Carolyn and Jamie Shaak's newly
released technique book is full of
technical exercises that will increase your
sound production, your speed capabilities
Chicago Tribune critic Dan Tucker once wrote of pianist Jamie Shaak: "Her finely textured playing was a pleasure to hear." Tucker was reviewing a radio simulcast of Shaak's performance during the famed Dame Myra Hess Concert series in Chicago. But his comments could easily apply to her concert appearances throughout the United States and Southeast Asia and to her two recordings of Spanish and American music.
Pianist Jamie Shaak was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where she began her piano lessons at age three with her parents Bernard and Carolyn Shaak. Her first appearance with an Orchestra was in Denver, at age 11, when she performed Bach's d- minor concerto with the Cherry Creek Orchestra. Four years later she performed the Saint-Saens concerto number two with the Denver Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Rives-Jones.
Jamie received a Bachelor's degree from The Eastman School of Music with Nelita True and her Master's degree from The Juilliard School where she worked with John Browning as a Vladimir Horowitz scholar.
Before moving to Chicago in 2000, Jamie taught on the faculty at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand and at Lawrence University's Arts Academy in Appleton, Wisconsin. Jamie has performed solo and ensemble concerts throughout the United States and Southeast Asia.
Jamie's concert hall appearances have included performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Lincoln Center in New York City. In Asia and India she toured as a Musical Ambassador with the United States Information Service. She returns annually to perform with the American Piano 4-tet in Thailand and Laos.
Miss Shaak has been soloist with the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Centennial Orchestra, The Arapahoe Philharmonic, The Waukegan Symphony, The Mercury Ensemble, the Jefferson Symphony. In April of 2005 Miss Shaak will perform the Mozart two piano concerto with her mother Carolyn Shaak and the Arapahoe Philharmonic Orchestra of Denver, Colorado.
In addition to her successful concert career, Ms. Shaak has recorded two compact disks. In The Romance of Spain, released on the Cadenza Classics label, she performs the works of Mompou and Rodrigo and the Seven Spanish Songs by Manuel de Falla with Soprano Maria Lagios.
On the newly recorded, The Sun is Love, Ms. Shaak performs the music of
American composer Gwyneth Walker. The disk, available in music stores early next year on the Proteus label, is a collaboration between the pianist, the composer and Chicago Soprano Michelle Areyzaga. It is the first recording ever of the acclaimed Walker's works.
Last season, soprano Michelle Areyzaga and pianist Jamie Shaak dazzled an audience gathered at Chandler to celebrate Walker’s birthday with many varied performances of the composer’s own music. The Chicago-based duo returns to Chandler to premiere Walker’s new song cycle, "La Ternura" (Tenderness), a six-song work set to the poetry of Chilean poet, Gabriela Mistral.