Joined the RPO in 1975
Joseph Werner enjoys a varied career as a soloist, collaborative artist, orchestral pianist, administrator, and educator. He has been the Principal Pianist for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since 1975 and the orchestra’s Personnel Manager since 1993. He was also Co-Artistic Director of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester from 2000-2013.
Active both in recital and as an orchestral soloist, Werner has performed numerous times with the RPO in concerto repertoire ranging from Bach to Gershwin. In his solo role, he has appeared with conductors David Zinman, Mark Elder, Christopher Seaman, Jorge Mester, Peter Bay, Isaiah Jackson, and Enrique Diemecke. One of the busiest collaborative pianists in Rochester, he was for many years the accompanist for the celebrated American violinist, Carroll Glenn, and performs regularly with a host of RPO soloists, Eastman School of Music faculty, and visiting artists.
An active recording artist, Werner has recordings on the Columbia, Vanguard, Musical Heritage Society, NEXUS, and Naxos labels. He recorded an album of French music for trombone and piano with Mark Kellogg entitled Impressions and the world premiere of Blue Windows, a sextet for winds and piano written for him and the Antara Winds by the distinguished American composer Libby Larsen.
Werner is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and the performer’s certificate. His teachers have included Eugene List, Brooks Smith, Leon Fleisher, and Rosina Lhevinne. He is currently Co-Chair of the Piano Department of the David Hochstein School of Music and Dance, where he won that institution’s first Faculty Service Award in 1990. He was named Mu Phi Epsilon’s “Musician of the Year” in 2007. He resides in Penfield with his wife, flutist Diane Smith, and enjoys opera, hiking, canoeing, and cross-country skiing.