Having time and again garnered much critical acclaim wherever he’s performed, Canadian pianist Darrett Zusko has firmly established himself as one of the new generation’s most exciting and versatile young artists.  Cited as being “perhaps one of the most promising performers of the 21st century” by Spain’s La Nueva España, the Cincinnati Enquirer stopped nothing short of describing him as “a phenom” who “plays with a fluency that belies the music’s complexity” (The Toronto Star).

Frequently engaged by a number of today’s leading symphonic ensembles including the Cincinnati, Montréal, and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, in addition to the Ottawa Symphony, Niagara Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic under the batons of JoAnn Falletta, Jacques Lacombe, Erich Kunzel, Victor Feldbrill and John Morris Russell to name only but a few, Mr. Zusko is fast becoming one of Canada’s most sought-after soloists.

Recent and upcoming season highlights include appearances with Bramwell Tovey and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, solo recital tours of British Columbia and under the auspices of Jeunesses Musicales of Canada and Debut Atlantic, appearing as guest artist at major festivals including the Festival of the Sound, MusicFest Vancouver, and the Festival de Lanaudière, as well as collaborating with a number of well-known chamber ensembles including the Allegri and Borealis String Quartets.

As an artist frequently heard on CBC Radio and Radio-Canada broadcasts, Mr. Zusko has been featured on such shows as Tempo, In Performance, Symphony Hall, Next!, Sunday Afternoon in Concert, and Music Around Us.  Notable venues he has performed at with orchestra and in recital include Place des Arts, Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, Glenn Gould Studio, Salle Pierre-Mercure, and the St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts among many others.

An enthusiastic supporter of Canadian music, Darrett Zusko’s debut album showcases the solo piano works of the late Torontonian Oskar Morawetz and was released in May 2009 to great critical acclaim on the Centrediscs label.  Having also been privileged to work with the well-known composer Harry Somers shortly before his death, Mr. Zusko premiered his final work for solo piano and recently recorded it for Centrediscs’ ‘A Window on Somers’ series of recordings.

A winner of numerous prestigious awards, Darrett Zusko was a top prizewinner at the Montréal International Musical Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and also won the first prize and people’s choice award at the Canadian Music Competitions International Stepping Stone, and first prizes at both the Bartók-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev and Oberlin International Piano Competitions.  In addition to being the recipient of a number of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Bagby Foundation for the Musical Arts in New York, Mr. Zusko was recently proclaimed “Artist of the Year” by the Women’s Musical Club of Toronto after having been announced as the winner of their triennial Career Development Award.

Born in Windsor, Ontario in 1984, Darrett Zusko took an interest to the piano at the early age of four and soon began his formal training with Dr. Gregory Butler.  Following a number of years of study with renowned pianist Ronald Turini (himself a student of the legendary Vladimir Horowitz), Zusko decided to pursue his training in New York City at the celebrated Juilliard School, where he worked with Julian Martin.  He has also studied with Anton Kuerti, Matti Raekallio, Jerome Lowenthal, Marek Jablonski and Dominique Weber.  Mr. Zusko currently resides in Toronto where he continues to work with Marc Durand and Leon Fleisher.

This biography was most recently edited by...
roblee - 17 Mar 2010
roblee - 9 May 2009