Praised by The Boston Globe for his “uncommon, almost singular capability and integrity,” pianist 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; Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City; 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, among many others.
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.” For over twenty years, he 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 attracted much attention and was featured on the Fanfare Magazine Want List; 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 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, released by Steinway & Sons in 2014, was 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 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 also been warmly received.
Mr. Schepkin is a recipient of numerous grants and awards, as well as a prizewinner of several international competitions, including the first prize and the special Chopin prize in the 1999 New Orleans International Piano Competition, third prize in the 1988 Crown Princess Sonja of Norway International Piano Competition, and the first prize in the 1978 International Competition for Young Musicians in Prague (“Concertino-Praga”). A passionate chamber musician, Mr. Schepkin has performed with many renowned instrumentalists, including the Borromeo, New Zealand, and Vilnius string quartets, as well as with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, of which he was a founding member.
A naturalized American, Mr. Schepkin was born in St. Petersburg. He studied with Alexandra Zhukovsky, Grigory Sokolov, and Alexander Ikharev at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, graduating summa cum laude in 1985. After his move to the United States in 1990, he studied with Russell Sherman at New England Conservatory, where he earned an Artist Diploma in 1992 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1999. In 1994–98, he also 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 Professor of Piano and piano division chair at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He also teaches at the NEC Preparatory School and privately in Boston, where he is based.
Mr. Schepkin is also active as an entrepreneur. As such, he launched the Glissando Concert Series in September 2018. Throughout its four seasons, Glissando has presented outstanding musicians from Boston and New York. Glissando’s 2018–19 season, BACH AT 333, focused on connections between Bach and music written after him; its 2019–20 and 2020–21 seasons, BEETHOVEN+, celebrated the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, featuring piano and chamber music by Beethoven and other composers. Mr. Schepkin’s most recent project was a performance of the thirty-two Beethoven piano sonatas in ten live and virtual concerts, starting in the fall of 2019 and continuing throughout the pandemic. Unusually, the sonatas were grouped not chronologically, but according to their keys, which revealed their manifold inner connections.
Sergey Schepkin is a Steinway Artist.