Carol Montparker has been enjoying a dual career as pianist and writer. She was a protegée of Leopold Mittman, studied also with Josef Fidelman, and Angela Weschler at the New York College of Music, and has been coached by Jerome Lowenthal, Claude Frank, Horacio Gutierrez, André Watts, and Peter Frankl. Montparker majored in music at Queens College, where she won the Orchestral Society Award, granted to the “most outstanding instrumentalist on campus.” She gave her New York debut recital at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1976, about which Donal Henahan of the The New York Times wrote “a splendid debut by a pianist who starts where others leave off.” On February 19, 2009, Montparker returned to Weill Hall for a special birthday celebration concert.
Ms. Montparker’s CD’s, Pianogarden I and II, recorded in live concert, have been praised by artists and critics including Harold C. Schonberg; Michael Kimmelman of The New York Times, called her “a real artist, whose playing is unfailingly graceful and affecting.”
In 1998 Montparker was invited by Steinway & Sons to join the distinguished official roster of Steinway Artists. For the last several seasons, Ms. Montparker has been presenting her series called “The Composer’s Landscape” at the Steinway Gallery in Huntington, New York. Each event focuses on a single composer; the word “landscape” is a metaphor for the score and the individual characteristics of that composer. The format consists of a performance by Ms. Montparker of a major work by the composer, a lecture about the essential elements and challenges in the performance of his music, and a coaching class of several participating pianists with works-in-progress. The series has been very well received and well attended by teachers, pianists, and educateded auditors.
Montparker’s second book, A Pianist’s Landscape (Amadeus Press), has been receiving enthusiastic reviews resulting in frequent invitations for book-talks and lecture-recitals in universities (including the Juilliard School of Music, Yale University School of Music, UCLA, Queens College, Mannes College of Music,) at piano festivals, and music education conferences. A book of short stories drawn from a pianist’s life, titledThe Blue Piano and Other Stories, and a children’s book, Polly and the Piano were published by Amadeus Press in 2004.
As senior editor of Clavier for fifteen years, Montparker interviewed world-famous artists for feature stories, reviewed concerts and books. For 15 years she had her own column, Carillon, a personal view of music and how it relates to the other arts, nature, and life. She has won four Awards for Excellence in Journalism from Educational Press of America and has published freelance articles in virtually every music periodical as well as The New York Times and Newsday.
Carol Montparker has maintained a private piano studio at her Huntington residence for many years.
In addition to her professions as pianist and writer, Carol Montparker is a watercolorist. An exciting cross-pollination between her work as a professional musician and as a painter has produced a series of paintings that have appeared on the covers and illustrations within various music magazines and her recent books, including: Polly and the Piano, The Blue Piano and Other Stories, and A Pianist’s Landscape.
Two new books were added to the roster of Montparker’s work: A Pianist’s Journal in Venice is a delightful account of her musical episodes in Venice, with a watercolor on every page, and A Pianist’s Homecoming is a sequel to the first book, The Anatomy of a New York Debut, (which Glenn Gould was planning to write a sequel for, –before he died suddenly.) The Pianogarden poster, first seen on the cover of Clavier magazine, of which Montparker was senior editor for fifteen years, was made into a poster as a result of readers’ requests. For many years, Ms. Montparker did the illustrations for a children’s music magazine, Piano Explorer. The packets of cards on the art page, represent some of the covers she did for Clavier.