Juan Pablo Andrade
Costa Rican pianist Juan Pablo Andrade maintains a very active career as a recitalist, concerto soloist, collaborative artist, clinician and adjudicator. He is the recipient of numerous awards, most notably the Costa Rican National Prize of Music, the highest recognition given to a musician by the Costa Rican Ministry of Culture. Other awards include the First Prize at the Artlivre International Piano Competition in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and the First Prize in the Carlos Enrique Vargas National Piano Competition in CR. As a student he received First Prize in the Concert of Soloists Competition at Arizona State University, First Prize at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Concerto Competition, and Second Prize in the University of Costa Rica Concerto Competition.
He has performed as a soloist with the South Bend Symphony (IN), the Greensboro Symphony (NC), the Powder River Symphony (WY) the University of Costa Rica Symphony, the Cartago Symphony (CR), the Central American Symphony, the Bolivian National Symphony, the Costa Rican Youth Symphony, and on many occasions with the Costa Rican National Symphony. Recent concerto performances include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”, Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26, and Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Conductors he has collaborated with include Irwin Hoffmann, Chosei Komatsu, Kaisa Roose, Norman Gamboa, Ricardo del Carmen, Alejandro Gutierrez, Gabriela Mora, Ivan Arguedas, Mathew Troy and Timothy Russel. As a recitalist he has appeared throughout the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Serbia, Norway, Greece and Spain. Recent performances include solo recitals at the Yehudi Menuhin Forum in Bern, Switzerland, and at the World Piano Conference in Novy Sad, Serbia. Many of his performances have been recorded and broadcasted by the Phoenix Classical Radio Station KBAK, Costa Rican University Radio and Costa Rican National Television. He is also a very active chamber musician and a member of the Aegina Trio with Dr. Betul Soykan and Dr. Katherine Decker. His recent duo CD titled War to Peace, (Centaur Records 3666) and recorded together with violinist Betul Soykan, features works by Ferguson, Prokofiev and Messiaen and received very favorable reviews in Fanfare magazine. Other musicians he has collaborated with include Margaret Lattimore, Kenneth Grant, Bonita Boyd and Frederic St. Pierre.
Dr. Andrade is a Professor of Piano at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and has previously served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano at Idaho State University and Lecturer of Piano at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He obtained his Bachelors and Licenciatura in Music degrees from the University of Costa Rica, the Master of Music from Arizona State University, an Artist Diploma from Indiana University-South Bend, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His mentors include Gerardo Duarte, Robert Hamilton, Alexander Toradze and John Salmon. Dr. Andrade is also a faculty member at the SemperMusic International Summer Festival in the Italian Alps, and a frequent guest at the Global Summer Institute of Music in Richmond, VA, and Curso de Perfeccionamiento de Piano EAFIT, in Medellin, Colombia. He is the founder and artistic director of the newly created La Frontera International Piano Conference, in Brownsville, Texas.
Since his original affiliation with Alfred Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America's most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels. Professor Alexander retired from his position at the University of Montana in May 1996 where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years. Upon moving to California, he taught privately in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. He currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule. He currently publishes with Hal Leonard Corporation, the largest sheet music publisher in the world.
Professor Alexander is a native Kansan, having graduated from the University of Kansas where he was a student of Richard Reber. In 1972, he was invited to join the faculty at the University of Montana and served as piano department chair in addition to his teaching duties in applied piano, class piano and piano pedagogy. In 1987, he made his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall with violinist Walter Olivares and continues to be active as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. He has served as a collaborative artist for numerous internationally recognized soloists, instrumentalists, and chamber groups. A former president of the Montana State Music Teachers Association, he is a popular clinician at state and national music teacher conventions. In 2009, he was invited by MTNA to conduct the intermediate level master class at their national convention in Atlanta and was invited to do so again in 2022 for the conference in Minneapolis. Professor Alexander was a judge for "Musiquest", a national piano competition in India and has toured twice to the far East where he performed recitals and workshops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea.
Over the years, numerous organizations and state associations have commissioned him to write compositions. Many of his compositions are included in the National Federation of Music Study Clubs Festival required list and his music is being performed by students throughout the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe. One of Mr. Alexander's most significant contributions to the repertoire is "24 Character Preludes" in all major and minor keys which includes a CD with Dennis Alexander as soloist. In 2015, he was honored by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy with the "Lifetime Achievement Award". He is also a co-author of an exciting and innovative piano method entitled "Alfred's Premier Piano Course". A chamber music work, entitled "Dance Suite" for piano, violin, and cello was commissioned by MTNA in 2013. His "Nocturnes for Piano", Bks. 1 & 2 were selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2020 MTNA/Frances Clark Pedagogy Award. Mr. Alexander's personalwebsite, dennisalexander.com
has become a favorite with piano teachers and features recordings, videos, teaching tips, and much more!
Pianist Anna Fisher earned a double masters degree from the Eastman School of Music in Piano Performance & Literature and Music Education where she studied with Dr. Douglas Humpherys and Thomas Schumacher. She received her Bachelor's degree from Utah State University under the tutelage of Gary Amano, with a particular concentration on Piano Performance and Pedagogy.
Ms. Fisher is a passionate teacher and pedagogue in the Portland metro area where she runs a private studio, performs as a collaborative musician, and regularly serves as an adjudicator for competitions and festivals in the region. She has been on the faculty of numerous institutions across the country including Belmont University (TN), Middle Tennessee University, the Eastman Community Music School (NY), the Levine School of Music (DC), and the Sun Valley Summer Music Festival (ID). She also worked as a teaching assistant at both Utah State University and the Eastman School of Music. Ms. Fisher has served as a guest lecturer at various universities including Catholic University, George Mason University and for numerous MTNA teacher’s groups, speaking about early childhood music methodologies and aspects of piano pedagogy. During her time in Washington, DC, she joined the piano faculty and then served as the Assistant Director of the Early Childhood Music Department at Levine School of Music, the region’s preeminent center for music education. Her private students have received awards through Portland Piano International, Steinway & Sons Competition, Utah State PianoFest and Carnegie Hall, among others. Many have gone on to study music at universities across the country including Catholic University (DC), Belmont University (TN), Notre Dame (IN), Princeton (NJ), and Goshen College (OH).
Ms. Fisher has performed in a variety of solo, collaborative and chamber settings across the United States and was a featured soloist in her concerto debut at age 16. She currently enjoys working as a private instructor, musical coach and collaborative pianist for string students in the Portland metro region where she resides with her husband and three children.