Damon Denton was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He received a Master of Music degree from Juilliard where he was faculty assistant to the renowned Russian pianist, Oxana Yablonskaya. His major instructors have also included: Julian Martin, Ann Schein, Ilana Vered, Lillian Freundlich, Katherine Jacobson Fleisher, and Raymond Dudley. he has performed concerts in England, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, South Africa and throughout the United States. Venue highlights have included: Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall; Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall; The University of South Africa; The State Theater of Pretoria; The Royal Dublin Society in Ireland; The Lyric Theater in Baltimore; The Leighton House Museum in London; The Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara; The United Nations; Le Theatre de Queretaro in Mexico.
Nationally, Damon has collaborated in recital with members of the New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras, as well as with soloists from the St. Lukes Orchestra, New York’s “Winds of New Amsterdam”, and the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. Recital partners have included Fred Mills, formerly of the Canadian brass (trumpet). Recently, he was the featured artist on the Macon Symphony’s “Masterworks Series” performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 at Macon’s Grand Opera House. He was praised for a “….warm straightforward interpretation and magical tone ……drove the final movement to a thundering climax…” (The Macon Telegraph).
Career honors have included prizes at the Annapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloist Competitions, the Peabody Preparatory Recital Competition and Peabody “Concours,” the Kosciuszko Foundation’s Chopin Competition in NYC, the Music Academy of the West and Aspen Music Festival’s Concerto Competitions, the First National Young Keyboard Artist’s Competition in Grand Rapids Michigan, and the Fourth International Piano Competition in Pretoria, South Africa. While in South Africa, Denton’s finals performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the National Symphony Orchestra was broadcast live by the SABC from Pretoria’s State Theater: “He has a huge range of tone and articulation……. an exquisite performance by the American pianist....” (The Pretoria News).
Damon’s varied professional roles have included: Assistant director for Vermont’s Adamant Summer Music Festival; collaborative faculty for the Singers Forum Foundation (Chelsea, NYC); piano faculty at the Hartwick Summer Music Festival and Institute (Oneonta, New York); Studio pianist for international Metropolitan Opera star Anna Moffo in New York City. In 2010, he was named Assistant Director for the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition held at Lincoln Center.
Damon is a frequent guest performer on the local music scene in Athens, Georgia. He has appeared along side members of such legendary groups as PYLON and REM. He recently was keyboardist for the opening band at the B52’s Live from Athens DVD performance at the Classic Center Theater. Presently, he is coordinator for the Annual Christopher Durant Ballew Memorial Series held at the State Botanical Gardens. Televised concert performances with UGA faculty David Starkweather (cello) and Reid Messich (oboe) are currently in rotation on WUGA-TV Athens.
Compact disc recordings include: Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No.1 with the ARCO Chamber Orchestra and Fred Mills, on the Phoenix label; COLLECTED DREAMS – a Collection of folksongs and hymn arrangements for Euphonium (Adam Frey), piano and synthesized instruments; THE BASSOON WORKS OF EUGENE BOZZA for bassoon (Amy Marinello), piano and chamber players, on the Mark Records label. Damon has been on the piano faculty of the University of Georgia since 2010.