Sensational and unmistakable, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg stands out in the field of classical music. Individual, passionate and powerful sound, a risk-taking persona and energetic presence are her trademarks. A musician, author, and teacher, Nadja is recognized as one of the world's preeminent violinists.
Since 1981, when she burst onto the music scene as the youngest recipient ever of the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition, Nadja has remained in the media spotlight.
A guest on NBC's The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson numerous times, Nadja has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes, Nightwatch, and Sunday Morning, NBC's National News, and has been A&E's Artist of the Week with Elliot Forrest. She has also been featured on PBS' Live From Lincoln Center, Backstage/Lincoln Center, Journey, The Charlie Rose Show, City Arts, and Bravo's The Art of Influence, not to mention the PBS/BBC series The Mind, PBS' Sessions at West 54th, a PBS special presentation, "Dallas Symphony Orchestra: Music of Bernstein, Barber & Beethoven," and PBS' Children's Television Workshop's award winning program Sesame Street. In May 1999, CBS' 60 Minutes II aired a follow-up to their 1986 feature, highlighting the last 13 years of her career.
A highly acclaimed recording artist, Nadja's numerous classical recordings are released on the Angel/EMI Classic and Nonesuch labels. A sought-after artist who has performed with many of the world's greatest conductors and orchestras and at major international festivals, she has played at the White House in a command performance for the Arts & Humanities Awards. She has also collaborated with such artists as Mandy Patinkin, Joe Jackson, Judy Blazer, Janice Siegel, the Assad brothers, Mark O'Connor and Roger Kellaway.
Born in Rome, Nadja emigrated to the Unites States at the age of eight to study at The Curtis Institute of Music and later studied with Dorothy DeLay at The Julliard School.
In 1989, she wrote "Nadja: On My Way," an autobiography written for children, in which she shares her experiences as a young musician building a career.
She is the recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize (1999) awarded to the instrumentalists who have demonstrated "outstanding achievement and excellence in music."
She has been honored with an Avery Fisher Career Grant (1983), and in 1988 was Ovations Debut Recording Artist of the Year.
She is in Who's Who of American Women and is also the recipient of an honorary Masters of Musical Arts from the New Mexico State University (May 1999), the first honorary degree the University has ever awarded.
Just every now and again a young performer of remarkable talent and charisma bursts on the scene and captivates audiences, critics and fellow musicians alike. American born pianist Anne-Marie McDermott is rapidly emerging as just such an artist who is a most highly sought after performer by top international orchestras and conductors. They and their audiences have been strongly affected by her virtuosity, sensitivity, brilliance and imagination.
Anne-Marie McDermott made her Carnegie Hall debut at the age of just twelve years old when she played the Mendelssohn Concerto in G Minor with the National Orchestral Association. At the Manhattan School of Music she then studied with Daimo Carra, Constance Keene and John Browning. After winning many top awards, she was spotted as an exceptional talent during masterclasses with some of the great artists of our time, including Leon Fleischer, Misha Dichter and Mstislav Rostropovich. They noticed how her remarkable technique, embracing on the one hand virtuosic articulation and on the other seamless fluency, was combined with a rare poetic artistry and dramatic theatricality in performance, placing her in the tradition of great piano playing.
Anne-Marie McDermott's talents have been publicly recognised in the awards she has received, including the Young Concert Artists Auditions Award, the Avery Fisher Career Development Award, the Joseph Kalichstein Piano Prize, and the Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women Artists. In March 1995 she was named an Artist Member of the pre-eminent Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
In 1997 Anne-Marie McDermott made a particularly striking impression when she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in Mozart's 9th Piano Concerto, collaborating with one of the most brilliant young conductors of our time, Christian Thielemann. In the elusive and famously demanding music of Mozart, her wide range of colours, remarkable fluency and yet powerfully disciplined control won over her audience distinctively. She has returned to New York to perform in the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Lincoln Center.
New York's prestigious and fiercely critical artistic ambience has also been the scene of great success for Anne-Marie McDermott as a recitalist and chamber music player. Chamber music features prominently in Anne-Marie McDermott's life and in particular her chamber and concerto appearances at the Mainly Mozart Festivals in San Diego have received great acclamation.
Anne-Marie McDermott's repertoire is vast and extraordinarily varied, embracing composers as diverse as Bach (her very favorite), Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Handel, Debussy, Franck, Prokofiev, Dello Joio, Brouwer, Bennett, and Weir, to mention just a few. In 1998/1999 Ms McDermott premieres important new works by Gunther Schuller and Tobias Picker.
Anne-Marie McDermott's luminous playing and strikingly feminine personality captivate audiences and artists. Like her vivacious personality her performances are both volatile and sensitive. Her sheer brilliance and power, when required, disprove any archaic misconceptions that might remain about a woman's ability to shake a concert hall's foundations. Quite apart from her virtuoso technique, her intensity in performance comes from her fervent love-affair with all the music she plays, which she says she can not imagine living without.
As well as her passion for music, Anne-Marie McDermott loves ballet, which she feels can enlighten musicians in unexpected ways. She also deeply immerses herself in Zen philosophy which she believes is essential to balance the extremes of emotion in her life and art.
The virtuosity, sparkle, sensitivity and imagination in Anne-Marie McDermott's playing mark her out as one of the very most exciting young pianists of our time.
Classical music's dynamic duo treat the listener to the most "live" sounding classical recording ever made. The listener really feels as if they are there at the concert, experiencing the sounds and sensations as they happen. These two performers are electric together and this album showcases their dynamism in programming and performing and communicating with the audience.