The Russian-American pianist Sergey Schepkin has performed to great acclaim across the globe, including such venues and series as New York’s Carnegie (Weill) Recital Hall, the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as the Celebrity Series of Boston, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, the LACMA and Maestro Series in Los Angeles, the Grand Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the HoAm Art Hall in Seoul, and the Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo.
Schepkin’s repertoire includes most important works of keyboard and chamber literature written over the past four hundred years. He has won particular praise for his performances and recordings of J.S. Bach, and was hailed by the New York Times as "a formidable Bach pianist...[who] plays with the passion and drama of a young Glenn Gould." The Boston Globe defined Schepkin as "an artist of uncommon, almost singular capability and integrity...[who] synthesizes the most diverse approaches and insights."
Schepkin has performed with the St. Petersburg and Oslo Philharmonics, the Norwegian Broadcasting Symphony, and the Boston Pops. A passionate chamber player, he has performed with many outstanding instrumentalists, including the Borromeo, New Zealand, and Vilnius string quartets; he frequently performs with Boston Symphony members Lucia Lin and Owen Young. An advocate of new music, Schepkin earned Sofia Gubaidulina's praise for his interpretation of her piano Chaconne, and has premiered works by Alan Fletcher, Michael Gandolfi, and the late Daniel Pinkham, as well as several American composers of a younger generation.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Schepkin studied piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Alexandra Zhukovsky, Grigory Sokolov, and Alexander Ikharev, graduating summa cum laude in 1985; he taught on the piano faculty there in 1988-90. He also studied composition with Sergey Wolfensohn and Boris Arapov. After his permanent 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. Since 2003, Schepkin has served as Associate Professor of Piano at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He has presented lecture-recitals and master classes at UCLA, the San Francisco Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, M.I.T., the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo, and other institutions of higher learning.
Schepkin's awards include the first and Chopin prizes in the 1999 New Orleans International Piano Competition, top prizes in the 1988 Crown Princess Sonja and 1985 All-Russia piano competitions, first prize in the 1978 International Competition for Young Musicians in Prague, the 1995 and 1999 Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation Awards, the 1993, 1995, and 1999 St. Botolph Club Foundation Grants, the 1993 Harvard Musical Association Award, and the 1992 Presser Foundation Award. In 2003, he was awarded the Maestro Foundation Genius Grant.
Sergey Schepkin is a Steinway Artist.
Recordings on Ongaku, Bridge, Centaur, Simax.
Artist Diploma, D.M.A., NEC.
photo by Carolyn Hine