BARBARA NISSMAN, PIANO
“I have trouble articulating the difference between Nissman and other pianists. She seems willing to go over the cliff, hand in hand with the composer.” classical.net
Barbara Nissman connects— not only with the music and its composer, but she connects the composer to the listener, touching souls in the process. She makes music relevant. Hailed as the “one of the last pianists in the grand Romantic tradition of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Rubinstein,” Nissman continues the grand bravura tradition of romantic pianism.
Recognized as an authority on the music of Franz Liszt, her 2 DVD set, Franz Liszt: Portriat of the Man & his Maasterwork- The Sonata in B minor with Michael York as the voice of Liszt and a stellar cast of his contemporaries has just been released. Her recordings of Prokofiev, Bartók and Ginastera are considered “definitive,” and she has garnered praise for her series of recordings of nineteenth century composers, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Brahms and also Rachmaninoff. All of Nissman’s recordings are now available on her new record label, Three Oranges Recordings. (www.threeorangesrecordings.com).
Nissman’s international career was personally launched by Eugene Ormandy, who had previously engaged her as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has performed with the leading orchestras of Europe and America and has worked with some of the major conductors of our time including Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Leonard Slatkin.
Nissman made history in 1989 by becoming the first pianist to perform the complete piano sonatas of Sergei Prokofiev in a series of three recitals in both New York and London. Her recordings of this repertoire represented the first complete set of Prokofiev Sonatas made available on compact disc. A recording devoted to the music of Béla Bartók features the first performance of his unpublished 1898 Sonata. Scarecrow Press has published Ms. Nissman’s book, Bartók and the Piano: A Performer’s View, which includes a CD insert of Bartók’s music performed by the author.
Ms. Nissman has long been associated with the music of Argentine composer, Alberto Ginastera, and is the dedicatee of the composer's final work, the Sonata No. 3. Recently, she was invited by the BBC to co-host a five-part radio series featuring Ginastera as composer-of-the-week on Radio 3. Her recording of all three piano concertos has just been released and features the first recording of his Concierto Argentino as well as the first recording of the original score of his Piano Concerto No.2.
Barbara Nissman recently appeared on stage with Don Henley of the Eagles and Billy Joel, performing on the “Walden Steinway” in a gala fundraiser for the Walden Woods project, held at Jazz at Lincoln Center. She was also one of the participants with Leonard Slatkin at the Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary Gala Concert that was broadcast on PBS Television. She has also been involved with the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation benefit concert series, “A Concerted Effort” since 2002. To date these concerts have raised well over two million dollars for AIDS service organizations worldwide.
Performer, writer, lecturer, and frequent guest artist/clinician, Barbara Nissman has toured and given master classes throughout the United States, Europe, the Far East, New Zealand, and South America. At the invitation of both the Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories, she presented recitals and master classes on Prokofiev. Barbara Nissman received her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now calls West Virginia home and lives on a farm in Greenbrier County. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Governor’s Arts Award from the State of West Virginia, and in 2016 was honored by the State for her artistic contributions. For more information go to: www.barbaranissman.com