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Daniel Kramer

Daniel Kramer

Internationally renowned Russian pianist and jazzman Daniel Kramer, known for his on-the-spot improvisations, is a unique musician. Kramer does not follow the usual path of simple improvisation based on classical themes. Instead, he strives to invent a unique language for each piece, harmoniously blending jazz and classical elements. Kramer's style embraces practically all varieties of jazz – from the classical and traditional to the avant-garde. In his solo concerts, he always offers a variety of styles, both traditional and modern. Born in the town of Kharkov, Kramer had already won several music contests by the age of 15. After finishing school in 1978, he enrolled in Moscow's Russian Academy of Music and, during his second year there, he applied to participate in the Tchaikovsky International Contest. At the same time he became captivated with jazz after hearing performances by Oscar Peterson, Chick Corea and Keith Jarrett, a fascination that would change his life immensely. Upon hearing a concert by Leonid Chizhik, later his mentor, he was won over to improvisation. In 1982, he won first prize at a contest of jazz-piano improvisers in Vilnius, Lithuania. Since 1984, Kramer has taken part in a great number of international jazz festivals across the world, and become an Honorary Member of the Sydney Professional Jazz Club and a member of the Swedish Happaranda jazz club. Besides performing, Daniil Kramer has distinguished himself as a composer and teacher. In 1994, he established the Moscow Conservatory's first class of jazz improvisation.

Currently Daniel Kramer is an art-director of many Russian jazz festivals taking place in Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Perm, Surgut, Samara, Nizhny Novgorod, Suzdal, Ufa, Saratov, he gives lessons at the Moscow State Conservatory, Central Music School, being also Chairman of the Variety and Jazz Department at the Modern Art University in Moscow. D. Kramer is the establisher of existing for a long time unique touring subscription "Jazz Music at Academic Halls" enjoying great success in many cities of Russia. His touring activity outside Russia is also highly intensive including both genuine jazz concerts and performances with well-known violinist Didier Lockwood, and concerts with foreign symphonic orchestras, taking part in jazz and academic music vestivals as well as cooperation with various European performers and bands.

Daniel Kramer is also engaged in organization and holding of professional jazz contests in Russia. For example, he established professional youth jazz contest taking place in Saratov. In March, 2005 Moscow Pavel Slobodkin Concert Hall for the first time in Russia welcomed the First International Jazz Pianists Contest whose initiatives and organizers were P.Ya.Slobodkin and D. Kramer. Daniel Kramer was named Chairman of the Jury whose members were the most known pianists from different European and Russian countries. 

Daniel Kramer (born in 1960), Honored Artist of Russia, graduated from the Kharkov Secondary Special Music School as classical pianist. Later in 1983 he finished the State Music and Pedagogic University named after Gnesins (the class was guided by professor E.Ya. Liberman). Being a student, along with his classical studies D.Kramer starts being seriously interested in jazz music, gets acquainted with creative works of distinguished foreign and Russian jazz performers. In 1982 D.Kramer was awarded the first prize at the piano jazz improvisators contest taking place in Vilnius (Lithuania).

In 1983 D.Kramer starts his teaching career at the State Musical College named after Gnesins and works as soloist of Moscow State Philharmonic, from 1986 he is a soloist of Mosconcert. From 1984 D.Kramer starts an intensive touring activity and from then on takes part in practically all domestic jazz festivals. The year of 1988 marks the beginning of his foreign concert and festival activity. His solo recitals and performances in collaboration with various musicians took, place in many different countries, among which are: France, the USA, Spain, Australia, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Austria, Germany, Finland, China as well as in countries of Africa and Central America. Kramer participated in many renowned international jazz festivals, namely: Munchner Klavier sommer (Germany), Manly Jazz Festival (Australia), European Jazz Festival (Spain), Baltic Jazz (Finland), Foire de Paris (France) etc. He was named Honorary Member of Professional Musicians' Club. 

From 1995 Daniel Kramer tries himself in organizing cyclic concert programs under the common names: "Jazz Music at Academic Halls", "Jazz Evenings with Daniel Kramer", "Classic and Jazz", taking place not only in the form of traditional concerts taking place in Moscow (Tchaykovsky Concert Hall, Conservatory's Big Hall, Small Hall of Moscow Conservatory, State Pushkin Museum, Hall of the Central House of Artists), but also as annual concert subscriptions in many cities all over Russia, namely: Yekaterinburg, Tyumen, Omsk, Perm, Izhevsk, Belgorod etc. which enjoy great popularity. D. Kramer is permanently cooperating with various TV and radio companies taking part in various music projects. In 1997 ORT channel broadcasted a series of jazz music lessons followed by the video-course "Jazz Lessons with Daniel Kramer". In 1996-1997 he presents himself as musical editor of series of audio-cassettes commonly named "Contemporary Russian Jazz" having in its objectives showing the big picture of Russian jazz of late XX century. 

D. Kramer's pedagogical activity started in early 80-s at the State Music and Pedagogic University named after Gnesins. After that he experienced being a professor of the State Musical College named after Gnesins and jazz department of Moscow Music School named after Stasov. Here Kramer began working at his first methodological formulations which were then published with the help of Methodological Department of USSR Ministry of Culture. These works are now used within the studying process by jazz departments of music schools and colleges. 

In 1994 Daniel Kramer for the first time in the history of Moscow State Conservatory opened a class of jazz improvisation. 

Collections of jazz pieces and adaptations of Kramer's music themes published by various publishers became very popular in Russia. 

From 1994 Daniel Kramer is intensively cooperating with the International Charity Fund "New Names" taking care of talented children. He is a kind of curator of classic and jazz department of this organization: D. Kramer engaged in giving lessons to talented children learning classic music developing their knowledge and understanding of jazz, capability to play it. Main aim of this cooperation lies in attempting to create in Russia a galaxy of musicians who will be able to make jazz an integral part of their repertory performing it with the same professionalism as classic music. As a result of this activity, in 2001, children-quintet "Classic and Jazz" was formed which during the short time of its activity had already toured both in Russia and abroad, in Germany and Slovakia. 

In 1997 Daniel Kramer was entitled "Honored Artist of Russia".
In November, 2000 D. Kramer was awarded European Prize of Gustav Mahler.
In 2012 Daniel Kramer was entitled "People's Artist of Russia".