep, but intellectual pursuits do not preclude musical ones... he brings theater to abstract music" (R.M.Campbell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"A phenomenal presence" (Lloyd Dykk, The Vancouver Sun)