Dr. Thomas Lanners
Oklahoma State University
Thomas Lanners has appeared as a solo and collaborative pianist and clinician throughout
the U.S. and abroad, presenting his New York solo debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie
Hall in 2004. His performances have been broadcast nationally and internationally
on programs such as American Public Media’s Performance Today, BBC3 in London and
RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany in Ireland, among many others. Designated the 2014
Distinguished Music Teacher by the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association, he currently
serves as Professor of Piano at Oklahoma State University.
Thomas has performed, presented master classes, and given lectures on various musical
topics as a guest artist throughout the United States, in Mexico, Canada, Europe and
Asia. He presented a session as a featured guest at the Shanghai Conservatory International
Piano Pedagogy Conference in October 2019. In the summer of 2018 he served on the
faculties of the Shanghai International Piano Festival and Institute (and was scheduled
to so again in 2020) and the AmiCaFest Piano Festival in Sicily, where he will teach
again in 2021. In 2017 Thomas presented master classes at Yonsei University in Seoul,
South Korea and the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China, and in 2016 gave classes
at the Shanghai Conservatory, the Conservatory's Middle School, the Zhejiang Conservatory
and East China Normal University. Lanners presented a master class and recital to
conclude Beijing Normal University’s 2015 International Music Week. Thomas will again
serve as a performer, master class clinician and adjudicator at the Lee University
International Piano Festival and Competition in Tennessee in 2021, having also been
one of the three guest artists in 2012. He gave a master class on the NYU Steinhardt
School of Music’s Piano Artist Master Class Series in 2012 as well.
Institutions he has visited as a guest artist include the Eastman School of Music,
the Universities of Texas-Austin, Colorado-Boulder, North Texas, Miami (FL), South
Carolina, Oklahoma, Western Ontario (Canada), Iowa, and Missouri-Columbia; Northwestern,
Syracuse, Louisiana State, Southern Methodist, George Mason and Baylor Universities;
the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and the Unidad Académica de Artes de
la Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas in Mexico. In addition, Lanners has played solo
recitals in Brussels and Gent, Belgium, performed on the Classical Mondays recital
series in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, at the OK Mozart International
Festival, the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, and in Bangkok and Hua-Hin, Thailand.
Thomas’ CD, Ned Rorem: The Three Piano Sonatas, was released by Centaur Records in
2007. Links to three tracks on the recording were included in an October 2018 article
in the New York Times on the occasion of Rorem's 95th birthday. Mark Lehman, in an
American Record Guide review, wrote of the Sonatas disc: “It’s especially pleasing
to have all three of Rorem’s sonatas on one disc, superbly played by Thomas Lanners,
and in clear, vivid sound. … Anyone who cares about mainstream 20th Century piano
music should seek out this superlative recording.” In a review of his 2005 release,
Touches of Bernstein: The Complete Published Piano Music of Leonard Bernstein, critic
Jed Distler wrote for ClassicsToday.com: "Thomas Lanners totally understands this
music, pointing up the jazzy qualities to idiomatic perfection as well as projecting
Bernstein’s lyrical generosity without milking it … All told, Lanners' loving mastery
easily holds its own in any company. Warmly recommended."
Lanners’ recording, Ned Rorem: Piano Works, Volume 2, was also released worldwide
on the Centaur label. The disc received much critical praise, including the following
from critic Donald Rosenberg’s review in the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “The piano pieces
on this fine recording attest to Rorem’s penchant for lyrical and dramatic contrast.
… Thomas Lanners brings exceptional detail and urgency to the repertoire, taking as
much care with inner voices as he does with arching statements. Grade: A.” Robert
Schulslaper wrote, in a Fanfare magazine review of both Rorem volumes: “Lanners plays
[all the virtuoso pieces] to the hilt … and he’s also a sensitive musician who communicates
the essence of Rorem’s varied moods.”
Thomas was awarded a grant in 2010, through the Centaur label, from the Aaron Copland
Fund for Music Recording to record works of Pulitzer winner Ross Lee Finney, having
also received a Copland grant for his first Rorem CD. His championing of American
piano music was the topic of an interview article, titled “Pianist Thomas Lanners:
Spreading the Good Word,” in a 2010 issue of Fanfare.
Always in demand as a clinician, he presented sessions at the 2019, 2009, 2005, and
2001 Music Teachers National Association conferences, and was featured in a Pedagogy
Saturday panel session for the 2020 MTNA Virtual Conference. He served as the monthly
MTNA Webinar clinician in February 2020. Thomas has also presented at the 2019, 2015,
2010, 2008, and 2000 Oklahoma Music Teachers Association conferences, conferences
of the Texas MTA (2016 and 2012) and the College Music Society’s South Central Chapter.
Lanners will give a lecture, for the eighth consecutive year, for the 2021 MusicEdConnect.com
National Conference, a three-day online event in February that includes sessions from
numerous respected piano pedagogues. He gave a lecture as one of three featured guests
during the inaugural International Conference on Education, Culture and Arts (Congreso
Internacional de Educación, Cultura y Artes) in Zacatecas, Mexico, and presented sessions
at Eastman’s Summer Chamber Music Institute.
In the realm of collaborative piano, he has performed with Walfrid Kujala, former
Northwestern University professor of flute and Chicago Symphony member, Richard MacDowell,
professor of clarinet at the University of Texas at Austin, and Nancy Ambrose King,
professor of oboe at the University of Michigan. He also collaborated with Leone Buyse,
professor of flute at Rice University and former Principal Flutist, Boston Symphony
Orchestra and Boston Pops.
He is an active writer on musical topics, with several feature articles and column
contributions having been published in American Music Teacher, MTNA’s refereed journal,
most recently in 2019. His writing has also been published in Clavier and Canadian
Music Teacher, among others.
Lanners served as one of three jurors for the final round of the MTNA Stecher and
Horowitz Two Piano Competition at the national conference in March 2019. He also served
as a juror for the 5th Mozart International Piano Competition in Bangkok, Thailand
in 2015, and for the inaugural Kuleshov International Piano Competition in 2016. Thomas
has adjudicated at MTNA’s West Central, South Central and Southern Division piano
competitions, the Eastman School’s International Piano Competition for High School
Students, and for numerous other competitions across the U.S. In 2020 he judged two
online competitions, the #StayHome International Piano Competition (with 10 judges
from across Europe and the U.S.) and the Linda Bustani International Online Piano
Competition, which was based in Brazil.
One of Dr. Lanners' former OSU students, Chul Hyung (Tony) Cho, joined the faculty
of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 2015 as an opera coach. Tony previously
worked at the Juilliard School as an Associate Opera Coach, then coached operas at
the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and at Chapman University
outside Los Angeles. Former student Christopher Reed recently completed the Doctor
of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at the Eastman School, having earned
his Master’s degree there as well. Other students have been accepted into graduate
piano performance degree programs at Eastman, the Universities of Michigan, Indiana,
Illinois, Southern California, Washington, Kansas, Missouri-Kansas City, the Manhattan
and Mannes Schools of Music, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. They
have had success in numerous competitions, winning Oklahoma Music Teachers Association
Collegiate competitions (including first place winners in 2019, 2018, 2016, 2013,
2012, 2011, 2010, 2006, 2005, and 2003, and numerous runners-up) and state wins in
the MTNA Young Artist competitions (including a national finalist in the String Chamber
Music category in 2013), MTNA Senior winners in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2010 and 2009, and
MTNA Junior winners in 2016 and 2015. His students were named Alternate (Second Place)
for the South Central Division in the Senior Artist category in 2020 and 2019, and
in the Junior Artist in 2017.
Lanners received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Piano Performance and Literature
from the Eastman School as a student of Barry Snyder. He earned his Bachelor of Music
degree summa cum laude as a student of Leonidas Lipovetsky at Florida State University,
where he won the Brautlecht Award as the School’s Outstanding Rising Senior. He also
studied under John Perry at the Aspen Music Festival and Jerome Lowenthal at the Music
Academy of the West, and has performed in master classes for such renowned artists
as Pascal Devoyon, Jeffrey Kahane, Dominique Merlet, Anton Nel, Cécile Ousset, and
Dr. Catharine Lysinger
Southern Methodist University
Catharine Lysinger is widely sought after as pianist, teacher and lecturer. She is
a prizewinner in national and international piano competitions, including first prize
in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Competition,
first prize in the Wideman Piano Competition (Shreveport, La.) and second prize in
the Vietri-Sul-Mare (Italy) duo-piano competition with SMU colleague and chair of
Piano Studies, Dr. Carol Leone.
Lysinger has performed with orchestras including the Filarmónica de Jalisco (Guadalajara,
Mexico), the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Civic Symphony and the Clear
Lake Orchestra, and frequently collaborates with the Meadows Wind Ensemble under the
direction of Dr. Jack Delaney. Recent performances include the Stravinsky Concerto
for Piano and Winds, Messiaen’s Oiseaux Exotiques and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Lysinger is also an active soloist and collaborator in chamber music concerts. With
duo-piano partner Dr. Alex McDonald she has performed the Bartók Sonata for Two Pianos
and Percussion with percussionists of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and numerous
other works for two pianos by Mozart, Brahms, Liszt, Debussy, Rachmaninoff and more.
Lysinger’s ongoing collaboration with Voices of Change, a Dallas-based professional
ensemble comprised of members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, features chamber music
written by living composers.
In 2014, Lysinger was named Pre-Collegiate Teacher of the Year by the Texas Music
Teachers Association. She was also nominated for the SMU Provost’s Teaching Recognition
Award, which honors faculty who demonstrate a commitment to excellence and a consummate
dedication to teaching. Many of her students have been awarded first prize in numerous
competitions, including the American Protégé Competition; the MTNA Junior and Senior
Piano Competitions in Texas; Dallas Symphonic Festival; Dallas Piano Solo Competition;
Plano Symphony Young Artist Competition; Baylor-Waco Competition; Texas Music Teachers
Association solo and concerto divisions; and the Dallas Chamber Orchestra Concerto
Competition. Graduates of her studio have been accepted to music schools and conservatories
nationwide including SMU, Baylor, University of Houston, New England Conservatory,
Oberlin Conservatory and Peabody Conservatory.
Lysinger is a frequent guest of festivals nationally and internationally. Recent invitations
to perform, give master classes and present lectures have come from the Brancaleoni
Festival (Italy), the Vienna International Piano Academy (Austria), the May Festival
at the Tianjin Conservatory and East China Normal University in Shanghai (China) and
at the National Conservatory in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) co-hosted by Estudio
Diná and Stephen F. Austin University.
Lysinger is also a frequent adjudicator for and presenter to MTAs regionally and nationally
and has been a featured presenter at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.
She is the founding director of the SMU Institute for Young Pianists (SMU IYP), a
summer festival that attracts the best and brightest young pianists in the region
and from as far away as China and Hong Kong. Guest artists invited to teach for SMU
IYP (and in conjunction with the SMU Institute for Piano Teachers) have included professors
and pianist-pedagogues from across the U.S. including Jane Magrath, Seymour Bernstein,
Logan Skelton, Jennifer Hayghe and Nelita True.
She has studied with Professor Nancy Weems (University of Houston) and Horacio Gutiérrez,
taken master classes with Abbey Simon, Christoph Eschenbach and Christopher Elton,
and taken lessons at the Aspen Music Festival with Gabriel Chodos and Evelyne Brancart.
Lysinger is professor of practice at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, where she teaches
piano pedagogy and applied piano. She is also head of the piano pedagogy area and
director of the Piano Preparatory Department. The program at SMU attracts students
nationally and internationally, drawing some of the finest young pianists and teachers
to study piano performance and piano pedagogy simultaneously in a highly specialized
and individualized environment.
Dr. Amy Gustafson
Praised for her “exquisite sensitivity” and a “style filled with class and elegance”
by La Voz de Asturias (Asturias, Spain) and recognized as a “talented player who doesn’t
fit the cookie-cutter mold” by Lucid Culture (New York City), American pianist Amy
E. Gustafson has performed across the United States and in both Western and Eastern
Europe. Her debut album, Reverie, consists of music by Claude Debussy and was released
in June 2017.
Recent performances include replacing legendary pianist Abbey Simon in Los Angeles
at LACMA’s series, Sundays Live, an appearance with the Sofia Sinfionetta in Sofia,
Bulgaria, and a concert tour in Dallas, Texas with her piano duo, Duo Azul. Other
recent engagements have taken her to Spain, China, and Canada, and she has also performed
New York City venues, such as Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall,
Trinity Church Wall Street, the Tenri Cultural Institute, CAMI Hall and the Kosciuszko
Born into a musical family, her talent was evident at an early age, and she received
much of her beginning piano instruction from her grandmother. By the age of 15, she
had won several local competitions, including MTNA’s Baldwin Competition, and her
success led her to move to New York City to continue her studies.
Since then, Gustafson has won numerous awards, including the second prize in the International
Young Artists Piano Competition, second prize in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Competition,
and the Special Presentation Award and the Alumni Award from Artists International
Gustafson completed her studies at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University,
and the University of Texas at Austin. Her major teachers have included Julian Martin,
Andre-Michel Schub, Anton Nel, Constance Keene, and Miyoko Lotto, and she has benefited
from the advice of many renowned pedagogues, including Solomon Mikowsky, Arie Vardi,
Veda Kaplinsky, Robert McDonald, Paul Badura-Skoda, Marc Durand, Martin Canin, Leslie
Howard, and Luiz de Moura Castro.
In addition to her performing career, Gustafson is on the piano faculty at Millersville
University and is Director and Faculty of the Gijón International Piano Festival in
Gijón, Spain, as well as Director of the Palmetto International Piano Festival in
South Carolina. Previously, Dr. Gustafson directed The Stony Brook International Piano
Festival in Stony Brook, New York.
Amy E. Gustafson is a Yamaha Artist.