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Artist Bio

Byron Schenkman - Harpsichordist & Pianist

BYRON SCHENKMAN has recorded more than thirty CDs of 17th- and 18th-century repertoire, including recordings on historical instruments from the National Music Museum, Vermillion, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. A recipient of the Erwin Bodky Award from the Cambridge Society for Early Music “for outstanding achievement in the field of early music,” he was voted “Best Classical Instrumentalist” by the readers of Seattle Weekly in 2006, and his piano playing has been described in The New York Times as “sparkling,” “elegant,” and “insightful.” He has been a featured guest with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, the Daedalus Quartet, the Northwest Sinfonietta, Pacific Baroque Orchestra, Philharmonia Northwest, and the Portland Baroque Orchestra. He was also founding co-director of the Seattle Baroque Orchestra with violinist Ingrid Matthews. In 2013 he launched “Byron Schenkman & Friends,” a Baroque and Classical chamber music series at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Recently he has been studying Klezmer music with Shawn Weaver and has begun collaborating on performances of Russian Jewish art music with violinist Steven Greenman. Schenkman is a graduate of the New England Conservatory and received his master’s degree with honors in performance from the Indiana University School of Music. He currently teaches at Seattle University and Cornish College of the Arts. In 2012 he also served as guest lecturer in harpsichord and fortepiano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.


“A superb harpsichordist… Schenkman is a master.”
–Philippa Kiraly, Seattle Times

“An elegant stylist with a cleanly articulated sound ”
–Allan Kozinn, New York Times

“Mr. Schenkman demonstrated a lovely singing tone… an expressively phrased performance of Mendelssohn’s “Song Without Words” in E flat (Op. 30, No. 1)… a sparkling rendition of Haydn’s Sonata in E flat (Hob:XVI:52)… an elegant, insightful rendition of the Sarabande from Bach’s French Suite No. 5. ”
–Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times

“Schenkman provided beautifully sculpted piano playing… stylistically brilliant, with crisp and dynamic sonorities ”
–Mark Kanny, Pittsburgh Post-Tribune

“Schenkman is an extraordinary keyboard virtuoso…his interpretation of Mozart’s gorgeous, theatrical Fantasia in D Minor, K. 397, was stunning ”
–Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald-Times

“A first-class Mozartean… an extraordinarily communicative player capable of great range and technical finesse… adding a dash of wit and humor along with the speedy fingerwork ”
–Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times

“Guest artist for the night was the marvelous pianist, Byron Schenkman…. his virtuosity, mercurial range and power were all showcased beautifully throughout the evening ”
–Carolyn Gregory, Stylus Magazine, Boston