After his first heart surgery at the age of nine, Adam Merrill found companionship and solace at the piano. Through his authentic approach, his poised yet emotionally dynamic playing weaves colorful stories that can only be told by music.
As a testament to his beloved craft, Adam holds over 30 awards and distinctions from small town Idaho to international acclaim. Most notably, he has won first prize in the state MTNA Young Artist competition, first prize in the ISCS Young Artist competition, first prize in the Musicians West piano competition, as well as prizes from the 2018 and 2019 International Buono and Bradshaw piano competition, the 2021 International Medici Music Competition, and the 2021 Clara Schumann International Music Competition.
Since his Orchestral Debut with the Idaho State Civic Symphony’s Myth, Magic, and Madness concert season, Mr. Merrill has continued to perform regularly. He prioritizes curating programs that engage his audiences and is praised for his Teaching Artistry. He is also a sought after collaborative pianist and is a proponent of performing, commissioning, and premiering the music of living composers.
Adam has been teaching piano for a decade. Specializing in advanced students preparing for auditions, adult beginners, and pedagogy for young beginners, Mr. Merrill devises a curriculum catered to each student and class to best inspire a love of learning, a love of music, and a healthy self-relationship. Here is a quote from his teaching philosophy:
“His teaching focuses on the techniques of Golden Era piano playing through the lens of modern educational practices. He specialize in the Old Russian School technique, descendent of Rosina Lhévinne (Van Cliburn's Teacher) and Joseph Lhévinne (Adele Marcus’ teacher), the Lesetchesky approach (descendent of Beethoven), the Taubman technique, and a strong focus on tone production and phrasing. Mr. Merrill teaches about harmony, structure, form, aural theory, anatomy, and most importantly, developing a connection to each student's inner musical voice through interpretation.
Students in his studio have gone on to compete in piano competitions, attend competitive private schools, successfully complete top Royal Conservatory of Music Recital Exams, play at Julliard, and apply for Fulbright Scholarships. Most importantly, his students learn to love music and enjoy playing the piano in addition to being successful musicians.”
Mr. Merrill is passionate about preserving these great traditions in classical piano. He also believes that music and music education should be available to all. He is the founder and director of Next Golden Era, an organization dedicated to raising and distributing funds for equity based music lesson scholarships. Though many believe that the Golden Era of piano and classical music has passed, Adam believes that it is in the hands of the next generation of young musicians.
As a lifelong learner, Adam believes that music teaches the soul, and as long as he plays, he will be its student. This love of learning has helped him graduate Magna cum laude from Idaho State University with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and a minor in voice. He also holds Master of Music degree from Longy School of Music of Bard College with high marks. There, he was a proud scholar of Janet and Irv Plotkin, a Teaching Assistant, a Graduate fellow, and an assistant editor to The Ensemble and The World Ensemble. His Mentors include Brandon Bascom, Kori Bond, Mark Neiwirth, Spencer Myer, and Jeffrey Biegel.