Stephen Pierce

Assistant Professor of Practice

  • Program:
    Keyboard Studies
  • Division:
    Classical Performance and Composition
  • Instrument:


South African pianist, Stephen Pierce enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, pedagogue, and scholar. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Keyboard Pedagogy, where he coordinates the Piano Pedagogy program. He previously taught at the University of Northern Colorado and Oberlin Conservatory and has also served as a faculty member at the Colorado International Piano Academy (CIPA) in Greeley, Colorado during the summer.

Pierce holds Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM), a Bachelor of Music (Honors) in Piano Performance from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and two licentiates of music from the University of South Africa (UNISA). His principal piano teachers have included Joseph Stanford, Frank Weinstock, and James Tocco, while he studied pedagogy with Michelle Conda, Joseph Stanford, June Theron, and Wessel van Wyk.

During his studies in Cincinnati, Pierce performed with the CCM Philharmonia as a result of winning the CCM Piano Concerto Competition. He also won the CCM Chamber Music Competition, and the CCM Award for Teaching Excellence for Graduate Teaching Assistants. In South Africa, Pierce has performed with orchestras such as the Natal Philharmonic, the National Symphony, and the Chamber Orchestra of South Africa.

Pierce has been honored with many awards including the Vice Chancellor and Principal’s Medal for Academic Achievement at the University of Pretoria, and the D. J. Rhoode Overseas Scholarship for Piano Pedagogy from the University of South Africa (UNISA). He also won prizes at national competitions including first prize at the Gladwell Music Scholarship Competition, and second prize and two special prizes at the UNISA National Piano Competition.

Pierce has performed in the USA, Canada, Czech Republic, and throughout South Africa, with artists such as flutists Carol Wincenc and James Hall, while his performances have been broadcast on South African television and radio. He has presented masterclasses, workshops, and lectures in South Africa and the United States and recently served as a guest presenter at the Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum (GP3) in Austin, Texas, and at the Colorado State Music Teachers Association annual conference. He regularly contributes CD and DVD reviews to Clavier Companion, and has published book reviews in the journals Music Research Forum and American Music Teacher, and articles in Clavier Companion and The South African Music Teacher.