2012 First Prize Winner Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition
Dewar's Young Artists Award in Music
Artists International Young Musicians Competition Debut Award Winner
IBLA Grand Prize- Special Liszt Award Winner
Impressive Young Artist…A spectacular piano concert…Susan Merdinger combines great musical sensibility with enormous technical facility…
Saarbrucken Zeitung, Germany
Stylish, Elegant Mozart, Exciting Gershwin….Miss Merdinger commands a surprising power at the piano…quick and spiritual reaction, the highest ability and experience….The Beethoven Sonata Op. 109 sounded powerful and passionately moved…Equally impressive were Preludes by Debussy…
Frankfurter Neue Presse, Germany
Courageous Debut….Susan Merdinger offered a daring, enormously joyous presentation of Schumann’s Carnaval, which captured and transfixed the audience…Her fast, strong technique was unbelievable…Her grasp of the large structural sweep of Beethoven’s Op. 109 was truly amazing, and her well thought out shaping of the multi-layered variations demonstrated great insight… Breathaking…refreshing…generously endowed gifts.
Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung, Germany
Tender and impassioned playing…Plenty of youthful vigor and commitment… An exhilarating, whirlwind performance.
The Glasgow Herald, Scotland
Honesty Honored….In this era of pianists we have pianists galore, but pianists who are real artists at the same time are very rare indeed. Susan Merdinger is one of them, I am sure… (she) shows her mastery of the piano in endless differentiation. Her musicality and her intuition originate directly from her pure heart… Susan Merdinger is a most promising pianist whose honesty will be honored with a magnificent future.
Jan Van Voorthuysen, Het Vaderland, Holland
With 40 years of experience as a concert manager, and having heard thousands of pianists, and having accepted only two hundred of them, I may tell you that Ms. Merdinger’s playing is so special since it not only has the refined musicality and astounding technique, but also the maturity and the phantasy which makes her music so sparkling…We feel that she is the top among the American pianists of her generation.
Harry de Freese, International Concert Administration
“Excellent young pianist” Robert Sherman, New York Times
Bravo - Keep making music!... I want to express my pleasure not only of your interpretation of my work, but with your whole concert at Merkin Concert Hall. I thought your performance of my “Pieces of China” was excellent- as I did the Haydn and the rest of the program.
Morton Gould, Composer and President of ASCAP
Merdinger and Greene performed with charm, sensitivity, and bravado…. The playing sparkled and revealed unusual maturity and a considerable range of pianistic technique.
The New Haven Register
Considerable Virtuosity...Merdinger plays with great amounts of energy, a good feel for romantic and impressionistic repertoire, plenty of passion and power and a considerable range of tonal color and shadings…Her performance of Haydn’s Sonata No. 52 in E-flat major showed her ability to get around the keys quickly and toss off lots of flashy passagework...The Sonata in B major, Op. 147 by Schubert was played with care and pleasant touch and pedal effects...Lovely lyrical moments... Sparkle and zip.
Gannett Westchester/Rockland Newspapers
Exciting performance here by Susan Merdinger!
WQXR: The Listening Room- Robert Sherman
Susan Merdinger is an outstanding pianist. Susan’s great critical acclaim throughout the U.S.A. and Europe have enhanced both her reputation and that of our school. Not only is she a fine pianist, but also a charming personality, a reliable person and a wonderful ensemble player.
Constance Keene, Manhattan School of Music
….The Mozart D major Sonata was a joy, with energy, good style and crisp execution, and the perfect amount of pedal.
Anthony Morss, Conductor
It was indeed a pleasure for Artists International to present you in your New York Debut as a Winner of its 1986 Young Artists Auditions. You played beautifully, and your interpretations were not only very musical, but were full of color and the imagination of a truly gifted young artist.
Leo B. Ruiz, Artists International
Susan Merdinger is an outstanding talent. She combines great intelligence and technical prowess with determination, stamina and drive…Happily, in her case, brilliance is counterbalanced by sensitivity, power alternates with grace.
Micahel Pollon, Director Emeritus, Westchester Conservatory of Music
Pianist, 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.
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.