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John Orlando, Pianist

John Orlando graduated summa cum laude with a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in performance from the University of Southern California. His teachers there were John Crown and Alice Ehlers. He has also worked with Dorothy Taubman, Edna Golandsky, Sergei Babayan, John Perry, Gyorgy Sandor, Pawel Skrzypek, Halida Dinova and Helene Wickett.

In 1968 Dr. Orlando was chosen first prizewinner in the "Young Artist's Competition" sponsored by the Fresno Philharmonic Association. In 1986 he gave the world premiere of the Concerto for Piano and Winds, written for him by New York composer, Anthony Newman. During the spring and summer of 1997 Dr. John Orlando premiered piano works written for him by Anthony Newman and George Barati on an international tour with performances in the United States, Australia, Italy, and Brazil.

He has performed with the San Jose, Santa Cruz County, and Fresno Symphonies, the Cabrillo Festival, San Francisco Sinfonietta and the Institute for the Development of Intercultural Relations for the Arts in Santa Cruz. He is a founding member of the Johannes Trio and in 2005, he toured California with the Akademos Quartet in a performance of the Shostakovich Piano Quintet. Other engagements followed with the Cadenza Chamber Orchestra, directed by Maya Barsacq. In 2018 he will perform as a recitalist at the Arte e Musica International Piano Festival in Volterra, Italy.

Dr. Orlando has held teaching positions at the Universities of Southern California and Santa Clara. Currently he is an instructor emeritus of Cabrillo College where he was head of the piano department with teaching assignments in advanced and class piano, online music appreciation and online music history. Dr. Orlando is the founder and director of the Cabrillo College Distinguished Artists Concert & Lecture Series. He was one of the first recipients of the Gail Rich Award for community service in the Arts in Santa Cruz County and was chosen Best College Teacher and Best Performer in Santa Cruz County by the Good Times Weekly local newspaper.


"An artist of obvious talent, whose playing was marked by exceptional clarity, a good sense of style and sensitivity." Sacramento Bee

Beethoven Concerto No. 3. “From the thundering rolls of the minor keys to the single notes in the higher registers on which he seemed to hold his listeners breathlessly suspended on his fingertips, he played with rich theatricality eking the last bit of drama out of single notes...” Santa Cruz Sentinel