Faculty

Daniel Pollack

Professor


Biography

Audiences across five continents — North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa — have recognized the pianism of Daniel Pollack, noted by worldwide music critics for “his astonishing pianism,” (Washington Post); “his dramatic tension, poignant lyricism,” (Diapason Magazine, Paris, France); “his torrents of sound that turned feathery flurries of delicate sounds,” (Los Angeles Times); “his elegance, that can provoke calm and warmth as well as thunder on high” (San Francisco Chronicle); “splendid drive and virility,” (Daily Telegraph, London); and “an interpretation of great scope and abandon,” (Kurier, Vienna, Austria).

Highlight appearances as soloist with major orchestras in the U.S. include the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony; and worldwide, Moscow State Philharmonic, Mariinsky Orchestra, St. Petersburg, Russia, London’s Royal Philharmonic, Bergen Symphony, Norway, Seoul Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra of Bogota, Colombia, Montevideo Symphony, among others.

Pollack has performed solo recitals in the major music centers of the world including London’s Royal Festival Hall, Vienna’s Musikverein, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon, Seoul’s Arts Center, Moscow’s Bolshoi Zal, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, Los Angeles’ Music Center. Additional highlights of Pollack’s career include guest appearances at Tchaikovsky’s home in Kline, Russia, performing on the composer’s piano.

An emotional highlight was performing at a joint session of the United States Congress in honor of President Harry Truman’s Centennial.

Pollack is much in demand on international competition juries. He has participated several times on the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition held in Moscow as well as on the Queen Elizabeth in Brussels; Montreal, Canada; Leeds, England; Ciurlionis, Vilnius, Lithuania; Gina Bachauer, Salt Lake City; Hamamatsu and Sonoda Competitions in Japan; UNISA in Pretoria, South Africa; Prokofiev in St. Petersburg; and the Rachmaninoff in Moscow.

Pollack first garnered the music world’s attention when he became a prize-winner in the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Following, he concertized throughout the former Soviet Union and became the first American to record there for Melodya label, records that sold in the millions throughout the former Soviet Union over several decades. Later, these were re-issued in Europe and the U.S. under several different labels.

The “Legendary Moscow Recordings of 1958 and 1961,” on Cambria label, are from the archived tapes of the Russian record label Melodya of Pollack in his early years.

Among other international releases are Pollack’s Grammy-nominated recording for Naxos, the complete solo piano works of Samuel Barber, which was heralded as “prodigious pianism of fiery energy, dynamic articulation and élan.” (Repertoire Magazine, Paris, France); “Colors” on the RCM label; “Daniel Pollack in Moscow,” on Classical Records label; the all-Chopin recital recorded in the Bolshoi Zal of the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia, released by Sony on their Infinity Digital label, nationally, and on Digital Focus, internationally; and crossover recordings of popular short romantic works for Four Winds.

Pollack has held several visiting artist faculty positions including The Juilliard School, Columbia University and Yale’s School of Music. He has been a longtime professor at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Pollack began his studies at the age of four and made his debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of nine, performing the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1. He is a graduate of The Juilliard School from the class of the legendary Rosina Lhevinne, herself a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory. Pollack continued his graduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna under a Fulbright scholarship with Bruno Seidlhofer, at the Academia Chigiana in Siena, Italy with Guido Agosti and was selected as one of 12 pianists internationally to participate in a special Beethoven Master Class of the late Wilhelm Kempff in Positano, Italy.

His career has achieved a longevity that is little short of outstanding.