Clara Christian, pianist
B i o g r a p h y
Clara Campbell Christian received a Doctorate in Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music; she received a Masters of Music degree from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and a B.M. from Wheaton College.
Clara Christian has given solo recitals throughout North America as well as in St. Petersburg, Russia. She has performed at venues such as the Chicago Cultural Center and the "Jaani Kirik" (St. John's Church) Recital Series in St. Petersburg and the Fourth Presbyterian Church concert series in Chicago. She served as the rehearsal accompanist for the Chicago Master Singers, and performs frequently as a collaborative artist.
Dr. Christian studied with Alan Chow at Northwestern University, Ellen Mack at the Peabody Institute, and Daniel Horn at Wheaton College. She has performed at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Orford Music Festival, and the Masterworks Festival and played in masterclasses for Marc Durand, Julian Martin, Emma Tahmizian, and Endre Hegadus. At the Peabody Institute, Ms. Christian was awarded a Keyboard Studies Assistantship and a Career Development Grant. In 2011, she was a finalist in Northwestern's Thaivu Isaak Piano Competition and the Chicago area Musicians Club of Women awarded her the Elaine and Jerome Nerenburg Piano Scholarship, their top prize in piano.
Passionate about community music education, Dr. Christian provided piano instruction for low income families as part of the Ravinia Festival's Reach*Teach*Play initiative, serving as faculty at the Ravinia-Lawndale Family Music School in inner-city Chicago. She directed the "Faith Arts" summer music institute for elementary and high school students in 2011.
Dr. Christian's doctoral research includes both Russian and American piano music. She presented a lecture recital on the fifth and sixth piano sonatas of Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) and wrote her dissertation on the folk music influences found in American piano music written between 1930 and 1950. She is committed to the performance of new music and has given several premieres as well as dozens of performances of works by 21rst century composers. She also does her own composing and arranging.