Antoinette Perry

Professor of practice

Antoinette Perry, born into a family of professional musicians, gave her first public performance at the age of four. Since then she has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Germany, France, England, and in over 15 cities of the People’s Republic of China. She has been heard often on NPR and the Bravo! Channel, and has recorded for the Crystal, Harmonie, Pacific Rainbow, Pacific Serenades, Excelsior, and Navona/PARMA labels.

Listen to her performances on SoundCloud and on her YouTube channel.

Le Dauphine Libéré has lauded her “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 oneself 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.”  The LA Times has praised  her “exceptional artistry” (Bruce Burroughs), her “superb Schubert in every respect” (Albert Goldberg), and, in a performance with the LA Mozart Orchestra: “The centerpiece was Mozart’s Piano Concerto in G, K. 543, in a wonder of pertinent, pointed musicality…expressive…richly detailed…”(John Hanken).

Artist-faculty Emeritus at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Ms. Perry performed in over 100 concerts during her 25-year tenure. Other festivals include Bravo!International, Lansum International, Zhengzhou International, Saarburg International,  Idyllwild Arts Academy, Chamber Music Sedona, Ojai Festival, Taipei International, 20th Century Unlimited in Santa Fe, and the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, among others.

As a young artist she and was one of only two women representing the United States in the 6th Van Cliburn International Competition (1981) and subsequently received a fellowship to the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood. A highlight of her later career was the opportunity to perform the Mozart Double and Triple Concerti with Leon Fleisher, Katherine Jacobson, and the Aspen Chamber Symphony, to commemorate the Aspen Music Festival’s 150th anniversary and Leon Fleisher’s 75th birthday.

As a chamber musician, Ms. Perry has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest artists, including John Perry, Leon Fleisher, Brooks Smith, Ralph Kirshbaum, Ronald Leonard, David Shifrin, Eugene Fodor, Henri Temianka, Joachin Valdepenas, Carol Wincenc, and actors Michael York and Walter Matthau. She has performed with members of the American, Chicago, Cleveland, Emerson, Juilliard, Angeles, Paganini, Sequoia and Takacs String Quartets, with concertmasters of the Chicago Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Hague Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Baltimore Philharmonic, and the Orpheus, Los Angeles and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, as well as principals of the New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, the Gulbenkian and Zurich Tonnehalle Orchestras, the Toronto and San Francisco Symphonies, and the LA, Stuttgart and Saarbrücken Operas. Other collaborators were faculty members at Juilliard, Eastman School, Manhattan School, Peabody Institute, Beijing Central Conservatory, Seoul National University, Glenn Gould Conservatory in Toronto, R.D. Colburn School, the Shepherd School at Rice, and the Universität der Künste in Berlin. In LA she collaborates regularly with members of the USC and UCLA faculties and well as with prominent film industry musicians.

She also enjoys bringing new music to audiences, having premiered works by Michael Patterson, Roger Bourland, Mark Carlson, Steven Christopher Sacco, John Steinmetz, Bevan Manson, Donald Keats, Roland E. Curb and Chikako Iverson.

Ms. Perry served on the UCLA piano faculty for 12 years before joining the faculty of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music in 1996, where she currently teaches. She has given over 200 master classes, most notably at the Eastman School of Music and as artist-in-residence for a week at the Beijing Central Conservatory. Former students are enjoying successful careers as performers and pedagogues throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

Her wonderful teachers have included John Perry, Carlo Zecchi, Gilbert Kalish, Richard Goode, Danielle Martin and Richard Angeletti. As a child she was surrounded with the beautiful, rich sounds of her pianist mother, Lillian Haslach Teddlie, her bass-baritone father, Paul Krueger, and later her step-father, baritone Antonio Perez.

She is the proud mother of Sean, Maureen and Michael Perry, and currently lives, hikes, reads and practices yoga in Altadena, California.

Teaching Philosophy

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.

Academic degrees

Studied with:

John Perry, Carlo Zecchi, Gilbert Kalish, Richard Goode, Lilian Kallir, Danielle Martin and Richard Angeletti