An enthusiastic proponent of new music, pianist Manuel Laufer has presented world premieres at Merkin Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Symphony Space, Bang on a Can, June in Buffalo, and Festival Atempo (Caracas and Paris). As a core member of the Hayley-Laufer Duo and Ensemble Atempo, he has concertized extensively playing contemporary chamber music, performing canonic works by composers including Babbitt, Cage, Crumb, Lachenmann, and Xenakis in addition to newly commissioned repertoire. His solo work has championed modernist voices from his native Venezuela, placing particular emphasis on composer Diógenes Rivas.
A versatile musician, he is also passionate about traditional repertoire. He has performed with orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic, and appears yearly at the Blueridge International Chamber Music Festival (Vancouver). Highlights of collaborative engagements featuring traditional repertoire in recent and upcoming seasons include a tour of China with clarinetist Mingzhe Wang and performances of Hugo Wolf’s complete Italienisches Liederbuch in Canada and Germany.
Manuel has been a visiting artist at Harvard University's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and University at Buffalo's Creative Arts Initiative. He serves on the Screening Committee of Festival Atempo, and as President of the Piano Teachers Congress of New York, whose 20th/21st-Century Music Festival he co-chairs. Formerly on staff as a collaborative pianist at University of California, Irvine, he is currently a member of the Artist Faculty of NYU Steinhardt Piano Studies, where he is Director of Collaborative Piano.
Manuel holds undergraduate degrees in Music History and Piano Performance from McGill University, an M.F.A. from University of California, Irvine, and a Ph.D. in Piano Performance from NYU Steinhardt. He pursued specialized studies in collaborative arts at the Songfest Professional Program, the Franz-Schubert-Institut at Baden-bei-Wien, and the Orford Arts Centre Summer Academy. His principal teachers include Marilyn Nonken, Gabriela Montero, Nina Scolnik, Edna Golandsky, and Kyoko Hashimoto.