Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger has been internationally acclaimed in prestigious newspapers and journals for her stunning performances. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described her recital as a “daring, enormously joyous presentation which captured and transfixed the audience”. Fanfare Magazine ( March/April 2014) declared that her “Carnival” CD was “exquisitely detailed and full of life”, likening her playing to that of legendary pianists Leonard Bernstein, Annie Fischer and Nadia Reisenberg. Among her many honors, Merdinger is a First Prize Winner of the 2012 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and the 2013 International Music Competition of France, and is a Winner of the Dewar’s Young Artists Award in Music, the Artists International Young Musicians Competition, the Artists International Alumni Winners Prize, the IBLA Grand Prize Competition “Special Liszt Award”, and the Masterplayers International Music Competition. In 2014, Ms. Merdinger was awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals in the Global Music Awards for her CD’s French Fantasy, Carnival and Soirée, which have received glowing reviews in publications such as American Record Guide, Classical Sentinel, Audiophile Audition, Classical Candor and the Audio-Video Club of Atlanta.
Merdinger performs as a soloist, duo pianist, and as a chamber musician with principal members of the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and many other renowned musicians, including her own family “The Five Greenes”, and Pianissimo!-Chicago’s Premiere Virtuoso Piano Ensemble. In June 2013, Merdinger made a triumphant Chicago Orchestral Debut at Harris Theater with The Chicago Philharmonic under the direction of Sony Classical Artist Mattia Rondelli performing works by Gottschalk and Gershwin. Highlights of the 2014-2015 Concert Season include performing Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Highland Park Strings under the direction of Francesco Milioto, a WFMT recital and recording of a world premiere of Elbio Barilari’s Saxon Variations in a program of Spanish music in March 2015, a Chamber Music program with Tononi Ensemble for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series at the Art Institute in March, and appearances at Highland Park’s FOCUS on the ARTS festival in April and Make Music Chicago in June.
Performing her sold-out solo recital debut in Carnegie Recital Hall at age twenty-five, Merdinger has continued to grace the stages of some of the world’s best concert halls including Merkin Concert Hall, Diligentia Hall in the Hague, Henry Wood Concert Hall in Scotland’s National Orchestra Center, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall. Merdinger’s live performances and recordings have been broadcast on WQXR, WFMT, WDAV, CKWR (Canada), BRT-3 (Belgian National Radio), and BBC Television (United Kingdom). A frequent Visiting Artist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series, Susan was also featured solo recitalist for the Chicago Latino Music Festival and regularly appears at Steinway Piano Galleries and recital series throughout the Chicago area.
A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Merdinger has championed works by composers such as Morton Gould, Augusta Read Thomas, Ilya Levinson, Elbio Barilari, Aaron Copland, Leroy Anderson, and Aaron Jay Kernis. She has soloed under many distinguished conductors including Mattia Rondelli, Francesco Milioto, Glenn Cortese, Sandra Dackow, Ari Rudiakov, Marvin von Deck, Francis Akos, Ron Arden and Barry Hoffman, with the Chicago Philharmonic, the Highland Park Strings, the Rockland Symphony, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, the Yonkers Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey, the Westchester Chamber Orchestra, the Northwest Chicago Symphony Orchestra, FullScore Chamber Orchestra, and many others. Merdinger completed her formal education at Yale University, the Yale School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the Westchester Conservatory of Music, the Ecole Normale de Musique in Fontainebleau, France, and the Chautauqua and Norfolk Music Festivals. Merdinger inherited the great European traditions from her teachers who included such luminaries as Constance Keene, Claude Frank, Ward Davenny, Ozan Marsh, Seymour Lipkin, Elizabeth Parisot, and Gaby Casadesus. A highly regarded pedagogue, Ms. Merdinger’s students have consistently won top prizes in local and national competitions and admittance to top music schools and universities. Ms. Merdinger is currently on the faculties of the Summit Music Festival in New York, and and is the Artistic Director and Founder of Sheridan Music Studio, Pianissimo!, and the Five Greenes.