Pianist Julian Martin first came to international attention as winner of the Montevideo International Competition in 1975. In close succession prizes from such major competitions as Casadesus/Ravel (Cleveland), Kapell, and Bachauer followed. In 1982 the Collaborative prize in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Competition further fueled an already burgeoning career. He has appeared with major orchestras in the North and South America with conductors Sergiu Comisiona, José Serebrier, Richard Rodney Bennett, Amerigo Marino, and Leon Fleisher, among many.
Martin’s performing career was interrupted in the early 1980s by an aggressive form of arthritis. For nearly a decade he confined himself exclusively to teaching. In the 90s, he returned to the stage, focusing largely on chamber music. After 2000 he began to perform again as soloist.
In great demand as an adjudicator, Martin has served on the juries of many major competitions including the Montreal, Iowa International, American Pianists’ Foundation, AMSA (Cincinnati), Hilton Head, Virtuosi Of The Year 2000 in St. Petersburg, Virginia Waring (Palm Springs), Valladolid and Jaén (Spain), as well as national competitions in Argentina, Colombia, Canada, Korea and the U.S. He was a member of the original selection committee for the Gilmore Foundation in Kalamazoo, and a panelist for the Kennedy Center’s Music of the Americas program. He is currently on the Artistic Advisory Committee of the Orange County Chamber Music Society.
A native of Alabama, Martin’s first teachers were Beverly Gibbons and Vernon Raines. His professional studies continued at Peabody Conservatory under the guidance of Leon Fleisher, with additional studies in Italy and France with Guido Agosti and Nadia Boulanger, respectively. He also considers his early work with mezzo-soprano Flore Wend a crucial part of his musical formation. His recordings with violinist Berl Senofsky can be heard on the Cembal d’Amour label, and with flutist Robert Willoughby on the Gaspar and Historic Recordings series of the National Flute Society. He has recently appeared with the Dover and Pacifica Quartets and with cellist Colin Carr and violinist Iryna Krechkovsky.
In 1999 Martin founded the Gijón International Piano Festival in Spain, for which he served as Artistic Director for twelve years. In 2011 he established a summer academy (VIPA) at the Valencia Conservatory, also in Spain. Now a regular faculty member of the Aspen and Bowdoin International festivals, he has also been a Guest Faculty member of the Glenn Gould Professional School (Toronto), the Conservatoire de Géneve (HEM), Tibor Varga (Switzerland), and the Banff Centre (Canada). He has presented master classes in Great Britain, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Israel, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Venezuela.
Martin has taught at Oberlin Conservatory (1982-87), Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (1987-2003), and has been a member of the piano faculty of The Juilliard School since 1999. In 2016 The University of Cincinnati awarded him the President’s Medal for his “lifelong dedication to teaching.”