In a quick change before the concert, the pianist for the upcoming premiere of selections from my song cycle "Musings of Sky" will now be Dr. Paola Savvidou. Please take time to read about her on her website or below!
Paola Savvidou serves as Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri. She teaches applied piano, undergraduate and graduate courses in piano pedagogy and wellness, and coordinates both the Group Piano Program and Experiencing Piano; a community program offering group class and private lessons for beginning adults and children aged 6-9. A devoted advocate of contemporary music, Dr. Savvidou is a member of the New Muse Piano Duo with Jonathan Kuuskoski; an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing works by living composers. Their concert tours have included performances across the Mid-West, East Coast, Norway, Greece, and Cyprus. Dr. Savvidou's research is focused on utilizing Laban Movement Analysis, Yoga, and creative movement to improve alignment while deepening expressivity in performance. She has presented her work at prominent conferences including the MTNA National Conference, the International Society for Music Education Conference, the European Association for Schools of Music Conference, College Music Society’s International Conference, and the European Piano Teachers Association. With support from a Mizzou Advantage grant she is conducting cross-disciplinary research with Engineering and Physical Therapy specialists on the topic of injury-prevention for pianists. She has won Article of the Year through MTNA twice in a row; in 2015 for her article "In Search of the 'Perfect' Musical Performance" published in the American Music Teacher and in 2016 for her interdisciplinary research article "Assessing Injury Risk in Pianists: Using Objective Measures to Promote Self-Awareness." In Spring 2015 she received the prestigious Purple Chalk Teaching Award by the College of Arts & Science Student Council at the University of Missouri. As of Fall 2014 she directs the Experiencing Music Program, which brings music classes, drum lessons, choir, and educational concerts by MU students to the Boys & Girls Club of Columbia. In the summers she directs the Music of the World Piano camp for young children. Dr. Savvidou serves as President for the Mid-Missouri Area Music Teachers Association and as frequent adjudicator for local and State festivals and competitions. She is a Rainbow Kids Yoga Certified Teacher, holds a BM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and graduate degrees (MM and DMA) in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
ABOUT THE COMPOSER
Hans Bridger Heruth is an award winning composer pursuing a degree in musical composition and vocal performance at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His works have been performed by various ensembles, both educational and professional. In addition to composing, Heruth is an accomplished pianist, violinist, singer, and conductor.