2017 NMTA State Conference
State Conference Registration form – due September 11, 2017
October 12-13, 2017
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Conference Guest Artist/Clinician: Marvin Blickenstaff
Marvin Blickenstaff is known among piano teachers throughout the country for his teaching, lecturing, performing, and publishing. For sixteen summers he was on the faculty of the International Workshops where he performed and lectured in Canada, Austria, Scotland, Norway, France, and Switzerland. In 1995 and again in 2004, The Registered Piano Teachers of New Zealand sponsored him in concert and workshop tours of that country. The “Marvin Blickenstaff Endowment Fund” was established in his honor by the Music Teachers National Association Foundation, and he was named “Teacher of the Year” by the Indiana MTA. In 2007 the on-line journal Piano Pedagogy Forum published tributes to Blickenstaff honoring his contribution to piano teaching in America. Also in 2007, he was named Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He was honored in 2009 with MTNA’s highest honor, the MTNA Achievement Award and was selected in 2013 by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy for its Lifetime Achievement Award. Formerly head of the piano departments at the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill and Goshen College (IN), he has taught on the faculties of the Westminster Choir College and The College of New Jersey. Currently, he maintains a private studio in the Philadelphia area and teaches at The New School for Music Study in Princeton. Blickenstaff is former Board President of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy and is on the Executive Planning Committee of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.
Michael Stephens is a composer, saxophonist, and music educator, and serves as a Professor of Music at Chadron State College, where he teaches music theory, composition, saxophone, and directs the jazz band. Stephens earned his doctorate in music composition and theory at the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied with Mathew Rosenblum, Eric Moe, and Roger Zahab. His music has been performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble, the Ion Sound Project, Amy Likar, David Russell, Diba Alvi, and Jeff Price.
Stephens is equally comfortable in the classical and jazz worlds, both as a composer and a saxophonist. His recent compositions have focused on his own instrument, and include Chadron Sketches, for saxophone quartet, Beyond the Influence, for tenor saxophone and piano, and the current commission from NMTA, for which Stephens has elected to compose for soprano saxophone and piano. Recently Stephens’ music has been influenced by Luciano Berio in its conception.
Stephens has lived in Chadron, Nebraska, for the past ten years with his wife, Lauren, and their two daughters, Alyssa and Chelsea. Lauren is also an educator, teaching flute at CSC and serving as the music teacher for Oelrichs Public Schools in South Dakota. Previously Lauren taught music full-time in Ohio, affording Michael the opportunity to focus on his doctoral studies. Both of their daughters have budding interests in the arts as well.
André Watts is a distinguished professor of piano and the Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
One of the world’s most celebrated pianists, he joined the Jacobs School of Music faculty in 2004. He continues to give numerous recitals and performs with the world’s major orchestras and conductors, while making regular visits to major summer music festivals, including Ravinia, Tanglewood, Saratoga, Mann Music Center, Mostly Mozart, and the Hollywood Bowl. Watts entered the music scene in 1963, at the age of 16, when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic in one of its Young People’s Concerts, which was broadcast nationwide on CBS. Two weeks later, Bernstein asked him to substitute at the last minute for an ailing Glenn Gould to perform music by Franz Liszt with the Philharmonic, thus launching Watts’s career in storybook fashion.
Watts has made frequent television appearances, performing with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. His 1976 New York recital, which aired on Live from Lincoln Center, was the first full-length recital broadcast in the history of television, and his performance at the thirty-eighth Casals Festival in Puerto Rico was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Cultural Programming.
A much-honored artist, Watts received the 1988 Avery Fisher Prize, one of the top individual honors for an American classical musician. At age 26, he was the youngest person ever to receive an honorary doctorate from Yale University, and he has received numerous such honors from many of the nation’s most respected conservatories. In 1984, the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
As part of his extensive discography, he is included in the Great Pianists of the 20th Century series for Philips.
Recent and international engagements include concerto and recital appearances in Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, and Spain.
The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with André Watts
The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras and will return to the Lied for the first time since 1999! Based in New York City, this unique group performs as a unified ensemble without a conductor and will be joined at the Lied by superstar pianist André Watts.