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Adam Sherkin: Biography

Adam Sherkin
1982 -
Region: Ontario

Adam Sherkin

Composer and pianist Adam Sherkin is a dynamic and versatile musician who commands a multidimensional approach to classical performance and composition. Noted for innovative programming and engaging presentation, Adam has worked with a considerable number of chamber ensembles and orchestras both in capacity of composer and performer.

In Toronto, Adam Sherkin 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 and composition under Alexander Rapoport. Complimentary training included theory work with Svetlana Maksimovic and twentieth century compositional techniques with Dr. Jack Behrens. Compositional activities took Sherkin to Buffalo 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.

Adam 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 and his principal teachers were David Sawer (composition) and Andrew Ball (piano). Further mentorship included weekly sessions with Timothy Salter, orchestration with Kenneth Hesketh and workshops with Colin Matthews, Mark Anthony-Turnage and Helmut Lachenmann, among others. In England, Sherkin’s music gained significant attention at concert events and festivals. In January 2006, Sherkin gave the British 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 (March 2006). In July of 2007, the King’s Lynn Festival (Norfolk) invited the Contemporary Consort to present a recital spotlighting Sherkin’s music. This performance was in honour of a summer-long anniversary celebration of Captain George Vancouver’s achievements and his and immense contribution to Canada. Sherkin enjoyed other debuts of his works at St James Piccadilly and the National Portrait Gallery in London. Recital activities as pianist took him to St Martin-in-the-Fields, Covent Garden and the Royal Albert Hall.

Upon graduation from the Royal College of Music, Adam Sherkin returned to Canada. Recent works and their premieres at home have included The Octave Asunder (2008) in February 2008, Vaettir for string orchestra (2007) in August 2007 and Terra Incognita (2004) in April 2005. Upcoming performances include the premiere of Southern Frames (2008) at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche in October 2008. A new work for viola and piano, Diatribe (2008), is scheduled for premiere in Boston, USA in March of 2009.

Adam Sherkin is currently artistic director of The Sixth Sphere, a contemporary music series at The Academy of Spherical Arts in Toronto.

Jan. 2009


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