CRAIG'S BIOGRAPHY

 

Pianist, Craig W. Combs, performs chamber music with like-minded artists who pursue music as an expression of the human condition in all its sorts and conditions. As such, his projects are most often community based with an eye to sharing the aesthetic beauty of the music. His current projects include: The Paramount Chamber Players, a network of artists in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia who have banded together to bring chamber music to their communities; The Combs/Hostetter Piano Duo, a 4-hand piano ensemble; and the development of a piano trio with violinist George Figueroa. Recent past projects include: Twenty/21, a London-based ensemble specializing in music of the 20th and 21st centuries and the Maternik Foundation, a foundation devoted to bringing high-level music to children’s hospices and special needs schools. In 2007, he released the CD, Forbidden Voices: Songs by Jewish Composers Banned by the Nazis with internationally known soprano, Judith Sheridan. 

 

Combs received his doctorate in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music (ESM) in 1988 following his masters in 1985. Previously, he had received the bachelors of music in piano performance in 1981 from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music (SCM). He served as Professor of Music at both SCM (’89-‘92) and at George Mason University (‘92-‘96) in Virginia. His piano studies were with Elizabeth Temple, Barbara Lister-Sink and Rebecca Penneys. In Manhattan from ’96-04, Combs worked in arts administration at the New York Foundation for the Arts and Chamber Music America. He also taught during that time at the Turtle Bay Music School, the Third Street Music School Settlement, and with the NYC Public Schools in the Bronx at P.S. 7.  

 

In his thirty plus years as a performer, Combs has appeared in hundreds of performances in a wide array of venues and has premiered and commissioned contemporary works appearing on the stage of New York City’s Merkin Hall and CAMI Hall, Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center, and at many academic institutions including Yale, Cornell, and Stanford Universities. Since 2004, Craig has lived in London pursuing a chamber music career. He has appeared internationally in the Rivington Music Festival (UK), Barcelona Festival of Song (Spain), The Land of the Disobedient Music Festival (Lithuania), and in concerts in Europe and the USA. Reviews of his playing commented on “ . . . the exceptional pianism of Craig Combs” and that “No praise is too high for his contribution.” For more information, please see his CV.

 

Reviews:

 

 "Oh, the quality of the Paramount Players is absolutely unbelievable." 
- Bristol Herald Courier, April 26, 2012



 

“Judith Sheridan (voice) Mark Pedus (violin) Kalina Dimitrova (cello) and Craig Combs (piano) form this group whose concerts are always original and entertaining." 
- Richard Carruthers, Music-Chamber, (Independent Record Label), May 10, 2012

 

“Craig Combs is sympathetic and extremely competent. His use of pedal is discreet and he is supportive and careful with dynamics. No praise is too high for his contribution. “ - Gary Higginson, Music Web International, http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Aug07/forbidden_voices_dda25044.htm

 

“His (Schulhoff) songs bring to the fore the exceptional pianism of Craig Combs.” - Gary Higginson, Music Web International, http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2007/Aug07/forbidden_voices_dda25044.htm

 

“Pianist Combs played his part with command but never with domination over this rare ensemble. . . They received nothing less than a well-deserved standing ovation. Surely the composer would have been moved” – Barry L. Cohen, New Music Connoisseur, Vol 12, no. 3, Fall 2004

 

 

Copyright Craig Combs 2013

 

 

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