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Jeni Slotchiver (Piano)

Born: South Carolina, USA

The American pianist, Jeni L. Slotchiver, began her formal musical studies at an early age. A recipient of several scholarships, she attended Interlochen Arts Academy and The Aspen Music Festival. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree and then her Master of Music s degree (with honours) in Piano Performance, as well as a teaching fellowship from Indiana University. She continued her studies in New York City with German Diez and Joseph Bloch. Through Diez she traces her musical lineage to Claudio Arrau. She won several prizes and awards. Honored with performance grants from the Smithsonian Institution and the New York Public Libraries, she gave in 1991 her solo recital debut at Hall's Weill Recital Hall as the first prize winner of the Artists International Young Musicians Auditions.

Jeni Slotchiver has toured throughout North America as lecturer and recitalist. She is a favorite guest recitalist and concerto soloist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Americas Society and the Yamaha Piano Salon Series in New York City, the City Universities of New York, Dartmouth College, Bennington Museum, C. W. Post University, Florida International University, the Presidential Library in California, and Rudolf Ganz Memorial Hall in Chicago. Highlighting her recent solo recital performances was her ‘standing-room-only’ December 26 appearance at The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC (broadcast on National Public Radio). World known as a leading proponent and performer of the work of composer Ferruccio Busoni, she has presented all-Busoni programs at universities, festivals and concert series, appeared on the radio on WNYC Live, and NPR’s Performance Today (broadcast nation-wide), WNYC’s The Fishko Files, WPLN’s Live in Studio C, WKCR’s Live Constructions, and WQXR’s Reflections from the Keyboard with David Dubal. She has been featured in magazines as the Los Angeles Times, Piano Magazine, CDNOW, SEQUENZA21, Mundoclasico, Time Out NY, Café Momus (Budapest), and (Moscow).

A champion of 20th century composers, Jeni Slotchiver is dedicated to the presentation of new and rarely heard works. She has given the world premieres of several American composers in major New York City recitals (twice at Carnegie Hall). Her North American piano repertoire ranges from Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, to Nathaniel Dett and Luis Gottschalk to the avant-garde Frederic Rzewski. Moreover, her expansive repertoire includes the collected works of many South American composers, among them Alberto Ginastera, Carlos Guastavino, Ernesto Lecuona, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Francisco Mignone, Win Muller, Astor Piazzolla, and Frutuoso Viana. She consistently receives critical acclaim in Asia, Australia, England, France, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia and Spain. Her articles and essays are published in several languages and appear in prominent music periodicals including Piano Magazine, where she was a featured contributor for the Busoni Symposium in London. Her 1997 Merkin Concert Hall recital, the first all-Busoni program in New York City in over 30 years, won the "heartfelt appreciation" of the Busoni Foundation.

Jeni Slotchiver has appeared as Celebrity Recitalist and Lecturer at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia. Visiting-Artist honors include University of Tulsa, Chicago Musical College, and Tennessee State University, where she served as Co-Artistic Director of the Nashville International Piano Festival. She was also on the faculty of The Greenwich House Music School.

Jeni Slotchiver's series, Busoni The Visionary has received world-wide critical acclaim. Her debut CD was released on Centaur Records in November 1999 to immediate critical acclaim. Anthony Tommasini in The New York Times recommended this CD as one of only three “Appropriate for Millennial Reflection”. He wrote, “A fascinating program of piano works impressively played. A vivid performance. Filled with incandescent piano writing and music of stunning harmonic invention”. Michael Tanner, in Classic CD, described her performance as, "A towering spiritual statement, especially in a performance as fine as Slotchiver's, where the technical accomplishment is entirely at the service of the music's inward grandeur." From Singapore, Tony Gualtieri wrote, "A revelation…Bold and brazen…Jeni Slotchiver is a pianist of the highest artistry. Fully in control of this notoriously difficult material, she has the technical equipment to let the music speak without impediment… One feels the music is being allowed to sing." Furthermore, David Hurwitz in Classics Today, wrote, “…her wide range of keyboard color and sense of mystery are quite simply mesmerizing… positively physical. It’s rare indeed to hear an artist…with such strong (and poetic) ideas”. And finally, Robert Cummings writes in CDNow, “Her artistry sparkles throughout the disc, and the finest and subtlest details deftly emerge…It is, however, merely the first successful step on a journey that should be of immense recording significance”. European reviewers have begun to talk about her “technical brilliance”, “perfectly executed expression”, “subtlety, nuance, and colorful passagework”. Her second CD was also dedicated to the piano works of Ferruccio Busoni. In January 2015, she released Volume III of her Busoni series.

Marcus Dalton of Piano Magazine wrote about Jeni Slotchiver and her Busoni recording project, “she combines a keen intelligence with a strong poetic impulse and a technique which is well up to Busoni’s often fearsome challenges. Like the composer, she is no show-off, but a musician who finds a compelling balance between eloquence and restraint (not to be confused with constraint!). Her every performance is worthy of the highest respect.”
“No one plays Busoni’s piano music with greater clarity or depth of understanding than Jeni Slotchiver. As she demonstrated in Volume I of this series, this is music she clearly loves and understands both intellectually and intuitively. There is no finer, or more committed, advocate for this greatly underrated composer working today.” - Jerry Bowles in Sequenza21

Source: Cadenza Website; Sequenza21 Website; Carl Weinberg (February 2015)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (April 2007, April 2015)

Jeni Slotchiver: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Cadenza Musicians Directory: Jeni Slotchiver
Sequenza21/The Contemporary Classical Music Weekly

Jeni Slotchiver Channel on YouTube

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Last update: ýMay 3, 2015 ý23:00:33