Ursula Oppens, a legend among American pianists, is widely admired particularly for her original and perceptive readings of new music, but also for her knowing interpretations of the standard repertoire. No other artist alive today has commissioned and premiered more new works for the piano.
A critically acclaimed recording artist with five Grammy nominations, Oppens most recently released a new recording of Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated, nominated for a Grammy in 2016, and Piano Songs, a collaboration with Meredith Monk. Oppens has premiered works by such leading composers as John Adams, William Bolcom, John Corigliano, György Ligeti and Witold Lutoslawski,. As an orchestral guest soloist, Oppens has performed with virtually all of the world’s major orchestras. She is also an avid chamber musician.
Oppens is a Distinguished Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City; she also joined the faculty of Mannes College, the New School, in fall 2017. In 2019, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the New England Conservatory. From 1994 through the end of the 2007–2008 academic year she served as John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music at Northwestern University. She has served as a juror for many international competitions.
Since his affiliation with Alfred Music in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis Alexander has earned an international reputation as one of North America's most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels.
Professor Alexander retired from his position at the University of Montana in May 1996, where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years. Upon moving to California, he taught privately in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. He currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Alexander graduated from the University of Kansas, where he was a student of Richard Reber. In 1972, he joined the faculty at the University of Montana and served as piano department chair and taught applied piano, class piano and piano pedagogy. In 1987, he made his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall with violinist Walter Olivares and continues to be active as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician. He has served as a collaborative artist for numerous internationally recognized soloists, instrumentalists, and chamber groups.
Alexander was honored with the 2020 MTNA-Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award for his Nocturnes, published by Alfred Music.