".. the supreme example of a top flight concert pianist who has chosen to take the road less travelled"
Grammy-nominated Joshua Pierce is one of today's most dynamic pianists, His technical mastery has afforded him the ability to move easily from the concerti of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, to the big works of Brahms; Liszt, Tchaikowsky, Rachmaninov, to the provocative sounds of John Cage, Charles Ives, Ivan Wyschnegradsky, Harry Partch, Teo Macero, Karl Stockhausen, La Monte Young, Toru Takemitsu, Swen Sandstrom, Maurice Ohana, Ben Weber, Sofia Gubaidulina and many others. His impressive array of reviews draws from to a career of performances in the worlds major concert halls "Joshua Pierce possesses an arsenal of pianistic talents that can astonish the ear and instruct the mind." (Robert D. Cummings, Classical Net).
Mr. Pierce grew up in New York City, studying at the Juilliard School of Music, pre-College Division where for seven years, he was the recipient of the Heckscher Foundation Award, as well as awards from the Manhattan School of Music, and Columbia University. He also studied at the Cleveland Institute where he received the Victor Babin Award. Many more awards would follow during his career. His principal teacher and mentor has been Dorothy Taubman; he also did extensive chamber music work with Bernard Greenhouse, Joseph Seiger and Artur Balsam.
Mr. Pierce has performed internationally as solo recitalist, in chamber music performances, with Russia's famed Leontovich String Quartet, as well as with many of the major orchestras of Western and Eastern Europe, the U.S. and Latin America. He has given historic performances of works by Charles Ives and John Cage in Russia where he received outstanding reviews and audience acclaim. Pierce's 2003 World Premiere performances of Michael Harrison's "Revelation" absolutely stunned audiences in New York. His performances in April and May of that year were sold out and greeted with standing ovations. Allan Kozinn of The New York Times described Joshua Pierce performing this work as an "eloquent new-music pianist." He has since performed the work in Los Angeles and the European premiere at the American Music Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. His performance of Revelation was recorded for webcast through American Music Center's NewMusicBox webmagazine.
In broadcast, Mr. Pierce has been heard nationally on NPR and PRI International, in New York on WQXR-FM, WNYC-FM, as well as on WFMT/Chicago at the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, Morning Pro Musica on WGBH/Boston, plus radio and television across Western and Eastern Europe and Asia. He has also been heard on such nationally syndicated programs as John Schaefer's New Sounds, George Jellinek's First Hearing, Peter Schickele's Schickele Mix, National Public Radio's All Things Considered and David Dubal's American Century and Reflections From the Keyboard. Mr. Pierce's November 2001 concerts in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, produced the first simulcast performances in Europe of George Gerswhin's complete and restored Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F for the European Broadcasting Union via Radio Slovenska. The concert was simulcast in 19 countries throughout Europe.
A highly prolific recording artist, Mr. Pierce has recorded over 200 works including numerous World Premieres as a soloist and with orchestra for MSR Classics, EMI Classics, Carlton Classics, Helicon, Koch International Classics, MMC, Pro Arte, Sony Classics, PITCH, Vox, Varese Sarabande and other labels. He has recorded more than 40 solo concertos including works by Tchaikowsky, Khachaturian, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev as well as the complete piano concertos of Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt and Gershwin. Other recordings include works by Schubert, Hummel, Czerny, Reinecke, Weber, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Franck, Strauss, Casella, Respighi and Ellington.
His 20-year association and work with the late innovator-composer John Cage, is legendary. Mr. Pierce's landmark series of recordings of Cage's keyboard music for the German label Wergo: John Cage, Works for Piano and Prepared Piano Volumes I, II, III, IV and Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano have received many prizes, much critical acclaim and in 1991 won the Prieses Der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
In May 2000, Mr. Pierce made music history by becoming the first pianist ever to perform John Cage's Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, Daughters of the Lonesome Isle and the Three Page Sonata by Charles Ives at the Alternitivo Festival of Contemporary Music 2000 in Moscow, Russia and at the 4th ISCM Festival Europe/Asia 2000 in Kazan, Russia to great critical acclaim. Mr. Pierce continues his association with the American Festival of Microtonal Music, Inc. (AFMM), having been the organization's official pianist and Artistic Advisor. In 1996, Johnny Reinhard brought his realization of Charles Ives' Universe Symphony to Alice Tully Hall with Mr. Pierce as pianist. They have performed together throughout Russia, Europe and the United States since 1983, presenting a wide variety of composers including many important works by John Cage, Harry Partch, Phillip Corner, Charles Ives and Ivan Wyschnegradsky.
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
PSC-CUNY Award 2016, 2013, 2012
The Aaron Copland Fund 2012
Winner, Grand Prize IBLA Foundation International Competition 2004
Board Member, U.S. Fulbright Commission / 1987 - 1991
President, American Festival of Microtonal Music, Inc. (AFMM)
Artist-in-Residence - Institute of Man and Science,New York, 1977
Artist-in-Residence and Faculty Member -
International Summer Music Festival at Amherst College
Heckscher Foundation Award
Victor Babin Award
DOCUMENTARIES & RECORDING AWARDS
Revenge of the Dead Indians: John Cage in Memoriam 2008
JazzMania 5 Stars 2000
Billboard Best of 2000
23rd International "F. Liszt" Record Grand Prix Du Disque/
National Culture Foundation of Hungary,1998
Diapason D'Or Award (France)/
Citation of Excellence, 1992
German Critics Award/
Preises der Deutschen Schallenplatten Kritic 1991
Fono Forum (Munich) / Best Contemporary Album of 1991
Mitch Corber, John Cage: Man and Myth 1990,
Downbeat Magazine 5 Stars 1977 & 1978
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
2018 Innovation & Technology Grant
2016 American Prize for Chamber Music Special Commendation
2001 Alumni Award
2001 CELT Award
1991 Farjeon Prize
1991 Clothworkers Foundation Award
1991 The Powers Biggs Award
1991 The Drapers Foundation Award
Andrew's multi-faceted career combines performance, composition and artistic leadership. As an award winning violinist and champion of contemporary music Andrew has performed with Sir Peter Maxwell Davis, John Corigliano, David McBride, James Sellars, Peter Seabourne, Jacob TV, Kenji Bunch, David Shol, Paul Brust, Robert Carl, George Benjamin, Hans Werner Henze and Bruce Mahin among others, premiering numerous works. In addition to working with composers from the main stream of classical music, Andrew collaborates with commercial music composers. As one of the most prolific session musicians of his generation he can be heard on soundtracks for TV and Film, for Pop, Rock and Jazz and even on leading Gaming platforms such as Xbox, producing albums in multiple genres from classical to rock, pop and film. Andrew has extensive experience in early music. After winning the Royal Academy of Music's award for 16th century counterpoint he led the European Chamber Concert and was concertmaster of the Bach Institute with Helmuth Rilling.
At the age of 20 Andrew became Artistic Director of the Rubicon Ensemble, with musicians from the London Symphony, Royal Opera House, BBC Symphony and English National Opera. He was later director of the European Chamber Opera and artistic advisor to London Musici, collaborating with the dancers and choreographers of the Ballet Rambert, London's leading modern dance company. During this time he started to arrange and compose. He has commissions from the BBC, the Heart of England Opera and the European Chamber Opera and most recently his music has been published by Faber Music and released on the Gothic Storm and Minim Labels.
In 1996 Andrew ran the international string quartet program at the Hartt School, for the Grammy winning Emerson String Quartet. In 2000 the University of Hartford and Bushnell Theater invited him to lead “The Copland Festival” - a multi-faceted arts festival celebrating the influence of Aaron Copland on American arts, with partners that included Connecticut Opera, Connecticut Ballet, the Hartford Symphony, the Bushnell Theater, the Hartford Stage Company, the Wadsworth Atheneum and Boosey & Hawkes. Andrew has served as Executive and Artistic Director of the Stamford International Music Festival in the UK from 2004-2010 where he programmed over forty chamber music works each season. He is currently Executive Director of the Connecticut Guitar Festival and the Suzuki Music Schools, one of the largest independent non-profit Suzuki schools of its kind in the US, where he works with young children.
While maintaining a profile as an artistic leader he has forged an independent career as a unique voice on the violin. His recording of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas received rave reviews - "a deeply considered interpretation", "finesse and poise are the hallmarks of this cycle", "a special distinction of artistic merit" and received a special commendation from the American Prize for Chamber Music. At the same time as performing the Beethoven cycle around the country he was working on scores for big picture releases in scores by Lorne Balfe, "Churchill" by Jonathan Teplitzky with stars Miranda Richardson and Bryan Cox " and the epic "King Arthur Legend of the Sword" by Guy Ritchie. On Television Andrew can be heard on Ron Howard's 2017 series "Genius" with Geoffrey Rush, the BBC series "Class" for Blair Mowat, the award winning, "Marcella" with Anna Friel and the wonderful scores of Jasha Klebe "The Challenger Disaster: the Lost Tapes" and the award winning "Winter on Fire".
From 2016 his focus has been the performance and recording of the complete sonatas of Mozart and his collaboration with Joshua Pierce has been the source of great creative inspiration.