Joseph Renouf was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1977. Early piano studies were with his parents, both professionally trained pianists, then with a local teacher. Disliking the rigors of practicing, he often chafed under instruction. It wasn’t until high school that he developed a serious interest for music and the piano, in particular -- at that time -- for the music of Rachmaninoff. He also became semi-obsessional about technique, practicing exercises, scales, and arpeggios for extended periods.
While an undergraduate at Yale University, where he majored in Classics, Joseph studied with Madeleine Forte, a student of Alfred Cortot at the École Normale and Rosina Lhevinne at Juilliard. From her he learned many important things about piano technique, especially regarding rhythmic precision and methods of practice.
Joseph records on a vintage (1917) refurbished Steinway Grand Piano B in his mother’s teaching studio. He tries to use the medium of recording to see his playing from a more objective, professional perspective. He practices in his apartment on a Yamaha N-100 digital piano.
Joseph is also an avid collector of piano recordings, especially historical ones. His favorite pianists are Glenn Gould, Wilhelm Backhaus, Vladimir Sofronitsky, David Saperton, Simon Barere, and Michael Ponti.
Joseph currently works as a technical editor for Deloitte & Touche (luckily he has another passion – language). Although it is difficult for him to find time to practice, he tries to make time to learn new, and rehash old, repertoire and occasionally practice double thirds and sixths to keep his fingers in shape.