Claire Wachter

Profile picture of Claire Wachter
Professor of Piano
Phone: 541-346-3758
Office: 361 Frohnmayer Music Bldg
Research Interests: Keyboard, Music Performance
Steinway Artist Claire Wachter has appeared in concerts throughout the United States and in Chile, Austria, Italy, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, Korea, Singapore and China. She has given recitals in New York’s Steinway Hall, the National Recital Hall in Taiwan, and China’s Qingdao Grand Hall, among many others.
Wachter has performed with the Oregon Bach Festival, the Oregon Festival of American Music, the Utah Music Festival, the Rome Festival (Italy), the Russian River Chamber Music Festival (California), and the Sun River Festival (Bend, OR). In the Northwest, she has appeared with the Eugene Symphony, the Oregon Symphony, and the Oregon Mozart Players.  She has been a featured soloist with conductors Helmuth Rilling, Marin Alsop, Mei-Ann Chen, Apo Hsu, and in “Pops” concerts with Peter Schickele (aka P.D.Q. Bach). As a collaborative artist, Wachter has performed in chamber music concerts with members of the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Chicago, Philadelphia, Oregon, and Pittsburgh Symphonies. She has been principal keyboard with the Eugene Symphony under conductor Marin Alsop, and the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under guest conductors Dennis Russell Davies, Jeffrey Kahane, and Krzysztof Penderecki.
Wachter received grants totaling more than $100,000 from The Oregon Community Foundation to create and develop the online video series: The Virtual Piano Pedagogue and The Virtual Piano Master Courses. Additional sponsors for these online video series include the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance, Southern Oregon University, The Hult Center for the Performing Arts, The Eugene Symphony, and Sage Computer Services of Seattle.
The Virtual Piano projects include seven hours of videos with discussions and performances of works by Scarlatti, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin Schubert, Schumann, Debussy, and many Russian composers. Guest artists include Dean Kramer (The Power of Beethoven), Alexander Tutunov (The Secrets to Russian Piano Playing and Visions of Prokofiev), Katie Harman Ebner (The Fantastic Sound-World of Claude Debussy), and Anton Nel (A Video Master Class with Anton Nel).
Wachter has given master classes and lecture-recitals for the Fifth Singapore Symposium for Piano Pedagogy, The Singapore Performers Festival, the University of Chile in Santiago, Queen’s University in Canada, Hanyang University in Korea, and Doshisha University in Japan. In Taiwan, Wachter was a guest artist at Fu-Jen Catholic University, Taichung National University, Tainan University of Technology, and Tunghai University. In the U.S., Wachter has given master classes at the University of Texas at Austin, Lynn University in Florida, the University of Central Florida, and San Jose State University in California, among many others. As an invited presenter for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Wachter has given lecture-recitals at conferences in Dallas, Kansas City (MO), New York, Orlando, and Toronto, Canada.
Wachter has been an invited adjudicator for the Performers Festival in Singapore, the Steinway Competition in Portland, OR, and the MTNA National Piano Competitions.  As a piano faculty member of the International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM) at the University of Kansas, Wachter was honored by IIYM’s Working Partnership Award.
As an author, Wachter’s articles have appeared in numerous magazines, including Piano and Keyboard, Keyboard Companion, Piano Life, The Oregon Musician, The Oregon Musician e-Journal, Structural Integration: The Journal of the Rolf Institute, and The Piano Quarterly.
Wachter completed degrees from The Peabody Conservatory of Music and The University of Texas at Austin, where her teachers included John Perry, Nancy Garrett, David Garvey, and Julio Esteban. In Europe, Wachter studied with Carlo Zecchi (Austria) and Rosa Sabater (Spain). Wachter received coaching from Leon Fleisher and Lorin Hollander.
Wachter has held faculty positions at the University of Texas in Austin (collaborative piano) and the University of the Pacific in California (piano performance).  She is currently Professor of Piano at the University of Oregon. 
Many students who have graduated from Wachter’s studio now hold faculty positions at institutions in the U.S., South America, and Asia. Her students have also won a total of eighty competitive awards.
  • DMA 1993, Piano Performance, University of Texas at Austin
  • MMus 1977, Piano Performance, University of Texas at Austin
  • BMus 1975, Piano Performance, Peabody Conservatory“Musica in Compostela,” Spain“Mozarteum” Salzburg, Austria


  • 2019 University of Oregon Faculty Research Award
  • 2018 Oregon Community Foundation Award
  • 2016 Oregon Community Foundation Award
  • 2013 Oregon Community Foundation Award
  • 2012 SOMD Innovation and Creative Research Award 
  • 2011 International Steinway Artist
  • 2007 University of Oregon Travel Award: Hanyang University Residency (Korea) 
  • 2005 Working Partnership Award: International Institute for Young Musicians


Online Piano Videos, The Virtual Piano Pedagogue


The Art of the Phrase
The Genius of Domenico Scarlatti
The Imagination of Robert Schumann
The Essence of Chopin
The Fantastic Sound-World of Claude Debussy (with pianist Dean Kramer and soprano Katie Harman Ebner)


The Power of Beethoven (with pianist Dean Kramer)
The Secrets of Russian Piano Playing (with pianist Alexander Tutunov)
Visions of Prokofiev (with pianist Alexander Tutunov)
A video Master Class with Pianist Anton Nel 


  • “The Virtual Piano Pedagogue Projects,” Oregon Music Teachers Association Online Newsletter: Music News, March 2018, pp. 13-14 (2018)
  • “The 21st Century Piano Teacher” The Oregon Musician e-Journal, February (Issue No. 1, pp.3-7) (2011)
  • "The Master Class Experience and the Moment of Transformation" The Oregon Musician (Vol. 17, No. 1.) Spring pp. 4-7 (2009)
  • News and Views: “What advice do you give to graduating high school seniors?” Keyboard Companion, Spring (Vol. 14, No. 1) pp. 53-55 (2003)
  • “A Rolfer Can Tune Your Body,” Structural Integration: The Journal of the Rolf Institute, Spring (Vol. 29, No. 2) pp. 27-30 (2001). Reprinted with permission from the September/October 2000 issue of Piano and Keyboard magazine (2000)
  • Technique: “How do you work with a student who plays everything loudly?” Keyboard Companion, Autumn (Vol. 11, No. 2) p.17 (2000)         
  • “The Piano Teaching of Theodore Leschetizky,” The Oregon Musician (Vol. 8, No. 1) Winter pp. 4-6 (2000)
  • “A Rolfer Can Tune Your Body,” Piano and Keyboard September/October pp. 22-25 (2000)
  • “The Unique Piano Pedagogy of Johannes Brahms,” Piano Life, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Greenwich, CT: Excellence in Music, Spring) pp.30-32 (1998)
  • “Committee Report: Professionalism Portfolio for the Independent Teacher: Studio Policies,” Piano Life, (Greenwich, CT: Excellence in Music, Fall) pp. 34-36 Co-authored with Helen Tarchalski Smith (1998)
  • "Pedal Points," The Oregon Musician, Spring (Vol. 4, No. 1) pp. 30-32 (1996)
  • “The Piano Animal,” The Piano Quarterly. Co-authored with Dean Kramer (1986)