JOHN BELL YOUNG, whose recordings of the music of Alexander Scriabin, Friedrich Nietzsche, and others on the Newport Classics, Sony Classical, and Americus labels have earned international critical acclaim, is a leading authority on the music of Scriabin. In 2002 Americus Records released his recording of Richard Strauss's rarely performed Enoch Arden, a melodrama for narrator and piano, in which he collaborates with the celebrated British actor, Michael York, with whom he also toured internationally in performances of that work in the 2003 and 2004.
Mr Young has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, South America,and often in Russia, including appearances at the Glinka Cappella in St Petersburg, the Scriabin Museum in Moscow, and at the Riga Philharmonic in Latvia. Volkswagen sponsored his 2001 tour of the Peoples Republic of China. Winner of the 1985 Chopin Foundation Council Prize, he has given master classes and lectures at Brown University, the Juilliard School, the University of South Florida, the Leningrad Conservatory, the Moscow Conservatory, and the Boston Conservatory of Music. In the US he has performed at such prestigious venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach; at both the National Gallery of Art and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC; the Concert Hall of the Forbidden City in Beijing; the Musee Carnavalet in Paris; and at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. A recital he devoted to music of Liszt, Chopin, Godowsky, Gershwin, and Schumann, filmed for Dutch television and entitled John Bell Young: Sweet Summer Concert, Amsterdam,has been broadcast in Holland (TROS), England (ITV), Israel and throughout Eastern Europe.
John Bell Young is also known as something of a musical archaeologist; he has either recorded or performed the rarely heard and largely unknown musical compositions of such prominent literary figures as Nietzsche, Tolstoi, Ezra Pound, Garcia-Lorca, and Boris Pasternak. On his Americus CD, PRISMS (2000) he also recorded a work by the celebrated broadcaster and newsman, Hugh Downs.
In 1990 the [Rockefeller] Trust for Mutual Understanding awarded Mr Young a grant to lead the American delegation to the International Scriabin Conference and Festival in Moscow, where he performed an all-Scriabin recital at the Scriabin Museum on the occassion of the composer's 120th anniversary, and presented his monograph Scriabin Defended Against His Devotees: A Critical Evaluation of the Composer and his Music in the Context of Russian History, Religion and Culture Mr. Young is one of only a few pianists endorsed by both Elena Scriabina Sofronitsky and Marina Scriabin, the composer's daughters.
Profiles and feature articles about Mr. Young have appeared in Time, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, the US News and World Report, Lingua Franca, Hamburger Abendblatt, Bunte (Berlin), Pravda (Moscow), Le Monde de la Musique (Paris), Chaspik (St Petersburg, Russia), Musica Rivista Italiana (Rome) the Christian Science Monitor, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, the American Record Guide, Clavier, the St. Petersburg Times (Florida), Dagens Nyheter, (Stockholm), NPR's Performance Today, WNYC's New Sounds with John Schaefer, ABC-TVs 20/20, and David Dubal's nationally syndicated radio broadcast (WQXR in New York) Reflections from the Keyboard.
A widely published writer and music critic, he is a correspondent for the St. Petersburg Times, American Record Guide, Opera News, Clavier Companion, Music and Vision, and Classical DisCDigest. He is also an annotator for Sony Classical, Angelok Records, and other record labels. He is the author of five critically acclaimed books (on Brahms, Puccini, Beethoven, Liszt, and Schubert), which were published by Amadeus Press in 2008 and 2009. His sixth book, entitled Understanding Scriabin, will be published by Rowman Littlefield and released in the fall of 2015; his book on Puccini will be re-printed by Dover Publications in 2015 .
Mr. Young served alongside Sviatoslav Richter on the advisory board of the 1995 Scriabin International Competition in Moscow, where a special prize for the best performance of an early Scriabin Sonata was established in his name. He is a frequent adjudicator at international piano competitions, including the European International Piano Competition (Sweden), the Greta Erikson Nordic at Kil (Sweden), the RAMA (Boston), the Young Prince (Russia), the Boston Outstanding Amateur (Boston); the International Russian Music Piano Competition (San Jose); and the Premio Jaen (Spain).
In 2009, in recognition of his writing, John Bell Young was honored by a number of prestigious foundations, among them the Kittredge Fund (administered at Harvard University), the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Pew Charitable Trust, the Captiva Foundation, the Carnegie Fund, and Stephen King's Haven Foundation.
Making his home in the Los Angeles area, John Bell Young is the devoted companion of an exceptionally handsome black Labrador Retriever, Ben and an Irish Setter, Justice. A devotee of canine culture, Mr. Young also writes frequently about dogs, and is a regular contributor to the poular website, Life with Dogs, where his probative interviews with the world's leading animal behaviorists and trainers include Victoria Stilwell, Ian Dunbar, Zak George, and Karen Pryor. He has also written on the subject as an Op-Ed contributor to the Boston Globe.
In 2014 John Bell Young created Artistic Spirits Productions, which offers an array of writing, production and consultation services for performing artists.
MASTERCLASS ON CHOPIN BALLADE IN G MINOR