Daniel Lessner, piano
Daniel Lessner has thrilled audiences around the world with his dazzling performances and poetic interpretations of the great masterworks of the piano repertoire. Critics have hailed his playing as “brilliant and blazing” and have called him “a musician of pristine artistic taste and discernment.” Mr. Lessner was the winner of the 2009 IBLA Grand Prize Special Award for his performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The international competition was held in Sicily, Italy, and a resulting tour throughout the United States in April of 2010 culminated in a concert at Carnegie Hall-Weill Auditorium in New York City. Mr. Lessner has toured extensively in the United States and abroad, performing with orchestras and in solo recitals in cities which include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, Boston, Detroit, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami, Palm Beach, Helsinki Finland, and Stockholm Sweden. He has garnered top prizes in competitions including the Maryland International, the Gina Bachauer International, the Interlochen Concerto Competition, Miecyslau Munz, the Grand Rapids International, and the Van Cliburn Scholarship Award. He has appeared as soloist with the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami Beach Symphony, the Queens Symphony, the Maryland Symphony, the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, the Interlochen Orchestra, the California Philharmonic, and the Pueblo Symphony, among others. In recent seasons, Mr. Lessner was a soloist with the Pasadena Symphony at Descanso Gardens in Pasadena, CA where he played Bernhard Herrmann’s Piano Concerto from the film Hanover Square, along with Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor. He appeared with the Filarmonica de Chile in Santiago, Chile, playing a series of concerts where he performed the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto in the Teatro Oriente. While in Chile, Lessner gave master classes at the University of Chile and the School of Modern Music, and was invited to return there in the 2010-2011 season. In February 2010, Lessner performed the Chopin Concerto #1 with The Pueblo Symphony in Pueblo, Colorado, conducted by Dr. Jacob Chi, and returned there next two successive season to play the Tchaikovsky Concerto no.1 and Prokofiev Concerto no. 3. He has appeared with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra in Marquette, Michigan in 2014 and 2015 with the Prokofiev Concerto no. 3 and Rachmaninoff’s Concerto no. 3. While in Marquette Mr. Lessner also gave master classes, and recitals in which he included Bach’s Goldberg Variations and the complete Etudes Op. 10 by Chopin. Lessner was recognized for Most Outstanding Performance in the works of Chopin and Liszt in the 6th Palm Beach International Piano Competition. As a result, he was invited by the Orchestra de San Luis invited him for a concert tour throughout Argentina and South America where he played the Beethoven Concerto #4. Mr. Lessner performed the Brahms-Paganini Variations in Carnegie Hall in New York City, in a gala concert that included such legendary pianists as Byron Janus. Lessner has performed in solo recitals in Miami’s Gusmann Hall under the auspices of the Miami Civic Music Association, returning there for three consecutive seasons, and in Los Angeles’ Taper Auditorium, where he played Liszt’s transcription of Wagner’s Overture to Tannhauser. He has appeared numerous times at Williams College in Massachusetts playing the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto with Ronald Feldman conducting the Berkshire Symphony, and Bach’s Goldberg Variations in the same season. Other career highlights include solo and orchestral concerts in Brazil on the Amazon River with the New York Philharmonia, and performing Rachmaninoff’’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini with the California Philharmonic at the Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall. Daniel began his piano studies at the age of four in Miami, Florida, where he performed his first public recital at age eleven. By the time he turned eighteen he had won over a hundred local and national prizes, including the Irene Muir Scholarship Award for the top young talent in the state of Florida and the First Prize award at the acclaimed Interlochen Music Camp’s Concerto Competition, where he performed the Macdowell Concerto #2 in D minor and Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 in C minor. He entered the Juilliard School of Music in New York City on scholarship to study with the renowned teacher Adele Marcus. While at Juilliard he won the Tchaikovsky Concerto Competition, which he performed with the Juilliard Orchestra in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, under the baton of Massimo Freccia. After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music, Lessner was chosen as a candidate for Juilliard’s doctoral program. He remained at Juilliard as an Assistant Faculty Member for two seasons. Lessner is dedicated to nurturing young talent. He has been on the faculty at the University of Southern California as Professor of Piano. He also teaches privately in Los Angeles and gives Master Classes. He can be heard on United Airlines’ award-winning national advertising campaign performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in more than ten ads. He has also worked as a record producer and as an Artist and Repertoire Representative for EMI Records. Mr. Lessner is a Steinway Artist.