Biography

Sergey Schepkin has concertized worldwide, from the United States to Europe to Japan to New Zealand. His performance venues and concert series include the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center; the Celebrity Series of Boston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; Boston’s Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and Gardner Museum; the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; the LACMA and Maestro Series in Los Angeles; London’s Steinway Hall; the National Concert Hall in Dublin; the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki; the Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo; the Grand and Chamber Philharmonic Halls in St. Petersburg; and the Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo.

Mr. Schepkin’s vast repertoire includes solo, concerto, and chamber works written over the past four hundred years. He is a renowned interpreter of keyboard works by Johann Sebastian Bach, and was hailed by The New York Times as “a formidable Bach pianist.” In its review of Mr. Schepkin’s recital of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier II, The Boston Globe described him as “an artist of uncommon, almost singular capability and integrity.” For over twenty years, Mr. Schepkin has been engaged in a large-scale project that aims to record Bach’s keyboard works on the modern piano while having historical performance practice as a source of inspiration. His 1995 début CD of Bach’s Goldberg Variations was featured on the Fanfare Magazine Want List, and his Bach Partitas recordings were nominated for the Indie Award in 1997 and 1998. In 2001, International Piano selected his album of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier I as one of the best recordings of that work ever made. Mr. Schepkin’s second recording of the Goldberg Variations was released in Japan in November 2010, and was nominated as the Editor’s Choice by the Geijutsu arts magazine shortly thereafter. His album of Bach’s French Suites and two Fantasias and Fugues was released on the Steinway & Sons label in November 2014 to enthusiastic reviews; it was featured as the CD of the Week by WGBH (Boston Public Radio), and named one of the CDs of the Year by the Boston Musical Intelligencer. His second recording of Bach’s Partitas, released by Steinway & Sons in July 2016, was acclaimed by the Gramophone magazine and featured as the CD of the Week by WCRB (Classical Radio Boston). His recordings of Schumann (three Lieder cycles with baritone Darren Chase), Brahms (the complete late piano works), Mussorgsky and Rachmaninoff (“Pictures at an Exhibition” and seven Preludes, respectively), Debussy (Preludes I, Images I, and three other works), and Schnittke (the first two Violin Sonatas with Joanna Kurkowicz, violin) have been warmly received as well.

Mr. Schepkin is a recipient of numerous grants and awards, and a prizewinner of several national and international competitions, including the first prize and the special Chopin prize in the 1999 New Orleans International Piano Competition, top prizes in the 1988 Crown Princess Sonja of Norway and 1985 All-Russia piano competitions, and the first prize in the 1978 International Competition for Young Musicians in Prague (“Concertino-Praga”). He has performed concerti with conductors Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Nikolai Alexeev, Max Hobart, Christian Knapp, Keith Lockhart, Jonathan McPhee, Edward Serov, and Vassily Sinaisky. A passionate chamber musician, Mr. Schepkin has performed with many renowned instrumentalists, including the Borromeo, New Zealand, and Vilnius string quartets, and with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, of which he was a founding member. He made his Carnegie Hall recital début in 1993 (at Weill Recital Hall) to an enthusiastic reception from the audience and The New York Times.

A naturalized American, Mr. Schepkin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He studied with Alexandra Zhukovsky, Grigory Sokolov, and Alexander Ikharev at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, graduating summa cum laude in 1985. There, he also was Ekaterina Murina’s assistant in 1987–89, and taught on the piano faculty in 1988–90. After his move to the United States in 1990, he studied with Russell Sherman at New England Conservatory in Boston, where he earned an Artist Diploma in 1992 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1999. In 1994–98, he studied with the legendary French-American pianist Paul Doguereau. A sought-after educator, Mr. Schepkin has presented master classes and lecture-recitals throughout the USA and abroad. He is a Professor of Piano and piano division chair at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he has taught since 2003. He also teaches at the New England Conservatory School of Preparatory and Continuing Education, as well as privately, in Boston.

This current season, Mr. Schepkin is heavily engaged in his own concert series, Glissando, launched in September 2018. Glissando’s 2018–19 season, BACH AT 333, focused on connections between Bach and music written after him; its current season, BEETHOVEN+, celebrates the upcoming 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, featuring piano and chamber music by Beethoven and other composers.

Sergey Schepkin is a Steinway Artist. He is based in Brookline, Mass.