Eric Himy is one of those pianists whose performances are rare gems. He has been hailed as a throwback to another era, a colorist with a technique that transcends normal barriers in the pursuit of the rare magical combination of music with meaning, yet alive with visceral energy and passion and he excels in exploiting the resources of the instrument to create something totally new and out of the ordinary going beyond the score. His playing has been described by The New York Times as “flawlessly poised, elegant and brilliant.” The Revue Musicale De Suisse Romande wrote: “There is some Horowitz in those steel wrists and those rubber fingers: a feline approach to the keyboard, alternating caressing velvet paws and nervous strokes of claws, a sensually gourmand exploitation of sonorities, a high-level eloquence, virtuoso.” His compelling artistry has intrigued audiences around the world and he has received critical acclaim in the United States, Canada, South America, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, and Slovenia. Mr. Himy has been heard most notably at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Recital Hall, The Frick Collection, The Phillips Collection, Teatro Amazonas, Salle Cortot and Salle Gaveau in Paris and on NPR “Performance Today.
A champion of contemporary composers, Mr. Himy commissioned “Gargoyles” by the American composer Lowell Liebermann and gave the world premiere at his debut recital in Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall (this American work has gone on to become one of the most popular contemporary piano pieces and it has been recorded and performed by many pianists including Stephen Hough and also Yuja Wang who performed it in Carnegie Hall in 2013).
A Juilliard graduate, Mr. Himy began piano studies at age six, giving his first concert at age 10. He was guest soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at age 15, and at 19 he made his National Symphony Orchestra debut under Hugh Wolf as well as performing with conductors Russell Stanger, Serge Baudo, Kenneth Schermerhorn, and with Antoni Wit, who was making his American debut. Mr. Himy went on to win numerous competitions and awards including the Gold Medal at the 1988 World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, the Kosciuszko Chopin Prize in New York, and top honors in the 1991 Milosz Magin International Competition in Paris. He has replaced ailing soloists on many occasions such as Pascal Rogé and Alain Planes. Himy studied biochemistry and music at the University of Maryland, and received a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School in New York, having studied with Thomas Schumacher, Adele Marcus and Josef Villa.
His recordings include an all-Ravel CD for Ivory Classics about which the BBC Music Magazine April 2003 wrote: “If you want Ravel’s two piano cycles, Miroirs and Gaspard de la Nuit I have no hesitation in recommending this. As for the Miroirs, I have never heard the five pieces done better.” Paul Turok of the New York Times wrote: “Pianist Eric Himy’s name is hardly a household word among music lovers, but if he plays other composers as well as he plays Ravel, it deserves to be.” He also recorded the original manuscript version of Rhapsody in Blue in an all-Gershwin CD which features brilliant Gershwin transcriptions of his own and those of Earl Wild. Classics Today 2005 wrote: “There’s no denying Himy’s virtuosic flair, this is a fascinating disc.” His Schumann CD was chosen by BBC Music Magazine as CD pick of 2007.
He was featured on the cover of the 2006 May/June issue of Clavier and in Musical Opinion May/June 2007. Mr. Himy was invited by the Bernstein family to celebrate the 90th anniversary tribute to Leonard Bernstein in a Gala concert at the 2008 Lukas Foss Music Festival in the Hamptons.In 2010, Mr. Himy celebrated Chopin’s 200th Anniversary by performing more than 40 concerts worldwide including an appearance on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) performing a Chopin recital. He also gave several performances of the Chopin Piano Concerto no. 1, one notably at the 2010 Marienbad Chopin Festival in the Czech Republic, and made his debut at the Bayreuth Steingraeber Festival in Germany. In 2011, Mr. Himy celebrated Liszt’s 200th Anniversary and performance highlights at the Salle Molière in Lyons, France and Carnegie Hall, NY and at the famed Teatru Manoel in Malta. The Times critic wrote: “Few who were at the Manoel Theatre on Sunday will ever forget this American gentleman’s recital. It will remain one of the years’ highlights and probably many more to come.”
Mr. Himy performed in the 2012 Pietrasanta Music Festival, Italy for the King and Queen of Belgium and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli with violinist Michael Guttman, cellist Wendy Sutter and baritone Stephen Salters in an all-American program which featured some of Eric Himy’s acclaimed “Gershwin in Paris”. In 2013, Mr. Himy performed with Saint Petersburg Symphony in Russia under Vladimir Lande who re-invited him in 2014 to perform the Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini. He was also invited in 2013 and 2014 to perform in Brussels by friends of the pianist Martha Argerich and the performance was an exciting success resulting in invitations to Summer Festivals such as the 2014 Pietrasanta Music Festival in Italy and Napa Music Festival Orchestra. Mr. Himy will also be performing Summer 2016 in Puerto Rico on the Grand Pianists Series.
He has recorded 15 CDs, 3 DVDs and his website is www.erichimy.com