Composer and pianist Adam Sherkin is a dynamic and versatile musician who commands a multidimensional approach to performance and composition. Noted for innovative programming and engaging presentation, Sherkin has worked with a considerable amount of ensembles both in capacity of composer and performer. He has appeared in performance at the Four Seasons Centre, the Toronto Centre for the Arts, the Music Gallery, the Glenn Gould Studio, St Martin-in-the Fields, Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall.
A native of Toronto, Sherkin undertook early studies with Claire Hoeffler. He later graduated from the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory, receiving a Bachelor of Music degree. There he studied piano under Boris Lysenko and Marc Durand. Complimentary training included theory and composition with Alexander Rapoport, Svetlana Maksimovic and Jack Behrens. Compositional activities took Sherkin to Buffalo (NY) for the philharmonic’s student symposium. This workshop evolved a new piece for symphony orchestra, Terra Incognita, which was later revised and premiered under the baton of Alain Trudel with the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in April of 2005. Upon graduation from the Glenn Gould School, Sherkin was awarded the Dorothy Isabella Webb Trust Scholarship toward the pursuit of graduate studies.
Sherkin went on to complete a Master of Music degree in composition at the Royal College of Music, London. There he received the Royal College’s John Foster Study Award; his principal teachers were David Sawer (composition) and Andrew Ball (piano). Further mentorship included weekly sessions with Timothy Salter, orchestration with Kenneth Hesketh and masterclasses with Colin Matthews and Mark-Anthony Turnage, among others. In England, Sherkin’s music gained significant attention at concerts and festivals. In January of 2006, Sherkin gave the UK premiere of his own Three Preludes (2003) at the Park Lane Group’s Composers Symposium. Suite ‘Midvar’ was commissioned and premiered by saxophonist Amy Dickson at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in March of 2006. The King’s Lynn Festival (Norfolk) featured Sherkin’s chamber music, honouring George Vancouver’s historical contribution to Canada. Sherkin enjoyed other debuts of his works in the UK: at St James Piccadilly and the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Upon graduation from the Royal College of Music, Sherkin returned to Canada. Recent works and their premieres have included Whirlwave (2012) for piano and ensemble, Dances of the Changing Woman (2012) for piccolo and piano, German Promises (2011), As at First (2011), Daycurrents (2009), Sunderance (2008) each for solo piano, Vaettir for string orchestra (2007) and Southern Frames (2008) for toy piano. The National Youth Orchestra of Canada performed Sherkin’s Terra Incognita (2005) on tour in the summer of 2012. Sherkin’s debut solo album, As At First, was released in November of 2012 on the Centrediscs label.
With elegant pianistic command and fine communicative skill, Adam Sherkin is a young artist to watch. He blends the expression and intensity of the modern with the prophetic power of our musical past.