• Born 1948
Pianist Andrew Rangell has explored mainstream repertory from Beethoven to the 20th century moderns in fresh, sometimes unconventional ways. His recording pace has only increased since he achieved senior citizen status and was signed to the Steinway & Sons label.
Rangell was born in Chicago in 1948 and grew up in Colorado. His brother, Nelson Rangell, is a successful smooth jazz saxophonist and flutist. Andrew studied at the Juilliard School in New York through the doctoral level, working with teachers Beveridge Webster, Josef Raieff, and David Burge. A Malraux Award from the Concert Artists Guild launched Rangell's recital career at a high level: he gave recitals at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the 92nd Street Y in New York and was also a fixture of Boston's concert scene. From 1977 to 1985, Rangell taught piano at Dartmouth College. His recitals often featured unusual interpretive decisions; when performing Ives' Piano Sonata No. 2 ("Concord"), for example, he would sometimes whistle the optional flute part.
Rangell's career continued its upward trajectory in the late 1980s as he began to record, appeared at the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York's Lincoln Center, and performed the first of several complete cycles of Beethoven's piano sonatas in concert. In 1991, however, Rangell was sidelined by nerve and muscle injuries in one hand. Mostly away from the concert stage for seven years, he rebuilt his technique in therapy and retained some of the motion alterations he had made even after regaining his health.
Rangell recorded mostly for the Dorian label through the early 2000s decade, issuing such unusual collections as A Recital of Sentimental Works in addition to straight repertory pieces. In 2004, Rangell moved to the Bridge label, where he recorded major Bach works. Rangell, whose varied recitals fit perfectly with the aims of the Steinway & Sons label, was signed there in 2012. There he recorded late Beethoven, Bach, Chopin, an album called A Folk Song Runs Through It (featuring 20th century Eastern European nationalist composers including Bartók), and in 2017, A Bouquet of Beethoven, juxtaposing Beethoven sonatas with some of the composer's extreme rarities. Rangell's pace as a recording artist has not slowed perceptibly since he entered his eighth decade. Continuing to record for Steinway & Sons, he issued the recital From the Early 20th... in 2018; his first children's album, Bach 4 Kids..., in 2019; and a pair of albums in 2020, a recording of Bach's English Suites, BWV 806-811, and the recital A Bouquet of Bach.