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Biography

Piano

Peter Serkin's rich musical heritage extends back several generations: his grandfather was violinist and composer Adolf Busch and his father pianist Rudolf Serkin. He has performed with the world's major orchestras with such conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Alexander Schneider, Daniel Barenboim, George Szell, Claudio Abbado, Eugene Ormandy, Simon Rattle, James Levine, Herbert Blomstedt, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and George Cleve. Also a dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Serkin has collaborated with Alexander Schneider, Pamela Frank, Yo-Yo Ma, the Budapest, Guarneri, Orion, and Shanghai string quartets, and TASHI, of which he was a founding member. Mr. Serkin has performed world premieres of many compositions which were written specifically for him, including works by Tōru Takemitsu, Hans Werner Henze, Alexander Goehr, Oliver Knussen, Charles Wuorinen, and Peter Lieberson.

Mr. Serkin’s orchestral appearances during the 2014-15 season include Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 19 with the Chicago and Dallas symphonies, Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Sydney Symphony, and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Florida Orchestra. In April 2015, he offers the world premiere of a new piano concerto from Charles Wuorinen, with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Matthias Pintscher. Mr. Serkin gives solo recitals in New York, Sydney, Brisbane, and at Yale University, and joins the Orion String Quartet in works by Brahms, Dvořák, Reger, and Schoenberg (arranged by Webern) at the Ravinia and Toronto summer music festivals and Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. This season he also enjoys collaborations with cellist Fred Sherry and pianist Julia Hsu.

Orchestral highlights of recent seasons have included appearances with the Boston, Chicago, and Saint Louis symphonies, New York Philharmonic, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, while recital tours have taken Mr. Serkin to Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Santa Monica, Princeton, and New York’s 92nd Street Y. Recent summer festival appearances have included the BBC Proms, Tanglewood, Aldeburgh, Chautauqua, and Denmark’s Oremandsgaard Festival. 

Mr. Serkin currently teaches at Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Longy School of Music. He resides in Massachusetts with his wife, Regina, and is the father of five children. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1971.

(February 2015)