Anders Martinson made his national television debut as a pianist in 1988 at the age of fifteen performing on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. By eighteen, he was concertizing throughout the United States and abroad. He made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut under Esa-Pekka Salonen in 1991, and his New York recital debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall the following year to a rave New York Times review. European debuts in Rome and London soon followed.
Martinson has won numerous competitions and garnered multiple awards. In 1991, he placed 2nd in the prestigious Robert Casadesus (now Cleveland) International Piano Competition, and 1st in both the solo and concerto categories of the Joanna Hodges (now Virginia Waring) International Piano Competition, in each case as the youngest competitor. In 1992, again as the youngest competitor, he won 1st place in the international D’Angelo Young Artist Competition. Martinson received the United States Presidential Scholar Award in 1991, and the Gilmore Foundation Young Artist Award in 1992, which recognized him as an outstanding young American pianist. His principal teachers were Bruce Sutherland and James Bonn.
In early 1992, Martinson’s concert career was cut short by focal dystonia (the misfiring of certain specialized neurons in the brain stem) which affected the control of his right hand, and forced him to cancel all future performances, in this country and abroad. Subsequently, he attended Yale University, where he turned his attention to conducting. Martinson took over as Music Director of the Berkeley Orchestra at Yale in 1994. In this capacity, he guided the orchestra to a new level, drawing full crowds to the performances, and building the 45-piece chamber orchestra into a 75-piece symphony capable of performing the standard orchestral literature. Upon graduation from Yale in 1996 with a degree in music, Martinson accepted one of the top awards bestowed on graduates at Commencement, the David Everett Chantler Award. He also received the New Prize for his work as the director of the Berkeley Orchestra.
In 2004, Martinson decided to focus on teaching piano, and rapidly assembled a vibrant studio of enthusiastic young pianists. His students have won numerous local, regional, statewide and international competitions, and they present concerto performances regularly with a variety of different orchestras. Martinson is currently active in the Music Teacher’s Association of California and in the California Association of Professional Music Teachers.