2022 Highlights from Past Winners
While not fully free from the throes of the pandemic, 2022 saw a revival of the arts and a new era of artistic growth for past winners of the American Pianists Awards. They performed for live audiences around the world and shared their art with millions of others online. Concerts long delayed finally happened, and projects dreamt of during lockdown came to life. While five new finalists spent the year experiencing the Awards for the first time, our past winners continued to share their talents with the world. Here is a look at what some of them were up to:
Frederic Chiu (1985 Classical)
"I would like to highlight my performances of my ballet production, Romeo & Juliet – The Choice
. After premiering it at the end of 2018, the pandemic put a big halt to our pursuit of further productions, dance being one of the highly affected arts. So it was particularly satisfying to bring the production back and do it in front of a full house—a live audience with close to 1000 people.
I’m looking forward to presenting this unique ballet production elsewhere around the country and around the world!"
Adam Kent (1993 Classical)
Adam released a new recording of music by Cuban-American composer Tania León on Albany Records entitled “Teclas de mi piano (Keys of My Piano)
The New York Times singled out the recording as one of Five Classical Albums You Can Listen to Right Now and commented, "The pianist Adam Kent has the measure of León’s sound throughout, whether he’s dealing with student pieces written in the 1960s or more recent items like Homenatge, from 2011. In the latter, he brings a virtuoso’s zest to the dance rhythms and bluesy clusters that cavort in the composition’s opening minutes. But he also offers a patient, less showy sensibility during the ruminative airs of the final minutes...Throughout, Kent pays as much attention to León’s formal invention as to the way she reworks her diverse inspirations."
Rick Germanson (1996 Jazz)
"I hit two big milestones this year:
I turned 50 (!), and I recorded with the legendary drummer and percussionist Joe Chambers for BLUE NOTE Records.
Like many other jazz musicians, I grew up listening to classic 1960's Blue Note recordings (many with Joe Chambers). It was always a dream of mine to record for Blue Note; and to do it as a sideman with someone who actually helped to shape the 'Blue Note sound' is even better. Look for the album release in early 2023!"
Thomas Rosenkranz (2003 Classical)
"I was recently named a 2022-2023 Fulbright Senior Scholar to Taiwan. I am currently serving as artist in residence at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan, presenting a series of recitals, masterclasses and lectures. In addition, I am giving masterclasses at six notable music conservatories in the region including Taipei Normal University and the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts."
Adam Birnbaum (2004 Jazz)
"'Bach Refracted' is a special project I've been developing and working on for years, and I'm thrilled that it's finally nearing completion. I have arranged 12 Preludes from J.S. Bach's Well Tempered Clavier (featuring Matt Clohesy on bass and Keita Ogawa on percussion), re-imagining the pieces in different ways as improvisational vehicles. We will be performing the entire work twice on December 21st at Mezzrow, once at 7:30 PM and then again at 9 PM. We'd love for you to be there in person, but you can also catch it via live stream off the smallslive.com website
In addition, we will be going into the recording studio in January 2023 to record this project for an upcoming release on Chelsea Music Festival
's brand new record label."
Spencer Myer (2006 Classical)
"Hi, everybody. APA family, apa friends. I started on the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington in August and I'm having a blast so far teaching here and being back in Indiana. I recently recorded the four Chopin Impromptus for Steinway Classics
. I love the music of Chopin and these Impromptus and hope you enjoy them as much as I do and as much as I enjoyed making this recording."
Aaron Diehl (2011 Jazz)
Aaron joined acclaimed drummer and composer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Matt Brewer to play classics from Bill Evans, Duke Ellington and more on Sorey's “Mesmerism.” The album was featured on NPR's Fresh Air
He also played piano and pipe organ on Cécile McLorin Salvant’s “Ghost Song
Sullivan Fortner (2015 Jazz)
Sullivan’s contributions can be found all over Cécile McLorin Salvant’s new album, “Ghost Song
,” with piano, vocal, Fender Rhodes and co-producer credtis.
Emmet Cohen (2019 Jazz)
"My new record Uptown in Orbit
came out this year, we hit episode 100 of Emmet's Place, and in October we had a feature on Good Morning America
!" (The Emmet Cohen Trio is back on tour after their popularity soared during the pandemic with weekly livestreaming jazz performances)