Robert Duke is the Marlene and Morton Meyerson Centennial Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is University Distinguished Teaching Professor, Elizabeth Shatto Massey Distinguished Fellow in Teacher Education, and Director of the Center for Music Learning. A recipient of the Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award and a member of the honorary board of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, he is an adjunct professor in the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas and director of the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Dr. Duke’s research on human learning and behavior spans multiple disciplines, including motor skill learning, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience.His most recent work explores the refinement of procedural memories and the analysis of visual gaze in teacher-learner interactions. A former studio musician and public school music teacher, he has worked closely with children at-risk, both in the public schools and through the juvenile justice system. He is the author of Scribe 4 behavior analysis software, and his most recent books are Intelligent Music Teaching: Essays on the Core Principles of Effective Instruction, The Habits of Musicianship, which he co-authored with Jim Byo of Louisiana State University, and the forthcoming Brain Briefs, which he co-authored with Art Markman, his fellow co-host on the public radio program and podcast Two Guys on Your Head, produced by KUT Radio in Austin.
“Hecht obviously believes in this music, and plays it with loving care and commitment. He is
more of a poet than a showman…he reveals a tempered, lyrical approach far removed from
the pyrotechnics of Horowitz but equally engaging in its own right.” -- Opus Magazine
American pianist Thomas Hecht was invited to Singapore in 2003 as the
Conservatory’s founding Head of Piano Studies. Over the span of nearly three
decades he has concertized internationally as concerto soloist, recitalist,
chamber musician and as a member of the acclaimed duo-piano team Hecht &
Shapiro, winners of the ARD Munich International Two Piano Competition and
USA National Duo Piano Competition.
. He was the former Head of Piano Studies
and Artist-In- Residence at the School of Music at Victoria University in New
Zealand and prior to that served for many years as Professor of Piano and Artist-
In-Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music (USA).
Professor Hecht has performed in many of the world’s cultural centres,
appearing with leading orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland
Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Stuttgart Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio
Orchestra, Johannesburg Festival Orchestra, Singapore Symphony Orchestra,
Artsakh Symphony Orchestra and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Career
highlights include performances at the Lincoln Center in New York, Berlin
Philharmonic Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, and solo recitals in Korea,
Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Italy, Serbia, Montenegro,
Germany, South Africa, and throughout all the major centres of Australia and
New Zealand. He has performed over a dozen different concerti while living
overseas; among the most recent of these was the Asian premiere of Thomas
Ades’ Concerto conciso and summer performances of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto
No. 4 in Armenia and Australia and next month at the International Piano
Pedagogy Conference in Taiwan.
Thomas Hecht is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory where he won first prize
in the concerto competition and the Kaufmann Award for excellence in chamber
music. Later he was accepted for graduate studies at the Peabody Institute as a
student of Leon Fleisher, who was so impressed with the young pianist’s abilities
that he was soon asked to become his mentor’s teaching assistant, an honor which
Fleisher - one of the great pianists of our time - had never before bestowed on
any pianist. His merits and many noteworthy achievements were recently
celebrated at Peabody where he was presented with the coveted Young Maestro
Award, honoring alumni who have distinguished themselves in their performing
Dr. Hecht also enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading teachers of
his generation, having produced a multitude of first prizewinners in solo and two
piano competitions throughout the United States, Europe and Australasia. He has
given master classes at renowned institutions such as the Royal Academy, Royal
Northern and Royal Welsh Colleges of Music, the Paris, Eastman, Oberlin,
Peabody, Sydney, Beijing and Sichuan Conservatories and the Hong Kong
Academy of the Performing Arts. He served as Visiting Professor at the Peabody
Institute under the auspices of the first YST-Peabody faculty exchange
programme, while other guest residency invitations have included the
Conservatoire de Paris, the Sibelius Academy, the Guildhall College of Music &
Drama and the University of Trossingen. Throughout his career he has represented USA, New Zealand and Singapore on
jury panels of the Gina Bachauer, Geneva, Isangyun, Ibiza and Paralympic
International Piano Competitions in addition to the national piano competitions
of Japan, Thailand, Australia and South Africa. He receives regular invitations to
summer piano festivals, including performances in Sydney, Beijing, Wellington,
Lausanne, Chethams, Engadin, Washington, Oberlin, Taichung, Amalfi, Bavaria,
Artsakh and Brasov (where he is Honorary Professor of Piano at the University
of Transylvania), and continues to be in demand for workshops and pedagogy
conferences throughout the world. Thomas Hecht records for the Azica, Elysium and Atoll labels.
Nicholas Mathew is Associate Professor and Weisman Schutt Chair in Music at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is also co-leader of the piano performance and early music programs. Born in England, Nicholas read music at the University of Oxford while concurrently studying the piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He continued his training across the Atlantic at Cornell University in New York State, where he completed a doctorate on the music of Beethoven and studied period pianos with the American fortepianist Malcolm Bilson. The author of two books and many articles on nineteenth-century music history, musical aesthetics, and historical performance, Nicholas lectures and performs across North America, Europe, and Australia. He is currently working on a book about Joseph Haydn in London, as well as a recording with the soprano Ariana Strahl of the complete songs of Clara Schumann, using a rare piano built by her uncle.
Described by The Australian as a ‘musical ambassador', Anna Goldsworthy is one of Australia’s most versatile artists. Celebrated as a pianist, she is acclaimed also as a memoirist, essayist, playwright, librettist, and festival director.
As a pianist, Anna performs extensively throughout Australia and internationally. Solo appearances include at the Teatro Colon for the Buenos Aires International Music Festival, for the Orchestra of Colours in Athens, at the Melbourne International Arts Festival, and in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Masters Series. She regularly appears at festivals throughout Australia such as the Musica Viva Festival in Sydney, the Canberra International Music Festival, the Queensland Music Festival, the Noosa Long Weekend Festival, the Margaret River Weekend of Music, the Bangalow Music Festival, and the Keyed Up Series in Perth.
An accomplished chamber player, Anna is a founding member of Seraphim Trio, which in 2015 celebrated its twenty-first anniversary. Celebrated for its innovative programming and community outreach, Seraphim is committed to new Australian music, and has premiered works by Graeme Koehne, James Ledger, Elena Kats-Chernin, Calvin Bowman, Andrew Ford, Anne Boyd, Calvin Bowman, Damian Barbeler, Ian Munro, Paul Dean, Andrea Keller, Joe Chindamo, Raymond Chapman-Smith, George Palmer and Benjamin Martin. Anna collaborates regularly with Australia’s most distinguished musicians, such as oboist Diana Doherty, clarinettist Paul Dean, trumpeter David Elton, sopranos Sara Macliver and Jane Sheldon, and the Australian String Quartet. She records for the ABC Classics label.
As a writer, Anna was awarded Newcomer of the Year at the 2010 Australian Book Industry Awards for her debut memoir, Piano Lessons, which was released in Australia, North America and Korea, adapted for the stage, and is currently in development as a film. Other literary publications include the memoir Welcome to Your New Life, numerous selections for Best Australian Essays, and the Quarterly Essay Unfinished Business: Sex, Freedom and Misogyny.
Anna’s writing for the stage includes the libretto for Victorian Opera’s award-winning production of The Magic Pudding. Her acclaimed adaptation of Piano Lessons, commissioned by the Queensland Music Festival, was nominated for a Matilda Award. Her play, Maestro, co-written with her father, Peter Goldsworthy, enjoyed a successful season with the State Theatre of South Australia in March 2009.
Anna has degrees from the University of Adelaide and Texas Christian University, and a doctorate from the University of Melbourne. Her teachers have been Eleonora Sivan, Tamas Ungar, and Ronald Farren-Price. Additionally, Anna has studied in Moscow with Lev Naumov, with the support of an ArtsSA Emerging Artist Award.
Anna is currently Research Fellow at the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide and Lecturer in Chamber Music at the Elder Conservatorium. She was Artistic Director of the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival for many years.
In 2015, Anna toured with the complete set of Beethoven piano trios with Seraphim Trio and toured with the stage-play of Piano Lessons, in which she both acts and performs piano, and.
“I have never read a better account of a mentor or how true learning takes place. Every teacher of everything should read this. Twice.” — Philip Levine, US Poet Laureate on Piano Lessons
Eric Baumgartner received jazz degrees from Berklee College of Music in Boston, and DePaul University in Chicago. He is the author and creator of the popular jazz series, Jazzabilities and Jazz Connection, a related set of beginning jazz piano books for students young and old. Besides composing and maintaining a teaching studio, Eric works extensively in musical theatre and plays keyboard and guitar with several pop and jazz groups. He is also the orchestrator of several noted Willis publications, including the Teaching Little Fingers to Playseries, Popular Piano Solos and his own Jazz It Up! series. He regularly presents jazz and new music workshops on behalf of Willis Music, and has presented his unique teaching techniques in the United States, England, and Australia.Eric grew up in a musical family in northeast Ohio where he began piano lessons at the age of seven and was as equally fascinated with Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky as he was with the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Thelonious Monk. His wide range of musical influences is reflected in his balanced approach to teaching: he finds validity in all music and works with students to help them find their own musical identity through improvising, arranging and composing.
He currently lives in Atlanta where he performs with various jazz, pop and theater groups.