Southern Miss School of Music Pianists to Perform in Peru

Dr. Ellen Elder and Dr. Elizabeth Moak, piano faculty from The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music, will travel to Lima, Peru, where they have been invited to perform at the National Conservatory of Music.

The accomplished pianists will present solo recitals and master classes during the week of Oct. 17, 2016, and will also participate in a Piano Festival co-organized by the Conservatory and the Patronato Peruano de la Música.

“International exchanges by our artist faculty are critically important to Southern Miss on multiple levels. They showcase our faculty on the world stage, serving to cement the standing of the School of Music as THE flagship music institution of not only Mississippi, but of the entire Southeastern United States” said Dr. Richard Kravchak, director of the school. “They highlight the fact that our entire institution is fully engaged with the international community.”

Elder’s recital will feature works by Haydn, Albright, Liszt, and Schumann. Moak’s recital will feature works by Beethoven, Jacquet de La Guerre, Zaimont, and Fernândez.

“This trip is a continuation of the academic cooperation that was first initiated when Dr. Carmen Escobedo, General Director of the Conservatory, performed at USM last year,” said Elder. “This will be another step towards paving the way for an official agreement between the Conservatory and Southern Miss.”

“These amazing young people not only raise our level of performance, but they give our domestic students the opportunity to live, work, and study side by side with students from a different culture” said Kravchak.

Elder teaches applied piano to graduate and undergraduate piano majors at Southern Miss and serves as director and teacher in the Southern Miss Piano Institute that she founded in 2011. She is an active collaborator with faculty and guest artists. Her college and pre-college students receive numerous awards and honors for their performance.  She is also the featured soloist on the opening night of this year’s Symphony Orchestra season on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center.

A dedicated teacher, Moak is currently on the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi and previously was selected for a Teaching Fellow at Peabody Conservatory, as well as for the “Outstanding Young Faculty” Award from Millsaps College. Noted for her “sensitivity” and “generous imagination” (La Suisse), she has performed throughout the United States and internationally.

“The trip to Peru, a country that will be celebrating its bicentennial just five years from now, is a very exciting occasion,” noted Moak. “And who can imagine what it must have been like approximately 150 years ago for pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk who hailed from the South to travel via steamer to Peru for concerts? It is our hope that pianists as well as other musicians will travel more frequently between Southern Miss and Peru in a rich cross-fertilization.”

Winner of the Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Auditions among others, Moak holds the Diplôme de Virtuosité with highest honors from the Neuchâtel Conservatory (Switzerland) and the DMA in Piano Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University (studies with Leon Fleisher, Julian Martin, and Ann Schein).

For more information on Elder’s appearance with the Symphony, call 601.266.4001. Tickets are available at the Southern Miss Ticket Office, 800.844.8425, 601.266.5418 or www.southernmisstickets.com.