Keyboard Studies News

Photo of classical guitarist

Daily Trojan highlights Live! From Somewhere performance series

March 31, 2020

The Daily Trojan, USC’s student-led newspaper, recently highlighted USC Thornton’s new video series, Live! From Somewhere. The series was launched on March 16 in response to recent closures and event cancellations, and as the school’s artists have looked for ways to continue making music while social distancing. Live! From Somewhere presents homemade performances by Thornton […]


Sarah Gibson and Thomas Kotcheff

HOCKET announced as new Piano Spheres Core Artist

March 10, 2020

USC Thornton alumni duo HOCKET has been named the latest addition to Piano Spheres’ roster of Core Artists, the first to be added to the concert series’ roster in 26 years. Piano Spheres was founded in 1994 by pianist and former USC faculty member Leonard Stein with the goal of showcasing new music for the […]


Peter Shin

Thornton artists feature prominently in LACO’s recently announced 2020-21 season

March 9, 2020

The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) has announced its 2020-21 season, the “Season of the Violin,” which prominently features a number of USC Thornton artists, many of whom have enjoyed long relationships with the orchestra. Nov. 14 and 15, Keyboard Studies faculty member and LACO’S Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane, who previously served for 20 years […]


Portrait of Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton named artistic director and conductor of Next Generation Jazz Orchestra

February 25, 2020

Thornton alum Gerald Clayton (BM ’07) was recently announced as the Artistic Director and conductor of the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra for 2020-2022. The 50th annual Next Generation Jazz Festival, organized by the Monterey Jazz Festival, will take place April 3-5 and showcase over 1,300 middle and high school musicians. Clayton is […]


Vicki Ray

Thornton artists feature prominently in concert honoring women composers, performers, directors

February 24, 2020

USC Thornton artists will feature prominently in the Los Robles Master Chorale’s upcoming collaborative concert, Women Speak, highlighting the work of women composers, performers and directors. The all-women chorus VOX Femina Los Angeles will join the Los Robles Master Chorale (LRMC) for the fist half of the evening’s program. Both choruses are led by USC […]


Composite photo of Baltaian and Polischuk

Sarkis Baltaian and Derek Polischuk release album of Latin American music for piano

February 11, 2020

USC Thornton Keyboard Studies alumni Sarkis Baltaian (BM ’99, MM ’01, DMA ’07) and Derek Kealii Polischuk (BM ’01, MM ’04, DMA ’06) have released a new album titled Latin American Music for 2 Pianos. The album features Baltaian and Polischuk’s recordings of music by Carlos Guastavino, Manuel Ponce, Octávio Pinto, Astor Piazzolla, Aaron Copland, […]


Photo of Carl St. Clair

NEA grants to fund new and continued work by USC Thornton faculty and alumni

January 29, 2020

The latest round of grants awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts will fuel new and continued work by USC Thornton faculty and alumni. The LA Master Chorale, led by artistic director and USC Thornton Keyboard Studies alum Grant Gershon (BM ’85), was awarded funding for a series of contemporary choral music concerts, as […]


Photo of Alan Smith

Alan Smith to premiere song cycle at NYC songSLAM Festival

January 15, 2020

Pianist Alan Smith, chair of Keyboard Studies and director of Keyboard Collaborative Arts at USC Thornton, will be premiering a new song cycle on Saturday, Jan. 18 at the final event of the songSLAM Festival in New York City, organized by the art song consortium Sparks and Wiry Cries. The five-song piece, titled “Surfing the […]


Black and white portrait of Katelyn Vahala

Katelyn Vahala wins first prize at Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition

December 11, 2019

Keyboard Studies alum and current graduate student Katelyn Vahala (BM ’18) has recently won first prize at the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, and also won the prize for best contemporary performance. The international competition is named for the late Rosalyn Tureck, an acclaimed pianist, teacher, conductor, scholar, and author, who was known for her […]


Morten Lauridsen

Morten Lauridsen and Grant Gershon discuss 25th anniversary of “O Magnem Mysterium” on KUSC

December 10, 2019

USC Thornton alum Grant Gershon (BM ’85) and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Composition and Thornton alum Morten Lauridsen recently appeared on KUSC’s Arts Alive to discuss the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s 25th anniversary of Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium.” The Master Chorale premiered the iconic work, and will perform it on Sunday, Dec. 15 in celebration […]


News archive