D.M.A., Peabody Convervatory of Music
331 Lincoln Hall
Pianist Xak Bjerken has given solo and chamber music recitals in Europe and throughout the United States. Orchestral solo appearances include Edinburgh with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Rome with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra and in Disney Hall, Los Angeles, with members of the LA Philharmonic. He has performed at the Royal Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, the Kennedy Center, and has given recitals in Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Hungary. Mr. Bjerken is the pianist of the Los Angeles Piano Quartet, which tours the U.S. regularly, and with his wife, pianist Miri Yampolsky, directs MAYFEST, an annual chamber music festival in Ithaca, New York. In addition, he has directed three festivals of twentieth-century music: "Angels, Saints and Birdsong: A Messiaen Festival," "Through the Iron Curtain: Music of Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," and "The Stravinsky Project."
Mr. Bjerken has held chamber music residencies at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy, performed at the Olympic Music Festival and the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival, and served on the faculty of the Eastern Music Festival. His first solo recording for CRI, released in 2001, was entitled High Rise; he has also recorded for Chandos, Albany Records, Fleur de Son, and Koch International and has made three recordings with violist Michael Zaretsky for the Artona label. Mr. Bjerken earned his bachelor's degree cum laude at UCLA, studying with Aube Tzerko, and his master's and doctoral degrees from the Peabody Institute as a student and teaching assistant to Leon Fleisher.
Photo: Robert Barker, Cornell University Photography