Associate Professor of Practice
Division: Classical Performance and Composition
Program: Keyboard Studies
Office: RHM 112
Bernadene Blaha’s “brilliant command of the piano,” whether featured as recitalist, concerto soloist or chamber musician, has been heralded in performances throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Mexico. Recent career highlights include her debut performances in Australia, as well as an invitation to serve as a jury member at the prestigious 2010 Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Originally from Canada, Ms. Blaha first came to international attention as a prizewinner in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition; the Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Masterplayers International Competition, Lugano, Switzerland; and the 11th Annual International Piano Competition, New York City. This latter award resulted in two highly acclaimed recital appearances, at Carnegie Recital Hall and the Lincoln Center Library. Soon afterward, Ms. Blaha was featured in the opening orchestra concert and a solo recital at the XXIX International Chopin Festival in Marianske Lazne, Czechoslovakia, followed by solo recitals at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. and in London, England.
In the summer of 1999, Ms. Blaha was invited by Canada’s “Piano 6″ to perform with the group in televised gala concerts in Lanaudiere and in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre. She remained an active touring member of the project through the completion of its ten year mandate in 2003.
A highly regarded chamber musician, Ms. Blaha has been a regular guest at international festivals including, The Newport Festival, Tucson Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Festival of the Sound, Bard Festival, Banff Festival of the Arts, Round Top International Festival and Festival de San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Ms. Blaha’s first solo CD featured the piano music of Chopin. Piano & Keyboard’s review referred to her as “a pianist of integrity, with lovely sonorities and total clarity of line. She understands and respects Chopin and lets his eloquence speak for itself.” Her discography also includes a CBC Records CD of Sonatas by Strauss, Debussy, and Barber with cellist Shauna Rolston and an album of the complete works of Schumann with violist Rivka Golani. Her most recent CD of the complete works of Felix Mendelssohn for Cello and Piano with cellist Elizabeth Dolin was released on the Analekta label.
Born in Brantford, Ontario, Ms. Blaha was a scholarship student of Boris Berlin at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and of Mme. Ania Dorfmann at the Juilliard School where she graduated with a Bachelor and Master of Music Degree. Her other mentors included: Marek Jablonski, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok and Ludwig Stefanski.
Ms. Blaha currently resides in Los Angeles, and since 1993 has been a member of the Keyboard Faculty at USC Thornton.