Among the most experienced and versatile musicians today, the American pianist Benjamin Pasternack has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician on four continents. His orchestral engagements have included appearances as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestre National de France, the SWR Orchestra of Stuttgart, the Bamberg Symphony, and the Dusseldorf Symphony Orchestra. Among the many illustrious conductors with whom he has collaborated are Seiji Ozawa, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman, Gunther Schuller, Leon Fleisher, and Carl St. Clair. He has performed as soloist with the Boston Symphony on more than a score of occasions, at concerts in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, in Athens, Salzburg, and Paris on their European tour of 1991, and in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Caracas on their South American tour of 1992. He has been guest artist at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, the Minnesota Orchestra Sommerfest, the Festival de Capuchos in Portugal, and the Festival de Menton in France, and has been featured as soloist twice on National Public Radio’s nationally syndicated show SymphonyCast.
A native of Philadelphia, Pasternack entered the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of thirteen, studying with Mieczyslaw Horszowski and Rudolf Serkin. He was the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural World Music Masters Piano Competition held in Paris and Nice in July 1989. Bestowed by the unanimous vote of a distinguished panel of judges, the honour carried with it a $30,000 award and engagements in Portugal, France, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States. An earlier competition victory came in August 1988 when he won the highest prize awarded at the Fortieth Busoni International Piano Competition. After fourteen years on the piano faculty of Boston University, he joined the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in September 1997.
Piano Sonata / Piano Fantasy