American Concert Pianist, Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger

Welcome to the Exciting World of American Piano Virtuoso: Susan Merdinger

The Prize-Winning American Pianist and Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger, presents a wide range of recital and concert programs in venues both large and small.
With programs such as Latin-American Flair,  American Honor,  The Classical Style, and The Virtuoso Pianist, Susan brings charm, eloquence and hair-raising virtuosity to the stage.
Internationally acclaimed, Ms. Merdinger has appeared as a soloist in major concert halls in the USA, Europe and Canada, and has soloed with numerous orchestras and distinguished conductors.
A gifted speaker, teacher, and humanitarian, Ms. Merdinger is also available for Lecture-Recitals, Outreach Concerts, Masterclasses and Fundraising Events, and can create and perform a program or concert guaranteed to please any audience.

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Merdinger's Musings

On learning new, contemporary music... Podcast

In about a month i will premiere a totally new work by Uruguayan-American, Chicago-based composer, Elbio Barilari. Elbio and I have have a wonderful working relationship- I premiered his Toccata Gaucha in 2012, and also performed hi Darwin's Dream Trio on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series in 2012. Last year, he invited me to perform a solo recital on his Latino Music Festival at the Pianoforte Salon in downtown Chicago, and numerous times at the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he is on the faculty. I have also heard his orchestral works performed by the Grant Park Symphony, and I must say that Elbio is a true original!
His works always alternate between a natural lyricism and the vitality of his native country's dance rhythms. Invigorating and energetic, to be sure. Harmonies are unusual and often times unexpected, while his orchestrations are so very effective.
Naturally, it should come as no surprise that when he called to ask me if I would learn and perform his latest solo piano work, I didn't even hesitate! He aid it would be "easy". Well, I have to be honest, it is not as easy as I thought it would be! But, then again, there is an easy comfort I have in knowing and understanding his style, from having played and listened to many of his other works. 
So, you see, for a performer, it is no different with contemporary composers and the "old masters"- the more you play and learn a composer's works, the easier it is to continue to do so- to "specialize" in that composer's work. And so often we see living composers have their favorite performers/interpreters of their music- and so it goes.
So, now I am working up both the Toccata Gaucha and his new "Saxon Variations" to include on a recording of Spanish/Latino music. I hope I can do it justice! On the one hand it is great to communicate directly with a living composer, as opposed to having to do the performance practice research and guesswork as to how the composer intended his work to go. On the other hand, it can be a little nerve-wracking having the composer present- because, as a performer, you really want to make the audience not just love your own playing, but also the music which you champion. And that is a hefty responsibility!
While I feel a need for integrity and creativity as a performer  and interpreter of all music, I feel that the true geniuses of music are the creators and composers of it. One time I dreamt of being a pianist and a composer. Today, I am "just" a pianist. Will I ever try my hand at composing again- only time will tell!

Happy New Year 2015! 

Introducing a new look for this website, and getting ready for some exciting concerts coming up in March and April. First a Live Broadcast on WFMT on March 5th and then a major chamber music concert on the CSO Chamber Music Series on March 22nd. April brings two performances at the FOCUS on the ARTS Festival in Highland Park, and before you know it, I will be back at my summer music home- Summit Music Festival! 
Look out for an announcement of an exciting new project on a very grand scale that I have originated! It's going to be great!
Also, check out my new uploads to SoundCloud- of my live performance on the Latino Music Festival in Chicago in October 2013.

Preparing for final concerts and festivities of 2013! 

What a busy season it is! Parties, concerts, fundraisers, open houses....particularly busy if one is the one playing the concerts!
While the season for gratitude and thanksgiving begins on Thanksgiving, it doesn't end there! We all hope and pray for another New Year- with good health, prosperity, and contentment.

For those of you in the Chicago area- come here me perform on Sunday December 15th at 2pm at the Northbrook Public Library in a chamber music program entitled "Homage to Beethoven"- featuring three works in the "Classical Style" by Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.  Beethoven's Birthday is December 16th- so this is the perfect timing to honor my favorite composer!

Immediately following will be my Sheridan Music Studio Student Recital from 3:15pm until 4:45pm ( Library closing time).

On Saturday December 21st at 5pm at the Dixon Stein Studio in the Fine Arts Building in Chicago, the FAMS Festival ( of which I am a founding faculty member), will present a benefit concert and fundraiser event. There will be refreshments and a concert of chamber music to entice you. Lawrence Block,  Cellist and FOunder of the Highland Park Strings will Emcee the event!

On Sunday December 22nd, I will be performing with the Lake Forest Civic Orchestra in their Holiday Concert at the Gorton Auditorium at 4pm- with lots of fun holiday cheer!

The, at the end of December (28 and 29) I will be busy accompanying several students for the Walgreen's National Concerto Competition, and then hosting our Annual New Year's Day Musicale!

January will be a month of practice and recording sessions, and getting ready for the Spring. I'll be only to happy to stay warm indoors through the dreaded cold months here in Chicago!

All the best for a Happy Holiday Season and New Year!
Susan

 

Birthday Concert! 

As it turns out, almost every single year of my life I end up giving a concert on or within a day or two of my Birthday!
And this year is no different!
Please come help me celebrate next week with my performance on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra All-Access Chamber Music Series at the Symphony Center's Buntrock Hall, Wednesday October 30, 2013 at 6:30pm.
The program is Mozart and Bruckner- and I will be performing the Mozart Piano Quartet no. 1 in g minor, with Hermine Gagne, violin, Charlie Pikler, viola, and Daniel Katz, cello on the second half of the program. This work is considered to be the first piano quartet for fortepiano and strings in the chamber music literature, and is quite a delight!
I hope to see you there!
Susan


 

Grammy Awards Voting Season has begun: First Round Deadline Approaches 

With the creation of my own record label, Sheridan Music Studio, this is my first time ever with my recorded CD's entered in the Grammy's, and you cannot imagine how excited I am to be a part of it. Not just to be entered in it, but to be a voting member of the NARAS. ( NAtional Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences). I have spent a great deal of time listening and evaluating submissions for the Grammy Awards, and I am simply humbled by how many phenomenal musicians there are that exist on this planet! SO much great music, but so little time!
Music exists in a temporal sphere- so it requires the luxury of time. Time to learn and to practice, time to listen and enjoy, and time to create and promote more music!
Plus, the time and responsbility to pass on the legacy that we inherit when we choose to become professional musicians!
It is a most rewarding, if competitive and highly challenging career to pursue, but I encourage all who love music to follow their heart! 
There is nothing better in this world than making music and sharing it with others! 
Best of luck to all in the 56th Grammy Awards! It would be a dream come true to get a nomination, but only time will tell- and the suspense is already killing me!



 
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Soireé CD- Buy now!

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"Virtuoso, Refined, Statuesque" Jean-Yves Duperron, Classical Sentinel

French Fantasy- Buy now!

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French Fantasy Wins Gold Medal Award in the 2014 Global Music Awards!

Carnival CD- Buy now!

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"Schumann playing of eloquent expression and exquisite beauty"

Jerry Dubins, Fanfare Magazine

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