Solomon Mikowsky

In Memoriam (1936–2024)

Included in Benjamin Saver’s The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA and cited as “one of the world’s most sought-after artist teachers” (Dean Elder, Clavier, U.S.), Solomon Mikowsky was renowned for his “magical ability to develop his piano students into artists” (Sur Exprès, France).


Mikowsky’s students have won top prizes inthe Arthur Rubinstein competition in Tel Aviv (3 prizes, including 1st); Beethoven in Bonn (1st prize); Santander (1st prize); Schumann in Leipzig (1st prize); the Tchaikovsky and Richter international competitions in Moscow; China International in Beijing (2nd and 3rd prizes)Queen Elizabeth in London; Dublin in Ireland; José Iturbi in Valencia (2 1st prizes), Maria Canals in Barcelona (3 1st prizes), Premio Jaén, (2 1st prizes), Pilar Bayona in Zaragoza (1st prize), Joaquín Rodrigo (1st and 3rd prizes), Guerrero in Madrid  (2 1st and 2 2nd prizes), José Roca (1st and 3rd prizes), Cidade de Ferrol (1st and 2nd prizes), Ibiza (2 1st prizes), Infanta Cristina (1st and 2nd prizes), Carlet (5 1st prizes),Compositores de España (1st prize and Best performance), and Marisa Montiel (1st prize), in Spain; Vianna da Motta and Porto in Portugal; Andorra (2 1st prizes and the Alicia de Larrocha Prize)Mont Blanc and Poulenc in France; The German Piano Award (1st prize);Prix du Piano Berne in SwitzerlandMarsala, Rina Sala Gallo, Monza, and Senigallia, in Italy; Panama (4 1st prizes); Art Livre (1st prize) and Rio de Janeiro Festival (1st prize),  in BrazilIgnacio Cervantes (1st and 2nd prizes) in Cuba; Viña del Mar in Chile; Montreal in Canada; Chopin Kosciuszko (4 1st prizes)Astral in Philadelphia (2 1st prizes), Columbia University Chopin Competition (1st prize), Chappaqua Orchestra 914 Competition (1st prize), Missouri-Southern (1st prize),Houston Symphony (1st prize), Metropolitan Orchestra (1st Prize), Bergen Philharmonic (1st Prize), and Haddonfield Symphony (1st prize), in New Jersey; Hartford Symphony (1st prize) in Connecticut, World Competition in Cincinnati (1st prize), New Orleans (1st prize), Cleveland, Gina BachauerConcert Artists Guild, Hilton Head, Minnesota International piano E-Competition, Concert Artists International,Artists International, New York International Piano Competition, Murray Dranoff and the Fischoff Prize, and the Manhattan School of Music Concerto competition (more than 40 winners),in the USA; as well as the Gilmore Artist Award, the Gilmore Young Artist Award, the Arthur Rubinstein and Shura Cherkassky awards, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and 3 Grammy Award nominations.
Mikowsky students have joined the faculties of Manhattan School of Music (11, including both Co-Heads), the Juilliard School (2), and Mannes College in New York (3); Chicago College of Performing Arts; the Central (3), China, Harbin, Xi’an and Xiamen conservatories, the International Music Institute of China in Beijing, and the FaceArt Music Institute in Shanghai, in China; National Taiwan University of the Arts and Taipei National Education University in Taiwan; Ewha, Seoul National, Yonsei (2) and Catholic universities in South Korea; Kronberg Academy and Hans Eisler Hochschule in Berlin; Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; Bydgoszcz Academy of Music in Poland; Conservatorios Superiores de Música of Salamanca, Tenerife, Canarias, Catalunya and Basque Country (Musikene),  the Vila-seca Conservatory in Tarragona, and the Rodolfo Hallfter Conservatory (Madrid), in Spain; the Royal Conservatory of Scotland; Ankara University in Turkey; Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus; University of the Philippines; Bard College of Music, New York University, Brooklyn College, Copland School of Music at SUNY Queens, College of Staten Island at City University of New York; Rutgers University, Northwestern University, Texas Christian University, East Carolina University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Alabama, Northwest International School of Music in Seattle, Ithaca and Fredonia colleges at the State University of New York, Irvine Valley College, University of Central Missouri, Georgia College, State University at Milledgeville in Georgia, City College of New York, Merit School of Music in Chicago, and Yale University, in the USA. 


Mikowsky’s students are featured in the Bridge, Centaur, Chandos, Decca Classics, Deutsche Gramophone, Lawo Classics, Ibs, Myrios, Naxos, SONY, Telarc, and Steinway recording labels. They have performed as soloists with the Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Minnesota, New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco symphony orchestras in the U.S. and with the Berlin, Munich, Dresden, Vienna, Prague, London, Paris, Budapest, Madrid, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Zürich Tonhalle and Israel Philharmonic Orchestras in Europe and the Middle East, under such noted conductors as Adès, Barenboim, Bychkov, Dudamel, Eschenbach, Fischer, Järvi, Jurowsky, Masur, Mehta, Maazel and Petrenko. They have also been guests of the Aspen, BBC Proms, Blossom, Bowdoin, Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, La Roque d’Anthéron, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Santander, Saratoga, Tanglewood, Vail and Verbier summer festivals.


Solomon Mikowsky, born in Cuba to Polish parents, received his early training with César Pérez Sentenat, who studied in Paris with Joaquín Nin, a pupil of Moszkowski (student of Liszt). Awarded scholarships by the Cuban government and the Juilliard School, he continued his studies in New York with Sasha Gorodnitzki, foremost pupil of the legendary Russian virtuoso Josef Lhevinne, receiving BM and MM degrees from Juilliard and completing his studies with a doctorate from Columbia University. A contributor to Américas (Journal of the OAS), The Piano (South Korea), and Piano Artistry (China), articles about Dr. Mikowsky have been included in Afterthoughts of a pianist/Teacher by Donald Isler (link), in Our Piano Era by Liu Ye (link), and in La voluntad de prevalecer by Mario Cremata Ferrán, as well as an interview by Justin Bischof (link). His doctoral dissertation, Ignacio Cervantes and the XIX-Century Cuban Danza, has been published in English by Lambert Publishers and in Spanish by Ediciones Boloña  (link).

Mikowsky was a member of the juries of innumerable international competitions and has directed his International Piano Festivals in Spain, France and in Cuba (Havana’s Encuentro de Jóvenes Pianistas), with the participation of his students as soloists with the symphony orchestras of Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain, and the National Symphony and Mozarteum orchestras in Cuba.  Mikowsky is the recipient of the Institute of International Education Cintas Award and a Doctor Honoris Causa degree from the University of Havana.


He has taught and given master classes at the leading conservatories in Moscow (Tchaikovsky), St. Petersburg (Rimsky-Korsakoff), Warsaw (Chopin Academy), Munich (Hochschule für Musik), Cracow, Budapest (Liszt Academy), London (Royal College and Royal Academy), Paris, Leipzig, Halle, Rotterdam, Venice, Bologna, Arezzo, Sulmona, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Tenerife, Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Ankara, Sidney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Xiamen, Harbin, Taipei, Kaoshiung, Taichung, Tainan, Manila, Jakarta, Seoul, Kang-Nung, Cheju, Singapore, Tokyo, Osaka and Pretoria.


A Steinway artist and former Professor of Music Education at Columbia University, Mikowsky has also taught at The Juilliard Precollege, New York University, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and at the Chicago College of the Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Mikowsky is a longtime member of the artist piano faculty at Manhattan School of Music, where he is recipient of the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service. The school also celebrated his pedagogical contribution with an anniversary concert in his honor, the MSM website presentation of 7 sets of Mozart’s Twinkle Variations featuring him and 47 of his students (review here), and a 3-hour concert featuring Mikowsky and 75 of his students performing in A Birthday Celebration!  (review here).

Listen to Mikowsky perform Sonata No.7 in D Major I. Adagio by Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785), and Italian Concerto, BWV 971 II. Andante by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) here.

The Solomon Mikowsky Recital Hall was inaugurated in 2010 and expanded in 2018 in conjunction with the school’s centennial (philanthropy.) The adjacent Gallery and Studio feature the many prizes and awards won by his students throughout his teaching career. The Piano Teaching Legacy of Solomon Mikowsky by Kookhee Hong (reviewbuy) has been published by Lambert Publishers and is also available in Spanish (Editorial Boloña)Chinese (SMPH), and in Korean (Musica di Pianoforte).

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