Artist of the Month

Sara Davis Buechner

We are thrilled to announce Piano Magazine's Artist of the Month for December: Sara Davis Buechner.
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Sara Davis Buechner piano

Sara Davis Buechner’s Highlights

  • 1959: Born, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, as David Buechner.
  • 1963: First piano lessons, with Veronika Wolf-Cohen (composer, Dean of the Jerusalem Academy, and cousin of Hungarian composer Péter Wolf).
  • 1965: Studies with Filipino pianist Reynaldo Reyes (until 1976).
  • 1974: Studies with Polish pianist and pupil of Busoni, Mieczysław Munz (until 1976).
  • 1976: Moved to New York City. Studies at Juilliard with Beveridge Webster, Bartók specialist Phillip Evans, and Ann Schein (until 1980).
  • 1978: Recipient of Juilliard’s highest scholarship and award, the Van Cliburn Scholarship and Prize (also in 1979).
  • 1981: Winner of USA Beethoven Foundation Competition; finalist in Vienna Beethoven Competition.
  • 1980: Graduate study at Juilliard with Rudolf Firkušný (until 1984).
  • 1983: finalist of Queen Elisabeth Competition.
  • 1984: Grand Prize Winner of Gina Bachauer Competition; finalist, Leeds Competition; NY Debut at 92nd Street Y. Enthusiastic review in New York Times, signed with Sheldon Soffer Management.
  • 1985: Los Angeles debut at Ambassador Auditorium.
  • 1986: Bronze Medal, highest American in Tchaikovsky Competition.
  • 1987: First concert tour of Japan, sponsored by Yamaha.
  • 1989: First professional recordings for Connoisseur Society (works of Busoni and Stravinsky).
  • 1989: Additional studies with Byron Janis (until 1992).
  • 1992: Premiered Richard Danielpour’s Piano Concerto “Metamorphoses” in NY 92nd Street Y.
  • 1993: Recording of Gershwin piano works accorded Recording of the Month by Stereophile magazine.
  • 1994: Soloist with NY Philharmonic in their New Year’s Eve concert, playing works of Mozart (Concert Rondo in A major KV 386) and Gottschalk (Grand Tarantella). Joined faculty of Manhattan School of Music.
  • 1996: Joined faculty of New York University; Premiere recording of Busoni’s version of Bach’s “Goldberg” Variations is headline news in New York Times Arts & Leisure section.
  • 1997: Recorded complete piano music of Miklós Rózsa for Koch/E-1. Gender transition and new name of Sara Davis Buechner (1998).
  • 2001: Worked as Music Director of Mark Morris Dance Company.
  • 2003: Moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and joined the faculty of the University of British Columbia. Recorded piano score for the Criterion DVD release of Carl Dreyer’s silent masterpiece Master of the House.
  • 2004: Recording of Rudolf Friml piano music on Koch/E-1 is “one of the year’s top ten” by the New York Times.
  • 2007: Presented at Phoenix Hall in recital by Hanshin Tigers baseball club of Osaka, Japan, as honorary team member. Edited and published reprints of Alberto Jonás’ Master School of Piano Playing and Virtuosity (1929) in consultation with pianist Reah Sadowsky, then 93 years old and Jonás’ last living pupil.
  • 2009: 25th Anniversary Recital at NY’s Merkin Hall. Sabbatical year of touring in Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and China (until 2010).
  • 2010: Recipient of Brandeis University Eleanor Roosevelt Award. Appointed Chief Editor of Dover Publications International (until 2012).
  • 2011: Inducted into the Washington DC Museum of Women in the Arts. Plenary Speaker for Vancouver Out Games.
  • 2012: Keynote Presentor and Performer at 100th Birthday Celebrations for Rudolf Firkušný in Brno, Czech Republic.
  • 2013: One of ten international pianists honoured at the Shanghai International Piano Festival.
  • 2014: Worked on Mozart piano repertoire with Paul Badura-Skoda in Vienna (until 2016). First honorary inductee of the historic Berkeley Piano Club. Gave USA premiere of Michael Tippett’s Fantasia on a Theme of Handel in New York.
  • 2015: YouTube video of baseball song arrangement Meet the Mets goes viral, and appearances at NY Mets Pride Night as guest artist, in Citifield Baseball Stadium.
  • 2016: 150th Birthday Recital for Ferruccio Busoni is filmed by NHK Japan and broadcast nationwide; later repeated in New York. Joined the faculty of the Orford Summer Festival, near Montreal. Moved to Philadelphia, joined the faculty of Temple University Boyer College of Music & Dance. First concerts in Mexico, Uruguay and Puerto Rico. Appointed Honorary Professor by Shanghai University.
  • 2017: All-Japanese piano recital at Carnegie Recital Hall, New York, in honour of 30 years as Yamaha artist; given with kabuki dancer Yayoi Hirano, earns fine review in New York Times.
  • 2018: Complete Mozart Sonatas presented in four concerts at Alti Hall, Kyoto, Japan.
  • 2019: Complete Mozart Piano Concertos presented in eight concerts with Tokyo Sinfonia in Oji Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
  • 2021: Now preparing publications for Muse Press, Japan, of original piano compositions and cadenzas for Mozart Concertos. Preparing Autobiographical Theater Show at TheaterLab in New York City for December — tentatively titled Of Pigs and Pianos.

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