Electronic Press Kit
Click on any photo. When the Lightbox appears, right click (Mac: control-click). Full-res photo will download.
Photo credit: Rick Nickerson
John Mortensen is a leader in the international revival of historical improvisation. He is a Fulbright Global Scholar, author of Improvising Fugue and The Pianist’s Guide to Historic Improvisation, and a Steinway Artist.
John Mortensen is a leader in the international revival of historic improvisation. Appearing frequently as concert artist and masterclass teacher at colleges and universities in America and Europe, he is noted for his ability to improvise entire concerts in historical styles, including complex compositions such as Baroque fugues.
He is the author of The Pianist’s Guide to Historic Improvisation (Oxford University Press, 2020), the world’s most widely-used book in the field of historic keyboard improvisation, now a course text at many leading conservatories. His newest book, Improvising Fugue: A Method for Keyboard Artists (Oxford University Press, 2023) became a #1 Best Seller in the Music Books category on Amazon three months before its publication date.
In 2017 he was selected as a Fulbright Specialist by the US Department of State to serve as an international artistic ambassador on behalf of the American people. In 2018 he toured Europe for three months, performing and teaching improvised music at conservatories across the continent.
In 2019 the State Department named him a Fulbright Global Scholar in Historic Improvisation, leading to performances and teaching at the national conservatories of Lithuania, Latvia, The United Kingdom, Denmark, and Canada.
During the current season his appearances include Juilliard School of Music, Shepherd School of Music (Rice University), Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, and Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien.
He is the creator of Improv Planet, an online school of improvisation, where his students include concert artists and conservatory faculty from across the world.
He serves as professor of piano at Cedarville University in Ohio. In 2016 he was named Faculty Scholar of the Year, that institution’s highest award.