It Starts With
Life. Love. Music.
Carl Algermissen began a lifelong relationship with the piano at the age of 3, under the tutelage of Cheryl Bailey. Within a few years he was competing in local piano competitions, and went on to become a finalist in the Colorado State Music Association Piano Competition at the age of 7, an accomplishment he would go on to repeat three additional times.
Shortly after beginning his piano studies, Mr. Algermissen also trained as a vocalist. As a child, he sang with the critically-acclaimed Colorado Children’s Chorale, performing throughout the United States and in Great Britain, including concerts at the Edinburgh Music Festival, the Aberdeen Music Festival, Durham Cathedral, York Minster Abbey and Westminster Abbey. Years later, as a member of the Meistersingers choral group, he performed at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference and for members of Congress at the United States Capitol Building. Mr. Algermissen went on to sing bass-baritone in six opera productions with the Opera Colorado chorus, under the direction of vocal coach Louise Sherman, former assistant conductor at New York’s Metropolitan Opera.
For the better part of a decade, Mr. Algermissen studied with pianist Jane Tirey, during which time he returned to the competition scene, winning local and state contests to qualify for a western regional piano competition, where his first place finish earned him a seat at the prestigious Kawai America National Piano Competition in Sundance, Utah. His performance there was broadcast by PBS and garnered a third-place award. Mr. Algermissen’s piano studies also included coaching from Cornelia Vertenstein, Suzanne Rabaud, and Metropolitan Opera pianist Lalan Parrot who, with Van Cliburn, studied with renowned teacher Rosina Lhevinne at New York’s Julliard School. Concert highlights during this period included performances of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances with 43 other pianists playing 22 grand pianos, and a Christmas broadcast performance with Jim Henson’s Muppets.
In addition to solo piano performances, Mr. Algermissen has performed as an accompanist. Notably, he performed at private house concerts with violinist Jesse Ceci, the late concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the National Ballet of Canada. Mr. Algermissen subsequently accompanied many of Maestro Ceci’s students in recitals and competitions, and attributes Maestro Ceci with having had a profound influence on his style as an accompanist.
In 1984, Mr. Algermissen and cellist Ethan Lazarus established their Denver piano cello duo. Their ensuing friendship has spanned decades, with the two being driven to innovate the piano-cello repertoire. Together, they took on a years-long project to transcribe and arrange works by Argentinian tango composer Astor Piazzolla, culminating in performances at local arts festivals as well as national venues.
Mr. Algermissen received his undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his doctorate from the University of Denver. He lives in Colorado with his wife and son.