Pianist Sean Botkin began studying the piano at age five with his mother, making his first orchestral appearance four years later with the Honolulu Symphony. He went on to study privately with Neal O’Doan at the University of Washington and, under his direction, performed with the Seattle Symphony, Spokane Symphony, and Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. Sean has garnered prizes in an impressive list of international piano competitions: William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Busoni International Piano Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition, World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Dong-A International Music Competition of Korea, International Music Competition of Japan and the Washington D.C. International Competition. A graduate of Stanford University, the Juilliard School, and Indiana University at South Bend, Sean has studied with eminent artists Adolph Baller, Martin Canin, and Alexander Toradze.
Sean has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, Central and South America, Asia, and Russia. Concerto and recital performances include Kazan and St. Petersburg, Russia; Tbilisi and Kutaisi, Georgia; Salzburg Festival, Ravenna Festival, Stresa Festival, Ruhr Klavier Festival, Gilmore Festival, London, Cagliari, Rome, Florence, Bologna, Palermo, Lisbon, Tokyo, Seoul, Bogotá, and San José (Costa Rica). He made his New York debut at Alice Tully Hall in 1993 performing Bartók’s Concerto No. 2 with the Juilliard Symphony, conducted by Carl St. Clair. In 2009, he made a CD recording of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Sonata No. 1 in D minor and performed a series of concerts in Europe sponsored by Alexander Rachmaninoff and the Rachmaninoff Foundation. In 2012, also sponsored by the Rachmaninoff Foundation, he performed Rachmaninoff’s 4th Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia, conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, and in 2013 with the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and guest conductor, Alexander Sladkovsky. In May 2015, Sean performed in Tbilisi, Georgia as part of the Easter to Ascension Festival. Equally active in chamber music, reactions to Sean’s performances typically are expressed with phrases such as “multidimensional talents”, “superb musicianship”, and “beautiful and rare musical experience”. Other recent performances include Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Waverly and Cedar Falls, Iowa, Rachmaninoff’s Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor on the New York Philharmonic Ensembles concert at Merkin Hall (October 2015), and a solo recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York (February 2016).
He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Northern Iowa and Co-Artistic Director of the Midwest International Piano Competition.