Tocco, James, American pianist and teacher; b. Detroit, Sept. 21, 1943. He began piano lessons when he was 6 and made his debut as soloist in Beethoven’s 2ndPiano Concerto at age 12. Following training at the Salzburg Mozarteum and in Paris with Tagliaferro, he completed his studies in N.Y. with Arrau. In 1973 he won 1st prize in the ARD Competition in Munich. In 1975 he won critical accolades when he played Tchaikovsky’s 1st Piano Concerto at the Vienna Festival. In subsequent years, he toured internationally as a soloist with orchs., as a recitalist, and as a chamber music artist. In 1977 he joined the faculty of the Ind. Univ. School of Music in Bloomington. In 1991 he became eminent scholar and artist-in-residence at the Univ. of Cincinnati Coll.-Cons. of Music, and he also served as prof, of piano at the Lübeck Hochschule für Musik. Tocco maintains an extraordinarily diversified repertoire, ranging from Bach and Handel to Berg and Bernstein. He also performs rarely heard scores from the past and present, including transcriptions.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire