Paul Posnak
Pianist, Classical & Jazz
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
State Theatre, Red Bluff
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Paul Posnak

Dr. Paul Posnak is a world-renowned pianist, recording artist scholar, and educator. In a side-by-side program of classical masterworks and classic jazz you will hear “Fats” Waller’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ performed in the signature style of the composer himself. You will experience I Got Rhythm played with the bravura technique that was unique to Gershwin alone. These remarkable solos are presented as multi-media “informances”, transporting you into the world in which these composers lived and worked.


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 from 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.

Dr. Posnak’s 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.”  Since November 2005, Dr. Posnak has served as a judge of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. He is the founding artistic director of two concert series in Miami, and is director of the Honors Chamber Music Summer Program of the University of Miami Frost School Young Musicians Camp.

His 14 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 film on Chopin has also attracted international attention.

His latest recording project is the CD Canciones of Ernesto Lecuona: New Arrangements by Paul Posnak, with soprano Sandra Lopez and Grammy Award-winning percussionist Sammy Figueroa.

Dr. Posnak is 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.

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 NPR and European radio broadcasts.


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