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Press Releases

Sheridan Artists Management Announces Season Highlights of Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger

September 11, 2014 | By Joan Ganeles
Publicist, Sheridan Artists Management
Fresh on the heels of Merdinger's faculty residency at Summit Music Festival in Purchase, New York, where she performed with distinguished musicians Olivier Fluchaire, Violin, Yoram Youngerman, Viola and Jesus Castro-Balbi, Cello, Merdinger plowed into a new recording project and turned out French Fantasy CD in a matter of three weeks and now prepares for several major concerts and additional recording projects.

Upcoming on October 26, 2014, Merdinger will perform and record Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54, with the Highland Park Strings, founded by Lawrence Block and under the musical direction of distinguished Canadian-born conductor, Francesco Milioto. http://highlandparkstrings.org/pgs/october.html. This event is sponsored by the Park District of Highland Park, The First Bank of Highland Park and private donors, and is free and open to the public. The resulting recording will be released with Merdinger’s recordings of chamber music works by Robert Schumann for Piano and Strings, including his Piano Quartet and Piano Quintet.

Later in the season, Merdinger will complete her recording of Spanish and Latin American Music by Albeniz, Granados, Elbio Barilari, Fernando Vazquez and Armando Susmano, as well as a chamber music sequel to her CD, “The Classical Style”.

Merdinger’s all-Schumann CD, Carnival, and her latest CD, Soire´e, have just been awarded Silver and Bronze Medals in The 2014 Global Music Awards. Both CD’s have garnered lavish, unanimous praise in publications, including Fanfare Magazine, Audio-Video Club of Atlanta, Classical Candor, Mainly Piano and more.

Of Merdinger’s CD, Carnival, Jerry Dubins of Fanfare Magazine wrote: This is Schumann playing of eloquent expression and exquisite beauty, captured in a recording of distinction befitting this milestone achievement in Susan's career. John Puccio of Classical Candor wrote of “Carnival”: “Ms. Merdinger's playing is from the outset radiant, energetic, and aesthetically poised. When she needs to apply bravura showmanship, she's ready; when she needs a delicate touch, she's there; when she needs charisma or charm or poignancy, she's on top of the game. These portrayals of Schumann's characters and events sound beautiful, precise, and exciting. The big moments come through with enthusiasm and the soft moments are heartfelt. I loved every minute of her presentation”. Lynn Rene Bayley of Fanfare Magazine concurred: “Not a single moment in this suite passes by the listener unattentively; everything is exquisitely detailed and full of life. In this suite, often so difficult to pull off, Merdinger has the magic touch.”

Paul Orgel of Fanfare Magazine also extolled: "Technically, she's up to the challenges of the work's most difficult sections such as the treacherous jumps in "Paganini"-handled unflinchingly-or the repeated notes of "Reconnaissance" a piece that Merdinger doesn't just rattle off, but phrases with careful shape. But technique is somewhat beside the point when there are well over a hundred technically competent recordings of the work. Merdinger's Carnaval, like Rachmaninoff's, Cortot's, Hess's, or Rubinstein's, succeeds in presenting Schumann's kaleidoscopic collection of short pieces as a coherent structure that becomes a showpiece for a personal take on the music."

Now, in his recent review of Soire´e, which features works by Schubert, Brahms, Debussy and Liszt, Puccio writes: “In these final Liszt numbers, Ms. Merdinger again demonstrates her ability to convey both raw power and emotion with subtlety and refinement. In the Verdi paraphrase we actually hear the voices of the opera, and in the Rhapsody we experience the full impact of the folk-like tunes and dances as the pianist signs off in a blaze of glory….Ms. Merdinger is a pianist who would rather show than tell you things with her piano playing, so expect an abundantly diverse display of passion, pleasure, reflection, and beauty from her performances.”

Be sure to be on the look-out for Fanfare Magazine’s reviews of Soire´e in the upcoming November/December issue of Fanfare Magazine, as well as in The American Record Guide, Mainly Piano, and more.

Merdinger’s latest CD, French Fantasy, is a One Piano, Four Hand recording recorded at Sheridan Music Studio with her husband and duo piano partner, Steven Greene, featuring the ever-popular Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Sae¨ns, Gabriel Faure´’s Dolly Suite, Op. 56, and Maurice Ravel’s famous Mother Goose Suite. A generous loan of a Steinway B Piano made this recording possible, along with the engineering and artistic talents of Edward Ingold and Marc H. Schoenberg. The acclaimed, prize-winning Duo Pianists Susan Merdinger and Steven Greene have been performing together since they first met as graduate students at the Yale School of Music in 1984. Dubbed “The Dynamic Duo”, they won First Prize in the Westchester Conservatory Chamber Music Competition, were Semi-Finalists in the Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and recently won First Prize in the Music Competition of France.. They have been featured soloists in the Mozart Concerto for Two Pianos and Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals with several orchestras, and regularly perform in concert together on one and two pianos. Their first Two Piano CD entitled “The Dynamic Duo” was recently released on CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon, and features works by Saint-Saens, Stravinsky and Milhaud. Merdinger and Greene are married and have raised three children, Stefanie, Sarah and Scott, as professional musicians, who perform together as “The Five Greenes". Recent performances in Chicago included concerts and appearances at The Driehaus Museum, Roosevelt University, Columbia College and The University of Chicago’s International House.

In March 2015, Ms. Merdinger returns to the Fullerton Hall stage at the Art Institute of Chicago for her fourth consecutive season performing as a guest artist of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series at The Art Institute. She will perform a program with the renowned Tononi Ensemble, founded by Charlie Pikler, Principal Violist of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The other featured performers, all members of The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, include Fox Fehling and Hermine Gagne, Violins; Daniel Katz, Cello; and Roger Cline, Double Bass. The program, entitled, The Golden Age on the Periphery, will include John Field’s Piano Quintet, Mikhail Glinka’s Grande Sextet and Dvorak’s Piano Quintet No. 2. Tickets are required for this event, so be sure to order your soon, as the series usually sells out. https://cso.org/TicketsAndEvents/EventDetails.aspx?eid=6902.

For more information about Ms. Merdinger and booking inquiries for Merdinger, or The Five Greenes, please visit her website: www.susanmerdinger.com.

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