Pianist Adam Birnbaum to Perform at The University of Scranton

October 20, 2015

Performance Music at The University of Scranton will present pianist Adam Birnbaum “In Recital” at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, in the Houlihan-McLean Center on campus. Admission is free and the concert is open to the public.

Birnbaum is emerging as one of the top young voices in jazz piano. He is a presence on the New York City scene as a leader and sideman, performing in such venues as the Village Vanguard, the Blue Note, Birdland, the Jazz Standard and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, as well as on many national and world stages.

Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Birnbaum studied at the New England Conservatory of Music before moving to New York City in 2001, as one of two pianists selected to participate in the inaugural class of The Juilliard School’s Jazz Studies program. In 2004, he won the American Jazz Piano Competition and became the American Pianists Association’s Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz. That same year, he became the first jazz pianist to present a recital at the prestigious Gilmore Rising Stars Recital Series. In 2006, he received the first-ever “special mention” prize at the Martial Solal Jazz Piano Competition in Paris. He has toured West Africa and Asia sponsored by Jazz at Lincoln Center and the U.S. State Department.

Birnbaum has released two albums as a leader. His first, “Ballade Pour Adeline,” received a Gold Disk award from Swing Journal as one of the top albums of 2006. “Travels,” released in 2009 under the Smalls record label, received enthusiastic reviews in Allmusic.com, All About Jazz and JazzTimes. His wide-ranging versatility and artistry have made him a first call for a wide variety of ensembles. He has performed or toured with numerous jazz legends, including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, as well as with many of today’s most exciting young emerging artists, and has appeared as a sideman on more than 15 albums.

Birnbaum is also recognized as a composer and arranger. Allmusic.com reviewer Ken Dryden said “Birnbaum’s compositions prove immediately infectious, each with a hook that draws the listener along for the ride.” A review of Travels in JazzTimes praised the album’s “stellar originals.” In 2009, Birnbaum premiered Dream Songs, a trio suite based on the poetry of John Berryman. The work was commissioned by Chamber Music America. In 2012, Birnbaum was a guest artist at the Chelsea Music Festival in New York, arranging Debussy and Japanese folk songs for his trio, strings, koto, woodwinds and operatic singers.

For additional information regarding this event, contact Cheryl Y. Boga, director of Performance Music, at music@scranton.edu, call 570-941-7624, or visit

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