Duncan J. Cumming, now in his twelfth year on the faculty of the University at Albany, has performed concertos, recitals, and chamber music concerts in cities across the United States as well as in Europe.  The Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Merkin Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City, and the Wallenstein Palace in Prague, Czech Republic are among the concert halls in which he has appeared. Last year he traveled to Europe, New England, and the southern US for recitals in addition to his concerts in New York.  In 2017 he will reach audiences in Boston, Milwaukee, North Carolina, and West Virginia.  A recent review describes his playing as “technically flawless… thoughtful, deliberate and balanced, without a wasted gesture or any histrionics, rather like Rachmaninoff.”

Born near the Canadian border in Presque Isle, Maine, Cumming graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors from Bates College in 1993, where he studied with Frank Glazer. In 1994 he received a full scholarship from the European Mozart Foundation and participated in intense chamber music study and performance at the European Mozart Academy in Prague.  Upon his return to America he studied with Patricia Zander at the New England Conservatory, where he received his Master of Music degree in 1996.  In May of 2003 he graduated with the Doctor of Music degree from Boston University.

From 2002-2008 Cumming was on the faculty of the Boston University Tanglewood Institute as a teacher, chamber music coach, and performer in the position of assistant director and later director of the Young Artists Piano Program.  His book The Fountain of Youth:  The Artistry of Frank Glazer was published in 2009, and in 2010 he was honored to receive the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching.  Two recordings came out in 2011, including a solo recording for Centaur (CRC 3125) including music of Brahms, Debussy, Satie, and Chopin and the chamber music recording A Book of Hours for Albany Records (TROY 1239).  More recently two new recordings were released:  Threads of the Heart, a chamber recording for Albany Records, and a historical instrument recording with Christopher Hogwood for Centaur (CRC 3231) of the music of Carl Maria von Weber on Weber’s own 1815 Brodmann fortepiano.  He is the pianist of the Capital Trio and lives in New York with his wife, the violinist Hilary Walther Cumming, and his children Lucy, Mairi, and Bear. 


Duncan J. Cumming

Brahms: Sonata, Op. 1: I

Claude Debussy

Amlin: Eight Variations

Debussy: Ce que vu le vent  de l’Ouest

Photo Credit: Mark Schmidt