Richard Glazier - Pianist
Raconteur - Cultural Historian
Every artist has an epiphany. For classically-trained, award-winning pianist Richard Glazier, it happened at age nine, when he saw the film “Girl Crazy” with a score by George & Ira Gershwin. He was so excited by the music he heard, he was prompted to write a fan letter to famed lyricist Ira Gershwin. After corresponding with each other for three years, Gershwin invited his young friend, then 12, to meet him in Beverly Hills. During their visit, Ira asked Glazier to play a Gershwin tune on the piano that once belonged to his brother, legendary composer George Gershwin. Fueled by Ira's encouragement and interest, Glazier dedicated himself to the Gershwin repertoire and the American Popular Songbook, eventually becoming one of the genre's leading authorities. Over the years he has also developed a keen interest in contemporary music standards from the Broadway stage and the Hollywood screen.
Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, Glazier began studying piano when he was 6 years old. Glazier earned his Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance from Indiana University School of Music and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2007, CIM awarded him its prestigious Alumni Achievement Award for his contributions to American Popular Song. He has also won several major international piano competitions.
Glazier's passion for the Great American Popular Song and more contemporary standards has led him to create special programs celebrating both eras. He plays incredible piano arrangements, then tells the history behind the songs, sharing fascinating stories about the composers, the shows, the films and the stars. He also shares funny anecdotes. His programs often include vintage images and rare film clips. He has performed in almost every state and has been a soloist with Pops orchestras across the country. Glazier is also committed to performing for those less fortunate---people who seldom have the chance to hear live music. Through the auspices of the Pro Musicis organization, he has done community service concerts in a wide array of locations, including prisons, homeless shelters, retirement homes and elementary schools.
Performance venues include:
- Carnegie Hall (4)
- United Nations
- Library of Congress
- Smithsonian Institution
- Clinton Library
- National Portrait Gallery
- Chautauqua Institution
- LA County Museum of Art
- McCallum Theater, Palm Desert, CA
- Annenberg Theater, Palm Springs, CA
- Newport Festival, Newport, RI
- Ravinia Festival, Chicago, IL
- Salle Cortot, Paris, France
- The Shaw Theatre, London, England
- National tour celebrating the Gershwin Centennial Anniversary
- Fund raisers, corporate and private parties
Glazier has had three nationally broadcast television specials on PBS. The shows have won multiple awards, including four Telly Awards for Outstanding Achievement in entertainment, documentary and cultural programming. He has been featured on the PBS NewsHour and has produced six CDs for Centaur Records. Richard Glazier is a Steinway Artist.
Richard and his wife Jan live in Sacramento, California.
"'Embraceable You' and
- Cleveland Plain Dealer
A behind the scenes look of me playing the Gershwin piano at the Library of Congress for a piece that was being shot for NewsHour on PBS. I played this same piano for Ira Gershwin a little over 37 years ago.