Solomon Mikowsky

Cited as “one of the world’s most sought-after artist teachers, for reasons that are not hard to come by” (Clavier, USA), Solomon Mikowsky is renowned for his “magical ability to develop his piano students into artists” (Sur Exprès, France). He is also featured in Benjamin Saver’s The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA and in leading music journals in China, South Korea, Japan, Spain, Cuba and the US.

His students have won over 150 international piano competitions, including the Rubinstein in Tel-Aviv (1st Prize: Gerstein; Moutouzkine & Sinkevych); Tchaikovsky in Moscow (5th Prize: Arrieta); the Gilmore Artist Award and Avery Fisher Career Grant (1st Prize: Gerstein); Santander & Beethoven in Bonn (1st Prizes: Yungwook Yoo); Richter in Moscow (Yungwook Yoo); Astral in Philadelphia (1st Prizes: Dinnerstein & Moutouzkine); Schumann in Leipzig (1st Prize:  Nara); Dublin (1st Prize: Gerstein); Vianna da Motta in Lisbon (Sinkevych & Yungwook Yoo); Iturbi in Valencia (1st Prizes: Arrieta & Moutouzkine; Cruz & Melikyan); Canals in Barcelona (1st Prizes: Akagi, Cho, Gerstein & Sinkevych; Cruz, Diaz-Jerez, Kookhee Hong, Méndez & Moutouzkine); Jaén (1st Prizes: Sinkevych & Chun Wang; Cruz, Diaz-Jerez, Jung-Eun Lee, Yuan Sheng & Jingjing Wang); Pilar Bayona in Zaragoza (1st Prize: Soderberg; Cruz, Diaz-Jerez, Gerstein, Youngho Kim, Méndez & Moutouzkine);  Bachauer in Utah (1st Prize: Floril); Chopin Kosciuszco in New York (1st Prizes: Rexa Han, Floril, Youngho Kim & Namirovsky; Brewster, Gerstein, Kent & Yungwook Yoo); Chopin Munz at MSM (1st Prizes: Beliakovich, Floril & Namirovsky; Kosmieja,); Rubinstein Award & Cervantes in Cuba (1st Prizes: Yuan Sheng); China International (Yuan Sheng); Cherkassky Award (1st Prize: Ren Zhang); Montreal & New Orleans (1st Prizes: Moutouzkine); Van Cliburn (Special Prize); Naumburg, Cleveland, Cervantes in Cuba and China International (Moutouzkine); and Panama (1st Prizes: Khoowon Kim, Moutouzkine, Chun Wang & Yungwook Yoo; Beliakovich, Buxton, Darias, Kookhee Hong, Khanina, Neeman, Sinkevych & Jingjing Wang,); among many others.

They have appeared as soloists with the New York, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Minnesota, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles symphony orchestras in the US; with the Berlin, Munich, Leipzig, Dresden, Vienna, London, Amsterdam, Moscow and St. Petersburg orchestras in Europe; and the Israel Philharmonic, under such noted conductors as Barenboim, Dudamel, Eschenbach, Fisher, Jurowsky, Masur, Metha and Maazel.

They have also been guests of the Aspen, BBC Proms, Blossom, Bowdoin, Caramoor, Edinburgh, La Roque d’Anthéron, Lucerne, Lincoln Center´s Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Salzburg, Tanglewood, Vail and Verbier summer festivals.

Mikowsky has adjudicated many of the most important international competitions and has conducted master classes at the leading conservatories in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Budapest, Warsaw, Salzburg, London, Paris, Leipzig, Rotterdam, Madrid, Tel Aviv, and throughout Asia and Australia. During summers, he has directed his International Piano Festivals in Spain and in Cuba, with dozens of his students performing with the leading symphony orchestras of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Zaragoza, Tenerife, Las Palmas and Havana.

Solomon Mikowsky was born in Cuba to a Belorussian father and a Polish mother. His early training was with César Pérez Sentenat, who had studied in Paris with Joaquín Nín, a student of Liszt’s eminent pupil, Moritz Moszkowski. He was granted scholarships by the Cuban government and the Juilliard School to study in New York with Sascha Gorodnitzki, foremost pupil of the legendary Russian virtuoso Josef Lhevinne.

He also studied composition with Persichetti, orchestral conducting with Mester, choral conducting with Kaplan, chamber music with  Persinger (pupil of Ysaÿe and teacher of Menuhin), as well as organ, trumpet, clarinet and violin. He later received a doctoral degree from Columbia University. His dissertation, Ignacio Cervantes and the XIX-Century Cuban Danza, as well as an article for Américas, the journal of the Organization of American States, have been published in various languages.

A member of the Manhattan School of Music faculty since 1969, he was awarded the School’s Presidential Medal and honored with a tribute to his 50 years of teaching with a concert that featured some of his outstanding students, including the 7 alumni who have joined him on the piano faculty. He has also received the Cintas award by the Institute of International Education and a Doctor Honoris Causa from the Instituto Superior de Arte of Cuba. The Solomon Mikowsky Recital Hall was inaugurated in 2010 and expanded in 2018 in conjunction with the school’s centennial. The adjacent Studio and Gallery feature the many Prizes won by his students throughout his teaching career.

Mikowsky has also gifted halls and Steinway pianos to the Chicago College of Performing Arts, where he also taught, and to Havana, his native city.  The Piano Teaching Legacy of Solomon Mikowsky, a book by his long-time student Kookhee Hong, has been published in English by Lambert Publishers in Germany and is also available in Spanish, Chinese and Korean editions.