Artist Bio

Stuart Isacoff, Encounter leader

Stuart Isacoff is active across North America and Europe as a writer, pianist, composer, and lecturer. His ongoing presence in the cultural landscape has included presentations and recitals at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Lincoln Center, as well as at festivals around the world. He regularly contributes on music and art to many publications, including the Wall Street Journal. Isacoff is the author of A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians—From Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between (Knopf) and of the highly acclaimed Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization (Knopf/Vintage). He is a winner of the prestigious ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for excellence in writing about music. His compositions and instructional texts have been published by G. Schirmer, Boosey & Hawkes (London), Carl Fischer, Warner Bros. Music, and others. Isacoff’s piano recitals combine classical repertoire with jazz improvisation, demonstrating the threads that connect them. Of his playing, pianist André Watts has said: “Stuart Isacoff’s music making is original and revelatory. Subtle, brilliant use of the instrument combined with a unique musical perspective create performances of uncommon depth. Isacoff reveals his beautiful interior world with every performance.”

Stuart Isacoff will lead Encounter III: American Sputnik: Van Cliburn’s Victory in Cold-War Moscow (July 28).