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John McArthur, a native of Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, began his studies in piano at age eight in the United States. His early studies were with the late Belgian pianist, Suzanne Shader, a student of Dr. Clarence Adler and Eduard van Remoortel, followed by studies with Ernest Ulmer, Joseph Villa, Dalmo Carra and Earl Wild while attending New York University and the Manhattan School of Music. It was during his tenure at the Manhattan School of Music as Teaching Fellow that he earned his doctorate in performance under the instruction of the eminent American virtuoso, Earl Wild.Read More...
As a participant in Master Classes, his playing has been praised by such pianists as Daniel Pollack, Constance Keene, Earl Wild and John Browning leading to an invitation by the State Department of the United States to join a delegation of educators and serve as Cultural Ambassador of the United States to Indonesia. It was also at the invitation of the Vice-Chancellor for Education, Sichuan Province, that John McArthur performed at the Sichuan College of Education in the Peoples Republic of China in June, 1995. His performances in France, Spain and South Korea are always enthusiastically received and his highly communicative playing, engaging programmes and appeal with audiences have led to him being the pianist of choice in Inaugural Recitals for new Baldwin concert grand pianos at the Cultural Arts Center Performing Arts Series, New York, the Morris L. Brown Performing Arts Series, Georgia, also leading to his inclusion in the 1989 and 1991 publication of American Keyboard Artists. McArthur has also appeared as guest artist at the Command Performance Series, Stony Brook, New York; the Brambltye Estate Performing Arts Series, New York; Teatro Bellas Artes, Venezuela and Carnegie Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. His orchestral appearances have been with the Sarah Lawrence Orchestra, the Manhattan Symphony Orchestra, both in New York, and the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra, Venezuela.
In Venezuela in 1987, McArthur performed the world-premiere of four transcriptions based on songs of Serge Rachmaninov written for him by American pianist/composer, John Tibbatts, and has the distinction of also premiering in New York in 1996 a multi-media performance of French composer, Maurice Ravels Gaspard de la Nuit, with original oil canvases by American artist, James Jones, along with readings of the poems by French author, Aloysius Bertrand, which served as the inspiration for Ravels music. His innovative programmes have included the works of Rachmaninov, Godowsky as well as the transcription repertoire of Liszt. "The Genesis Project," a collaborative effort between Dr. McArthur and artist, Dean Field, will explore through the music of Liszt, among others, and original oil paintings, the ecclesiastical account of the fall of man from Grace in the garden of Eden, his separation from that Grace and, finally, his ultimate restoration.
In January of 2000 John McArthur released "HIDDEN" on the Boston and Blue Street label. Produced by Backlight Records, CEO, Steven Velardo, McArthur's "HIDDEN" was the best selling classical emerging artist at Amazon.com. Classical London wrote of the recording, "A very thoughtful and reflective disk comes in the form of HIDDEN , with John McArthur, piano. The disc is predominantly concerned with slow,romanticised music, and an investigation of the inlay details shows the reason for this. Thoughts from the performer explain that he believes our world to be changing so fast, that we sometimes need to stop and reflect.This effect is certainly achieved, with this very pleasant collection of solo piano works. Although mainly arrangements of accessible light classical and romantic works, this recording contains some very fine performances of original works. A particular highlight was Rachmaninov's 'Lilacs'. The commendable piano playing is coupled with some very tasteful and effective arrangements."
Three new recordings are in the works featuring music by Ravel, Rachmaninov, Bizet, Debussy, Gluck/Chasins and Liszt.
In September of 2005, John McArthur was featured in, "A Universal Affair" a concert series at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Harry Saltzman of The New York Concert Review wrote of the performance:
"McArthur is a technically impressive pianist and I liked his honest and straightforward presentation no Lang Lang histrionics. A fine performance of Liszts Reminiscences of Norma followed. This is a fiendishly difficult piece of romantic claptrap I loved it!"
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