SAN FRANCISCO CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC
ANNOUNCES PIANO FACULTY APPOINTMENTS
Jon Nakamatsu and Corey McVicar Join Expanded Piano Faculty
Renowned Pianist Leon Fleisher Named Artist-in-Residence for 2016-17
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music announced an expansion of its piano faculty with the appointment of two distinguished artists and teachers, Jon Nakamatsu and Corey McVicar. In addition, SFCM has named legendary pianist Leon Fleisher artist-in-residence for the coming academic year. Beginning in the fall semester of 2016, Conservatory students will have the opportunity to study closely with six artists who have enjoyed celebrated performance careers. Nakamatsu, who has been teaching at SFCM in an interim capacity this fall, and McVicar, a faculty member of SFCM’s elite Pre-College Division since 2012, join colleagues Paul Hersh, Sharon Mann, and department chair Yoshikazu Nagai on the Conservatory’s roster of collegiate piano faculty.
“I am very pleased to appoint Jon Nakamatsu and Corey McVicar to the faculty of the Conservatory,” said SFCM President David H. Stull. “Both are exceptional individuals of tremendous talent and dedication. They join an extraordinary group of colleagues who provide a transformative education for our students. The presence of Leon Fleisher next year will serve as an inspiration for all of us and we very much look forward to having him with us.”
American pianist Jon Nakamatsu continues to draw unanimous praise for playing that combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power. In 1997, Nakamatsu was named Gold Medalist of the tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the first American to achieve this distinction since 1981. He has collaborated with conductors including James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and Osmo Vänskä; and with chamber ensembles including the Brentano, Tokyo, Kuss, Jupiter, and Cypress string quartets. He has appeared in recital at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and venues throughout the U.S. and Europe. With clarinetist Jon Manasse, he performs as the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. The pair also serves as artistic directors of the esteemed Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts. Among his many notable recordings, Nakamatsu’s all-Gershwin CD with Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic rose to number three on Billboard’s classical music charts, and his recording of Brahms’ clarinet sonatas with Manasse was among The New York Times top releases of 2008. Nakamatsu studied privately with Marina Derryberry and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. He graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in German studies and a master’s degree in education.
Described as a “truly poetic and exhilarating” pianist by the Sydney Morning Herald, Corey McVicar has performed extensively throughout his native Australia, appearing at the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Parliament House, and in concerto performances with the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras. Other performances include solo recitals, concerto, and chamber music engagements at Victoria Hall in Singapore; the American University and Goethe Institute in Bangkok, Thailand; the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Strathmore Hall in Washington, DC, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City. McVicar has had successes in numerous solo competitions including the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition and the Liszt International Piano Competition. A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music of the University of Sydney and the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, McVicar pursued postgraduate piano studies in Germany and France, and worked with artists such as Ann Schein, Yvonne Lefebure, Leon Fleisher, and Murray Perahia. He has served on faculty at the Peabody Conservatory and Peabody Preparatory, and as adjunct piano faculty at Columbia University.
As artist-in-residence at SFCM for the 2016-17 academic year, pianist Leon Fleisher will work with piano students in group lessons, master classes, and coachings during four visits. By participating in conversations and other forums, all Conservatory students will learn from Fleisher’s experience on the international stage and from the remarkable trajectory of his career. A prodigy who made his debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 16, Fleisher was the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition in Brussels. He went on to enjoy a prolific recording career, most notably with George Szell and The Cleveland Orchestra, before beginning to exhibit signs of a neurological condition in 1965 which caused the fingers to curl into the palm of his right hand. Channeling his creativity in new directions, he mastered the piano repertoire for left hand, initiated a career in conducting, and renewed his dedication to teaching. Nearly three decades later, following successful treatment, Fleisher enjoyed an extraordinary career renaissance. In 2004, he released Two Hands, a Billboard top-five recording that shares its name with an Oscar-nominated documentary about his life story. Fleisher holds the Andrew W. Mellon Chair at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.
SFCM’s piano department offers a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and Master of Music degrees in piano, chamber music, and collaborative piano, in addition to postgraduate courses of study. Program highlights include an annual piano concerto competition whose winner performs as a featured soloist with the Conservatory Orchestra, frequent master classes with internationally-known artists, and regular collaborations with the Conservatory’s chamber music, composition, voice, and instrumental departments. Noted alumni include Yuliya Gorenman ’92, winner of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition; acclaimed collaborative pianist and teacher Warren Jones ’77; performing artist and conductor Jeffrey Kahane ’77; Keisuke Nakagoshi ’06, half of the Grammy-nominated piano duo ZOFO, and San Francisco Symphony principal keyboardist Robin Sutherland ’75.
About The San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Founded in 1917, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is the oldest conservatory in the American West and has earned an international reputation for producing musicians of the highest caliber. Notable alumni include violinists Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern, conductor and pianist Jeffrey Kahane, soprano Elza van den Heever, Blue Bottle Coffee founder James Freeman and Ronald Losby, President, Steinway & Sons-Americas, among others. Its faculty includes nearly 30 members of the San Francisco Symphony as well as Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning artists in the fields of orchestral and chamber performance and classical guitar. The Conservatory offers its approximately 400 collegiate students fully accredited bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in composition and instrumental and vocal performance. SFCM was the first institution of its kind to offer world-class graduate degree programs in chamber music and classical guitar. Its Pre-College Division provides exceptionally high standards of musical excellence and personal attention to more than 200 younger students. SFCM faculty and students give nearly 500 public performances each year, most of which are offered to the public at no charge. Its community outreach programs serve over 1,600 school children and over 6,000 members of the wider community who are otherwise unable to hear live performances. The Conservatory’s Civic Center facility is an architectural and acoustical masterwork, and the Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall was lauded by The New York Times as the “most enticing classical-music setting” in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, visit www.sfcm.edu.
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