Joseph Banowetz has been described by Fanfare Record Review (U.S.) as “a giant among keyboard artists of our time”, by Russia’s News (Moscow) as “a magnificent virtuoso, who amazed the public by his deep understanding of the composer’s spirit”, and by Ruch Muzyczny (Warsaw) as “a virtuoso in the noblest sense of the word.”
A graduate with a First Prize from the Vienna Akademie für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, his teachers have included Carl Friedberg (a pupil of Clara Schumann) and György Sándor (a pupil of Béla Bartók). Banowetz has been heard as recitalist and orchestral soloist on five continents, with performances in recent seasons with such orchestras as the St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) Philharmonic, the Moscow State Symphony, the Prague and Bratislava Radio Orchestras, the Budapest Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony (on a twelve-concert national tour), the Beijing Central Philharmonic, Barcelona Concert Society Orchestra, and the Shanghai Symphony.
In 1992, Banowetz was awarded the Liszt Medal by the Hungarian Liszt Society in Budapest, in recognition of his outstanding performances of Liszt and the Romantic literature. Banowetz has recorded over thirty compact discs for the Naxos, Marco Polo, Toccata Classics, Warner Brothers, Alfred, and Altarus labels. These include the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1, Liszt Concertos and Totentanz, the d’Albert
Concertos, and world-premiere recordings of the Taneyev Piano Concerto, the Balakirev Fantasy on Russian Folk Songs, the Huang Piano Concerto No. 1, and all eight of the Anton Rubinstein piano and orchestra works. Additionally, he has recorded solo repertory of J. S. Bach, Balakirev, Busoni, Chopin, Debussy, Godowsky, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Rubinstein, Schumann, Stevenson, and Taneyev. One of the Rubinstein orchestra and piano series was named by Fanfare Record Review (U. S.) as an outstanding international release for 1993, and a similar citation was given in 1987 by the German Music Critics Association for his world-premiere recording of works by Balakirev. He has received two finalist Grammy nominations by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (U.S.A.), one for Best Chamber Music Performance ("Forty Songs of the Russian People by Mily Balakirev, with Alton Chan), and one for Best Soloist With Orchestra (Paul Kletzki Piano Concerto in D Minor, Op. 22).
Banowetz is also internationally recognized as an author and editor. His book The Pianist’s Guide to Pedaling (Indiana University Press, U. S.) has to date been printed in six languages in addition to English. Many of his piano editions have been translated into Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. He has served on major piano juries such as the Arthur Rubinstein Master Piano Competition (Israel), the Scottish International Piano Competition (Glasgow), the Belarussian International Piano Competition (Minsk), the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition (U. S.), the 2001 World Piano Competition (U. S.), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (U. S.), and the Antonín Dvořák International Piano Competition (Czech
Republic). Banowetz has been invited to teach and lecture at many schools, including the St. Petersburg Conservatory, the Juilliard in New York City,
London’s Royal College and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Artmúsic Escola de Música I Dansa of Barcelona, the Chopin Academy of Warsaw, Hong Kong’s Academy and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Joseph is Professor of Piano Performance at the University of North Texas.