Nolan Kerr Artist Consultants, Ltd.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Performance, pure and simple.

Michael Chertock

Michael Chertock photo.MICHAEL CHERTOCK, piano

Pianist Michael Chertock has fashioned a successful career as an orchestral soloist, collaborating with conductors such as James Conlon, Jaime Laredo, Keith Lockhart, Erich Kunzel and Andrew Litton. His many orchestral appearances include solo performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, the Toronto Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony, the Chattanooga Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony and the Dayton Philharmonic.

In January of 2005, Chertock performed Gershwin’s Concerto in F Major with Maestro Lockhart and the National Youth Orchestra of London. Chertock has toured Asia with the Boston Pops, and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. His 2003 performance on the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Petrouchka with Paavo Järvi turned in rave reviews in Gramophone and American Record Guide. Chertock made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1999 with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, performing Duke Ellington’s New World A’Comin’. In June 2005 with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Chertock performed the world premiere of a work by Todd Machover, commissioned by the Boston Pops expressly for Mr Chertock. He reprised that performance this Spring in Portugal and Connecticut.

Claude Gingras of La Presse, Montreal, recently said of pianist Michael Chertock: “Chertock revealed himself as a first-rate pianist and an interpreter of noticeable interest through the freshness that he brought to these familiar scores....(he) displayed the sensitivity of a Chopin interpreter.” The Boston Globe has called his playing “unmannered, zestful, and lovely.” The Cincinnati Enquirer has described the Virginia native as “intelligent and disciplined...noble...finely finished...expressive and well-controlled.” The Salt Lake City Deseret News said “Chertock... is a musical performer with an immense technical command of the piano.”

Chertock first performed publicly at the age of 11, and at age 14 he performed on live television in Guam. At 17, he performed the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 with Andrew Litton.

In 1994, Chertock released his first CD on the Telarc label, a collection of his original arrangements of music from movies entitled Cinematic Piano. American Record Guide said “(Chertock) plays beautifully, and Telarc’s lush sonics bathe the listener in an intoxicating wash of piano sonorities.” Cincinnati Enquirer critic Janelle Gelfand called it “one of the most gorgeous discs of the summer”, citing his “elegant techniques...just the right poetic tone.” The recording has sold more than 30,000 units worldwide. Since then, he has recorded three more discs with Telarc: Palace of the Winds, Christmas at the Movies and Love At the Movies, which have been praised for their lush, original arrangements and exquisite technical facility.

Chertock began conducting in 2001 when he stepped in for Maestro Carmon De Leone in performances of Cincinnati Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Chertock is the conductor of the Blue Ash-Montgomery Symphony, located in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio, and he frequently composes and arranges music for the orchestra’s concerts. He also serves as Artistic Director of Linton Music’s Peanut Butter and Jam Sessions, an interactive music series geared toward children ages 2 to 5. When not on tour, Chertock also serves as principal keyboardist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

In June of 2004 Chertock was appointed Assistant Professor of piano at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his Master’s Degree as a student of Frank Weinstock. He has garnered numerous awards at major competitions, among them the top prize in the 1989 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition (Brahms Division,) and the grand prize in the 1993 St. Charles International Piano Competition. He also shared the silver medal in the 1991 World Piano Competition of the American Music Scholarship Association. He received the Rildia B. O’Bryon Cliburn Scholarship in 1986. Upcoming engagements include a return to the Boston Pops Orchestra and solos with the Chattanooga and Billings, Montana Symphonies.

Chertock makes his home in Cincinnati with his wife Maaike, son Joshua and daughter Maria. Most Sundays you can find him playing piano and organ for services at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

REPERTOIRE HIGHLIGHTS: Penderecki Piano Concerto, Messiaien's Turangalila-Symphonie, Bernstein's Age of Anxiety, Daugherty's Tombeau de Liberace, Machover's Jeux Deux, Rachmaninoff concertos 2 and 3, Prokofiev concertos 2 and 3; Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, Rhapsody #2, Concerto in F Major.

Cinematic Piano, Palace of the Winds, Christmas at the Movies, Love at the Movies, all on the Telarc International label, available through Telarc or at local record stores.

OUTREACH: Mr. Chertock is Artistic director of Cincinnati’s Peanut Butter and Jam Series performing programs for young children ages 2 to 5. He also is founder of a local prison outreach performance series in Cincinnati.

EDUCATION: Mr. Chertock received his Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in music from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music where he studied with Frank Weinstock.

CRITICS’ BUZZ: "Chertock was commanding from the opening notes with impressive fluency and a deft but sparkling touch. His tone was powerfully projected….He seemed to own this work (Rachmaninoff's Variations on a Theme of Paganini)." Mel Wilhoit, Chattanooga Times

“Chertock played magnificently. He is a musical performer with an immense technical command of the piano.” Edward Reichel, Deseret News

“Michael Chertock revealed himself as a first-rate pianist and an interpreter of noticeable interest through the freshness that he brought to these familiar scores... the 30-year-old pianist displayed the sensitivity of a Chopin interpreter.” Claude Gingras, La Presse Montreal