EPK

Electronic Press Kit

Short Bio:

John Mortensen is a pianist, improviser, educator, and author.  He appears frequently as concert artist and masterclass teacher at colleges and universities nationwide.  Mortensen is noted for his ability to improvise complete Baroque preludes and fugues.

He is a Steinway Artist and an Ohio Artist on Tour.  In 2015 he was selected for the Fulbright Specialists’ Roster in American Music by the US Department of State.

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.

Visit his website at www.johnmortensen.com

Medium Bio:

John Mortensen is a pianist, improviser, educator, and author. His concerts often begin with masterpieces of the classical repertoire before venturing into improvisation or his original compositions.  Mortensen is noted for his ability to improvise complete Baroque preludes and fugues.  He appears frequently as concert artist and masterclass teacher at colleges and universities nationwide.

He is committed to educating young musicians for the 21st century and places special emphasis on developing courses that bring improvisation back to the standard college music curriculum.

Mortensen studied with Lynne Bartholomew at the University of Michigan and Anne Koscielny and Raymond Hanson at the University of Maryland, receiving his doctorate in piano performance from the latter.  He holds National Certification in Piano through the Music Teacher’s National Association, and is endorsed as an Ohio Artist on Tour through the Ohio Arts Council. The Fulbright Specialist program of the US Department of State sponsors him to perform and teach at universities internationally.

A Steinway Artist, he now 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.

Visit his website at www.johnmortensen.com

Long Bio:

John Mortensen is a pianist, improviser, educator, and author. His concerts often begin with masterpieces of the classical repertoire before venturing into improvisation or his original compositions.  Mortensen is noted for his ability to improvise complete Baroque preludes and fugues.  He appears frequently as concert artist and masterclass teacher at colleges and universities nationwide.

His students learn a natural and coordinated approach to piano technique which prevents injury and allows for unprecedented freedom and facility at the keyboard.

Mortensen is committed to educating young musicians for the 21st century and places special emphasis on developing courses that bring improvisation back to the standard college music curriculum.

After his concert in Eisk, Russian Federation, the Russian press wrote that “… for John Mortensen Russia has always been close musically. He plays with especial passion the works of Sergei Rachmaninoff. ‘I don’t speak Russian, I speak Rachmaninoff,’ was heard from the mouth of the pianist during the concert. And truly, during the performance of the work of the great Russian composer, in the hall peoples of different nationalities disappeared — it seemed from the stage sang and wept the Russian soul. The chords of the next Rachmaninoff prelude had not even been played, and the hall was already conquered.”

His publications appear in International Piano, Clavier, College Music Symposium, Piano Pedagogy Forum, and American Music Teacher.

Mortensen studied with Lynne Bartholomew at the University of Michigan and Anne Koscielny and Raymond Hanson at the University of Maryland, receiving his doctorate in piano performance from the latter.  He holds National Certification in Piano through the Music Teacher’s National Association, is endorsed as an Ohio Artist on Tour through the Ohio Arts Council, and was recently recognized as an Excellence in Education honoree by the Ohio Senate.  In 2015 he was selected for the Fulbright Specialist Roster by the US Department of State.  Over the next five years the Fulbright Specialist program will sponsor him to perform and teach at universities internationally.

A Steinway Artist, he now serves as professor of piano at Cedarville University. In 2016 he was named Faculty Scholar of the Year, that institution’s highest award.

Visit his website at www.johnmortensen.com

Description of Outreach Activities:

I am a committed and enthusiastic teacher to students and audiences of all ages and levels of musical accomplishment.  My usual forms of outreach are the masterclass, the workshop, and the lecture-recital.

The masterclass is appropriate for piano students of any age or level.  I can work with one or several students.  Typically the students have prepared a piece to play for the masterclass with help from local teacher.  I address issues of musicality, technique, history, and interpretation using a clear, audible speaking voice so the entire audience can hear.  The tone of the class is positive and affirming even it may be necessary to correct something in the student’s playing.

The workshop is for musicians.  I have a wide variety of topics available, but my favorite right now is helping young musicians (and their teachers) get started learning to improvise in classical and jazz styles.  I demonstrate evidence of improvisatory influences in the music of Bach and other composers, and provide attendees with resources for further discovery in the area of improvisation.

The lecture-recital is suited for attendees who are not actively playing music but love to learn more about it.  The event is a combination of playing, demonstrating, and speaking.  The selected topic depends entirely on the audience.  With seniors I enjoy selecting music that may have been fond and familiar in their youth, speaking about the composers, and playing selections.  With younger children a program of pieces connected with a fun theme is most appropriate.  For music clubs and other audiences that may have more background in music, I might present a selection of composers and show connections and contrasts between their styles.

In all outreach activities my goal is to create an enjoyable, memorable encounter with music for my audience.

Technical Requirements:

1.  A piano in tune and in good playing condition.  It is always advisable to hire a qualified piano technician to tune and make any necessary repairs on the day of a performance.  I prefer a 7- or 9-foot grand piano (Steinway if there is a choice).

2.  Sufficient lighting so I can see the piano and the audience can see me.  If stage lighting is not available, a lamp next to (or on) the piano can often work.

3.  That’s it!  Easy, no?

Click Photos for Full-Res:

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