Joel Schoenhals is professor of piano at Eastern Michigan University and guest professor of piano at Nanchang University, Jiangxi Province, People's Republic of China. An active performer and recording artist, Schoenhals has received praise for his recordings Bartók's For Children, Lieder of Schubert Transcribed for Piano by Franz Liszt, and Musical Moments of Schubert and Rachmaninoff on Fleur de Son Classics.
- "These are rich and romantic readings (Musical Moments), beautifully played and recorded. There is no more sensitive and poetic recording of the Schubert. And the final Maestoso (Rachmaninoff) is truly majestic – not merely a virtuoso show. A wonderful program, played with great sensitivity and tone" (American Record Guide).
- "He has the ability to carefully control his touch in a surprisingly specific way, yet still sound natural and not inappropriately, over-the-top theatrical" (All Music).
- "Schoenhals embraces the Hungarian idiom completely" (American Record Guide).
- "It would be difficult to imagine a better rendition of Bartók's For Children. The gaiety, the sadness sometimes feel unutterable. I listened to this album over and over with increasing pleasure" (Memphis Commercial Appeal).
- "In his recording of twenty Liszt transcriptions of Schubert songs, Schoenhals cultivates a beautiful, well-paced tone that is always easy on the ear. His sense of flow in the interpretation of these pieces enhances the idea of narratives without words that Liszt aimed to achieve" (Classik Reviews).
- "Seek this one out and find one of the greatest releases of the year (Liszt). Now if someone would only help me to close my jaw, hung open by the second track. Only then can I return to mundane existence" (American Record Guide).
- "Schoenhals awakens Schubert's exuberance, lifts it from piercing melancholy to ecstatic flights, and touches the throbbing heart of Liszt's recreations in a way that persuades us the piano is indeed a viable, if not preeminent, medium for so much vocally conceived music. Schoenhals is passionate . . . impetuous . . . radiant. There's abundant pleasure to be found here" (Fanfare).
Fleur de Son Classics has also released Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and Petrouchka for Two Pianos and Trios for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Robert Schumann, Max Bruch. He has most recently recorded Schubert and Schumann Fantasies and a CD of Chinese Piano Music released in 2013.
- A dedicated teacher, Schoenhals is active in local and state chapters of MTNA and was featured as the keynote artist for the Idaho Music Teachers Association state convention. He presented lecture recitals and a master class at the Oregon Music Teachers Association state convention, and presented lecture-recitals at MTNA national conventions in Kansas City and Austin. He was a featured artist, judge and teacher at the Besparmak International Piano Festival in North Cyprus and has performed concerts in China and South America.
- From 1998–2010, he was a faculty member of the Summer Piano Program at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York.
- Schoenhals is a Steinway Artist.
- Joel Schoenhals' Website
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