December 4th, 2015, 7:00 p.m.
Frye Art Museum, Seattle
Kids- Free, Adults- $20, Seniors- $10, College Students- $10
Dmitry Shostakovich – 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87, Nos. 1-12
In an international career that has spanned close to five decades, pianist Craig Sheppard has captivated audiences with his dynamism and intensity, allied to scholarly depth and objectivity. His 2014-15 season included performances of the 24 Preludes and Fugues, Opus 87, of Shostakovich in Houston, San Francisco, Oberlin, Shanghai, Beijing (the Forbidden City Concert Hall), and Seattle’s Meany Theater. He continues the 2015-16 season with performances of the Shostakovich in New York, London and Jerusalem, as well as several American universities.
Craig Sheppard has released live CD performances on the Roméo label on a yearly basis since the early 2000s, including Bach’s Goldberg Variations (a performance in the Berlin Philharmonic), Rachmaninoff’s Études Tableaux, Opus 39, the 32 Beethoven Sonatas (in a boxed set entitled Beethoven: A Journey), Bach’s Aufrichtige Anleitung (Inventions and Sinfonias), Bach’s Six Partitas and Das Wohltemperiertes Clavier, Books I and II, Schubert’s Last Three Sonatas, D958-960, the first two years of Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, and Debussy’s 24 Préludes and Douze Études, Images I and II, and Estampes. During this period, he has performed on multiple occasions in venues throughout the Far East, India, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, and given master classes and lectures in leading universities and conservatories.
Craig Sheppard was born in Philadelphia in 1947. Following early studies at the Curtis Institute with the legendary Eleanor Sokoloff and the Juilliard School with Sascha Gorodnitzki, Sheppard worked with Rudolf Serkin and Pablo Casals at the Marlboro Festival, touring subsequently with Music from Marlboro. Following his New York début at the Metropolitan Museum in 1972, he won the Silver Medal at the Leeds Competition in England the same year, moving to London in 1973 and performing subsequently with all the major British orchestras. He furthered his studies with Peter Feuchtwanger and Sir Clifford Curzon in London and also won bronze medals in the Busoni, Dino Ciani and Arthur Rubinstein competitions in those early years. During the twenty years he lived in Great Britain, he taught at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, in addition to giving numerous master classes in both Oxford and Cambridge universities. In the United States, Sheppard has performed with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle and Rochester, amongst others, under the baton of Erich Leinsdorf, Sir Georg Solti, Kurt Sanderling, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, Esa-Pekka Salonen, David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Charles Mackerras, and many more.
Craig Sheppard is devoted to collaborative work, and over the years has worked with the Bartók, Cleveland and Emerson string quartets, singers Victoria de los Angeles, José Carreras, and Irina Arkhipova, violinists Ida Handel, Sylvia Rosenberg and Mayumi Fujikawa, and many musicians of the younger generation, amongst whom James Ehnes, Augustin Hadelich, Richard O’Neill, Edward Arron and Johannes Moser.
Professor of Piano at the School of Music of the University of Washington in Seattle since 1993, Sheppard’s students have gone on to distinguish themselves as pedagogues and performers in universities and conservatories through the United States, Europe and Asia. With colleague, Dr. Robin McCabe, Sheppard is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Seattle Piano Institute, an intensive course for aspiring young pianists held every July at the University of Washington.