Byron Schenkman

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Schenkman, Byron
Birth nameByron Schenkman
OriginLafayette, Indiana, United States
Years active1981-present
LabelsCentaur Records, Wildboar Records, Loft Recordings, Dorian Recordings, Focus, Virgin Classics, Naxos Records, Boxwood Media, Matthews & Schenkman, CD Baby, BS&F Recordings

Byron Schenkman (born 1966)[1] is an American harpsichordist, pianist, music director, and educator. Schenkman has recorded over 40 CDs and has won several awards and accolades.[2][3] He co-founded the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, and was its artistic director.[4][5] Schenkman currently directs a baroque and classical chamber music concert series, Byron Schenkman & Friends,[6][7] and performs as a recitalist and concert soloist.[8][9] He also performs with chamber music ensembles, and is a teacher and lecturer.[3][6]

Early years[edit]

Schenkman grew up in a musical family[5] on a farm in Lafayette, Indiana. He graduated from the New England Conservatory, where he was a student of John Gibbons.[10] He studied with Elisabeth Wright and Edward Auer at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and earned a Master of Music degree with Honors in Performance.[10] In 1990 he earned a Performer's Certificate in Harpsichord from Indiana University School of Music. In 1991 Schenkman was a finalist in the Cambridge Society for Early Music's International Mozart Competition.[2]


At first Schenkman played harpsichord and fortepiano.[8][11] He has recorded dozens of albums, and has made solo and concerto appearances in the Americas, Europe, and Asia.[2][12][13] In 1999 he won the Cambridge Society for Early Music's Erwin Bodky Award, given "for outstanding achievement in the field of early music".[3][10] In 2003 Schenkman's recording with Musica Pacifica, Telemann: Chamber Cantatas & Trio Sonatas, won the Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Award.[14][15] In 2004 Schenkman was awarded a Partners of the Americas travel grant which enabled him to perform and teach in Chile.[16] In 2006 Schenkman was voted "Best Classical Instrumentalist" by the readers of the Seattle Weekly newspaper.[17][18] In 2007 he was featured in the Seattle Magazine Music Portfolio of Seattle's Defining Musicians as a Key Player saying that "He makes 300-year-old music sound fresh."[19]

Schenkman has worked with baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews.[20][21] In 1994 they co-founded Seattle Baroque Orchestra, where Schenkman was artistic director from 1994 through 2004, and co-director from 2010 to 2013.[5] In 2014 Schenkman and Matthews received the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Entrepreneur of the Month award.[22] He also performs with various chamber ensembles and tours internationally with his contemporaries.[5][23] He performs as a guest artist with chamber music ensembles in North America.[3][24] His live performances at the Boston Early Music Festival have been compared with those of Vladimir Horowitz and Jimi Hendrix.[7][10] He was reviewed in The Boston Globe as "a superb and imaginative instrumentalist".[10][18][25]

Schenkman gave his first recital on modern piano at Town Hall, Seattle, in 2001, and has since been active performing and recording on modern piano and harpsichord.[26][27] His New York recital debut playing modern piano was in 2009.[28][29][30] Schenkman's playing has been described as "dazzling" in American Record Guide,[31] and listed in the Chicago Tribune as a favorite recording of 2000, for "stylish, invigorating performances".[32] He released The Art of the Harpsichord in 2017 to critical acclaim, featuring eight different historical harpsichords from the National Music Museum.[33][34]

In 2013, Schenkman formed Byron Schenkman and Friends.

In 2017 Schenkman created a new recording label named Byron Schenkman & Friends. In 2018 the recording label name was changed to BS&F Recordings.[35]

Schenkman teaches music history at Seattle University, where he is a member of the Fine Arts Faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences.[36] He was a member of the Early Music Faculty at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, where he taught harpsichord, piano, and music history from 2005 to 2017.[37] In 2012 Schenkman was visiting instructor of fortepiano and harpsichord at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Schenkman gives master classes on 18th-century performance, informal lecture-recitals, and pre-concert talks.[38] He also teaches harpsichord master classes, serves artistic residencies, and teaches music history at music festivals and universities.[22] Schenkman is a frequent guest on radio station 98.1, Classical KING-FM.[39]

His principal harpsichord was built by Craig Tomlinson in 2013.[40][41]


Solo recordings[edit]

  • Johann Kaspar Kerll: Keyboard Suites & Toccata – FOCUS, 1996 ASIN: B000004A7B
  • The Bauyn Manuscript: 17th-century French Harpsichord Music – WILDBOAR [WLBR 9603], 1996
  • Jean-Henry D' AnglebertCentaur Records, 1997 [CRC 2435]
  • George Frideric Handel: Harpsichord VariationsCentaur Records, 1997 [CRC 2436]
  • Louis Couperin: Harpsichord MusicCentaur Records, 2001 [CRC 2608]
  • The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book – with Maxine Eilander, harp, Centaur Records, 2001 [CRC 2638]
  • Jacques Duphly: Second Livre de Pieces de ClavecinCentaur Records, 2002 [CRC 2714]
  • Joseph Haydn: Sonatas for the HarpsichordCentaur Records, 2002 [CRC 2733]
  • Joseph Haydn: Six Sonatas and an Adagio with Katie Wolfe, violin, – Centaur Records, 2005 [CRC 2733] [CRC 2806]
  • Muzio ClementiCentaur Records, 2009 [CRC 3078]
  • The Art of the Harpsichord – Byron Schenkman & Friends, 2017 ASIN: B074CPHTTY
  • Sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti - BS&F Recordings, 2018 ASIN: B07DP5Y3GS

Collaborative recordings[edit]

  • Joseph Bodin de Boismortier: Sonatas for Flute and Harpsichord, Op. 91 – American Baroque, Stephen Schultz, baroque flute; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, Naxos Records [Catalogue No. 8.553414], 1995
  • Mozart in Mannheim – Zephyrus ensemble; Courtney Westcott, flute; Ingrid Matthews, violin; Shelley Taylor, cello; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord and fortepiano; Dana Maiben, viola; FOCUS [# 945], 1995
  • in Stil Moderno – Ingrid Matthews, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, WILDBOAR [WLBR 9512], 1995
  • Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre: Sonates pour le Viollon 1707 – Ingrid Matthews, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Margriet Tindemans, viola da gamba, WILDBOAR [WLBR 9601], 1995
  • Jean-Fery Rebel: Sonatas pour le Violin – Ingrid Matthews, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Margriet Tindemans, viola da gamba, WILDBOAR [WLBR 9602], 1995
  • Georg Frideric Handel: Tra Le Fiamme – Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Ellen Hargis, soprano, WILDBOAR [WLBR 9604], 1996
  • Andrea Falconieri – Ingrid Matthews & Scott Metcalf, violins; Emily Walhout, viola da gamba; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, WILDBOAR [WLBR 9605], 1996
  • Marin Marais: Suites en Trio, Pieces de Violes, 4th Livre – Music's Re-Creation, Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, Centaur Records [CRC2334], 1997
  • Marin Marais: Pieces en Trio – Musica Pacifica, Virgin Veritas [ZDMB 7243], : 1997
  • J.S. Bach: Harpsichord Concertos – Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Ingrid Matthews, violin, Centaur Records [CRC 2497], 1998
  • Il Giardino Corrupto – Scott Metcalfe & Ingrid Matthews, baroque violins; Emily Walhout, viola da gamba; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, WILDBOAR [WLBR 9903], 1999
  • Antonio Vivaldi: Bassoon Concertos – Ingrid Matthews, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Michael McCraw, bassoon, Centaur Records [2538], 1999
  • Canzoni da Sonar – Ingrid Matthews, baroque violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, Centaur Records [CRC 2529], : March 2000
  • Francesco Guerini: Cello Sonatas – Sarah Freiberg, baroque cello; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord and fortepiano, Centaur Records [2534], 2000
  • Alessandro Scarlatti: Concerti Da Camera – Musica Pacifica, Judith Linsenberg, recorders, Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin, Ingrid Matthews, violin; George Thomson, viola; Claire Garabedian, cello; Michael Eagan, flute; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, DORIAN [DOR 93192], Release date: 01/11/2000
  • Sprezzatura: Virtuoso Music of 17th Century Italy – Ensemble: La Luna, Ingrid Matthews & Scott Metcalf, violins; Emily Walhout, viola da gamba; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, DORIAN (DOR #93200) 2001
  • Georg Philipp Telemann: Chamber Cantatas & Trio Sonatas – Musica Pacifica ensemble, Judith Linsenberg, recorder; Christine Brandes, Elizabeth Blumenstock, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, DORIAN [DOR-93239]; 2001
  • Heinrich Biber: Sonatas for Strings – Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Ingrid Matthews, violin; David Greenberg, violin, Centaur Records [ CRC 2615], 2001
  • Alessandro Scarlatti: Agar et Ismaele Esiliati [The Exile of Hagar and Ishmael] – Ingrid Matthews, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; with Karina Gauvin, Nathaniel Watson, Melissa Fogarty, Jennifer Lane, Centaur Records [ CRC 2664], Recorded: November 2001
  • Music of J.S. Bach: Sonata in D Major, BWV 1028 – Emily Walhout, viola da gamba; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord, Centaur Records [CRC 2715], 2002
  • J.C. Bach: Sonatas for Fortepiano and Flute – Byron Schenkman, fortepiano; Courtney Westcott, flute; LOFT Recordings [LRCD 1045], 2003
  • Wind and Wire: Music of 18th Century Scotland – Chris Norman, Baroque Flutes; Byron Schenkman, Harpsichord, Boxwood Media (824594005223) [BOX 903], 2003
  • The Pachelbel Canon and other Baroque Favorites – Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Ingrid Matthews, violin, LOFT Recordings [LRCD 1019], 2003
  • J. S. Bach: Six Sonatas for Violin & Harpsichord – Ingrid Matthews, baroque violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Independent Release, 2007, ASIN: B00125WBUY, 2-CD set
  • Mozart: Piano Trios – Byron Schenkman, piano; Gabriela Diaz, violin; Alexei Yupanqui Gonzales, cello, Centaur Records [CRC 3031], 2008
  • Russian Dreams – Byron Schenkman, piano; Masha Lankovsky, violin, Centaur Records [CRC 3352] 2014
  • Vivaldi: Chamber Works – Byron Schenkman, harpsichord; Ingrid Matthews, violin; Nathan Whittaker, cello; John Lenti, theorbo; Tekla Cunningham, violin, Centaur Records [CRC 3307] 2014
  • Beethoven alla Britannia – Byron Schenkman, piano; Ingrid Matthews, violin; Nathan Whittaker, cello; Linda Tsatsanis, soprano, Centaur Records [CRC 3497] 2016
  • Britten and Pears: The Canticles - Byron Schenkman, piano; Zach Finkelstein, tenor; Vicki St. Pierre, contralto; Alexander Hajek, baritone; Jeffrey Fair, horn; Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, harp, Scribe Records, [SRCD9] 2017
  • Chamber Music of Clara Schumann - Byron Schenkman, piano; Jesse Irons, violin; Kate Bennett Wadsworth, cello, BS&F Recordings (888295931601), 2019

Albums available as MP3 download only[edit]

  • Meditation: Baroque Music for Relaxation – Various Artists, Centaur Records, 2010
  • The J.S. Bach Exercise Album – Various Artists, Centaur Records, 2013


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  18. ^ a b "Japanese, South American, and world-class piano music to ring through City Hall". City of Seattle. 17 August 2006. Archived from the original on 10 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015.
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External links[edit]