Peter Takacs

Piano

NOTICE OF DUO-STUDIO: Peter Takacs and Sandra Shapiro will be sharing a studio during our 2017 Festival.

Sandra Shapiro – First Session: 7/16/17 to 7/25 /17
Peter Takacs – Second Session: 7/26/17 to 8/4/17

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Peter Takacs

Hailed by the New York Times as “a marvelous pianist,” Peter Takács has performed widely, receiving critical and audience acclaim for his penetrating and communicative musical interpretations.

Mr. Takács was born in Bucuresti, Romania and started his musical studies before his fourth birthday. After his debut recital at age seven, he was a frequent recitalist in his native city until his parents’ request for emigration to the West, at which point all his studies and performances were banned. He continued studying clandestinely with his piano teacher until his family was finally allowed to emigrate to France, where, at age fourteen, he was admitted to the Conservatoire National de Paris.

Upon his arrival in the United States, his outstanding musical talents continued to be recognized with full scholarships to Northwestern University and the University of Illinois, and a three-year fellowship for doctoral studies at the Peabody Conservatory, where he completed his artistic training with renowned pianist Leon Fleisher.

Mr. Takács has received numerous prizes and awards for his performances, including First Prize in the William Kapell International Competition, the C.D. Jackson Award for Excellence in Chamber Music at the Tanglewood Music Center, and a Solo Recitalist Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His performances have been hailed by audiences and the press for their penetrating intellectual insight as well as for emotional urgency and communicativeness.

Mr. Takács has performed as guest soloist with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, as well as at important summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Music Mountain, Chautauqua Institution, ARIA International, Schlern Music Festival in the Italian Alps, Tel Hai International Master Classes in Israel, and Sweden’s Helsingborg Festival. Since 2008, he has been a member of the faculty at the Montecito Summer Music Festival in Santa Barbara, CA. He has performed and recorded the cycle of thirty-two Beethoven Piano Sonatas, which were released on the CAMBRIA label in 2011.

Mr. Takács’ success as a teacher is attested to by his students’ accomplishments, who have won top prizes in competitions in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South Africa. They have been accepted at major graduate schools such as the Curtis Institute, Juilliard School, and Peabody Conservatory, among many others. Mr. Takács has given master classes in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and has been a jury member at prestigious national and international competitions such as San Antonio International Keyboard Competition (twice), Canadian National Competition (three times), Cleveland International Piano Competition, and Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Mr. Takács is Professor of Piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he has been teaching since 1976.

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Sandra Shapiro

Ms. Shapiro enjoys an active career as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras, as a chamber musician and recording artist. Her performances have taken her throughout most major cities in the United States, Europe and Israel. Highlights of her orchestral appearances include Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Stuttgart Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Belgrade String Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra, as well as the Cleveland Orchestra.  She has received both national and international awards with critical acclaim and recognition in each of these areas.

The daughter of Russian-Israeli immigrants, she began her studies at the age of three and a half, and by age 11, was performing in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras. Because of her prodigious talent, Ms. Shapiro left home at age 15 to study at the Juilliard School.  Her mentors and greatest musical influences have been Gina Bachauer and Leon Fleisher. Major teacher’s include John Perry, Nadia Reisenberg, and Guido Agosti.

As a member of the renowned duo-piano team of Hecht & Shapiro, Ms. Shapiro’s laureates include winning the Munich International Duo Piano Competition, Ellis National Duo Piano Competition, and top prizes in the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition, and the International Jeunesses Musicales Competition. As a soloist, awards and prizes include First Prizes in the Young Musician’s Foundation National Debut Competition, the World Piano Competition, and a top prize in the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition. Other recognitions include the “Outstanding Chamber Musician Award” from the University of Southern California, and the “Young Maestro Award” from the Peabody Institute of Music.

She has been featured in radio and television productions for RIAS Berlin; Sudwestfunk Radio Production, PBS; WQXR, and NPR McGrawHill Young Artist Showcase. Recordings include “Sentimiento” on the Azica label as well as a collaboration with the principal wind players of the New York Philharmonic in an album entitled “The Complete Music of Robert Schumann for Winds and Piano”.

Her great love for chamber music has led to collaborations with Truls Mork, Peter Rejto, Stanley Drucker, Mats Lidstrom, Franklin Cohen, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, and members of the New York Philharmonic on the New York Philharmonic’s Chamber Music Series.

Ms. Shapiro performs extensively as a duo with Czech violinist, Ivan Zenaty. Their partnership has taken them throughout Europe and the United States. This upcoming season includes debuts at Carnegie Hall and Prague Spring Festival, as well as tours in Spain, Czech Republic and Thailand. Other appearances include concerts in Israel, Europe, South America and throughout the United States.

September 2015 is the release date for Mr. Zenaty and Ms. Shapiro’s first joint recording consisting of the Strauss Sonata and Martinu Sonata H.303. Both artists are on faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music.