Award winning Israeli pianist and harpsichordist Assaf Sommer has established himself as a versatile musician, performing repertoire ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century on piano and harpsichord, and more recently on period pianos.
Sommer received his Bachelor’s degree from the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem under the guidance of Tatiana and Mark Dukelsky. He has been a recipient of multiple scholarship awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for distinguished musicians. He arrived in the United States in 2002 to study with American pianist Eugene Istomin for his Master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music. As a winner of Artists International he was presented in a solo recital debut in Carnegie Hall in 2006.
Sommer has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in performances across the U.S. and Israel. Recent performances include solo appearances with the Cincinnati Ballet at the Aronoff Center, performing Beethoven Concerto No. 4 in Cincinnati Ohio, a solo piano recital at Steinway Hall in New York as part of CCM Steinway Series, and in the “Close Encounters with Music” chamber music series with his piano trio “Troika”. A recent review of his performance of J. S. Bach’s second and fifth Brandenburg Concertos with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra described his playing as “…utterly thrilling, bringing the rippling notes to life with polish and individuality…”
Last year Sommer was invited to Cornell University as a fellowship recipient, to study period-pianos with fortepiano pioneer Malcolm Bilson. Sommer received his doctorate in piano and harpsichord at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, where he studied piano with Michael Chertock, and harpsichord with Vivian Montgomery. He has been on the Faculty of Ohio Northern University since 2010, teaching piano and harpsichord. Sommer’s debut CD “Keyboard Fantasies” performed on harpsichord, fortepiano, and the modern piano, was released in 2015.