An eloquent communicator both on and off the concert stage, pianist Russell Sherman continues to garner accolades from critics and audiences alike for his grace, imagination and poetry. As the author of a highly acclaimed book Piano Pieces (a rhapsodic compilation of vignettes and personal anecdotes from Mr. Sherman’s life experiences as a pianist and teacher), Russell Sherman has been praised not only as an ingenious virtuoso but also as an insightful master.
Mr. Sherman has performed with such major orchestras as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (with whom he performed the five Beethoven concerti), Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony. Abroad, Mr. Sherman has played in the major cities of Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Korea, Russia and South America.
In recital, Russell Sherman has appeared on Carnegie Hall’s Keyboard Virtuoso Series, California’s Ambassador Foundation Series, the Distinguished Artists series at New York’s Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y, and the Bank of Boston Celebrity Series. He has performed at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Jordan Hall, Columbia University’s Miller Theater, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. Additionally, he has appeared at the Ravinia Festival, the Hollywood Bowl and the Mostly Mozart Festival, as well as recitals at Spain’s Santander Festival and Germany’s Ruhr Triennale Festival. In 2006, Mr. Sherman performed and recorded the complete Sonatas of Mozart with Emmanuel Music.
Mr. Sherman is a prolific recording artist. He has recorded Mozart’s two concertos in minor keys plus solo fantasies with the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music under Craig Smith. A DVD featuring Mr. Sherman performing the complete Liszt Transcendental Études, along with intimate conversations and teaching was released on AVIE. Additional recordings include a GM Recording CD, “Premieres & Commissions,” in which he performs contemporary repertoire by Schoenberg, Schuller, Helps, Perle and Shapey, which, with the exception of Schoenberg’s Six Piano Pieces, Mr. Sherman has personally premiered and commissioned; the five Beethoven concerti with the Monadnock Festival Orchestra and the Czech Philharmonic, and the complete Beethoven Sonatas, recorded as five dual-CD sets (each having been released individually and as a complete set). The entire Beethoven Sonatas project has been called “a set for the ages” by Bernard Jacobson in Fanfare. This makes Mr. Sherman the first American pianist to have recorded all of the sonatas and concertos of Beethoven. His earlier recording of Liszt’s Transcendental Études has also garnered accolades, of which Anthony Tommasini in a 1999 New York Times piece said, “Several impressive recordings of Liszt’s ‘Transcendental Études’ prove that these audaciously difficult works are actually playable and triumphantly pianistic. But none make Liszt’s visionary understanding of what the piano could do more palpable and exciting than Russell Sherman’s extraordinary 1990 recording.” Sherman has also recorded Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F, Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 35 and Fantasies, Op. 116, Chopin’s 24 Preludes, Op. 28, Schubert’s Sonata in D major, D. 850 and Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960, both Grieg and Schumann Concertos and pieces by Liszt, including the B minor Sonata, Don Juan Fantasy, and Transcriptions.
Russell Sherman was born and educated in New York, beginning piano studies at age six. By age eleven, Mr. Sherman was studying with Eduard Steuermann, a pupil and friend of Ferruccio Busoni and Arnold Schoenberg. Sherman graduated from Columbia University at age nineteen with a degree in the humanities. He was Visiting Professor at Harvard University and is currently a Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at the New England Conservatory. With a brilliant career and creative imagination, Sherman continues to merit the title “a thinking man’s virtuoso.”