John Wilson, United States

Having enjoyed a meteoric rise from his childhood days of learning Mozart sonatas by ear, American pianist John Wilson has established himself as an artist who is both refined in style, and also a “marvelous musical mad scientist” (Music Critics Association of North America).

With a repertoire ranging from Baroque to contemporary, John has performed extensively in North America in recital halls such as Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), New World Symphony Center (Miami), and Louis M. Davies Hall (San Francisco), where he recently made his solo debut under the auspices of the San Francisco Symphony, playing solo works by Debussy. His playing was described by the San Francisco Classical Voice as “having all the beauty and delicacy one would expect from Debussy.”

A sought-after collaborator for the world’s most prolific composers, Wilson has had the pleasure of being a part of numerous world premieres, performing on the U.S. and world premieres of solo piano works by Michael Tilson Thomas, duo works by Timo Andres and Judith Lang Zaimont, and ensemble works by John Adams, Steve Reich, Reinbert de Leeuw, HK Gruber, and Bernd Deutsch.

As a soloist, he has performed with the New World Symphony, Napa Valley Festival Symphony Orchestra, and both the New Amsterdam Symphony and OrchestraCamerata Notturna in New York City. A top prize winner in international piano competitions, he most recently won First Prize in the 2019 International Respighi Competition, which resulted in an invitation to perform as soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of New York; other prizes include first place in the American Prize Foundation 2019 Competition, and “Best Performance of an American Work” at the 2017 Liszt- Garrison International Piano Competition.

A devoted chamber musician and collaborator, he has appeared in chamber ensembles with musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and the San Diego Symphony. Wilson has performed in recital with violinist Joshua Bell, violinist Michael Barenboim, cellist Johannes Moser, violinist Anthony Marwood, and soprano Audra McDonald.

John has recorded for MSR Classics, and performances can be heard on and WQXR. His performance on the premiere recording for MSR Classics of Judith Lang was reviewed by Fanfare Magazine as “impeccable in every parameter.” Wilson’s debut solo CD will be recorded later this year. 

Competitor: Second Triennial Olga Kern International Piano Competition. October 27–November 3, 2019. Albuquerque, New Mexico.