John Browning

Biography

Born: May 23, 1933; Denver, CO   Died: January 26, 2003; Sister Bay, WI  
John Browning ranks among the very few truly virtuoso pianists of the post-Vladimir Horowitz era. A large technique, the ability to draw a broad spectrum of colors and deep reserves of sound from his instrument, and total investment in his work have marked him as one of the most important artists of his time. Among his American contemporaries, he alone has sustained a career in which there has been only a steady enrichment of artistry without Read more detours caused by injury or emotional crisis.

His parents were both musicians: his father a violinist, his mother a pianist. He grew up in Denver and began keyboard studies at five years of age. He recalls the aftermath of a civic concert in which composer/pianist Béla Bartók and violinist Joseph Szigeti visited his parents' home and he saw his mother sitting at her piano turning pages for Bartók. His first public appearance came as soloist with the Denver Symphony at the age of 10. Summer classes with Josef and Rosina Lhévinne later led to more extended study with Mrs. Lhévinne at Juilliard School of Music in New York. When the family moved to Los Angeles, further studies with Lee Pattison solidified an increasingly solid technique and introduced him to most of the works that now form his repertory.

Several major awards propelled Browning to a successful career. In 1954, he won the Steinway Centennial Award, in 1955 he placed first in the esteemed Leventritt Competition, and in 1956 he gained second prize in the Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition in Brussels.

In 1956, Browning made his debut with the New York Philharmonic and has since appeared in nearly every important music center in the world. His debut recording, taped when he was 25 and now available once more on CD, reveals a fully fledged musician, already in complete possession of a polished technique and a probing musicality.

Browning's artistry attracted the attention of composer Samuel Barber, and in 1962 a new piano concerto was introduced to the public in New York with Browning performing under the direction of Erich Leinsdorf. The Barber Piano Concerto was applauded by the critics and audience alike and has, ever since, remained the centerpiece of Browning's repertory. Two recordings were made, the first with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, the second with Leonard Slatkin directing the St. Louis Symphony. The latter was awarded the first of two Grammys won by Browning (his second was for a collection of Barber solo piano pieces).

A select repertory, all of it tailored to a pianist of Olympian power and authority, embraces Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Prokofiev, and Ravel. Among later twentieth century composers, Barber figures prominently, as does Richard Cumming, who has also written several solo piano works for Browning.

In addition to appearances with most of the major orchestras in the United States and Europe, Browning has toured Russia on four occasions and is a regular guest at America's most celebrated summer festivals. He has been featured at Ravinia, Tanglewood, the Blossom Music Festival, Wolf Trap, and at Lincoln Center's Mostly Mozart Festival. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 27 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Erich Leinsdorf Conducts Prokofiev
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 7809452 Release Date: 08/07/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  John Browning,  Erick Friedman,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Secrets Of The Old - Complete Songs Of Samuel Barber
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 435867 Release Date: 06/10/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  John Browning,  Cheryl Studer,  Thomas Hampson
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Emerson String Quartet
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  • 3.
    Scarlatti: 30 Keyboard Sonatas / John Browning
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 2544 Release Date: 10/13/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Domenico Scarlatti
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 4.
    Barber: The Complete Solo Piano Music / John Browning
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 2528 Release Date: 04/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 5.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Violin Concerto / Browning
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60491 Release Date: 07/23/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Erick Friedman,  John Browning
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
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  • 6.
    John Browning Edition Vol 4 - Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Scarlatti
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1123 Release Date: 02/28/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Domenico Scarlatti
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 7.
    John Browning Edition Vol 3 - Beethoven
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1122 Release Date: 01/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 8.
    John Browning Edition Vol 2 - Chopin, Debussy, Barber
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1121 Release Date: 11/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Milton Hendriks,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Isaac Albeniz,  Manuel de Falla  ... 
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 9.
    The John Browning Edition Vol 1 - Bach, Chopin, Schubert
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 1120 Release Date: 10/25/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frédéric Chopin,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 10.
    Prokofiev: The Piano Concertos, Etc / Browning, Et Al
    Label: Testament   Catalog: 1376 Release Date: 07/12/2005   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  John Browning,  Erick Friedman
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Barber: Violin Concerto; Cello Concerto; Etc  / Isserlis
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 65832 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Kyoko Takezawa,  John Browning,  Steven Isserlis
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
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  • 12.
    The Fine Arts Quartet At WFMT
    Label: Music & Arts Programs Of America   Catalog: 1154 Release Date: 01/25/2005   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Paul Hindemith,  Jean Martinon,  Béla Bartók,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Sorkin,  Abram Loft,  Gerald Stanick,  George Sopkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Fine Arts String Quartet
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  • 13.
    Great Pianists Of The  Bell Telephone Hour 1959-1967
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4216 Release Date: 06/25/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Performer:  Grant Johannesen,  Claudio Arrau,  Byron Janis,  Jorge Bolet  ... 
    Conductor:  Donald Voorhees,  Paul Whiteman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bell Telephone Hour Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Beethoven For Relaxation
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 63328 Release Date: 03/09/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Phillip Moll,  James Galway,  Serge Edelmann,  Michael Schade  ... 
    Conductor:  André Previn,  Sir Colin Davis,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Günter Wand
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 15.
    Richard Cumming: Silhouettes / Abraham, Browning, Gramm
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 766 Release Date: 11/18/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Cumming
    Performer:  Richard Cumming,  John Browning,  F. Murray Abraham,  Donald Gramm
    CD: $17.99
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  • 16.
    Romance Classics
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1602 Release Date: 07/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Richard Strauss,  Ernö von Dohnányi  ... 
    Performer:  Jian Wang,  Carol Rosenberger,  János Starker,  Hu Nai-Yuan  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Zdenek Macal
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seattle Symphony Orchestra,  New Jersey Symphony Orchestra,  Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center  ... 
    CD: $12.99
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  • 17.
    Barber: Piano Sonata;  Cumming: 24 Preludes / John Browning
    Label: Phoenix Usa   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 04/16/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Cumming,  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 18.
    Prokofiev: Peter And The Wolf, Etc / Hart, Ozawa, Boston So
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64079 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Benjamin Britten,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Jules Eskin,  John Browning,  Garrick Ohlsson,  Melissa Joan Hart
    Conductor:  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra members,  Boston Symphony Orchestra
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 19.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition / John Browning
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 1008 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 20.
    Soundscapes Vol 1 - A Delos Digital Compact Disc Sampler
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3500 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Igor Stravinsky,  Maurice Ravel,  Francisco Tarrega  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Burns,  Carol Rosenberger,  Celedonio Romero,  Susann McDonald  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  New York Chamber Symphony  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 21.
    Soundscapes Vol 2 - A Delos Digital Compact Disc Sampler
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3501 Release Date: 12/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Sigfrid Karg-Elert,  Olivier Messiaen  ... 
    Performer:  John Browning,  Robert Noehren,  Warren Lash,  William Doppmann  ... 
    Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz,  Aldo Parisot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  Chamber Music Northwest,  Orford String Quartet  ... 
    CD: $9.99
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  • 22.
    Liszt: Piano In B Minor, Etc / John Browning
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3022 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Liszt
    Performer:  John Browning
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  • 23.
    Rachmaninov: Piano Sonata No 2, Etc / John Browning
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3044 Release Date: 12/11/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  John Browning
    CD: $17.99
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  • 24.
    Chopin - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60830 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  Robert Leonardy,  Peter Serkin,  Géza Anda,  Emanuel Ax  ... 
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
    CD: $8.99
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  • 25.
    The Best Of Chopin
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60770 Release Date: 06/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin
    Performer:  John Browning,  Peter Serkin,  Géza Anda,  Emanuel Ax  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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Biography

Born: May 23, 1933; Denver, CO   Died: January 26, 2003; Sister Bay, WI  
John Browning ranks among the very few truly virtuoso pianists of the post-Vladimir Horowitz era. A large technique, the ability to draw a broad spectrum of colors and deep reserves of sound from his instrument, and total investment in his work have marked him as one of the most important artists of his time. Among his American contemporaries, he alone has sustained a career in which there has been only a steady enrichment of artistry without Read more
WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 38: Allegro appassionato
Canzone: Moderato
Allegro molto
I. Allegro
II. Larghetto
III. Allegretto
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 1. At Saint Patrick's Purgatory
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 2. Church Bell at Night
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 3. St. Ita's Vision
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 4. The Heavenly Banquet
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 5. The Crucifixion
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 6. Sea-Snatch
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 7. Promiscuity
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 8. The Monk and His Cat
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 9. The Praises of God
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 10. The Desire for Hermitage
Barber: Three Songs Op.10 - No.1 Rain Has Fallen - Moderato
Barber: Three Songs Op.10 - No.2 Sleep Now - Andante tranquillo
Barber: Three Songs Op.10 - No.3 I Hear An Army - Allegro con fuoco
Barber: Four Songs Op.13 - No.1 A Nun Takes The Veil - Broad and sustained
Barber: Four Songs Op.13 - No.2 The Secrets Of The Old - Allegro giocoso
Barber: Four Songs Op.13 - No.3 Sure On This Shining Night - Andante
Barber: Four Songs Op.13 - No.4 Nocturne - Andante,un poco mosso
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 1. At Saint Patrick's Purgatory
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 2. Church Bell at Night
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 3. St. Ita's Vision
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 4. The Heavenly Banquet
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 5. The Crucifixion
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 6. Sea-Snatch
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 7. Promiscuity
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 8. The Monk and His Cat
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 9. The Praises of God
Barber: Hermit Songs Op.29 - 10. The Desire for Hermitage
Barber: Despite and still Op.41 - No.1 A Last Song - Moderato
Barber: Despite and still Op.41 - No.2 My Lizard - Fast and light
Barber: Despite and still Op.41 - No.3 In The Wilderness - Flowing
Barber: Despite and still Op.41 - No.4 Solitary Hotel - Like a rather fast tango in 2
Barber: Despite and still Op.41 - No.5 Despite and Still - Fast and darkly impassioned
Barber: Three Songs Op.45 - No.1 Now I Have Fed And Eaten Up The Rose - Moderato
Barber: Three Songs Op.45 - No.2 A Green Lowland Of Pianos - Allegretto con grazia
Barber: Three Songs Op.45 - No.3 O Boundless,Boundless Evening - Tranquillo,un poco
The Carnival of the Animals: Clarissa's Introduction (Voice)
I. Introduction and Royal March of the Lions (Voice)
II. Hens and Roosters (Voice)
III. Mongolian Wild Donkeys (Voice)
IV. Tortoises (Voice)
V. The Elephant (Voice)
VI. Kangaroos (Voice)
VII. Aquarium (Voice)
VIII. Personages with Long Ears (Voice)
IX. The Cuckoo in the Depths of the Forest (Voice)
X. Aviary (Voice)
XI. Pianists (Voice)
XII. Fossils (Voice)
XIII. The Swan* (Voice)
XIV. Finale (Voice)
No. 1 in C
No. 2 in A Minor
No. 3 in E
No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor "Torrent"
No. 5 in G-Flat "Black Keys"
No. 6 in E-Flat Minor
No. 7 in C
No. 8 in F
No. 9 in F Minor
No. 10 in A-Flat
No. 11 in E-Flat
No. 12 in C Minor "Revolutionary"
Etudes, Op. 25: No. 1 in A-Flat "Aeolian Harp"
No. 2 in F Minor
No. 3 in F
No. 4 in A Minor
No. 5 in E Minor
No. 6 in G-Sharp Minor
No. 7 in C-Sharp Minor
No. 8 in D-Flat
No. 9 in G-Flat "Butterfly"
No. 10 in B Minor
No. 11 in A Minor "Winter Wind"
No. 12 in C Minor