Denise Young


Denise Young - Pianist, Songwriter & Composer

Denise Young

For pianist and composer, Denise Young, the path to becoming a professional musician seems a natural progression for this talented artist. Born in music tradition-rich St. Louis, Missouri, Denise was introduced to music through her musician father (a pianist and songwriter)  ~ also somewhat of a child prodigy, being self-taught on his mother’s player piano. She was also encouraged by her mother’s deep appreciation for music.

As Denise recalls, "my mother often asked me to play ‘Love Is a Many Splendored Thing’ to stir her emotions. I believe that experiencing the positive effects of music is part of what led me into music as a creative and therapeutic outlet for myself and others."

Denise took to the piano with a natural affinity by first playing tunes by ear and began formal lessons at age five. Her piano teacher was strict and as her first recital approached, she was faced with a life-changing decision. The song she had to learn for the recital was "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" and, according to her parents, Denise struggled with learning the piece and told her parents that she wanted to switch to dancing. "My father said that I had to choose between dancing and piano [lessons]. I made it through my first recital piece "I Left My Heart in San Francisco". This proved to be a pivotal event, when Young made a lifetime commitment to the instrument.

From Young’s love of movie themes, popular music and classical pieces (learning them was part of her formal training) it was an easy transition to composing her own songs, which she did by the age of 14. At about the same time, she started playing professionally, accompanying her father on piano duets and even filling in for him when he went on breaks. Soon after, college beckoned and she attended local Maryville University, studying classical piano technique with symphony concert pianist Dr. Katja Georgieff (who attended the Mozarteum University of Salzburg, Austria). Denise obtained her Bachelors in the study of music, psychology, and music therapy.

Denise has experienced the power of music to express and promote healing, as an artist, a performer, and a music therapist. As Denise wrote music within own unique style, she was puzzled as to how her style of music would be categorized should she ever decide to record it. Her "aha" moment came when she first heard the acclaimed George Winston song "December." Denise had found a kindred spirit to whom she could musically relate. "From there, it felt as if my music finally had a home." Over the years, her musical loves have included contemporary artists such as, Hans Zimmer, Rachel Portman, John Williams and Michael Nymann, as well as noted classical composers Chopin, Mozart, and Beethoven.

A major turning point occurred when she made a trip to Will Ackerman's Vermont-based Imaginary Road Studios to record her second album, the well received, (nominated for Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2007 at Zone Music Reporter) Something You Dream Of...(2007). Six years later, Denise returned to Vermont, and, once again, asking Ackerman to serve as producer, recorded Passionata (nominated for Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2014), a work hailed by many as one of her best works to date.

In 2016, Denise returned to the studio to record the piano tracks for several new compositions. The project is currently in production. The next album is scheduled for release in the Autumn of 2018.