Lydia Artymiw, Pianist


The New York Times described Lydia Artymiw as “a lovely Mozart and an appealing Schumann player. There is the heart, wisdom and culture that put that heart in the right place, with concentrated musicality tempered by good taste. Ms. Artymiw has such a satisfying musical soul; she is a pleasure to hear.”

Lydia Artymiw has succeeded in every facet of an important international career: as soloist with orchestra, in recital and chamber music, and in solo and chamber music recordings. She has appeared with over one hundred twenty orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the Far East. Her American orchestral appearances include the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, as well as the American, Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Florida, Kansas City, National, New Jersey, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Pittsburgh, Rochester, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis Symphonies, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. She has performed with such conductors as Previn, Ozawa, Rattle, Zinman, Vänska, Skrowaczewski, Levi, and Parrott. As a solo recitalist, she has performed in major venues in London, Berlin, Basel, Cologne, Hamburg, Düsseldorf, Rome, Milan, Paris, Taipei, Seoul, Zürich, New York (Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Weill Hall, and Merkin Hall), Washington (Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Renwick Gallery, and the Smithsonian), Chicago (Orchestra Hall), Philadelphia (Academy of Music and Kimmel Center), Minneapolis (Orchestra Hall), Los Angeles, and Boston (Symphony Hall). She has concertized throughout Europe (in Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy, Sardinia, Switzerland, Estonia, Finland, Poland, and Ukraine) as well as in Korea, Taiwan, New Zealand, Singapore, Manila, Philippines and Shanghai, China.

Artymiw’s festival appearances include Aspen, Bantry, Bard, Bellingham, Bravo! Colorado Vail, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Chautauqua, Eastern Shore Maryland, Grand Canyon, Hampden-Sydney, Hollywood Bowl, Maverick, Montreal, Mostly Mozart, Music Mountain, Newport, Seattle, South Mountain, Tucson, Virginia Waterfront, and Marlboro (where she has returned several times as a “senior artist/participant” since 1998). From 1982 until 2005, she performed frequently with the Guarneri String Quartet throughout the US and in Canada and has also collaborated with the Alexander, American, Borromeo, Daedalus, Miami, Orion, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Vermeer Quartets. She has performed many recitals with some of the most distinguished musicians of our time including Yo-Yo Ma, Kim Kashkashian, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, Richard Stoltzman, John Aler, and Benita Valente, and she has toured numerous times with “Music From Marlboro” groups throughout the US. Artymiw was a member of the Steinhardt-Artymiw-Eskin Trio (with violinist Arnold Steinhardt and cellist Jules Eskin).

Lydia Artymiw is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1989 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award and the 1987 Avery Fisher Career Grant, and she has garnered top prizes in major competitions such as the 1978 Leeds International in England (third prize), the 1976 Leventritt in New York (finalist, no major prize awarded), and first prize in the 1972 Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition in New York.

In June 2017 Artymiw was invited to serve on the jury for the second Lang Lang Shenzhen/Futian International Piano Competition and Music Festival in Shenzhen, China. She was also a juror for the first Van Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition held in Fort Worth, TX in June 2015. From 2014-2017, Artymiw has served on fifteen piano concerto competition juries at Juilliard (for the College and Pre-College Divisions), the Juilliard Nordmann and Bachauer Scholarship Competitions, and the Manhattan School Eisenberg/Fried Concerto Competition in New York. She has also been a juror for the Esther Honens International Piano Competition in Canada, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in Indiana, the Corpus Christi National Competition in Texas, the William Kapell International Piano Competition in Maryland, the William Kapell International Piano Competition in Maryland, Pro Musicis in New York, and the PianoArts Competition in Milwaukee. Artymiw was also invited to present piano master classes at both Juilliard in New York (March 2016) and Curtis in Philadelphia (November 2016).

Her seven solo albums for the Chandos label in England have been critically acclaimed. Her debut record (Variations) was a Gramophone Magazine “Critic’s Choice” and “Best of the Year” disc, she was featured on the cover of Gramophone Magazine for the release of her Schumann record, her Mendelssohn record was hailed by Hi-Fi News and the Monthly Guide to Recorded Music as “Best of the Month,” and Ovation Magazine honored her Schubert recording as “Recording of Distinction.” Her Tchaikovsky Seasons (released by Chandos in 1982) is still in print and has sold over 20,000 copies. She has also recorded for the Artegra, Bridge, Centaur, and Pantheon labels with Benita Valente, John Aler, Marcy Rosen, the Tokyo Quartet, and the Rosalyra Quartet.

Since 1976 (when she gave the world premiere of Andrew Rudin’s “Museum Pieces” at the Kennedy Center), Artymiw has performed solo and chamber music works by Theodore Antoniou, Robert Capanna, Aaron Jay Kernis, Gyorgy Kurtag, Stephen Paulus, Russell Platt, David Evan Thomas, Joan Tower, and Judith Lang Zaimont.

Lydia Artymiw was born in Philadelphia to Ukrainian parents and began piano studies at age four with George Oransky at the Ukrainian Music Institute. The Artymiw family moved to Denver when Lydia was five, and her teachers in Colorado for one year were Margaret Schwarzott (in Denver) and Patsy Guadnola (in Glenwood Springs). Her principal teachers were Freda Pastor Berkowitz (who taught for over fifty years at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia) from 1961-1967 and Gary Graffman, her mentor, with whom she studied from 1967 to 1979. From 1969-1972 Artymiw also played occasionally for distinguished pianist and musicologist, Piero Weiss.  Artymiw graduated summa cum laude from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1973 and which honored her with a “Distinguished Alumna” award in 1991.

Artymiw has written several articles for the British magazine, Piano, and she has also participated in a number of symposia for Piano.

Artymiw’s musicologist husband, Dr. David Grayson, is Professor of Musicology and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is a world-renowned scholar with  international Mozart and Debussy publications and author of numerous CD liner notes for major artists on the SONY, DG, Philips, RCA, EMI, Chandos, Bridge, and Centaur labels.

A recipient of the Distinguished McKnight Professorship, the Dean’s Medal, and the “Excellence in Graduate Teaching” Award, Lydia Artymiw has been on the faculty of the University of Minnesota since 1989. Since October 2015, Artymiw has been an occasional guest teacher at Juilliard, subbing for students of Veda Kaplinsky and Matti Raekallio.

She has been a Steinway artist since 1973.