Jackson Berkey is an American composer, pianist, and teacher.
Jackson Berkey's published catalog offers over 400 titles encompassing choral, solo vocal and instrumental, chamber ensemble, band and orchestral works, as well as concerti and works for chorus and orchestra. Premières of commissions have taken place in America and abroad on university campuses and concert stages and by professional musicians, as well as massed children's choirs. Awards and honors include the Nebraska Individual Artist Fellowship for Performing Arts Distinguished Achievement in Composition Award, First Prize in the New Music for Young Ensembles Composition Contest in New York City, First Prize at the Alienor Harpsichord Competition in Hilton Head (NC), annual ASCAP Awards, and award-winning video scores.
Best-known nationally as a pianist and recording artist, Jackson celebrates 37 years as featured keyboardist with Mannheim Steamroller. In the classical world, his recordings for American Gramaphone and SDG Records continue to elicit rave reviews. From his M.S. at the Juilliard School of Music, the studio of Josef Raieff, sessions with Vincent Persichetti and William Schuman, to his 1969 Town Hall debut and touring with Norman Luboff; Jackson Berkey also has a long association with the New York City classical scene. In 2009 Mr. Berkey was named to the International Roster of Steinway Artists.
Jackson has been writing major choral/orchestral works for New York City performances every two years. In these premières, Almeda Berkey conducts massed choirs and orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Performances have included Come, Follow Me!, Crucifixus, Cantate 2000, South Dakota Shadows, American Journey, In Memoriam: Kassarjian, and Thoughts and Remembrances. Recent premières include his Organ Concerto, Conversations for Harp and Chamber Orchestra, Suite for Two Pianos, Genius of the Wood, Nr. 1 Noel, Firelight, A Minor Incident, Soft Voices, Sweet Violets and Rose Leaves, Midnight Berceuse, and Certain Am I.
In another grand endeavor, Jackson is composing 24 Nocturnes, one in each key. His work shows great respect for and connections to Stravinsky, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, Barber, and Copland. As a "21st Century Romantic" Jackson has developed his own writing style with beautiful and soaring melodies, exciting and driving rhythms, and lush vertical sonorities. Berkey's newest piano solos reveal his deep maturity as pianist and consummate composer.
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