Professor of Piano, Coordinator of Collaborative Piano
In musical terms my formative years began early, with lessons at age six and my first public performance (in a packed hall of 1400) less than two years later. Besides good teachers and devoted parents, the best education proved to be my attendance at concerts of the great artists. They fueled my passion for music, my appreciation for the quality of sound, and my awareness of their stage personalities.
In college I discovered a penchant for collaborative music, which now equals that for solo playing. Musicians love excitement, and among the most thrilling pieces I have performed are: Schumann piano works (music full of poetry), the song cycle Winterreise by Franz Schubert, the concertos and chamber music by Johannes Brahms. Music off-the-beaten-track also spurs my interest, such as works by Voříšek (on Centaur records), Szymanowski, and Lalo (on Signum). I enjoy chamber music with my faculty colleagues Deirdre and Christopher Hutton and with members of the Greenville Symphony.
Between my MM at Yale and DMA at Illinois, I moved back to Berlin where I built a vibrant professional life: making live- and studio-recordings for German public radio and TV, and performing solo recitals, concertos, chamber music, and vocal music (partnering with solo strings of the Deutsche Oper to form the Berlin Piano Trio, and with soprano Janet Williams of the Staatsoper). Three years of teaching at the State Conservatory "Hanns Eisler" marked the beginning of my university career.
After two years each in Illinois and Michigan, I came to Furman in 2001. The range of experiences I brought with me has been an ideal foundation for teaching in a liberal arts setting. My musical activity is as engaged and varied as it has ever been, contributing every day to my insights as a teacher.
- Marsala International Piano Competition, 5th Prize
- Bremen International Piano Competition, Special Award
- Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship (National Competition)
- D.M.A., University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana
- Artist's Diploma, (Konzertdiplom)Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover
- M.M., Yale University School of Music
- B.M., Staatliche Hochschule für Musik München (Munich/Germany) Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy
- Elisabeth Dounias-Sindermann, Childhood
- Ingeborg Peukert, Pre-College
- Ludwig Hoffmann, Hochschule München
- Arie Vardi, Hochschule Hannover
- Daniel Pollack, Yale School of Music
- Claude Frank, Yale School of Music
- John Wustman, University of Illinois
My best teachers were those who helped me discover the greatness in music for myself; and their enthusiasm was my most compelling motivation. Realizing the impact those musicians had on me has shaped my own approach to teaching. Good music (no matter how old or new it is) speaks to us, but we may have to develop a sensitivity for its specific language. To do so never loses its allure--all we need is an open mind, heart, and ear.