Assistant Professor of Practice
- Program:Keyboard Studies
- Division:Classical Performance and Composition
Antoinette Perry, born into a family of professional musicians, gave her first public performance at the age of four. She has since appeared throughout the U.S., Europe and China as a soloist and chamber musician, collaborating with many of the world’s greatest artists, including John Perry, Leon Fleisher, Ralph Kirshbaum, Ronald Leonard, Brooks Smith, David Shifrin, Gabor Rejto, Henri Temianka, Joaquin Valdepenas, Carol Wincenc, Froydis ReeWekre and actors Michael York and Walter Matthau. She has performed with members of the American, Chicago, Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard, Los Angeles, Paganini, Sequoia, and Takacs string quartets, as well as concertmasters and principals of major orchestras in Los Angeles, New York, Rotterdam, the Hague, Amsterdam, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Gulbenkian, Zurich, Chicago, St. Louis, Toronto, and San Francisco.
During her 25-year tenure as an Artist-Faculty Emeritus at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Ms. Perry performed in over 100 festival concerts, in addition to participating in festivals in Germany, China and throughout North America. Her recordings in collaboration with flutist David Shostac have been issued by Harmonie & Excelsior (Sam Goody) and her work has frequently been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, the Bravo! channel, and Continental Airlines’ in-flight audio programs.
Le Dauphine Libere has lauded Ms. Perry’s “irreproachable technique” and “a musical comprehension which could only belong to one of the Greats.” Germaine Vadi of Les Affiches de Grenoble et du Dauphine wrote, “One felt himself to be in the presence of a great pianist – an absolute art of nuance, her subtle touch, and finally her perfect musical understanding, which permits her to assimilate the music of all cultures.”
Distinguishing herself as a pedagogue, Ms. Perry taught with UCLA for 12 years before joining the Keyboard Studies faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in 1996. She frequently gives master classes and serves as a competition adjudicator. Many of her former students are presently enjoying successful careers as performers and pedagogues throughout the U.S. and internationally.
Music is a most compelling force when arising spontaneously from the artist. Of course this spontaneity must be tempered more or less by one’s knowledge of harmony, structure, rhythm, etc., and the ways in which these elements affect interpretation. In the art of classical music, formal training is vital. But then the teacher must understand his or her limits and know when to step back to allow each student to find his or her individual voice. A great teacher opens a student’s eyes to possibilities without insisting on an imitation of sorts.
Being objective is our most difficult task as teachers. I strive to enable a student to access his or her creative spark without stepping on the composer’s personality (that certainly wouldn’t serve the music!) or needlessly imposing the teacher’s vision on the student.
But our musical instincts don’t come from a vacuum. I insist that my students listen to great singers and orchestras, live or otherwise, as much as possible. One must understand what is special about our art in general, and about each era and style in particular, before one can begin to search for his or her own best interpretation, or before instinct can come into play.
Students must understand that there are a myriad of possibilities. In our performance classes I solicit comments in the hopes of training students to be constructive in their criticism while remaining open-minded to a full range of interpretive possibilities. Sometimes we are left with questions rather than answers, which might bring us closer to the truth!
Of course technique is tremendously important in piano playing—-physical mastery is not only essential for great artistry, but variety and nuance in one’s technical approach expands one’s artistic vision. Fortunately I myself have been exposed to many wonderful teachers, and in my teaching I try to amalgamate as well as build on what I have learned. As a certified instructor of yoga, I also weave in elements I have learned from my meditation and yoga practice—elements such as proper breathing, body scanning, body awareness, mental focus, etc….
Life is short, so I try to work with the whole person to ensure that he or she ENJOYS this process of self-discovery to allow the artist within to shine.
- Over 100 performances as an Aspen Festival artist
- Performed Mozart’s Double and Triple concerti with Leon Fleisher, Kathy Jacobson and the Aspen Chamber Orchestra to celebrate Steinway’s 150th anniversary
- Faculty, UCLA, 1984-96 and Colburn School of Performing Arts, 1981-2000
- Premiered works by Mark Carlson, Donald Keats, Michael Convertino, David Lang
- Toured as soloist w/ California Chamber Symphony under Henri Temianka for Columbia Artists Community Concerts
Honors, Awards & Competitions:
- University of Texas at Austin Fellowship, 1976-79
- German-American Club Exchange Scholar, at Munchen Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst, 1979-80
- Finalist, National Beethoven competition, 1978
- Artist-faculty, Aspen Music Festival and School, 1985-present
- Summer workshop faculty, Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, 1987-92
- Performed at festivals in Tanglewood, Ojai, Sedona, Santa Fe, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Austin and Sarasota
- Masterpieces From the French Repertoire, with flutist David Shostac, Harmonie, 1996
- The Romantic Flute, with David Shostac, Excelsior (Sam Goody), 1996
- Masterpieces Rediscovered, with flutist David Shostac, Harmonie, 1996
- Balancing Act, with trombonist Bill Booth, Crystal Records, 2000
- DMA work, UT Austin, 1978-79, Aufbaustudium, Munchen Hochschule fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst, 1979-80
- MM, UT Austin, 1978
- BM, UT Austin, 1976
Other academic experience:
- Mozarteum, Salzburg, summers 1977,79,80
- Berkshire Music Fest at Tanglewood, summer 1981
- Aspen Music School, summer 1978
- Sarasota Festival, summer 1978
John Perry, Carlo Zecchi,Gilbert Kalish, Richard Goode, Lilian Kallir, Danielle Martin and Richard Angeletti