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Paul Posnak

Paul Posnak 's Biography

Paul Posnak's international career as a concert pianist, recording artist, transcriber and sought-after teacher began as a child prodigy with a full scholarship to the Juilliard Preparatory School of Music at the age of eight. Recipient of Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees at Juilliard, and of the Loeb Prize (Juilliard's highest award), he won First Prizes in the International J.S. Bach Competition, and the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York. He has performed at the White House, The Supreme Court, and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., at Carnegie Recital and Tully Halls in New York, and throughout Europe, South America, and Asia to critical acclaim. A highly regarded collaborative artist, Dr. Posnak has worked with many world-renowned vocalists, including Luciano Pavarotti and Jennie Tourel, and performed and recorded with many of the world's leading chamber ensembles, including the Emerson, Fine Arts, Vega, St. Petersburg, Amernet, Portland and Bergonzi String Quartets. His 17 recordings of solo and chamber works for labels such as EMI, Naxos, Vox, Arabesque, Centaur and the Yamaha Disklavier Artist Series have received the highest praise from the leading international press, and his recent film on Chopin, directed by documentary film maker Anthony Allegro, has also attracted international attention. A new CD recording: "The Tangos of Ernesto Nazareth," was released in 2007 on the Cambria label. His recent performances as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at The Kennedy Center were described by The Washington Post as playing "with respect and passion, producing readings that were as notable for their musicality and their artistic integrity as they were for their pianism". In May, 2003, he gave a special performance for The Supreme Court of the United States. Since November 2005, Dr. Posnak serves as a judge of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. 2010-11 engagements throughout the U.S. included a recital and master class at the Tanglewood Institute in MA, recital tours to CA, NY, WA and OH, and in Europe for a two-week artist-in-residency at the Akademie Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He is the Founding Artistic Director of the St. Martha-Yamaha Concert Series in Miami Shores, FL, and of the Cuban-Hebrew Congregation Concert Series in Miami Beach.

Dr. Posnak is becoming internationally renowned for his improvisations and note-for-note transcriptions of the great jazz pianist-composers of the 1920's and 1930's. His reconstructions of the brilliant solo improvisations of George Gershwin and Thomas "Fats" Waller from the old recordings and radio broadcasts have established him as a world authority. Of his CD, "Gershwin's Piano Improvisations", The Washington Post said: "It is remarkably like having Gershwin himself in digital stereo". His transcriptions of 16 of Thomas "Fats" Waller's greatest solos have just been re-issued in their second edition by Hal Leonard. His arrangements of Gershwin Songs for Two Pianos were published by Alfred in August 2007; they have been selected by the Murray Dranoff International Two-Piano Competition as the required work for the 2008 Competition. Clavier said of his Naxos CD, "Ain't Misbehavin'", "Posnak's performances have the spontaneous character so necessary for Waller's music, and he breezes through the hard-to-play passages with all the facility and verve of Liszt". He is a featured artist on many National Public Radio and European radio broadcasts. Fluent in French and German, he is in much demand as a teacher and clinician both in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Posnak is Professor of Keyboard Performance, and Director of the Collaborative Piano Program at the University of Miami, Frost School of Music, and is a recipient of the 2008 UM Excellence in Teaching Award.

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Paul Posnak