"Classically trained with a doctorate in music from Columbia
University,Mark Birnbaum graduated into keeping ragtime alive and serving as staff pianist on the popular Joe Franklin television show. This Manhattan based pianist can play everything, and continues to do so throughout the greater New York area."
*Edward Jablonski, 2003, Official Biographer of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Harold Arlen.
"As anyone who's caught one of his several hundred appearances on Joe Franklin's television show will know, Mark Birnbaum (who has a Ph.D. from Columbia) is the consummate ragtime piano specialist. He knows all of the classical rags by Scott Joplin, Eubie Blake, Jelly Roll Morton - he can take any song you name (from "Sh-Boom" to "Amazing Grace") and convert it to ragtime."
*Chip Deffaa, The New York Post, September 2, 1994
Mark Birnbaum's 2nd CD features the poetic genius of Scott Joplin, the classical meditations of Alexander Scriabin, Claude Debussy, Cyril Scott ("The English Debussy") and two originals.
Holly Lane, Blackheart Records, 2002
"Soothing piano magic - I can't stop listening to this CD."
Barry Farber, WWOR Radio
"This is the place where Vladimir Horowitz and Liberace meet. Where classical and jazz are one."
Edward Jablonski, 2003, Official Biographer of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin & Harold Arlen.
"Consider Mark Birnbaum's unique compilation of works ("Dreamland Piano Gems Circa 1903") by a remarkable group of composers, one French, another Russian, an Englishman and an American. All were creatively active around the same time, the early twentieth century. All composed in the larger forms - symphonies, concertos, and operas. They are celebrated for their piano miniatures; miniatures but in no way small. In this genre they share, besides the time, a common trait: they were all masters.
Classically trained with a doctorate in music from Columbia University, Mark Birnbaum graduated into keeping ragtime alive and serving as staff pianist on the popular Joe Franklin television show. This Manhattan based pianist can play everything, and continues to do so throughout the greater New York area.
To round out this unique collection of works, some quite rare, by four master musicians, he adds his tribute with two originals. These composers, while individual, share philosophies, even sounds, but remain themselves. Mark Birnbaum's pieces fit into the concept of the
collection, family like, as musical "cousins and relatives," as he aptly put it.
While I avoid sneaking opinions into annotations for recordings, I must admit I love this album."