Pianist John Ellis will perform in concert Monday, February 28, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in Dumas Smith Auditorium on the Hattiesburg campus of William Carey University. The concert will feature Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C Major, Op. 17, and Franz Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, Second Year: Italy. Dr. Ellis will also present a free master class featuring William Carey University piano majors on Tuesday, March 1, from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. on the Smith Auditorium stage. The public is invited to attend.
Professor Ellis has taught piano at the University of Michigan since 2000. He serves as Chair of the Piano Department and is also the Director of Graduate Studies in Piano Pedagogy. In addition, he administers the preparatory department and the class piano curriculum. He is in demand, nationally and internationally, as a master class clinician, adjudicator and lecturer on piano pedagogy. His recent travels have taken him to the Tunghai Piano Festival in Taiwan, University of South Florida, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, and the University of Hawaii. Professor Ellis speaks regularly on pedagogy topics to teachers groups throughout Michigan. As a pianist, he has performed widely as soloist, lecture-recitalist, and collaborative artist. He has recorded the piano music of African-American composer Arthur Cunningham for Equilibrium Records.
As a scholar in the field of pedagogy, Mr. Ellis combines music theory, musicology, and the humanities with the more traditional pedagogical methods. He has worked with the Musical Signification Project of the International Congress on Musical Signification (ICMS) since 1996, presenting papers on musical meaning and pedagogy at the University of Bologna, the Université de Provence, the University of Helsinki, and the New England Conference of Music Theorists at Wellesley College. His articles have been published by CLUEB (Bologna)/International Semiotics Institute (Finland), and Acta Semiotica Fennica.
His primary teachers were Arthur Cunningham, the late conductor, composer and jazz pianist; Frank Iogha, a touring pianist and former professor at the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York; Michel Block, the late pianist and former faculty member at Indiana University in Bloomington; and Constance Keene, the late pianist and faculty member at the Manhattan School of Music. He has served on the faculties at the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. He has taught on the piano faculty of the University of Michigan All-State program at Interlochen and coordinated the piano program at the U-M Summer Arts Institute.
Tickets for the concert on February 28 are $10 general admission and $7 for seniors.WCU students, faculty, and staff are free. Tickets may be purchased at the door or in advance by calling Dr. Ellen Elder at 601-318-6179.