Small usc thortnton logo The Transition from Student to Artist

Reflections | Daniel Pollack, Piano

University of Southern California Thornton School of Music Keyboard Studies faculty Daniel Pollack, a pianist whose career has taken him across five continents, discusses how students can transition to artists and maintain successful careers. Young artists have made successful transitions by winning awards and competitions, getting noticed by conductors, substituting for performers, and recording albums, but Pollack explains that there are many avenues young artists can take. The key is to build a diverse repertoire, focus on the next opportunity, and develop physical and emotional stamina for a lifelong career.


Recorded Date: 20-10-2014

Daniel Pollack

Audiences across five continents – North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa — recognize the pianism of Daniel Pollack for its signature colors in sound, coupled with over-the-edge thrilling virtuosity, giving his performances an electrifying element that catches the imagination of concert audiences. Critics speak about “his astonishing pianism,” Washington Post; “his dramatic tension, poignant lyricism,” Diapason Magazine, Paris, France; and “his torrents of sound that turned feathery flurries of delicate sounds,” Los Angeles Times.
Pollack was recently featured in a profile in the New York Times headlined “Piano Man, Winning Russian Hearts and Minds” in which it was quoted, “he is now a legend in Russia.” Another profile featured in the International Herald Tribune, headlined, “A Musical ‘love affair’ with Russia.”
Recent highlights include appearances as soloist with conductor Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia during the White Nights Festival and as soloist with such major international philharmonics as London’s Royal; Seoul, Korea; Moscow State Philharmonic, Russia; Hong Kong, China; Kiev Ukraine; Bogota, Colombia; Montevideo, Uruguay; and in the U.S., as soloist with the philharmonics of New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, San Francisco, Minnesota, among numerous others.
Additionally, Pollack has performed solo recitals in such major music centers as London’s Royal Festival Hall; Vienna’s Musikverein; Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw; Buenos Aires’ Teatro Colon; Seoul’s Arts Center; Moscow’s Bolshoi Zal; New York’s Carnegie Hall; Beijing’s National Concert Hall; and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall.
Pollack is much in demand on international competition juries. He has participated several times on the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow as well as the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition in Brussels; Vladimir Horowitz, Kiev, Ukraine; Leeds, England; Maria Callas, Athens, Greece; Hamamatsu, Japan; UNISA in Pretoria, South Africa; Anton Rubinstein, Dresden, Germany; Prokofiev, St. Petersburg, Russia; and the Rachmaninoff in Moscow, among others.
His recently released CD is on Classical Records titled “Daniel Pollack in Moscow.” Other CDs include ‘COLORS’ on RCM label; a Grammy-nominated CD for Naxos, the complete solo piano works of Samuel Barber; an all-Chopin recital recorded in the Bolshoi Zal of the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia, released on Sony as well as two CDs of popular short romantic works on Four Winds.
Pollack first garnered the music world’s attention when he became a prizewinner in the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Following, he concertized throughout the former Soviet Union and became the first American to record for the Melodya label, recordings that sold in the millions throughout the former Soviet Union over several decades and continue to be on the market in Russia today. Many of these recordings were re-issued worldwide under several different labels, most recently on Cambria, distributed worldwide, entitled, “The Legendary Moscow Recitals” recordings of Pollack’s early years.
Pollack has held several visiting artist faculty positions including The Juilliard School, Columbia University and Yale’s School of Music. Pollack is currently on the faculty of the Thornton School of Music, at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.