Paul Schrage is an equally able classical and jazz pianist. He has made solo, orchestral, and jazz appearances throughout the United States, Poland, the UK, and Rio de Janeiro. He has performed with such jazz greats as Bob Brookmeyer, Steve Smith, Gary Foster and Louis Bellson and was a finalist in the 2001 International Young Artists Piano Competition. Paul frequently blends the classical and jazz idioms by performing half classical/half jazz recitals and improvising cadenzas in concertos. He has an affinity for the music of Franz Liszt, and has performed all Liszt recitals. His performances have been broadcast on radio in the United States and in a live national television broadcast in Poland. Paul released his debut CD in 2003. The CD consists of works by Mozart, Liszt, Copland, jazz standards, and original compositions. His work with modern composers have led to several world premier performances, including works by Ruben Zahra, Ingrid Stozel, Ken Steen, Robert Carl, Reynold Simpson, and Bob Brookmeyer. Currently Paul is pianist for the modern jazz ensemble The Sideways Trio, who is releasing their debut album in the fall of 2010.
Paul is also emerging as an orchestral conductor. He has studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and at the Canford Summer School of Music in England, as well as privately with Peter Jaffe and George Cleve. He has guest and substitute conducted for orchestras in the Bay area, and is the Artistic Director of the newly formed Saint Peter’s Chamber Orchestra in Redwood City, which completed its inaugural season in 2009-2010.
Paul attended the Universty of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where under full scholarship he studied with Dr. Ruth Anne Rich. He then moved to Hartford, CT to study with the famous Brazilian pianist Luiz de Moura Castro at the Hartt School of Music, earning his master’s degree. Doctoral studies were at Catholic University with Ivo Kaltchev. Paul has been awarded for his academic work by the state of Missouri, the Arcla Corp., and the Harry S. Truman Foundation. Paul is also a Phi Kappa Phi Fellow. His major jazz influences include Oscar Peterson, Red Garland, Bill Evans, John Hicks, and the Polish pianist Wlodek Powlik. He is the Staff Pianist at Foothill College and has taught at Vandercook College of Music in Chicago and the International Summer Jazz Academy in Poland.
Aside from his work in music, Paul is also an accomplished martial artist. He holds rank in four martial arts systems. He also enjoys endurance running and reading about mathematics.