Praised by The Boston Globe for his “uncommon, almost singular capability and integrity,” Steinway Artist Sergey Schepkin has concertized worldwide, from the United States to Europe to East Asia to New Zealand. The concert series and venues where he has appeared 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 the Gardner Museum; Sanders Theater at Harvard University; Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; the LACMA and Maestro series in Los Angeles; the Rockport and Newport music festivals; London’s Steinway Hall and Proms at St Jude’s festival; National Concert Hall in Dublin; Sibelius Academy in Helsinki; Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo; Grand and Chamber Philharmonic Halls in St. Petersburg; Hoam Art Hall in Seoul; and Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo, among many others.
Mr. Schepkin’s 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 nearly thirty 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 a lot of 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 Gramophone 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 (Violin Sonatas I and II with Joanna Kurkowicz, violin) have also been warmly received. Mr. Schepkin’s recordings are frequently broadcast by classical radio stations in the USA and abroad.
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 studied French repertoire 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 was an Emerson Instructor at MIT and taught on the faculties of Boston University, the Boston Conservatory, and the University of Iowa. He is Professor of Piano at Carnegie Mellon University, having joined the faculty in 2003. He also teaches at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and privately in Boston, where he is based.
Also active as entrepreneur, Mr. Schepkin launched Glissando Concert Series, Boston, in September 2018, now in its sixth season. Glissando concentrates on piano and chamber music and has presented many theme-based concerts featuring outstanding performers from Boston, Pittsburgh, and New York. One of Mr. Schepkin’s large-scale projects for Glissando was his performance of the thirty-two Beethoven piano sonatas in ten programs, starting live in the fall of 2019 and continuing virtually throughout the pandemic. The Beethoven cycle is now posted on YouTube. Mr. Schepkin’s most recent recording project, a video of Book I of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, is forthcoming and will also be posted on YouTube.