Lucinda Carver

Chair, Keyboard Studies

Professor of practice

“Carver makes musical thought manifest.” Los Angeles Times

Lucinda Carver is a much beloved and highly acclaimed musician who is equally at home at the piano, harpsichord and on the conductor’s podium. As music director and conductor of the Los Angeles Mozart orchestra for 11 years, Carver garnered critical praise for her stylistic interpretations of music from the Classical era. Active in both the symphonic and operatic arenas, she was proclaimed “a find….a first-rate conductor” by Bernard Holland of the New York Times and “an important emerging conductor” by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times.

Carver is also a distinguished pianist and harpsichordist whose performances as soloist and recitalist have met with equal glowing praise. “What made this one of the waning season’s special Mozart performances was the pianist’s ability, by means of perfectly gauged dynamics and subtly enhancing rubatos, to project the poignancy and resignation lurking behind the placid surface of the music. She seemed to capture the very essence of this elusive, unearthly music of parting.” – Los Angeles Times

As Fulbright fellow to Austria, Lucinda Carver concertized extensively throughout Europe. She has performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Symphony Augusta, Capella Salzburgensis, Musica Angelica, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and frequently undertook the dual role of soloist and conductor with the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra. Carver has been featured in solo and chamber music recitals at the Carmel Bach Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, Prince George Music Festival, and under the aegis of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. She serves as Artistic Director of the Centrum Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival and Co-Artistic Director of the Rencontres Franco-Américaines de Musique de Chambre.

As conductor, Carver’s symphonic credits include guest appearances with the National Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, Richmond Symphony, and Hong Kong Philharmonic. She has conducted at major music festivals including Wolf Trap, Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival, the Orange County Performing Arts Center’s Eclectic Orange Festival and San Francisco Symphony’s ‘Great Performers’ Series.

With the Los Angeles Mozart Orchestra, she conducted two critically acclaimed recordings on the RCM label featuring Haydn Symphonies Nos. 43 and 48, and Mozart Symphonies Nos. 17, 29 and 34. She also led the orchestra on two North American tours under the aegis of Columbia Artist Management, highlights of which were featured on CBS Sunday Morning.

In the operatic realm, she has conducted productions of Don Pasquale with New York City Opera, Don Giovanni with Minnesota Opera, Die Zauberflöte and Die Entführung aus dem Serail with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera.

Carver earned a doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance (with secondary fields in conducting and harpsichord) at the USC Thornton School of Music, an Artist Diploma at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and a Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Her teachers include renowned pianists Murray Perahia, Gary Graffman, Hans Leygraf, John Perry and Gwendolyn Koldofsky, with harpsichord studies under Malcolm Hamilton and conducting studies with Gustav Meier and William Schaefer.

In 1998 she joined the faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music where she is a professor of piano, harpsichord and instrumental conducting. Carver has received the Ramo Music Faculty Award (2018), the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2017) and the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Mentoring (2016).

Teaching Philosophy

My teaching philosophy can best be summarized by two overarching goals. 1) To nurture and support young artists who will have a profound impact in furthering and fostering our art form; 2) to provide my students with the rigorous training that is required for them to find their own distinct musical voice and have the confidence to answer the most probing musical questions with intelligence, style, and imagination.

In my estimation, there is no higher calling than the cultivation of young talented minds in post-secondary education. This phase, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, is absolutely critical in the formulation of well-rounded musicians, scholars, and above all else, human beings. I consider it my highest honor to foster these extraordinary young people towards their bright futures.