During nearly 30 years as a full‐time concert pianist, Frederick Moyer has carved out a career characterized by an exacting approach to music‐making and a wide variety of musical interests.
Moyer was born into an artistic family. On his mother's side, his grandfather, Paul Green was a Pulitzer‐prize‐winning playwright, and his grandmother, Elizabeth, a poet. His other grandfather, David Moyer was a concert pianist and professor of piano at Oberlin College, a student in Berlin of Ferrucio Busoni and Ernst von Dohnanyi. His grandmother, Jessie, was a singer. Moyer's father, Bill, a trombonist, was a member of the Boston Symphony for 35 years, and his mother, Betsy, a pianist, harpsichordist and singer.
Moyer began piano studies with his mother at the age of seven. Musically eclectic from the start, his youthful obsessions moved from the Tijuana Brass to Oscar Peterson to Sergei Rachmaninoff. In junior high and high school, he studied jazz intensively. Moyer received a full scholarship to attend the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia while still in high school. He later attended Indiana University. His major teachers were his mother, Theodore Lettvin, Eleanor Sokoloff and Menahem Pressler.
Shortly after graduation, his acclaimed New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall launched Moyer on a career that has flourished ever since, taking him to 43 countries, to Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, Sydney Opera House, Windsor Castle and the Kennedy Center. Moyer has appeared as piano soloist with the major orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, Minnesota, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Houston, Boston, Singapore, Dallas, Buffalo, Hong Kong, Japan and Australia. Conductors under whom he has performed include Vladimir Ashkenazy, Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Gunther Schuller, and David Zinman.
Moyer's repertoire reflects an affinity for the complete range of classical music and beyond. He has recorded five Mozart concerti for the Norwegian radio, and performed three Rachmaninoff piano concerti with the Japan Philharmonic. His 24 recordings span the piano repertoire from Baroque to contemporary works. Composers who have written for Moyer include David Ott whose Second Piano Concerto Moyer recorded with the London Symphony, Donal Fox whose Etudes of 2002‐2006 were commissioned under a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation, and Pulitzer Prize winners George Walker and Ned Rorem. Moyer has performed with chamber ensembles at Marlboro Music Festival and Tanglewood, in collaborations with baritone Benjamin Luxon, violinist Salvatore Accardo, cellist Nancy Green and the Muir String Quartet, among others. He is a member of the Jazz Arts Trio, (piano, bass and drums) which plays note‐for‐note transcriptions of improvisations by the great jazz piano trios of Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Erroll Garner and others.
Moyer's enthusiasm, artistry, and adventurous programming have made him a favorite among audiences of all ages. In recital, his delightful commentary from the stage takes the audience into the heart of the musical experience.
Moyer's wide‐ranging interests have contributed to classical music in unique ways. Art museums have engaged him to create art‐music presentations that interpret works of visual art. He contributes his musical talents to causes including Habitat for Humanity and a music school in Port‐au‐Prince, Haiti, which he visits regularly to teach and perform.
In 1992, Moyer started JRI Recordings which supports the work of many world‐class musicians. An avid computer programmer, he incorporates technology into his musical regimen, having written computer programs that help him analyze, memorize, practice and perform. His CD of Clara Schumann's Piano Concerto was the first commercial recording of a large‐scale Romantic work using an orchestra created from sampled sounds. His Mussorgsky/Mendelssohn CD was the first commercial recording using the the Bosendorfer 290 SE Recording Piano. In 2009, he and Dr. Paul Green presented to the public an unfinished piano sonata by Robert Schumann. The next year, he and Green published for the first time an early version of the finale movement to Schumann's Piano Sonata No. 3.
Moyer's residencies of one day to three weeks combine major performances, master classes, workshops, school performances and other activities that promote classical music within communities.
Moyer's activities have been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, the United States Information Service, the Alcoa Foundation, the Astral Foundation, the Paul Green Foundation, Affiliate Artists, Concert Artists Guild, the Western States Arts Federation, the US China Arts Exchange and the Korean Cultural Foundation.