For over twenty years Aleck Karis has been one of the leading pianists in the New York contemporary music scene. Particularly associated with the music of Elliott Carter, Mario Davidovsky, and John Cage, he has championed their works all over the world. Among his numerous solo piano discs on Bridge Records are acclaimed recordings of Stravinsky, Schumann, Carter and John Cage. Recently, Karis performed Birtwistle's marathon solo work Harrison's Clocks in London and New York, Feldman's Patterns in a Chromatic Field in New York, and appeared at the Venice Biennale.
At home with both contemporary and classical works, Karis has performed concertos from Mozart to Birtwistle with New York's Y Chamber Symphony, St. Luke's Chamber Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony and the Erie Symphony. He has been featured at leading international festivals including Bath, Geneva, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles, Miami, New York Philharmonic's Horizons Festival, Caramoor, and the Warsaw Autumn Festival. He is the pianist with Speculum Musicae. Awarded a solo recitalists' fellowship by the NEA, Karis has been honored with two Fromm Foundation grants "in recognition of his commitment to the music of our time." Karis has recorded for Nonesuch, New World, Neuma, Centaur, Roméo and CRI Records. His solo debut album for Bridge Records of music by Chopin, Carter and Schumann was nominated as "Best Recording of the Year" by OPUS Magazine (1987) and his Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano by John Cage received a "Critic's Choice" from Gramophone in 1999. His most recent CD, on the Tzadik label, is an acclaimed recording of "Patterns in a Chromatic Field" for cello and piano, by Morton Feldman. He has also recorded solo music by Davidovsky, Babbitt, Glass, Primosch, Anderson and Yuasa. Chamber music recordings include works by Carter, Wolpe, Feldman, Crumb, Babbitt, Martino, Lieberson, Steiger, and Shifrin.
Karis has studied with William Daghlian, Artur Balsam and Beveridge Webster and holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School. Currently, he is a Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.
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