Piano Performance Faculty

Piano Performance Faculty

Faculty are an essential part of any performance degree. Because of the nature of the work, you will work closely as a student with a small handful of faculty members on an ongoing basis. It’s important that you take the time, as an applicant, to peruse the faculty listings so that you know you’re entering a program that is a good fit for you as a student musician. You’ll want to find qualified faculty who have careers that look like what you’d like to accomplish.

Why Good Faculty Matter in Piano Performance Programs

Faculty are everything at a university, especially one with small class sizes where students are more than just numbers. In a music program, faculty can get to know students’ individual strengths and challenges. We can observe characteristics about the music we play, especially if we record ourselves and listen to it. However, there are some things most of us are just not well-trained enough to hear. Faculty have the background and experience necessary to give us feedback on our performances in a way that few others can.

What Should I Look for in Piano Performance Faculty?

Availability and experience are two of the top characteristics to look for in piano performance faculty. You’ll want to find a program where the faculty are present in the classroom and available to mentor you. A program with an emphasis in teaching allows you to receive personal attention for you to work up to your performance potential. You’ll also want to make sure that your faculty members are experienced. Those who have spent decades performing internationally will know the in’s and out’s of what juries and audiences are looking for. These faculty members can help you determine how to emphasize your strengths and address any performance weaknesses you carry with you.

What Qualifications Do Piano Performance Faculty Members Have?

Good piano performance faculty members have extensive experience performing on an international stage. Competitions, symphony performances, and chamber music collaborations are all ways that the brightest piano performance faculty of today are discovered. From learning challenging repertoire to learning how to creatively interpret music to learning how to stay on top of your game while touring, excellent piano performance faculty have been through it all. As you deliberate which programs to apply to, make sure to take your time researching who teaches at each program and what kinds of accolades and recognition they have received.

Who are Some of the Piano Performance Faculty at the Frost School of Music?

The Frost School of Music has a well-established program in piano that has been around for nearly a century. The keyboard faculty are a comprehensive group of seasoned performers with a keen interest in teaching. Some of the faculty who teach in the program include the following:

Santiago E. Rodriguez, Professor

Professor Rodriguez was called one of the best piano performers in the world by the Baltimore Sun. In particular, he is a renowned interpreter of the music of Rachmaninov. Professor Rodriguez has performed with many of the leading orchestras of the world: the London Symphony, the Berliner Symphoniker, the American Symphony Orchestra, and numerous others. He made his concert debut at 10 years old.

Kevin P. Kenner, Assistant Professor

Originally from California, Professor Kenner has won numerous awards all over the world. In 1980, he was the youngest competitor at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland. He was given a special award by the jury. Professor Kenner has taught at Frost since 2015 and has performed both as a solo pianist and with string quartets. He’s known for being a particularly good performer on vintage instruments, including a 1849 Pleyel on which he played Chopin’s works.

Naoko Takao, Associate Professor

Professor Takao won the gold medal at the San Antonio International Piano Competition and has performed with symphonies and smaller ensembles all over the world. Originally from Japan, Professor Takao advocates for new music to be played and performed, though she is also an advocate of the works of Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninov. Professor Takao has a special interest in teaching and pedagogy and is an in-demand instructor, teacher of master classes, and presenter at conferences. Her recent research is related to the application of cognitive neuroscience to piano performance.

Tian Ying, Associate Professor

Since 2002, Professor Ying has been at the Frost School of Music. He’s won numerous honors including high honors at the 1989 Van Cilburn International Piano Competition. Professor Ying’s work has been profiled in the Christian Science Monitor, People Magazine, The New York Times, and in other venues. He’s performed around the world, and during the 2002-2003 season, Professor Ying performed nine separate concerti around the country. Centaur Records and DeMA Records feature Professor Ying’s recordings.

Robert Thomas Remek, Lecturer

Instructor Remek teaches organ performance at The Frost School. He has enjoyed a long career of playing religious music in Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations in South Florida. Remek himself attended The Frost School for three degrees in choral conducting, harpsichord, piano performance, and organ performance.

Oleksii Ivanchenko, Lecturer

Instructor Ivanchenko has won more than 30 prizes from national and international competitions. Originally from Ukraine, Instructor Ivanchenko is well-known as a collaborative pianist. THis collaborative nature translates to success in the classroom. Ivanchenko completed his doctoral studies at the Frost School with Professors Rodriguez and Takao.

How Do I Determine Whether a Piano Performance Program is the Right One for Me?

Piano performance is a serious and competitive degree. This is why it’s important to matriculate at a school where the faculty have extensive experience performing on an international level. The Frost School features a compendium of world-class piano performance faculty who are invested in helping students reach the apex of their abilities. From location to reputation to faculty, the Frost School is the prime choice for prospective piano performance students.