Pianist Carolyn Enger has gained critical acclaim for her lyrical and dynamic playing, as well as her deeply felt interpretations of works from the 18th century to the present. In addition to an active performance schedule on two continents, Ms. Enger has enjoyed remarkable success as a recording artist: The New York Times selected her Naxos recording of intimate Ned Rorem miniatures, Piano Album I & Six Friends, as one of the newspaper’s “Best In Classical Recordings” for that year, writing “Among the 90th–birthday tributes this year to the essential American composer Ned Rorem, this recording especially stands out,” while Gramophone declared, “Enger raises the miniatures to a higher level.”
Ms. Enger’s touring schedule has brought her to venues throughout the United States and beyond, including the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York, the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, United States Military Academy West Point, the Fritz Ascher Society, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, The National Gallery of Art in D.C., Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and the National Gallery in Oslo. Deepening her commitment to multimedia collaborations, Ms. Enger was part of renowned illustrator and writer Maira Kalman’s exhibit Maira Kalman Selects at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, and her recording of Arvo Pärt’s music was featured in conceptual artist Mischa Kuball’s sound and light exhibit res.o.nant at the Jewish Museum Berlin. Recent highlights include concerts at the White Stork Synagogue in Wrocław, the Bach–Festival in Arnstadt; the Portuguese Synagogue’s Candlelight Concert series in Amsterdam; concerts at Michaeliskirche in Erfurt, Germany; Nikolaisaal Potsdam; KunstForum Gotha; and recitals in the greater New York area, including a celebration of Ned Rorem’s work at Bruno Walter Auditorium.
Ms. Enger is dedicated to bringing music to varied audiences in accessible civic spaces. One of her performances at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is featured in Frederick Wiseman’s acclaimed documentary Ex Libris, which received its PBS premiere in Fall 2018. Also in Fall 2018, her residence with Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts (MECA), a social justice and cultural initiative, allowed her to share the Mischlinge Exposé’s message of tolerance and remembrance with the curious students of Texas public schools. One community leader shared that Carolyn’s performance left audiences “in complete awe of her passion, skill and genuine warmth.”
Ms. Enger studied at the Manhattan School of Music and enjoys yoga, swimming, and walks in the woods. She is a Steinway Artist.
Shining light on the stories of converts and Mischlinge before, during, and after World War II to soften the lines that divide us.
Carolyn's performance project, the Mischlinge Exposé, centers around her family history and the Mischling designation. The concert interweaves the music of prominent converts with testimony from Carolyn's godmother, Rosemarie Steinfeld, and her father, Horst Enger, who was considered by the Nazi regime a Mischling, Grade A. Performances of works by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, Arnold Schoenberg, Alexander Zemlinsky, and Gustav Mahler illustrate the historical situations so aptly described through poetry by Rachel Varnhagen and Heinrich Heine. Through the lens of historical context and personal testimony, the performance traces a story of conversion from Judaism to Christianity and back and the continuing struggle for identity.