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How to get to Carnegie Hall? American pianist and composer SCOTT DUNN might suggest that first you go to medical school. A musical child prodigy, the native rural Iowan was reluctant to pursue a music career and opted instead for an M.D. and board certification in ophthalmology – all the while continuing to compose and hone his technique as a pianist. After an eight-year absence, he returned to public performing in a 1992 solo recital in Los Angeles to raise funds for charitable eye surgery in Guatemala.
Dunn followed his heart and left medicine to pursue a career in music. In January of 1999, he made an acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut with Dennis Russell Davies and the American Composers Orchestra playing his own orchestration of Vernon Duke’s “lost” 1923 Piano Concerto in C (originally written for Artur Rubinstein, but then never orchestrated or performed). Also in 1999, Dunn made solo appearances at Lincoln Center and at the Music Festival of the Hamptons, among other major venues. He has appeared in collaboration with such acclaimed singers as Angelina Reaux, Marni Nixon, Kurt Ollmann, and Gino Quillico, and has performed and recorded with composer/pianist Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. Dunn has been heard with the EOS Orchestra, the Manhattan Contemporary Ensemble (as conductor), the New Amsterdam Orchestra, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and the Bournemouth Symphony, as well as touring Europe with the Martha Graham Dance Company and making solo broadcasts for radio station KUSC in Los Angeles, WQXR in New York, and Iowa Public Television.
As winner of the prestigious USIS Artistic Ambassadors Competition, Dunn was awarded an extensive solo concert tour of Europe and the former Soviet Union introducing many of those locales to such classics of American piano literature as the Elliott Carter Piano Sonata and the Concord Sonata of Charles Ives.
Dunn holds degrees and awards from the Manhattan School of Music, the University of Iowa, and the University of Southern California. His piano teachers have included the legendary Byron Janis, as well as Brooks Smith, Joseph Kalichstein, Daniel Pollack, and John Simms. He studied composition with Ludmila Ulehla and Leonard Rosenman and conducting with Harold Farberman. He currently teaches conducting at the University of Bridgeport.