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Craig Sheppard

Craig Sheppard came to the School of Music at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1993, and is now Professor of Piano and Head of Keyboard. He is also Professor of the Advanced Innovation Center at the China Conservatory in Beijing. A veteran of fifty years on the international stage, in the past few seasons, he has performed Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues and Bach’s The Art of Fugue in venues throughout the United States, as well as London, Manchester, Jerusalem, and Beijing, in addition to giving masterclasses in all of the above. As recording artist, he has published a string of 26 CDs with Romeo Records (NY) since 2005. Within the past two decades, he has traveled many times to the Far East for performances and masterclasses, including Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He has performed at the Nehru Memorial Library in New Delhi, held a residency at the Melba Conservatory in Melbourne, and performed three times in New Zealand.
Born in Philadelphia in November, 1947, Craig Sheppard graduated both the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School, studying with Eleanor Sokoloff and Sasha Gorodnitzki. He also worked with Rudolf Serkin and Pablo Casals at the Marlboro Festival, and later with Ilona Kabos, Peter Feuchtwanger and Sir Clifford Curzon in London. During the years immediately following his schooling, in addition to a successful début at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, he won top prizes in the Busoni, Ciani, and Rubinstein competitions. However, it was his Silver Medal at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1972 that brought him an international following. Moving to London in 1973 and living there for the next twenty years, Sheppard performed on multiple occasions with all the British orchestras and a number on the European continent, under such conductors as Sir George Solti, Erich Leinsdorf, Kurt Sanderling, James Levine, Michael Tilson Thomas, Aaron Copland, Lord Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Andrew Davis, Sir John Pritchard, Esa Pekka Salonen, David Zinman, and Leonard Slatkin. Whilst in the UK, he also taught at Lancaster University, the Yehudi Menuhin School, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In the United States, he performed with the orchestras of Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, San Francisco, Rochester and Seattle, amongst others.

Craig Sheppard’s repertoire is eclectic, comprising nearly fifty solo recital programs and over sixty concerti covering a wide spectrum within the Western canon. He has collaborated with many great instrumentalists and singers, including Wynton Marsalis, José Carreras, Victoria de los Angeles, Irina Arkhipova, Ida Handel, Sylvia Rosenberg, Mayumi Fujikawa, the Cleveland, Emerson and Miró string quartets, plus many musicians of the younger generation, including James Ehnes, Stefan Jackiw, Richard O’Neill, Edward Arron and Johannes Moser.

Sheppard is invited frequently as a jury member to distinguished international competitions, including last November’s James Mottram Competition at the Royal Northern, and the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in May, 2020 in Tel Aviv. His former students hold positions in conservatories and universities around the world. He is also Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Seattle Piano Institute, held every July at the University of Washington.