2016 Conference

2016 NMTA State Conference Centennial Celebration

October 13-14, 2016

University of Nebraska Omaha
Strauss Center for Performing Arts

Conference Guest Artist/Clinician: Phyllis LehrerPhyllis Lehrer

PHYLLIS ALPERT LEHRER is known internationally as a performer, teacher, clinician, author, and adjudicator. She has enjoyed an active career as a
soloist, collaborative artist, and clinician in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Ms. Lehrer is a professor of piano and director of graduate piano pedagogy at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J. and is a member of the Artist Faculty at the Westminster Conservatory. A founding member of Young Audiences of New Jersey and the International Society for the Study of Tension in Performance, she contributes regularly to the Music Teachers National Association Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the New Jersey Music Teachers Association annual conferences.

Her publications include 5 volumes of core repertoire for intermediate and early advanced pianists: Classics for the Developing Pianist, selected and edited by Ingrid Clarfield and Phyllis Lehrer and published by Alfred; Study Guides recently have been published as companions to these repertoire books. Ms. Lehrer has contributed several chapters to the acclaimed book A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers: Strategies to Develop the Mind and Body for Optimal Performance, published by Heritage Press, and has co-authored, with Barry Green, the Inner Game of Music Piano Workbook published by GIA. In addition, she has written practice suggestions for the four books of Etudes for the Development of Musical Fingers from the Frances Clark Library (Alfred) and edited Chopin: An Album (Carl Fischer) and works by Dianne Goolkasian Rahbee and others for FJH Publications.

With Paul Sheftel, Phyllis Lehrer has co-authored, Personal Trainer, 5 books containing technique explorations, sight-reading, keyboard theory and repertoire, all available with midi-accompaniments, published by YBK, New York. Together they have also co-edited Debussy, An Album and the anthologies Mastering Classic Favorites and More Mastering Classic Favorites for Carl Fischer.

Ms. Lehrer’s articles, interviews, and reviews on piano pedagogy, music, and health have appeared in Clavier Companion, Early Childhood Connections, and The European Piano Teachers Journal. Her CDs include solos and duos with her duo piano partner of over 30 years, pianist Ena Bronstein Barton.

Ms. Lehrer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Rochester and Eastman School of Music and a Master of Science in Piano from the Juilliard School of Music. In March of 2007, she was honored as a Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow, a program that honors deserving individuals who have made significant contributions to the music world and the music teaching profession. Ms. Lehrer was voted New Jersey Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year for 2012-2013.

Conference Guest Clinician: Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield

Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield, nationally recognized teacher, clinician, pianist, and an author is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of the Piano Department at
Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, New Jersey. She has given lecture-recitals, workshops and master classes in more than 150 cities in forty states across North America, including many presentations at state and national conferences of The Music Teachers National Association. She has presented numerous master classes and pedagogy sessions at the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy, the TCU/Van Cliburn Institute, the National Piano Teachers Institute, the Music Teachers Association of California, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, and the Calgary Arts Summer School in Alberta, Canada. She has directed Westminster Choir College’s Piano Week for High School Students since 1984.

Clarfield’s life is the subject of a documentary TAKE A BOW, released in 2011. It tells her inspirational life story depicting her tenacious fight back to teaching after a devastating stroke that occurred in 2007. She has also received recognition from her peers in music education. In 2006, Professor Clarfield was selected as an MTNA Foundation Fellow, a program that “honors deserving individuals who have made significant contributions to the music world and the music teaching profession.” In 2009 she was the first recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award from the New Jersey Music Teachers Association. In 2012, Professor Clarfield was named the prestigious “Teacher of the Year” by the Music Teachers National Association and in 2015 received The Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.

Ms. Clarfield has authored many collections for Alfred Publishing Company among them, Keys to Stylistic Mastery, and Keys to Artistic Performance co-authored with Dennis Alexander. Other series include Burgmüller, Czerny, and Hanon: Piano Studies Selected for Technique and Musicality, From Mystery to Mastery, and Artistic Preparation and Performance Series. Her newest series of five books, co-authored with Phyllis Lehrer, is Classics for the Developing Pianist, Core Repertoire for Study and Performance. They also just released Study Guides as a companion series to the repertoire books.

Ms. Clarfield holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College where she studied with John Perry. She also holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music. From 1976-2007 she performed regularly in two-piano recitals with Lillian Livingston. Ms. Clarfield maintains an independent studio in Princeton, New Jersey. Her students have performed concertos with several orchestras, were featured on NPR’s “From the Top” and have won top honors in state, national, and international competitions sponsored by the Music Teachers National Association, International Young Artist Piano Competition, the Steinway Society, David Dubois Piano Competition, Bosendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition, and numerous others. 15 of her students have won the MTNA Competition at the State Level, with 7 having won the Eastern Division progressing to the National Finals. One student, Damien Dixon, was the First Prize National Winner. Professor Clarfield’s students have performed in such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Kennedy Center, Merkin Concert Hall Steinway Hall, and several concert halls in Beijing.

Commissioned Composer: Anthony Donofrio

Anthony Donofrio teaches composition, coordinates the theory area, and directs the UNK New Music Series and Festival at the University of Nebraska-Kearney. Prior to coming to UNK, he taught at Kent State University in Ohio, where he gave courses in theory, post-tonal analysis, and initiated the Vanguard New Music Series. He holds the Ph.D. in music composition from the University of Iowa.

Anthony is very interested in fusing the compositional techniques found in literature and painting with his own approach to composing music. Along with Morton Feldman, Elliott Carter, and Gyorgy Ligeti, he cites Mark Rothko, David Foster Wallace, and Italo Calvino as his primary artistic influences. As a result of these influences, Anthony has taken an interest in creating half concert and full concert-length pieces, such as the 70-minute “Between Event and Crisis” for solo percussion, the 80-minute “V” for flute, clarinet, viola, piano, and percussion, and the 90-minute “I” for solo piano.

Anthony has received numerous commissions from new music specialists, such as Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, percussionist Caleb Herron and pianist Amy O’Dell of Chamber Cartel, saxophonists Jeff Heisler and Alex Sellers, pianist Holly Roadfeldt, and harpist Ben Melsky. His music has been featured at festivals and conferences such as Omaha Under the Radar, the Deep Listening Institute, S.E.M. Emerging Composers, and the Vox Novus Festival.

Artist Statement

My pieces are attempts; attempts to create individual sound worlds that speak for themselves, existing on their own terms and conditions.

I am very concerned, possibly obsessed, with the shapes and durations of my pieces. For me, durations have personality and character, similar to how certain chords and certain sounds have character. A six-minute piece speaks differently than a 30-minute piece, and I have found much pleasure in exploring these differences. Furthermore, I am interested in questioning and challenging the notions of beginning and ending. I often do not intentionally end my pieces, preferring to allow them to stop on their own. I believe that this approach brings a satisfying ambiguity to both the creation of the work and the final product.

I am influenced by the compositional techniques found in all arts as well as in music. I enjoy attempting to mirror the structural divisions of novels and the immediacy of painting. Though my approach to creation is interdisciplinary, I believe in absolute music and do not concern myself with depicting or recreating emotions, stories, or narratives. Rather, I find beauty in simply experiencing sound as it passes through time. My music, my creative need, is an attempt to bring reflection and commentary on this belief.

Download the summer 2016 conference bulletin and the conference registration.