The American pianist, Daniel Lessner, began his piano studies at the age of 4 in Miami, Florida, where he performed his first public recital at age eleven. By the time he turned 18 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 Edward MacDowell's Concerto No. 2 in D minor and Sergei Rachmaninov's Concerto No. 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, Daniel Lessner was chosen as a candidate for Juilliard'’s doctoral program. He remained at Juilliard as an Assistant Faculty Member for two seasons.
Daniel Lessner has toured extensively in the USA and abroad, performing solo and chamber works 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 also appeared as soloist with the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami Beach Symphony, the Queens Symphony, the Maryland Symphony, and the Interlochen Orchestra.
Daniel Lessner was a winner in the sixth Palm Beach International Piano Competition, and was the only American to reach the finals. He was recognized for most outstanding performance in the works of Chopin and Franz Liszt, and also performed the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) by J.S. Bach. As a result, he was contracted by the Orchestra de San Luis for a special concert tour throughout Argentina and South America, where he performed the Beethoven Concerto No. 4 in G.
In 1997, Daniel Lessner performed for the first time in New York’s Carnegie Hall, in a concert that included pianists such as Byron Janus, in the memory of their former teacher, Ms. Marcus. In 2000, he performed in South America with the New York Philharmonia. His tour included solo and orchestral concerts on a Cunard Line Cruise up the Amazon River in Brazil, with stops in Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Islands. In July of 2005, he appeared as soloist with the California Philharmonic at Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, where he performed S. Rachmaninov's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. In April 2006, he played a solo recital in honor of Gregory Peck’s 90th birthday at the Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles. In December, he joined conductor Ronald Feldman and the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra to perform S. Rachmaninov’s Third Concerto. 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." He can currently be heard on United Airlines’ national advertising campaign performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Upcoming concerts include a solo recital of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) in Williamstown, guest solo performance with the Pasadena Pops and a tour in South America.
Daniel Lessner 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.
Daniel Lessner is a Steinway Artist.