Pianist and Composer
With engagements to date in Japan, China, Mexico, Brazil, Europe, Thailand and the United States, Oliver Markson is establishing himself internationally as a concert pianist, composer and teacher.
Recent performances include the Tchaikovsky 1st Concerto, Grieg Concerto and Beethoven Triple Concerto at Blas Galindo Hall, Mexico City; solo recitals at Elebash Recital Hall, New York; a series of piano recitals in the Shanghai Concert Hall, China; a series of vocal recitals with sopranos Monica Harte and Nina Berman; and violin/piano recitals with Mayumi Fujikawa in England and Japan, which have led to two CD releases under the Japanese label Mittenwald from 2009 and 2011.
As a composer, Oliver Markson has blended together his Japanese and European family roots, by combining elements of Japanese traditional music with French impressionism. Most recent compositions include “Haiku” (2013) - a set of character pieces for piano deriving their inspiration from eight poems of Matsuo Basho, “Firebird” (2014) - a piano work based on the Manga (Japanese comics) of the same name by Tezuka Osamu, “Auld Lang Syne” (2015) - an alternative version of the famous Scottish song for SATB choir, "2 Songs" (2015) on poems of Oscar Wilde, "Impressions" (2016) a song cycle on poems of Oscar Wilde, and the violin and piano work "Evocation" (2016).
In addition to his performing and composing careers, Oliver Markson has been a devoted teacher of piano students both young and old. He is currently a faculty member at the Bronx Community College where he gives Intro to Music classes as well as piano classes. Oliver Markson has also been a jury member in the Tokyo Piano Competition.
Born in London, his initial piano studies took place under the tutelage of the Canadian pianist/composer, Douglas Finch, who also advised him in composition. He continued to develop these two fields in an undergraduate course at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied piano with Tatiana Sarkissova and composition with Graham Williams. During this period he was awarded first prize in the EPTA competition. In addition to summer courses with Bernard Flavigny, the distinguished protégé of Alfred Cortot and Olivier Messiaen, his graduate studies took him to New York where he completed a Masters course at the Manhattan School of Music working with Marc Silverman. Remaining in New York he completed a doctorate at the CUNY Graduate Center where his principle teachers were Ursula Oppens and Gerald Robbins. His dissertation "A Study of Nikolai Medtner's Compositional Technique: Form and Narrative in Tales" was supervised by musicologist Richard Kramer. In following the tradition of the composer Medtner's own performances, Oliver Markson gave a final doctoral recital consisting entirely of Medtner's songs and solo piano works.