Concert pianist, chamber musician, recording artist, teacher and published music-writer, Tina Faigen’s professional music endeavors also include engagements as an adjudicator, master class presenter, workshop presenter, orchestral pianist, instrumental & vocal accompanist, music editor, and even presently as an orchestral violinist serving as Principal 2nd. An active teacher from the age of 14, Faigen has maintained a private studio throughout her life and is a piano faculty member at both University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University Music Preparatory School.
Faigen has served as the primary editor since 1992 for the vast catalog of works composed by Robert Schultz. Together they co-authored the acclaimed Accelerando Piano Technique Series, the Encyclopedia of Classical Piano Music, and numerous other publications of piano music editions. Faigen earned her BM in performance from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where she studied with Sanford Margolis. At University of Miami, she studied under renowned pianist, Ivan Davis, earning her MM and DMA degrees. She has coached with Emanuel Ax, Nelson Freire, and Andre Watts.
In June 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, Faigen performed an intimate recital from her living room that was viewed live around the world, presented by Rodef Shalom’s Music and Culture from Home series. Other recent recital appearances include the Steinway Recital Series, Johnstown Music Series, Chatham Guest Artist Series, and Pittsburgh Concert Society. She has produced a series of special-event concerts titled, “Schultz, Faigen & Friends,” featuring solo, vocal, & chamber music of Schultz, performed by Faigen in collaboration with noted guest performers. Faigen has performed live on WQED-FM and been invited for many in-depth interviews. Her recordings often receive air time, and in June 2020 she was featured in a 2-hour radio broadcast hosted by Jim Cunningham honoring performances of hers that spanned 30 years.
An active chamber musician, Faigen frequently collaborates with premiere musicians. Recent collaborations include renowned violinists Catherine Cho (The Juilliard School faculty) and Orion String Quartet members Daniel and Todd Phillips. Faigen and Cho partnered with Chatham University to help establish the Pittsburgh chapter of Music for Food, a musician-led initiative to fight hunger, whose pilot program was started in New York by violist Kim Kashkashian. As a founding member of Zaffiro Trio, (piano, clarinet, cello) the ensemble has also performed for Music for Food, donating their services, fundraising efforts and ticket sales for local hunger relief. Zaffiro Trio performs regularly in both professional and outreach settings and has premiered new works composed for the group by Robert Schultz. Dedicated to Zaffiro Trio is a one-movement work titled Fantasia, Op. 49 and also Trio, Op. 52, a large scale multi-movement work.
In collaboration with Anna Singer, soprano, Faigen premiered Schultz’s 8 Songs on poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, Op. 50. Joining forces at one piano with pianist-conductor Walter Morales, Faigen premiered Schultz Finale for 4 Hands, Op. 47, a thrilling work that was Schultz’s inspiration for the final movement of his Symphony, Op. 48. That symphony received its premiere by Edgewood Symphony Orchestra with Morales at the podium and Faigen playing Principal 2nd Violin.
Faigen has been engaged as guest pianist with numerous orchestras, including an appearance at age 13 with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Michalak. Awarded a multi-city debut tour in Italy with Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese, she performed under the baton of Erasmo Gaudiomonte. Recent concerto performances include the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor with DeKalb Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta, University of Pittsburgh’s Symphony Orchestra, and as featured soloist with Edgewood Symphony Orchestra at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Music Hall in celebration of the orchestra’s 30th anniversary.
Faigen’s recordings of Robert Schultz’s works Visions of Dunbar and Tina Faigen Plays Piano Transcriptions have received rave reviews. Byron Belt of Newhouse News writes, “Faigen plays Schultz’s works superlatively, effortlessly clarifying their rippling complexities and performing with supple dexterity, a clear, resonant tone and sensitive touch. Gorgeous, handsomely recorded performances by pianist Tina Faigen. Transcriptions of Glück’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits, Gabriel Fauré’s haunting Pavane and Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise are tasteful and beautiful. Schultz’s original works offer challenges to any pianist – but none to Miss Faigen. The quirky individuality of the composer’s vision shines through.”
Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet featured Faigen as guest pianist for over 30 performances of Balanchine’s Ballet Allegro Brillante (Tchaikovsky’s 3rd Piano Concerto). Herald critic Laurie Horn of The Miami Herald writes, “Tina Faigen played so brilliantly that it was difficult at times to concentrate on the dancing.” Sun-Sentinel writes, “Tina Faigen played Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3 eloquently.” Music critics have described her as “commanding a rich palette of pianistic colors and fingers of awesome dexterity,” and as having “a compelling combination of solid technique and distinctive interpretation, full of color and nuance, with her virtuosity the servant of the music. A stunning performer who plays with assurance, fluidity and power.” “Remember her name.”
On a more familial note…
Tina Faigen hails from an extended family of professional musicians. As a youngster her primary teachers were her mother Fern (piano teacher), her aunt Natalie Phillips (piano faculty University of Pittsburgh) and her uncle Eugene Phillips (Pittsburgh Symphony Violinist & Violist). Tina’s siblings are violinist Joan Faigen (Asst. Principal 2nd Västerås Sinfonietta, Sweden) and pianist Scott Faigen (music professor, Mannheim, Germany). Violinists Daniel & Todd Phillips (Orion String Quartet) are Tina’s first cousins as is Amy Phillips (singer and music educator). The Faigen-Phillips family began their musical collaborations as youngsters. Although these days they are spread out around the world, they still come together to make music. Add in the various professional musician spouses—flutist Tara Helen O’Connor (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), violinist Catherine Cho (The Juilliard School faculty), violist Steven Svensson (Stockholm Philharmonic), and Tina’s husband, composer Robert Schultz—and you have quite an abundance of musicians at family gatherings.
- 64th “Y” Music Society Recital Series—Passamaneck Award winner
- 4th United States National Chopin Piano Competition—Quarter finalist
- Palm Beach Symphony Honors—Rising Star
- New York Chopin Competition—Finalist
- Pittsburgh Concert Society—Majors winner
- Festival Miami Concerto Competition—Winner of debut tour in Italy
- Organization of the American States Piano Competition—2nd prize
- National Society of Arts and Letters—2nd prize
- Florida West Coast Chopin Competition—2nd & 3rd prizes
- Boca Raton Piano Competition—Finalist
- University of Miami Concerto Competition—Winner
- Virginia Beach Pops National Concerto Competition—1st prize
- Fay Olmsted Scholarship Competition—1st prize
- Tuesday Musical Club Scholarship Competition—4 time winner
- Columbus Symphony Concerto Competition—3rd prize
- Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association Competition—1st prize
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition—winner
- South Hills Symphony Young Musicians Talent Contest—winner
- Carnegie Awards Medalist—1st prize
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (Haydn D Major)
- Orchestra Sinfonica Abruzzese, multi-city tour, Italy (Beethoven C Major)
- Edward Villella’s Miami City Ballet, 2 tours, over 30 performances (Tchaikovsky 3rd)
- DeKalb Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta (Brahms D Minor)
- Edgewood Symphony Orchestra (Brahms D Minor)
- Pittsburgh University Symphony Orchestra (Brahms D Minor, Beethoven C Major)
- Virginia Beach Pops Orchestra (Brahms D Minor)
- Bedford Springs Festival Orchestra (Rachmaninoff 2nd)
- Deerfield Beach Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven C Major, Beethoven C Minor)
- Three Rivers Orchestra (Haydn D Major, Schumann, Beethoven C Major, Vivaldi for 4 Violins)
- University of Miami Symphony Orchestra (Brahms D Minor)
- Wilkinsburg Civic Symphony (Bach D Minor)
- Mt. Lebanon Symphony Orchestra (Beethoven Rondo)
- South Hills Symphony (Schumann)