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Historical Piano Concerts Series
About the Musicians

Emma Tahmiziàn

Emma Tahmiziàn’s performances have been described as “stunning” and “a composer’s dream,” whether she plays Scarlatti, Brahms, or Ligeti. Her international career was launched when she won the Robert Schumann International Competition at the age of nineteen and made her Berlin Debut.
Since then, she has been concertizing throughout Europe and North America. In the United States, she has performed in Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, The 92nd St. “Y”, and MOMA in New York, The J. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., Boston’s Jordan Hall, and The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  Ms. Tahmiziàn has appeared with all the major orchestras of her native Bulgaria, the Moscow and St. Petersburg Philharmonics, The Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the Berlin Radio Symphony.  She has been heard in live radio broadcasts on Swiss Radio Geneva, The Netherlands Radio in Amsterdam, the Bulgarian and Rumanian Radio Stations, throughout Russia, on WQXR and WNYC, New York, and WGBH, Boston. Featured with her recording of Beethoven’s Sonatas Op. 31 No. 3 and Op. 111 in MIDEM Classique in Cannes, she has been taped on TV in Great Britain, Germany, the United States and Bulgaria. Among the numerous musicians, with whom she has collaborated, are first violinist of the Juilliard Quartet Joel Smirnoff, Mark Peskanov, Mikhail Kopelman, concertmistress of “Orpheus” Renée Jolles; violist Kim Kashkashian; cellists Colin Carr, Fred Sherry, Matt Haimowitz, Marc Johnson from the Vermeer Quartet and André Emelianoff; principle flutist of The Cleveland Orchestra Joshua Smith, principle clarinetist of Chicago Symphony Larry Combs, sopranos Bethany Beardslee, Julia Migenes, and Lauren Flanigan.

Ms. Tahmiziàn made her first public appearance at age of five, and her debut as a soloist with orchestra at thirteen with Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.23 in A Major, K. 488. She has won prizes in the most coveted competitions, among them the Van Cliburn, Leeds, Tchaikovsky and Montreal, as well as the J. S. Bach and Smetana. In a wide variety of appearances as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra and chamber musician, she has garnered an international reputation for her tremendous scope of repertoire.  Reflecting her affinity for broad spectrum and her vision of the correlation and coexistence of widely different epochs and styles, her programs span music of over three centuries, from Scarlatti to Crumb and Messiaen, from Beethoven to Ligeti, Bolcom, Corigliano and Mackey, among many others. She has integrated new music with the old masters’ in her programs ever since her first performance, and at eleven, was chosen to represent her native country in Moscow, playing the works of contemporary Bulgarian composers. Upon settling in New York City after the Van Cliburn competition, she has continued forming associations with renowned, as well as upcoming contemporary composers. She has been an inspiration for various composers, who have written and dedicated their works to her, and has premiered and recorded numerous new works, among which a significant part of Grawemeyer Award winner Sebastian Currier’s music, most recently, his Piano Concerto. As a founding member of Mosaic, she has appeared in multifarious performances, including collaboration with German play and film director Hans-Peter Cloos.

Ms. Tahmiziàn has been lauded for her performances. Reviews read: “Electrifying performance” (The New York Times); “Pianist Emma Tahmiziàn deemed “stunning” in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 (The Times Record); “[Emma Tahmiziàn] gives the sort of stunning performance (Sebastian Currier, Theo’s Sketchbook) that composers dream of” (Fanfare Magazine). Among Ms. Tahmiziàn’s engagements this season are appearances in New York, in A Chopin Fest at Carnegie’s Weill Hall, as well as in Wall to Wall behind the Wall at Symphony Space, an international event bringing music written in the era before the fall of the Berlin Wall, followed by tours in Switzerland and Germany, with a special appearance at Schumann House for his bicentennial, and throughout the United States.

Emma Tahmiziàn holds a Master of Music Degrees from both the Bulgarian State Music Conservatory and The Juilliard School. For the first fifteen years, her teacher was Penka Petkova, a disciple of the Leipzig Conservatory; later on, in the Conservatory in Sofia, Julia and Konstantin Ganev, pupils of Moscow Conservatory’s legendary Heinrich Neuhaus; and Adele Marcus at the Juilliard School. She has also worked with Yvonne Lefébure in several of the late pianist’s summer seminars “Juilliet Musicale” in Saint Germain-en-Laye, and with John Perry in a master class in Aspen. Ms. Tahmiziàn is a winner of the Pro Musicis International Award and a recipient of several grants from the New York Foundation of the Arts. She is a long-standing member of the Bowdoin Music Festival, the recipient of the 2009 ASCAP and Chamber Music America Award for innovative programming, where in addition to performing she teaches piano and chamber music and is giving master classes. She is a frequent guest at festivals in the United States and Europe, among which Monadnock Music, Schulzbach-Rosenberg Festival, and Sofia Music Weeks. Ms. Tahmiziàn has recorded for Koch International, New World Records, Classico and Balkanton, and a DVD for Bridge Records.