Home CAS News Fine Arts at Drake Keys to Excellence series continues with Drake’s Nicholas Roth

Keys to Excellence series continues with Drake’s Nicholas Roth

Nicholas Roth
Nicholas Roth

Nicholas Roth, professor of piano at Drake University, will present the next concert in Drake’s Keys to Excellence Piano Series. The free event is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 in Sheslow Auditorium, 2507 University Ave.

The performance will feature the following selections:

Philip Glass: Mad Rush (1979)
Robert Schumann: Novelletten, Op. 21

Roth began formal studies at age 12, receiving critical acclaim for his appearances by the age of 18. He appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard, among others. Roth is a featured performer and teacher throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Germany, Austria, France, Serbia, Spain, China and Korea. He is a Yamaha Artist, a Beethoven Fellow of the American Pianists Association, won prizes in the chamber music competitions of Tortona and Pietra Ligure, Italy, and received a DAAD grant to further his studies in Germany. Roth holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Michigan State University, Artist Diplomas in solo piano performance and art song collaboration from the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, and MM and BM degrees from Indiana University, where he was the recipient of the School of Music’s highest honors. He studied with Ralph Votapek, Elisso Virsaladze, Helmut Deutsch, Edward Auer, Emilio del Rosario, and Michel Block.

Roth has taught masterclasses at Indiana University, SoundSCAPE Festival in Italy, Isidor Bajić School of Music in Serbia, Conservatorio Superior Nacional de Musica in Quito, Ecuador, Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, International Beethoven Festival in Chicago, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Chicago and many other schools in the USA. He was a presenter for the European Piano Teachers Association World Piano Conference in Serbia and is an Accreditation Examiner with distinction (Diploma of Excellence) for the World Piano Teachers Association. A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music of the Music Teachers National Association, he is a frequent presenter, adjudicator and administrator for MTNA events. Roth was honored by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana for his “contribution to the performing arts, his accomplishments as a concert pianist, and his inspiration to young musicians.”

In summer 2016, Roth joined Drake colleagues and students at Minzu University of China in Beijing to present masterclasses and performances. He also taught and performed at Pusan National University in South Korea. Other recent highlights include serving on the faculty of the Edward Auer Summer Piano Workshop at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University and the Classical Music Festival Piano Seminar in Eisenstadt (Austria), appearing as a featured performer on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and collaborating with Robert Spano in a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

In addition to serving on the faculty at Drake University, Roth has also served on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin—Stevens Point and Alma College. He has recorded for Blue Griffin, Naxos, MSR Classics & Innova. His recordings with Blue Griffin have garnered exceptional reviews in International Record Review, Gramophone, Fanfare, and American Record Guide.

The Keys to Excellence Piano Series was created to raise awareness of Drake’s fundraising efforts for the purpose of 70 brand new Yamaha pianos for the music department. It brings internationally acclaimed artists to perform on the Yamaha CFX concert grand at Drake University.

The series is supported by Yamaha, West Music, Civic Music Association, and Drake University. For more information, contact Nicholas Roth at 515-321-5947 or nicholas.roth@drake.edu.


OCTOBER 24: Lori Sims – Western Michigan University
NOVEMBER 14: Jeff Brown – Western Illinois University
NOVEMBER 28: Nicholas Roth – Drake University
JANUARY 23: Quentin Kim – Pusan National University (South Korea)
MARCH 6: Alan Chow – Northwestern University
MARCH 20: Alexander Djordjevic – Music Institute of Chicago

All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium and are free and open to the public.