Sergei Dorensky is known as one of the most outstanding pianists and teachers of the former Soviet Union.
He begins studying piano aged seven at the Central Music School in Moscow, in Gregory Ginsburg's class. Then he joins the prestigious Moscow Conservatory from which he graduates in 1955. During his studies, he begins to perform for numerous concerts and recitals through the Soviet Union.
In 1957, he becomes a teacher at the Moscow Conservatory. He has taught the piano to brilliant students including Ramsy Yassa, Stanislav Bunin, Pavel Nersessian, Andrei Pisarev, Alexander Shtarkman, Nikolay Lugansky, Vadim Rudenko, Denis Matsuev, Olga Kem and many others. In 1997, he is appointed Dean of the Piano Department of the Moscow Conservatory.
Sergei Dorensky has been awarded several prizes: the 1st prize of the 5th World Youth festival of Warsaw in 1955 from which he receives the Gold Medal, then the 2nd prize of the First International Piano Competition in Rio de Janeiro in 1957. Following these events, he develops his career outside Soviet Union. Sergei Dorensky was also named "People's Artist of Russia" in 1989 and received the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland" in 2008.
Sergei Dorensky made tours in Denmark, Norway, Hungary, Brazil, Panama and Japan. He also gives master classes. He often joins the jury of piano competitions, including the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Wien, the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw and the Hamamatsu International Piano Competition. In 2015, he is part of the jury of the prestigious International Tchaikovsky competition.
Jerome Lowenthal, born in 1932, continues to fascinate audiences, who find in his playing a youthful intensity and an eloquence born of life-experience. He is a virtuoso of the fingers and the emotions.
Mr. Lowenthal studied in his native Philadelphia with Olga Samaroff-Stokowski, in New York with William Kapell and Edward Steuermann, and in Paris with Alfred Cortot, meanwhile traveling annually to Los Angeles for coachings with Artur Rubinstein. After winning prizes in three international competitions (Bolzano, Darmstadt, and Brussels), he moved to Jerusalem where, for three years, he played, taught and lectured.
Returning to America, he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic playing Bartok's Concerto no. 2 in 1963. Since then, he has performed more-or-less everywhere, from the Aleutians to Zagreb. Conductors with whom he has appeared as soloist include Barenboim, Ozawa, Tilson Thomas, Temirkanov, and Slatkin, as well as such giants of the past as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Pierre Monteux and Leopold Stokowski. He has played sonatas with Itzhak Perlman, piano duos with Ronit Amir (his late wife), Carmel Lowenthal (his daughter), and Ursula Oppens, as well as quintets with the Lark, Avalon and Shanghai Quartets. He has recently recorded the complete Annees de Pelerinage of Liszt. His other recordings include concerti by Tschaikovsky and Liszt, solo works by Sinding and Bartok, opera paraphrases by Liszt and Busoni, and chamber-music by Arensky and Taneyev.
Teaching, too, is an important part of Mr. Lowenthal's musical life. For twentythree years at the Juilliard School and for forty-five summers at the Music Academy of the West, he has worked with an extraordinary number of gifted pianists, whom he encourages to understand the music they play in a wide aesthetic and cultural perspective and to project it with the freedom which that perspective allows.
Gary Graffman has been a major figure in the music world since his debut with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of eighteen. For the next three decades he toured almost continuously, playing the most demanding works in the piano literature.
His numerous recordings with the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago under such conductors as Bernstein, Ormandy, Szell, and Mehta include concertos by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Brahms, Chopin, and Beethoven; they are still regarded as touchstones. In 1979, however, an injury to his right hand limited Mr. Graffman's concertizing to the small body of repertoire for left hand alone. Since then seven new works have been commissioned for him, and he continues to perform.
Mr. Graffman's association with the Curtis Institute of Music began in 1936, when he was accepted, at the age of seven, to study with Isabelle Vengerova. He graduated in 1946. In 1980, following his performance-reducing injury, he joined the Curtis piano faculty.
From 1986 through May 2006, he served as director of Curtis, as well as president from 1995 to 2006.
An internationally renowned artist and pedagogue, Victor Danchenko was for many years a member of the Faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He now proudly makes Toronto his home and teaches there at The Glenn Gould School.
His students have won major awards and competitions and appeared in concerts and recitals on all continents. Among his successful students there are concertmasters of various orchestras and members of the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Los-Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, National Symphony, Toronto Symphony, European and Asian orchestras. Among his outstanding students are: Martin Beaver, 1st violinist of the Tokyo String Quarter, Soovin Kim, 1st prize winner of the Paganini International Competition and a recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Award, Nicholas Kendall, winner of the YCAA, Timothy Fain, Winner of the YCAA and recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Award, Ryu Goto and Misha Simonyan, both of whom appeared with major orchestras and major conductors, and others.
Recognized as one of the leading teachers of today, he has conducted numerous master classes in the U.S., Canada, Europe (including three major schools in London - Royal College, Royal Academy and Guildhall School, Paris National Conservatory Superior and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory), South America, Asia (including the National University of the Arts in Seoul, and the Shanghai Conservatory). Member of the faculty of the prestigious Encore Summer School for strings for many years, Mr. Danchenko has also frequently participated in various other summer schools and festivals around the world, such as Keshet Eilon master course in Israel, Ishikawa Music Festival in Japan, Euro Arts Festival in Germany, Niagara on the Lake International Festival in Canada, Seoul International Music Festival Academy, Summit Music Festival (N.Y.), etc.
In June-July 2010 Victor Danchenko conducted unique Master Course in St. Petersburg, Russia entitled “The art of playing concertos with symphony orchestra”. All the participants got a rare chance to work with the St. Petersburg Symphony during this master course and perform with this orchestra at the Gala Concert at the conclusion of the course. After resounding success of this course this summer the "Victor Danchenko International Violin Master Course" will be held again in the summer of 2011 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In addition to these duties, he has served as a jury member of major international competitions.