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American Pianist and Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger has been critically acclaimed throughout the United States and Europe. Her performances have been hailed as "spectacular," "exhilarating," "breathtaking," "tender and impassioned" by prestigious newspapers such as The Glasgow Herald and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. She made her New York Debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as a Winner of the Artists International Young Musicians Competition. At their invitation she also performed a solo recital in New York at Merkin Concert Hall as part of their Alumni Winners Series. She has toured Europe under the auspices of the International Concert Administration Foundation, appearing in renown concert halls such as Glasgow's Henry Wood Concert Hall and Holland's Diligentia Hall.
Among her many honors, Susan Merdinger was the recipient of the Dewar's Young Artists Recognition Award in Music. Recently, she was awarded a First Prize in the 2012 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, won top honors prizes for her solo and duo piano performances in the 29th Masterplayers International Music Competition, and she is the recipient of the 2011 IBLA Grand Prize Competition Special Liszt Award. She has performed extensively as a soloist, chamber musician, and as a member of the prizewinning Merdinger-Greene Two Piano Team and Merdinger-Feoktistova Piano Duo, with a vast repertoire ranging from Scarlatti to Shostakovich. Ms. Merdinger has performed or premiered numerous works by contemporary composers such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Morton Gould, Martin Bresnick, Abram Chasins, and Elbio Barilari. Most recently, Ms Merdinger was a Guest Artist on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series at the Art Institute’s Fullerton Hall. Ms. Merdinger has appeared on radio and television in the United States and Europe, including live performances on The Listening Room with Robert Sherman on WQXR, New York, the BBC in the United Kingdom, Connecticut Public Radio, Belgian National Radio, BRT-3, WFMT (April 2011 Impromptu Series with George Preston, and September 2011 Pianoforte Salon Series Duo Piano Concert) and a television special entitled “Bravura”. She has also performed at the Yale-Norfolk, Chautauqua, and Fontainebleau Music Festivals. As a soloist, she has performed numerous Piano Concertos with orchestras, collaborating with conductors Glenn Cortese, Ari Rudiakov, Sandra Dackow, Barry Hoffman, Francis Akos, Marvin von Deck, Ron Arden, and Anatol Lysenka. In addition, she won top honors in the Murray Dranoff International Duo Piano, the Performers of Connecticut Young Artists, The Westchester Symphony Orchestra Concerto, and the New Haven Symphony National Young Artist Competitions, and competed in several major international competitions, including the Harveys-Leeds Piano Competition in Great Britain, the Montreal International Music Competition, and the William Kappell International Piano Competition. Ms. Merdinger’s prodigious talents were recognized at a very young age, with several prizes in youth competitions, culminating with the FirstPrize in the New York State Music Teachers Association (State-wide) Piano Competition at the High School Division level.
Ms. Merdinger was formerly the Music Director for the Ridgewood Unitarian Society in New Jersey. Since moving to Chicago, she is the Founder and Music Director of Sheridan Soloisti, a Not-for-Profit organization and concert series based in Highland Park, devoted to featuring the talents of professional soloists and composers, and contributing to worthy humanitarian causes. Throughout her career she has performed with distinguished principal members of the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Orpheus Chamber and the Chicago Symphony Orchestras and has performed solo, duo and chamber music concerts at major universities and colleges such as the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, SUNY, Purchase, Manhattanville College, Yale University, and Columbia College. Currently, Ms. Merdinger is on the Faculty of the New Music School in Chicago, Illinois, and she has also taught at Yale University and Westchester Day School. Ms. Merdinger is also on the Faculty of the prestigious Summit Music Festival in Purchase, New York, the Burgos International Music Festival in Spain, and the Fine Arts Music Society Festival in Indiana.
Ms. Merdinger received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Music degree from Yale University, and was a merit scholarship recipient in the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program at the Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Merdinger’s principal piano teachers have included Constance Keene, Ward Davenny, Claude Frank, Ozan Marsh and Gaby Casadesus. She performed in Master Classes for and had private coachings with Mary Sauer, Peter Serkin, Walter Hautizig and Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Her conducting teachers have included Robert Kapilow and Otto Werner Mueller. She studied contemporary music with Frederic Rzewski and Martin Bresnick. Ms. Merdinger earliest study began at the Westchester Conservatory of Music, Intensive Study Pre-College Division, where she was awarded an Artists Diploma in both Piano and Flute, as a piano student of Michael Pollon, a protégé of George Szell, and as a flute student of Chicago-born flutist, Harold Jones.