Hailed by the Herald-Tribune for his “dazzling pianism verging on the impossible, effortless technical command and authority with a sense of poetry and refinement that belies his years,” Indian-American pianist Vijay Venkatesh has been recognized on three continents as a pianist with profound musicianship, sparkling pianism and an innate sense of partnership. Vijay, whose playing is described as “fresh and inspired,” (Cincinnati Courier) has rapidly established a major international reputation as top prizewinner in the San Jose, Seattle, Zimmerli, World Piano, and Waring International Piano Competitions. He has also been named a Davidson Fellow Laureate at the Library of Congress, USC Thornton’s Discovery Scholar, Grand Prize Winner of the Los Angeles Music Center’s Spotlight Awards and featured on “What Makes It Great?” with host Robert Kapilow and NPR’s “From the Top.”
Highlights of Mr. Venkatesh’s upcoming season include debuts with the Pasadena Symphony and conductor Joseph Young in Mozart’s Concerto in D Minor, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra with Eckart Preu, Bangor Symphony with Lucas Richman, and Ashland Symphony with Michael Repper in Clara Schumann’s Concerto in A Minor, the LaGrange Symphony with Richard Prior in Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor, the South Coast Symphony with Barry Silverman in Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals, and at Le Salon Musiques in Chopin’s Concerto in F Minor. Additionally, he appears this season at the Crystal Theatre, Camerata Musica, DaCamera Society, Irvine Performing Arts Center, L’ermitage Foundation, Muzewest, Ridgecrest Chamber Music Society, South Bay Chamber Music Society, and a debut in Mexico for ProMusica San Miguel de Allende.
An immersive and versatile soloist, Vijay has performed extensively across the United States and Europe as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Vienna, Sarasota, Columbus, Redlands, Roanoke, Rio Hondo, Rogue Valley, and the Brevard Music Center. He has collaborated with preeminent conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto, Jeffrey Kahane, Ludovic Morlot, David Lockington, David Stewart Wiley, Roger Kalia, Carolyn Kuan, Toshiyuki Shimada, Ken Lam, and Martin Majkut, among others. Mr. Venkatesh appeared in recent seasons at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall with the Colburn Orchestra, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess series, and at the Aspen, Brevard, Banff, Newport, Redlands Bowl, Sarasota, and Vienna Music Festivals. As recipient of the inaugural Parnassus Society Prize, he performed in recital at the Soka Performing Arts Center.
An active chamber musician, Vijay has appeared ten times on Le Salon de Musiques at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and tours as the Vieness Piano Duo with his wife and pianist, Eva Schaumkell. Last season, they appeared for the Westcliffe InConcert Series, Trinity Concert Series, Lancaster Performing Arts Center, L’ermitage Foundation, Masters in the Chapel, Opera Steamboat, Second City Chamber
Series, Sarasota Artist Series, and the Kultur unter’m Dach series in Germany. As pianist in the Aristeia Trio, gold medalists of the Frances Walton International Chamber Music Competition, they embarked on a 30-concert tour of Washington, appeared twice on KING-FM 89.1 FM, and have been featured at Camerata Musica and the Irvine Performing Arts Center.
Originally from California, Venkatesh is an Artist Diploma candidate at the Colburn School in Los Angeles with Fabio Bidini. He holds degrees from USC Thornton and IU Jacobs School of Music, where he was a recipient of the Barbara and David Jacobs Fellowship under the tutelage of Norman Krieger and André Watts. Venkatesh previously studied with Jeffrey Kahane, Sarkis Baltaian, Menahem Pressler and Murray Perahia.
He has recorded two albums for release on Naxos and Albany Records in the fall of 2022. He is represented by Colburn Artists and is a featured artist on Tonebase.