José Ramón Méndez - Piano
Pennsylvania State University
Described by the New York Concert Review as “an artist with a polished sound and tremendous constructive power” and hailed by the Hoja del Lunes de Madrid as “the Spanish pianist of his generation,” José Ramón Méndez is one of the most exciting Spanish pianists of today.
Méndez received his first music instruction from his father, and by the age of seven was already performing on Spanish television and radio stations. He made his solo debut at the age of eleven at the Oviedo Philharmonic Society in Oviedo, Spain, the youngest performer ever to do so in the history of the society. He first gained international recognition when he performed Liszt’s first piano concerto under the direction of Sergiu Commissiona at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since then, he has concertized extensively in his native Spain, the United States, Cuba, Italy, England, Portugal, Holland and Japan to great acclaim. With his poetry, intellect, and masterful technique, he has been praised by critics and celebrated by audiences around the world.
He has been a guest performer at many music festivals, including the Caramoor Festival, the Barge Music Series, the Festival Internacional de Piano de Las Islas Canarias, and the Santander International Music Festival to name a few. As a chamber musician, Méndez has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Karl Leister, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Tree and Pinchas Zukerman.
At the age of 18, Méndez’s success brought him from Spain to the United States, where he began his studies at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He completed his Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees there, under the tutelage of Solomon Mikowsky, Byron Janis, and Miyoko Lotto. During his studies in New York, he won top prizes in many international competitions, including the Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head Island International Piano Competition, the Frederick Chopin Competition in New York, and the Hermanos Guerrero International Piano Competition, among others.
Méndez has given master classes around the United States and in numerous cities in Spain, including Lugo, Aviles, Panticosa, Santiago de Compostela, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Oviedo, and Gijón. Currently, he is the executive director of the Gijón International Piano Festival and the artistic director of The Stony Brook International Piano Festival.
Formerly on the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, he taught on the Artist Piano Faculty at New York University from 2007 to 2014. He is now Assistant Professor of Piano at Pennsylvania State University.
José Ramón Méndez is a Yamaha Artist. www.joseramonmendez.com