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James Tocco

Biography

Born: Detroit, MI  
James Tocco is an American pianist with a worldwide reputation, particularly noted for performances of music of his countrymen and as a chamber musician and teacher.

Of Italian descent, he was raised in a musical atmosphere that instilled in him a love for music, especially for opera. He began taking piano lessons at the age of six. By the time he was twelve he had made his debut as a concert pianist in a performance of Beethoven's Piano
Read more Concerto No. 2. He won several awards while he was still a teen-ager. These included a stipend to enable him to attend the Mozarteum in Salzburg, then with the noted pianist-teacher Magda Tagliaferro in Paris. He concluded his training with sessions of coaching from Claudio Abbado in New York.

Tocco first came to international attention in 1973, when he won the ARD Competition in Munich. This led to his engagement in the 1975 Vienna Festival, but his breakthrough performance was at the Vienna Festival Week of 1977 when he substituted on short notice for the ailing Arturo Benedetto Michelangeli in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. This sensational performance won a huge ovation from the audience and glowing reviews from the Viennese and international critics.

Tocco immediately began a successful international career that has taken him to the U.S., Canada, Europe, the former Soviet Union, the Near East, South Africa, Australia, and Japan. He has performed concertos with the world's greatest orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, The Berlin, Munich, and Vienna Philharmonics, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

He is a regular participant in major international music festivals as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber artist. The Festival of Holland, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, the Lockenhaus Festival, and the Salzburg Festival are regular European stops, and he often appears in the U.S. at Wolf Trap, Ravinia, the New York Mostly Mozart Festival, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Hollywood Bowl Festival.

Tocco has a very large active repertory that includes over fifty major piano concertos. For all practical purposes, this represents the entire standard piano concerto repertory as well as more rarely performed works such as Bernstein's Age of Anxiety Symphony, Szymanowsky's Symphonie Concertante, and Alban Berg's Kammerkonzert. As a solo artist, he is particularly known for his concentration on the piano works of Chopin, Beethoven, and Liszt and on twentieth-century works, in addition to being one of the few pianists who regularly includes the keyboard music of George Frideric Handel on his recital programs.

In the recording studio he has had releases on the ProArte, Gasparo, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and ECM labels. These include a substantial amount of the piano music of Charles T. Griffes, the complete piano sonatas of Edward MacDowell, the complete piano music of Leonard Bernstein, and several works of Aaron Copland. From the European repertory he has recorded the Chopin preludes, the complete Liszt transcriptions of Johann Sebastian Bach organ music, and other Romantic era transcriptions of Bach, including several by Ferruccio Busoni, and the music of Erwin Schulhoff.

He has taught at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and the Academy of Music (Musikhochschule) of Lübeck, Germany. Read less
Eduard Franck: Piano Trio,   Cello Sonata,  Violin Sonata / Ashkenasi, Hanani, Tocco
Release Date: 12/18/2012   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8572480   Number of Discs: 1
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Schoenfield: Refractions, Six British Folk Songs, Peccadilloes / Tocco, Hanani
Release Date: 05/25/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8559380   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-17 of 17 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    Phantasmagoria: Music Of John Corigliano
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 756143 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Corigliano
    Performer:  Yo-Yo Ma,  Emanuel Ax,  James Tocco
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  • 2.
    Eduard Franck: Piano Trio,   Cello Sonata,  Violin Sonata / Ashkenasi, Hanani, Tocco
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572480 Release Date: 12/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduard Franck
    Performer:  Shmuel Ashkenasi,  James Tocco,  Yehuda Hanani
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  • 3.
    Gidon Kremer - Edition Lockenhaus
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 001599002 Release Date: 10/24/2011   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Olivier Messiaen,  César Franck,  André Caplet  ... 
    Performer:  Khatia Buniatishvili,  Markus Bellheim,  Andrei Pushkarev,  Dmytro Marchenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Roman Kofman,  Heinz Holliger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kremerata Baltica,  Shedryk Children's Choir,  Hagen String Quartet  ... 
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  • 4.
    Schoenfield: Refractions, Six British Folk Songs, Peccadilloes / Tocco, Hanani
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559380 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Schoenfield
    Performer:  James Tocco,  Yehuda Hanani,  Paul Schoenfield,  Alexander Fiterstein
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  • 5.
    Yo-Yo Ma - 30 Years Outside the Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 752307 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 90
    Composer:  Sandeep Das,  Traditional,  Kayhan Kalhor,  Zhou Long  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Gramley,  Kim Dong-Won,  Yo-Yo Ma,  Mark Suter  ... 
    Conductor:  Miguel Harth-Bedoya,  John T. Williams,  Ennio Morricone,  Isaac Stern  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Silk Road Ensemble,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Qi Lin  ... 
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  • 6.
    Fiday: Same Rivers Different, Haiku, Etc / Feller, Mark, Froh, Cho, Tocco
    Label: Innova (American Composers Forum)   Catalog: 716 Release Date: 01/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Fiday
    Performer:  Bart Feller,  Linda Mark,  Carla Kihlstedt,  Graeme Jennings  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mantra Percussion Quartet
    CD: $14.99
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  • 7.
    Mendelssohn: String Quartet Op. 80; Schumann: Piano Quintet
    Label: Foghorn Classics   Catalog: 1983 Release Date: 01/01/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann,  Recorded Sound
    Performer:  James Tocco
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  • 8.
    E. Franck: Sonatas For Violin & Piano / Edinger, Tocco
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 91553 Release Date: 11/11/2008   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Eduard Franck
    Performer:  Christiane Edinger,  James Tocco
    SuperAudio CD: $29.99
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  • 9.
    Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven: Violin Sonatas / Szeryng, Tocco
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 631041 Release Date: 11/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johannes Brahms,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Henryk Szeryng,  James Tocco
    CD: $19.99
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  • 10.
    John Corigliano
    Label: First Edition   Catalog: 2 Release Date: 03/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Corigliano
    Performer:  James Tocco
    Conductor:  Lawrence Leighton Smith,  Sidney Harth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Louisville Orchestra
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  • 11.
    E. Franck: String Quartet, Piano Quintet / Tocco, Edinger Qt
    Label: Audite   Catalog: 20033 Release Date: 11/26/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eduard Franck
    Performer:  Christiane Edinger,  Alexander Kortschmar,  Igor Budinstein,  Katharina Maechler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Edinger Quartet
    CD: $18.99
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  • 12.
    Bernstein: Symphony No 1 & 2 / Slatkin, Bbc So, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9889 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  James Tocco,  Michelle DeYoung
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Edition Lockenhaus Vol 4 & 5 - Schostakowitsch, Schulhoff
    Label: Ecm   Catalog: 833506 Release Date: 06/19/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erwin Schulhoff,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  James Tocco,  David Geringas,  Philippe Hirshhorn,  Gidon Kremer  ... 
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  • 14.
    Corigliano: Phantasmagoria / Yo-Yo Ma, Ax, Tocco
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60747 Release Date: 10/03/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Corigliano
    Performer:  Emanuel Ax,  Yo-Yo Ma,  James Tocco
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  • 15.
    Evelyn Lear Narrates Poulenc And Satie
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1150 Release Date: 06/20/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Francis Poulenc
    Performer:  Evelyn Lear,  James Tocco,  Barbara Weintraub,  Carter Brey
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  • 16.
    Stravinsky: Symphonies, Septet, Etc / Reynolds, Tocco
    Label: Koch International Classics   Catalog: 7211 Release Date: 07/02/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Performer:  James Tocco
    Conductor:  H. Robert Reynolds
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Detroit Chamber Winds
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  • 17.
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 2217 Release Date: 06/20/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Joel Hoffman,  Darrell Handel,  Bernhard Heiden,  Allen Sapp  ... 
    Performer:  Sara Lambert Bloom,  Richard Woodhams,  Sheryl Woods,  James Tocco  ... 
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