About Eliza Garth
Through her recordings and her appearances in major cities in the U.S., Europe and Asia, pianist ELIZA GARTH is well known as an artist with a passionate voice and adventurous spirit, championing some of the most demanding works in the repertoire of our time. Writing for the New York Times, music critic Bernard Holland has stated, “Ms. Garth … has an exquisite ear for piano sound. One can think of no one better qualified to play this intricate, shining music.”
Her latest recording, Tour de Force, features new virtuoso solo works by American composers Sheree Clement and Perry Goldstein; it is available on the Albany Records label.
Ms. Garth's recordings of the complete solo piano works of Donald Martino were released on the Centaur label to national critical acclaim. The first of these, her debut solo CD, was the first-ever recording devoted entirely to Martino’s solo piano music, and was included in a New York Times survey of its own music critics’ favorite recordings of music written since 1945. Both recordings received support from the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust; the second also received funding from the Aaron Copland Fund.
After graduating from The Juilliard School, Ms. Garth made her New York recital debut with a program of solo and chamber works by Alban Berg that included the Chamber Concerto For Piano, Violin, and Thirteen Wind Instruments, conducted by Harvey Sollberger. Since then she has performed over 200 new works, many written for her. These include Perry Goldstein’s Of Points Fixed and Fluid, which received its world premiere by Ms. Garth in New York City; Nomi Epstein’s For Eliza, which received its world premiere by Ms. Garth in Chicago; and Gradualia, a piano concerto by the American composer Scott Wheeler. Ms. Garth and conductor Jeffrey Silberschlag performed the world premiere of Gradualia at the 2006 Alba (Italy) Music Festival, and the American premiere at the 2006 River Concert Series in Maryland. She also has performed notable premieres of works by Oliver Knussen, Judith Weir, and George Benjamin, among many others, and is the first pianist to perform the complete Preludes of Sheree Clement.
Ms. Garth is noted as a creative recitalist. In recent seasons she and choreographer James Martin partnered to develop The Enchanted Piano: Dances for Piano with Electronics, Piano Strings, and Amplified Piano for five dancers and live piano. Featuring music by American composers Mario Davidovsky, Henry Cowell, George Crumb, and Maurice Wright, The Enchanted Piano received its world premiere performances in October of 2011 at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center in New York City.
The following season she celebrated the centennial of John Cage with numerous performances of his music, including his masterpiece for prepared piano, Sonatas and Interludes. She performed this landmark work in New York City under the auspices of the League of Composers/International Society for Contemporary Music; in Chicago as part of “a.pe.ri.od.ic presents A John Cage Festival” in collaboration with the Floating World Gallery, one of the world’s foremost dealers in Japanese art, alongside an exhibition of works by Japanese Buddhist artists Toko Shinoda and Yozo Hamaguchi; and in Washington, DC at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. In the Washington Post, Joan Reinthaler wrote, “[Sonatas and Interludes] is absorbingly lovely when played with the commitment and delicacy that pianist Eliza Garth devoted to her performance… With a touch that allowed for almost ethereal transparency, [she] played the meditative mind game expertly. That there was nary a cough, a dropped program or even an audible rustle anywhere in the audience through the whole hour spoke to her and Cage’s success.”
Ms. Garth is a founding member of the Chamber Players of the League - I.S.C.M. in New York City, and served for many years on the board of directors of that organization. She has made guest appearances for the Chamber Music Society of Baltimore, Collage at Symphony Hall in Boston, the Twenty-first Century Consort at the Smithsonian Institution, Parnassus, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society, the New Music Consort, the Fromm Foundation concert series (Boston), and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among many others.
Her recording with violinist Rolf Schulte and cellist Eric Bartlett of The Open Secret, by Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Moravec, is available on the CRI label. Her recording of David Froom’s Piano Suite, written for her with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, is available on the Arabesque label. Her recordings for Opus One include the complete duo piano music of Frank Martin, with pianist Yolanda Liepa. Her broadcast performances have been heard on the BBC Radio 3, WQXR and WNYC in New York, WBUR and WHRB in Boston, Radio de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, and WGUC in Cincinnati.
Ms. Garth is a faculty member at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where she runs a lively piano studio and directs The Piano Festival by the River, a yearly summer retreat for pianists that is now entering its second decade. She is a noted keyboard coach for young orchestral instrumentalists (strings, brass, etc.) and has helped them prepare successfully for entrance and piano-placement exams at major conservatories such as the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is in frequent demand for master classes and as an adjudicator.
Inspired by her experiences as an accompanist for the Pro Musicis Foundation when she was first starting out professionally – which took her to venues as varied as Rikers Island Prison in New York City and the Opera Comique in Paris – Ms. Garth recently has developed “By Heart,” a partnership with St. George’s Episcopal Church in Valley Lee, Maryland, that seeks to bring professional-quality performances to underserved audiences.
Eliza Garth has been recognized by the Maryland State Arts Council with two Individual Artist Awards, most recently for her performance of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes.