American pianist Robert McDonald has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Far East both as solo recitalist and as recital partner to Midori, Issac Stern, and many others. He has appeared with the San Francisco, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Omaha, and Curtis symphony orchestras, with the Orquesta Sinfonica, Nacional in Costa Rica, and with the Orchestra Sinfonica Haydn de Bolzano e Trento in Italy. As a chamber musician, he has also performed with the Juilliard, American, Takacs, Muir, Brentano, Fine Arts, Orlando, and Chicago string quartets, as well as with Musicians from Marlboro. In addition, he has given concerts for the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, NHK and BBC television Worldwide.
A former faculty member at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Oberlin, and the Peabody Conservatory, Mr. McDonald is currently on the piano faculty of the Juilliard School and also gives classes regularly at the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto. For the past twenty-three summers, he has directed the keyboard program at the Taos School of Music and Chamber Music festival in New Mexico. Other summer teaching and festival activities include the Bergen, Besancon, Lucerne, Montreux, Salzburg, Aldeburgh, and Schleswig-Holstein festivals in Europe, as well as the Marlboro, Brevard and Caramoor festivals in the United States, and the International School of Musical and Arts in Canada. He also gives piano and chamber music master classes at prominent universities and music schools in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Korea.
His discography includes recordings for Sony Classical, Vox, Bridge, Musical Heritage Society, and CRI. Mr. McDonald’s most recent releases are a recording with violinist Helen Callus for ASV, and an album of French sonata repertoire with Midori for sony Classical that received the Deutscher Schallplatten Critic’s prize in 2002.
Among many awards, prizes and grants, Mr. McDonald has won the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Competition in Italy, and the top prize at both the William Kapell International Competition and the Washington international Competition. He is also the recipient of the National Federation of Music clubs Artist Award and a grant from the National Endowment for the arts.
Robert McDonald graduated magna cum laude from the Lawrence University in Wisconsin. He then completed his studies at the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include Theodore Rehl, Rudolf Serkin, Seymour Lipkin, and Mieczyslaw Horszowski.