Although he primarily appears as a soloist, McCallum has worked as a collaborative artist with such distinguished musicians as international flutists Wissam Boustany of London and Alexa Still of New Zealand, violinist Eric Pritchard of the Ciompi Quartet, and composer/pianist Frederic Rzewski. He has given premieres of new works by Julie Harris, Gwyneth Walker, Sidney Boquiren, and Daniele Lombardi. McCallum frequently improvises and composes in addition to performing. He also presents programs that combine the classical repertoire with other genres, including collaborations with folk singer Mike Seeger and novelist Lee Smith. North Carolina critics praise the diversity and scope of McCallum's work, and hail him as "one of our region's most innovative performers" (The Spectator, Raleigh, NC).
McCallum received music degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg, Germany. He has won prizes and honors in piano competitions including the National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition, the Elizabeth R. Davis Memorial Piano Competition, and the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition. Upon winning the Hofer Sinfoniker Concerto Competition, McCallum made his orchestral debut in Würzburg, Germany. He has also won awards in competitions for chamber music and accompanying, such as the Jessie Kneisal German Lied Competition at the Eastman School of Music. McCallum's teachers have included Grace Watson, Michael Zenge, Arne Torger, Nelita True, Maria Curcio Diamand, and Ronald and Carlyle Hodges.
Excursions, McCallum's first compact disc recording, was released in 1996. This recording was praised as being "simply terrific" by The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), and was selected by The Spectator Magazine (Raleigh, NC) as one of The Spectator's 10 Best of '96 for Classical Albums. For his second CD, Reflections, released in 2001, critics hailed McCallum’s playing as “marvelous…. He is a superb technician with remarkable artistic sensibilities” (The Classical Voice of North Carolina – www.cvnc.org). Southern Quilt (MSR Classics) marks his third release, and was praised by Fanfare Magazine as "an imaginative recital...McCallum makes strong claims for the music, showing himself to be equally adept in the sweet lushness of the Still and in the mechanistic drive of the Rzewski." McCallum is currently working on an international recording project that will include residencies abroad and document cultural and musical evolution through the piano and its diverse repertoire. His next release in this series, Voyage à Paris, will explore the development of French piano music around the turn of the twentieth century and include works by Franck, Fauré, Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and Messiaen.
McCallum frequently appears on radio and television. Radio performances include WUNC radio's "The State of Things" (Chapel Hill, NC), WDAV radio's "The Main Street Sessions" (Davidson, NC), WFMT radio's Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series Broadcasts (Chicago, IL), WGBH radio's program "The Art of the States" (Boston, MA), and WNYE radio's "From the Mountain" (New York, NY).
By creating new ways of presenting classical music, McCallum helps to keep the art of the solo piano recital vibrant in the twenty-first century. His programs are based on themes that pull together repertoire from disparate styles and are enhanced by informative commentary. Committed to music education and outreach, McCallum frequently travels across North Carolina with his Yamaha C7 piano and performs residencies for communities and schools that do not have access to classical piano music. In addition to his concert schedule, McCallum uses music to benefit humanitarian causes. He has founded three concert series, "Building Houses With Music," "Beethoven and Friends for the Homeless," and "Reflections on World Peace," and has raised more than $200,000 for Habitat for Humanity, the homeless, and world peace causes with his music. His second CD, Reflections, features classical piano music for relaxation, and is currently used in hospitals and healing institutions around the world. McCallum resides in the Redbud Community near Pittsboro, NC, and enjoys teaching a private studio of advanced students who have won honors in regional and international piano competitions.
Greg McCallum passed away on February 9, 2016.
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