Steinway Salon: Meral Guneyman
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Part of Steinway Salon / Music

Pianist Meral Guneyman explores the music of jazz legends Billie Holiday, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington—and the arrangers who bring their music to life on the piano.


"Billie's Blues" by Billie Holiday (1915-1959), arr. Jed Distler

"Don't Explain" by Billie Holiday, arr. Meral Guneyman

"I'm a Fool to Want You" by Frank Sinatra (1915-1959) and Joel Herron (1916-2012), arr. Jed Distler

"Fine and Mellow" by Billie Holiday, arr. Jed Distler

"Good Morning Heartache" by Ervin Drake (1919-2015), Irene Higginbotham (1918-1988), and Dan Fisher (1920-2001), arr. Jed Distler

"The Clothed Woman" by Duke Ellington (1899-1974), arr. Dick Hyman

"Come Sunday" by Duke Ellington, arr. Dick Hyman

"Daydream" by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967), arr. Larry Hochman

"Sophisticated Lady" by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills (1894-1985), arr. Larry Hochman

"Jubilee Stomp" by Duke Ellington, arr. Dick Hyman

"Reflections in D" by Duke Ellington, as played by Bill Evans, trans. Jed Distler

Seven Virtuoso Etudes on Gershwin Songs by Earl Wild, based on the songs of George & Ira Gershwin
"Embraceable You"
"Fascinating Rhythm"
"The Man I Love"
"Oh, Lady Be Good"
"Liza (All The Clouds'll Roll Away)"
"Somebody Loves Me"
"I Got Rhythm"


Pianist and Steinway Artist Meral Guneyman made her orchestral début in the United States under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas as first prize winner of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Artist’s Competition. She was promptly reengaged by Tilson Thomas to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Her Carnegie Hall début was as winner of the East/West International Competition. She was the top prize winner of the William Kapell International Competition at the University of Maryland, where she performed with the Baltimore Symphony. Her other prizes and honors include first prize at the Juilliard Concerto Competition. As a finalist Laureate at the Naumburg International Competition, she was once again brought to the stage of the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. 

Her appearances have taken her to the Cervantes and Monterrey Festivals in Mexico, the International Istanbul Festival, the American Music Festival in Washington D.C, the Ljubliana International Festival in Slovenia, and to the Antalya International Festival in Turkey. As soloist, she has performed with the Juilliard Symphony, the Istanbul State Symphony, the Presidential Symphony and the Borusan Philharmonic in Turkey, the Portland Symphony, the Brussels Philharmonic, the ‘I Musici Brucellencis’ Orchestras in Belgium, and the Melbourne Players at the University of Melbourne in Australia. As recitalist, she has performed in England, Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Serbia, (including a concert for the Royal Family of Serbia), Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Turkey. 

Guneyman is a two-time winner of the Judelson Award and the Laura Conover Pedagogy Award in New York. In her role as academic pedagogue, she has given lectures and master classes at New York University, Harvard University, Princeton Universities, SUNY Purchase, Marshall University, M.I.T., Georgetown University, Rice University, and at Bosphorus University of Istanbul. 

Meral’s ability to move instantaneously and convincingly between the classical and jazz genres and her arrangements, transcriptions, and multimedia compositions is a rarity. She is dedicated to the advancement of contemporary music and has premiered works by composers such as jazz legends Dick Hyman, Pablo Ziegler, Fred Hersch. She has also premiered works by her contemporary, award-winning Justin Dello Joio, namely the Piano Sonata, Due per Due for cello and piano, and a chamber work that Meral premiered with the Juilliard Dance Ensemble and Juilliard Chamber Orchestra at Lincoln Center. Her recordings, regardless of the genre, have been received with universal acclaim. Her first recording of Frank Bridge and Anton Webern works was heralded as among the five best albums of the year and was singled out in the Art of Piano by David Dubal.  Her album Playful Virtuosity, with jazz legend Dick Hyman, has been a Grammy contender. Danzas Tropicales, again with Dick Hyman, was selected as iTunes’ “Editor’s Choice for New & Noteworthy” for 8 consecutive weeks.  

In her capacity as performer and educator, Meral has worked throughout her life to raise funds for many charity organizations, among them: Save the Children, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, UNA-NY, USA-HERO, Americans for Cures, and others. meralguneyman.com


"Guneyman plays everything with assurance and sympathy and a big bold sound." –Boston Globe

"Done with real style and technical command. Delightful!" –The New York Times


Please note that this program was originally scheduled for April 13, 2017.