Piano students receive the highest-level professional training in an environment dedicated to personal attention. Students perform on nine-foot Hamburg and American Steinway concert pianos—some of the best instruments in the world—and practice on new Steinway Model A “Salon Grand” pianos.
Piano students participate in numerous competitions, are lauded with awards from festivals across the nation, and enjoy regular chances to learn from—and play for—masterclass visitors such as Emanuel Ax, John Perry, Julian Martin, Antonio Pompa- Baldi, Nelita True, Elisabeth Pridonoff, Peter Mack, and Anne- Marie McDermott.
Weekly performance classes take place in Beall Concert Hall, renowned for its excellent acoustics, as well as its dramatic, Baroque-style Jürgen Ahrend pipe organ.
Instruments include 141 pianos (including seven concert grands and 46 Steinways), nine harpsichords, four clavichords, three pipe organs, and one portative organ. The school has also recently completed work on a digital keyboard teaching lab.
Performers have numerous chances for solo and concerto music performances, and enjoy the opportunity to play chamber music with high-level coaching from faculty members. The UO performance experience is designed to maximize students’ abilities to achieve their pianistic, artistic, and professional goals.
SOMD is the proud home of UO Emergent Keyboard Recoding Artists, a new program that offers select students the opportunity to record piano projects for NAXOS Records. Recordings are part of academic pursuits and are overseen by Professor Alexandre Dossin. Read more on our news page about the inaugural artists.
Accompaniment and Chamber Music
Accompaniment and chamber music are integral parts of keyboard study at the UO, enhancing all musical skills and preparing the pianist for a broader performing and teaching career. Numerous opportunities are available for collaborative piano work, including a new yearlong accompaniment course, chamber music, opera workshop, choral groups, and studio accompaniment for instrumentalists and singers. More advanced students can apply for the UO's master's or doctoral programs in Piano Performance with emphasis in accompaniment, programs that include study of song literature, lyric diction, chamber music, and other topics related to collaborative piano performance.
Piano pedagogy is a comprehensive program that includes study of various teaching methods, learning theories, sequencing of repertoire, piano technique, performance practices, and the business of operating an independent piano studio. Students are given private, class, and group teaching experiences with many different age groups. In addition, the pedagogy program looks to the 21st century with its creative and practical applications of electronic keyboards, Disklaviers, and computers.
The UO offers jazz keyboard studies in a variety of formats. In the sophomore year, undergraduate students gain beginning jazz keyboard skills as part of the Basic Jazz Theory course. Functional Jazz Piano, a course which is designed to provide a means for obtaining a practical, working knowledge of jazz harmony at the keyboard, is offered immediately following Jazz Theory. Qualified students interested in furthering their skills can do so through private study. Outside the classroom, jazz pianists can perform in a number of different ensembles, including three 17-piece big bands, and nearly a dozen small ensembles.
Organ and Harpsichord
Organ and Harpsichord majors have several superb instruments for lessons and practice, including the Baroque style organ by German builder Jürgen Ahrend and a practice instrument by David Petty. Harpsichords include French Double by William Dowd, Flemish Double by Keith Hill, Flemish Single from a Zuckerman kit, and Italian by Owen Daly.
American Liszt Society
The University of Oregon is the host institution of the Oregon Chapter of the American Liszt Society. The chapter sponsors annual events, including student and faculty recitals, master classes, and guest artist performances. Most recently, the UO School of Music and Dance hosted the prestigious national festival of the American Liszt Society, which brought to Eugene over 70 artists, lecturers, and pedagogues from all over the world. Piano students at the UO can take advantage of this direct connection with such an important national organization and can develop a network of professional contacts throughout the United States.