Faculty, Professor of Piano, Director of Undergraduate Studies
DMA, University of Southern California
MM, The Juilliard School
BA, Harvard University
604 O'Neill Hall of Music and Sacred Music
Hailed for his "powerful and eloquent" playing (New York Times), as “a gifted musical presence with a high sense of pianistic fantasy” (Salzburger Nachrichten) and “capable of the utmost in virtuosity” (Fanfare Magazine), John Blacklow is a pianist of unusual versatility, as a soloist, as a collaborator with many ensembles and recital partners, and as an interpreter of repertoire both past and current. He has been presented in many prestigious venues and concert series throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
As soloist, Blacklow has been presented in venues such as Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, the Royal Conservatoire in Brussels, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2009, EDI Records released a solo piano CD Prism , featuring works by Berg, J.S. Bach, Schumann, and Chopin. Blacklow has performed in several capacities with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As keyboardist, he has worked under conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, and Marin Alsop, and performed in the world premiere of Soundings by John Williams at the gala opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Blacklow has also participated on numerous occasions with the LA Philharmonic's Chamber Music Society, on the Green Umbrella New Music Series, and appears on the orchestra's Deutsche Grammophon/iTunes recordings. In spring of 2014, he was invited to perform in the LA Philharmonic's Minimalist Jukebox festival at Disney Hall, including the west coast premiere of Louis Andriessen's De Materie. Blacklow was selected with violinist Jennifer Frautschi by Carnegie Hall and the European Concert Hall Organization for their “Rising Stars” program, and the duo was received with high acclaim at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Wigmore Hall in London, and Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, as well as on Carnegie’s own “Distinctive Debuts” series. They have since appeared in Symphony Hall in Detroit, the Windham Music Festival in New York, the Wilson Center for the Arts in Wisconsin, Harvard Musical Association, Wellesley College, as well as on NPR’s “Performance Today", Radio France and BBC 3 in the United Kingdom. In 2014, Albany Records released a recording of the Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano of Robert Schumann, which was praised by Fanfare Magazine: "Frautschi and Blacklow really get this music, and because of this they deliver performances with both finesse and passion. Not one phrase goes by without some detail striking the listener, and the best part is that none of this sounds forced or artificial in feeling." “Last year violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt released a recording of all three Sonatas…and it is the only true competition for the Frautschi and Blacklow disc.” Blacklow and violinist Hahn-Bin first performed together for the Grammy Awards in 2000, honoring Isaac Stern. In addition to highly acclaimed recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Carnegie's Zankel Hall, they have performed throughout the U.S., in Korea, at the Louvre in Paris, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and recorded the album HAZE for Universal Music, Ltd., which was praised for its "great intensity and energy" (The Gramophone.) Blacklow has also appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Princeton Sound Kitchen, the Coolidge and Corigliano Quartets, Atlantic Brass, Quartetto Prometeo, and many prominent recitalists.
Blacklow is an enthusiastic interpreter of new music, premiering works by composers such as Louis Andriessen, Steve Mackey and Magnus Lindberg. In 2011, Albany Records released a CD of works by Barbara White, featuring world premiere recordings of both chamber and solo piano works. The following year, Bridge Records released Dmitri Tymoczko's Eggman Variations for piano and strings, recorded with the Corigliano Quartet, and Centaur Records has just released a recording of three Soviet era sonatas (Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Kabalevsky) for cello and piano with Karen Buranskas.
In 2015, Albany Records released American Duos, with Blacklow in collaboration with violinist Jennifer Frautschi. The CD features five works by American contemporary composers Dan Coleman, Stephen Hartke, Steve Mackey, Elena Ruehr, and Barbara White.
A Steinway Artist, Blacklow was a student of Tatiana Yampolsky, graduating from both Harvard University and The Juilliard School; he also studied under John Browning, Bella Davidovich, and Leonard Shure.