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Keyboard Performance

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Undergraduates at Carnegie Mellon can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Piano or in Organ Performance. The heart of the Keyboard Performance major is the private studio instruction by Carnegie Mellon’s world-class faculty. Master classes by renowned visiting artists augment those of the resident faculty.

Collaborative playing is an important component of the keyboard curriculum. Piano majors receive supervised instruction in collaborative piano, keyboard harmony, and chamber music.

A two-year program leading to certification in piano pedagogy is available to interested piano and organ majors. Students learn to teach piano in a closely supervised environment of class piano instruction through the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School. This program has received national acclaim as a model of excellence, with Preparatory School students consistently capturing prestigious awards in national piano competitions.

Curriculum:

The foundation of the Undergraduate curriculum contains five elements:

  • Studio: weekly individualized instruction within a major area of study
  • Theory: to develop listening skills, to acquire theoretical knowledge, to recognize structural techniques, and to manipulate technological resources
  • History: in depth study of western music and survey of non-western styles and structures
  • Ensemble Work: student participation in some of the School of Music Ensembles
  • Academics: one General Studies course outside of the School of Music per semester and six semesters of Elective courses

Carnegie Mellon courses are measured in units rather than credits or credit hours, with three units equaling a standard credit. More information here

Piano:

COURSE TYPE

SEMESTERS REQUIRED

Studio

8

Music History

8

Music Support Courses

8

General Studies

7

Major Ensemble

6

Performance Electives

6

General Electives

5

Music Theory

4

Eurhythmics

4

Solfege

4

Accompanying

2

Music Technology

1

Organ:

COURSE TYPE                                

SEMESTERS REQUIRED                      

Studio

8

Major Ensemble

8

Music History

8

Music Support Courses

8

General Studies

7

General Elective

7

Music Theory

4

Keyboard Studies

4

Eurhymics

4

Solfege

4

Performance Electives

2

Music Technology

1

For more specific information regarding curricula for the undergraduate Keyboard Performance program please refer to the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

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Mark Carver

Associate Teaching Professor of Collaborative Piano

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American pianist Mark Carver was born in Mobile, Alabama and received his earliest musical training in Pittsburgh, PA from Jerry Veeck and Lorraine Gaal Landefeld. Other teachers include Natalie Phillips and Ralph Zitterbart. International artists with whom he has studied are Earl Wild, Jorge Bolet, Jeanne-Marie Darré, Ozan Marsh, John Ogdon, Enrica Cavallo-Gulli, and Pierre Sancan. He has studied at the Chautauqua Institute, Chautauqua, NY, Académie Internationale d'Été, Nice, France, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, and Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Carver holds the degrees of Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Music.

He made his début with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at age 15, and has been a guest artist with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Plum Creek Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Pittsburgh Orchestra. He has appeared in recital at Steinway Hall, NY, and his début at age 17 at Carnegie Hall, NY, was with the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble in the première of Introduction and Allegro by Philip Catelinet.



"Total command" and "delightful" (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) are words used to describe Carver's performances of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the River City Brass Band. Called "a stalwart presence in the local music scene" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), his accompanying for the Pittsburgh Camerata has been regarded as "refined and tasteful" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).  His work has also been acclaimed by The American Record Guide, Chamber Music America magazine, and Epoch Times.

His discography includes “Jessica Rivera Sings Romantic Music for Soprano, Clarinet and Piano,”Spanish-American Songs” by Urtext Digital Classics label (www.urtextonline.com), and “Sacred Songs and Interludes: Music of Nancy Galbraith” with the Pittsburgh Camerata (www.pittsburghcamerata.org). 



Carver has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Carnegie Award, the National Federation of Music Clubs Scholarship, the Pittsburgh Concert Society Youth and Major auditions, the Carnegie Mellon University Chamber Music Prize, and the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Award. He was the Grand Prize winner at the Cincinnati World Competition in 1975, which included a grant for summer study in France. He has been Artist-in-Residence for the Irma Gonzales Curso Magistral de Verano at the Conservatorio Nacional in Mexico City, and the James Madison University German Liederkurs in Freiberg, Germany. He currently serves as Associate Teaching Professor of Collaborative Piano at Carnegie Mellon University and Director of Music Ministries at the church of St. Margaret of Scotland in Green Tree, Pa.

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Carla LaRocca

Associate Teaching Professor of Keyboard Studies

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Carla LaRocca is a native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she began her musical studies at the age of six with her father, Anthony LaRocca, a former New Orleans jazz pianist. She later studied with Natalie Matovinovic, Charles Fisher, Laura Kargul, and Nelson Whitaker. Miss LaRocca holds the B.A. from Albion College (summa cum laude) and an M.F.A. with honors from Carnegie Mellon. LaRocca was the pianist of the Ann Arbor Symphony and has performed at the Albion College Concert Hall, Steadman Theater, and Salle Ockeghem, Tours, France. She has performed for Norman Dello Joio and was honored to play for the Ambassador of Italy. Her latest endeavors include releasing a CD of her piano solos and creating educational computer software for college level study. Miss LaRocca also serves on the Board of the Steinway Society.

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Luz Manriquez

Associate Teaching Professor of Collaborative Piano

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Luz Manríquez was born in Santiago de Chile, where she studied with Elena Weiss at the Escuela Moderna de Música. Upon graduation, she continued to advance her studies under Edith Fisher in Switzerland and María Iris Radrigán at the Catholic University in Chile. Following the completion of her Master's Degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Ms. Manríquez was appointed to the faculty as Artist Lecturer in Piano and Chamber Music in 1992. She was promoted to Associate Teaching Professor in 2004. Since 2012, she has also served as the Co-Director of Collaborative Piano.

Ms. Manríquez has been a regular guest of the Shadyside Concert Series and the Frick Art Museum Series. She has performed with the Nuance Music Ensemble, conducted by former PSO Concert Master, Andrés Cárdenes, as well as with the Chamber Music Project Ensemble at the Andy Warhol Museum. Since its founding in 2004 by cellist Aron Zelkowicz, Ms. Manriquez has been a regular guest with PJMF (Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival). She also appears yearly at the Carnegie Mellon Faculty Chamber Music Series.

Ms. Manríquez was the pianist in It's Peaceful Here on Arabesque Records and Made in U.S.A. on Ocean Records, featuring violinist Andrés Cárdenes. She has also collaborated in recordings of works by contemporary composers such as Reza Vali, Marilyn Taft Thomas, Efrain Amaya, Nancy Galbraith and David Stock. Ms. Manríquez can be heard in recordings of oboe and piano music with PSO principal oboist Cynthia D'Almeida. She also has performed alongside flutist Alberto Almarza in Atacama (Nancy Galbraith). In 2015 and 2016 recordings with cellist Aaron Zelkowicz were released – Chamber Music of Joachim Stutchewsky and Leo Zeitlin’s Yiddish Songs and Chamber Music and Declamations, both on Toccata Classics.

In October 2002, Ms. Manríquez participated in the George Crumb Festival in Pittsburgh and recorded Music for a Summer Evening for two pianos and percussions conducted by Maestro Juan Pablo Izquierdo. This recording was released in 2006 and was awarded the Diapason d'Or Prize in 2008 in France.

As a pedagogue, Ms. Manríquez teaches at the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School of Music, where she serves as acting Director of the Piano Division. Her students are prize winners in National and International piano competitions and have been invited to perform at highly-acclaimed venues such as Carnegie Music Hall (New York City) and in the United Nations. In May 2016, Ms. Manríquez was invited to give Master Classes at Yonsei University and Korea National University of Arts in Seoul, Korea. In May 2017, she inaugurated the first CMU Collaborative Piano Festival in Bogotá, Colombia.

One of Chile's most distinguished musicians, Ms. Manríquez has appeared as soloist, recitalist and in chamber ensembles throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Her artistry, combined with an innate musical sensitivity to others, has made her a sought after chamber musician and collaborative artist. She has been a featured soloist with Cuarteto Latinoamericano, Renaissance City Winds and performs frequently with members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In April 2003, Ms. Manriquez was invited to perform with The Chamber Music Project at the prestigious Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna, Austria for their Bicentennial anniversary Gala Concert. 

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Sergey Schepkin

Professor of Piano

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Pianist Sergey Schepkin has performed worldwide, and made his Carnegie Hall recital début in 1993 (at Weill Recital Hall) to an enthusiastic reception from the audience and The New York Times. He has performed for the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center; Celebrity Series of Boston; at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; the LACMA and Maestro Series in Los Angeles; London’s Steinway Hall; the Grand and Chamber Philharmonic Halls in St. Petersburg; and the Sumida Triphony Hall in Tokyo, to name just a few places.

Schepkin’s vast repertoire includes solo, concerto, and chamber works written over the past four hundred years. He is a renowned interpreter of keyboard works by Johann Sebastian Bach, and was hailed by The New York Times as “a formidable Bach pianist . . . [who] plays . . . with the clarity of a harpsichordist and the passion and drama of a young Glenn Gould”. For the past twenty years, Schepkin has been embarked on a large-scale project that aims to record Bach’s entire keyboard output on the modern piano while having historical performance practice as a source of inspiration. His album of Bach’s French Suites and two Fantasias and Fugues was released on the Steinway & Sons label in November 2014 to enthusiastic reviews and was featured as the CD of the Week by WGBH (Boston Public Radio). His recordings of Schumann, Brahms, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, and Schnittke have also been warmly received. His new recording of Bach Partitas awaits release.

Schepkin has performed concerti with such conductors as Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Nikolai Alexeev, Keith Lockhart, Jonathan McPhee, Edward Serov, and Vassily Sinaisky. A passionate chamber musician, he has performed with many renowned instrumentalists, including the Borromeo, New Zealand, and Vilnius string quartets. An advocate of new music, Schepkin has collaborated with Leonardo Balada, Alan Fletcher, Michael Gandolfi, Nancy Galbraith, Sofia Gubaidulina, John Harbison, Daniel Pinkham, and Christopher Trapani. Schepkin is a recipient of numerous grants and awards, and a prizewinner of several international competitions, including the first and Chopin prizes in the 1999 New Orleans International Piano Competition, top prizes in the 1988 Crown Princess Sonja (Oslo, Norway) and 1985 All-Russia piano competitions, as well as first prize in the 1978 International Competition for Young Musicians in Prague.

A naturalized American, Schepkin was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. He studied piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Alexandra Zhukovsky, Grigory Sokolov, and Alexander Ikharev, graduating summa cum laude in 1985. He taught on the piano faculty at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1988-90. After his move to the United States in 1990, he studied with Russell Sherman at New England Conservatory in Boston, where he earned an Artist Diploma in 1992 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1999. In 1994-98, Schepkin was coached by the late legendary French-American pianist Paul Doguereau.

A sought-after teacher, Schepkin has presented master classes throughout the USA. He is a tenured Associate Professor of Piano at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he has taught since 2003. He is also an Emerson Instructor at MIT (Cambridge, Mass.), and teaches at the New England Conservatory School of Preparatory and Continuing Education, as well as privately, in Boston. 

Sergey Schepkin is a Steinway Artist.

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Hanna Wu Li

Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy

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Hanna Wu Li, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, is the recipient of the Presidential Scholar's Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House. She has received wide recognition of the distinctive Piano Program for Children she developed at Carnegie Mellon's Preparatory School. Over the past 35 years, her pupils have won numerous national and international awards and have been soloists with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in their Young People's Concerts and featured pianists in the Pittsburgh Concert Society's Artist and Young Artist Concert Series. Professor Li and her students have also been presented on NPR, PBS, ABC and in the McGraw-Hill Young Artist Showcase on WQXR-FM in New York City, and on WQED-FM's Sunday Arts Magazine in Pittsburgh, PA. She has been listed in Who's Who in America, and Who's Who Among American Teachers.

Professor Li has conducted numerous Master Classes, and served as adjudicator in national and international piano competitions. She has lectured widely in the United States and abroad. She has been invited twice by the Chinese National Association of Musicians to give piano pedagogy workshops and master classes to college piano faculty representing every province in China, and international visiting scholars travel to Carnegie Mellon to observe her work.