Vassar College Department of Music Presents
Todd Crow, a “Pianist’s Pianist,” Presented in Recital at Zankel Hall
Thursday, May 23, 2019
at 7:30 pm
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall
Fantasia in F-sharp Minor, Op. 28 (Sonate écossaise)
Etude No. 10, “Pour les Sonorités opposées”
Todd Crow is a pianist whose artistry has brought him critical superlatives in the U.S. and notably in England – there largely through regular appearances on the BBC. The New York Times has described his playing as “heroic, [showing] endless flair, color and stamina.” The Times of London has praised his performances as “spine-chilling” and “exhilarating,” and The Wall Street Journal said that his playing exhibited “stunning control and a wonderful sense of musical architecture.”
Todd was a member of the Vassar College faculty for 49 years, retiring in June 2018 as the George Sherman Dickinson Professor of Music. The Vassar College Department of Music is presenting Todd Crow in recital at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on Thursday, March 23, 2019, at 7:30 pm. His program is a hearty meal of virtuoso pianism: Mendelssohn’s Fantasy in F-sharp minor, Op. 28; Schumann’sKreisleriana, Op. 16; Debussy’s Etude No. 10 “pour les Sonorités opposées”; Three Préludes by Henri Dutilleux; and Bartók’s Dance Suite.
Thomas Sauer, a colleague of Todd Crow’s at Vassar, had this to say: “It was my good fortune to have served on the Vassar piano faculty with Todd Crow for 19 years. He was the kindest, most selfless and generously supportive colleague imaginable, and his personal pianistic standards would be the envy of a performer at any stage of a performing career.”
“Many of his colleagues consider him to be a pianist’s pianist,” wrote the critic Jed Distler on ClassicsToday about Chopin: The Late Mazurkas (MSR, 2018), Crow’s latest in a series of distinguished recordings that have earned him a string of critical acclaim over the years. Two discs in particular of performances recorded for BBC broadcast – Todd Crow: The BBC Recordings, Volume 1 (2010), music of Mendelssohn, Mendelssohn/Liszt, Moscheles, and Schumann; and Volume 2 (2013), piano variations of Brahms and Dvorák – elicited from Fanfare magazine what is perhaps definitive praise for this pianist, calling him “…among the aristocrats of keyboard artists,” and saying this: “Todd Crow is an American treasure. He combines a solid technique and beautiful keyboard touch with complete mastery of the music.”
In recent years he has appeared as soloist with orchestras in the United States, England, Italy, Israel, the Czech Republic, and elsewhere, and in recital or chamber music at the Berlioz/Dutilleux Festival in Manchester, England, Washington’s National Gallery of Art, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, London’s Wigmore Hall, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. He has performed frequently with such groups as the Brentano, Borromeo, Composers, Concord, Shanghai, Miami, Daedalus, Jupiter, Miró, Parker, Dover and Escher string quartets, the New York Philharmonic Ensembles, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and with many eminent soloists including famed jazz clarinetist Benny Goodman. He made his Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the American Symphony in 1992 and his London orchestral debut at the Barbican Centre with the London Philharmonic in 1986. He has been heard on BBC Radio for many years in both live and recorded performances, and on National Public Radio in the USA, as well as many other American radio stations.
Since 1996, he has been music director and pianist of the Mt. Desert Festival of Chamber Music in Northeast Harbor, Maine, now looking forward to its 55th season. In addition to frequent appearances at the Bard Music Festival, he has been heard at the Casals Festival, Music Mountain, Maverick Concerts, and other festivals. His CDs include sonatas of Haydn and Schubert, Liszt’s transcription for piano solo of Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, works of Sergei Taneyev and Dohnányi, the complete works for cello and piano by Mendelssohn (with cellist Mark Shuman), and Ernst Toch’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the NDR-Hamburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leon Botstein. Released in 2016, a CD entitled Of Love of You–A Tribute to Emery W. Harper features world premiere recordings of new American works for piano, soprano, and bass-baritone by Bolcom, Liebermann, Rands, Stucky, Del Tredici, Wyner, and others. Todd Crow can also be heard on the Albany, ASV, Bridge, First Impression, Golden String, New World, and Toccata Classics labels.
Born in Santa Barbara, California, Todd Crow is an honors graduate of the University of California and The Juilliard School. Among his teachers have been Erno Dániel, Ania Dorfmann, and at the Music Academy of the West, Emanuel Bay. At the age of 13 he was awarded an indefinitely renewable scholarship for the study of music composition by the Epstein Foundation of Chicago, and as a teenager he won prizes for his works including a competition sponsored by the National Society of Arts and Letters. At age fifteen, he won the Santa Barbara Symphony Young Artists Competition. He is also editor of the volume Bartók Studies (Detroit, 1976). In 1986 he received the University of California’s Distinguished Alumni Award. www.toddcrowpiano.com