Nathan Hess

The Piano Studio of

Nathan Hess

Assistant Professor, Performance Studies
Faculty, School of Music

Specialty:Piano Performance/Chamber Music/Keyboard Musicianship
Phone:(607) 274-7329
Office:2335 James J Whalen Ctr for Music
Ithaca, NY 14850



Nathan Hess has appeared throughout the United States and Europe in solo, chamber, and concerto settings. He has soloed with the Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Manassas Symphony Orchestra, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, York Symphony Orchestra, and Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra, among others. Recent guest recital appearances and masterclasses have included the Second Sunday Recital Series in Binghamton, NY; Bowling Green State University; West Chester University; Morgan State University; pre-college students in Stroudsburg, PA; Buffalo Piano Teachers Forum; and the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Pittsburgh. 

Hess holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from James Madison University, where he was named a Presser Scholar. His major teachers have included Elisabeth Pridonoff and Eric Ruple, and he has performed in masterclasses for such luminaries as John Browning, James Tocco, and Emanuele Arciuli. He has performed in chamber music settings with members of orchestras such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic. His chamber music coaches have included Sandra Rivers, Jane Coop, Ronald Copes, Jan Vogler, Kenneth Griffiths, Lee Fiser, and eighth blackbird. Hess has also acted as orchestral pianist with the Erie Philharmonic and Binghamton Philharmonic.

Dr. Hess is especially interested in the music of French composer Francis Poulenc and also twentieth and twenty-first century American music. He recently presented a lecture-recital on Ned Rorem’s music at the 2014 College Music Society Northeast Regional Conference. As recipient of the NYSMTA Chapin Fund Grant, he will delve into the music of Poulenc in 2014-15 that is suitable for the pre-college piano student. For five years Hess chaired the piano program at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts in Erie, teaching piano to some of the state's most talented pre-college students. He performed in and produced a set of recordings for the textbook Harmony in Context, published by McGraw-Hill and written by Miguel Roig-Francoli. In addition to teaching and performing, Dr. Hess is active in Music Teachers National Association and also adjudicates frequently throughout the region and East Coast. Currently he is Assistant Professor of Piano at Ithaca College and teaches in the College's Summer Piano Institute held each July. Each August he teaches on the piano faculty at Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado. He can be heard on the Centaur label in a recording with flutist Susan Royal. 

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