Nicholas Roth, professor of piano at Drake University, will present the next concert of the 2019–2020 season for the Drake University Keys to Excellence Piano Series on Monday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m. in Sheslow Auditorium. Admission free. The performance features the following works:

FRANZ SCHUBERT: Sonata in D Major, D. 850
JOHANNES BRAHMS: Klavierstücke, Op. 118
CLAUDE DEBUSSY: Children’s Corner

Nicholas Roth began formal studies at age twelve, receiving critical acclaim for his appearances by the age of eighteen. He appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard, among many others. Roth is a featured performer and teacher throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He is a Yamaha Artist, a Beethoven Fellow of the American Pianists Association, earned prizes in the chamber music competitions of Tortona and Pietra Ligure, Italy, and received a DAAD grant to further his studies in Germany.

Drake University Professor of Piano Nicholas Roth

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 also the recipient of the Jacobs School of Music’s highest honors, including the Performer’s Certificate and the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship. 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, 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 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.”

Roth has presented masterclasses and concerts at Minzu University, Beijing Normal University and Art Education School of Huaxi in China as well as Pusan National University in South Korea. He has also taught for 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). Since 2017, Roth has served on the faculty of the Ono Zone International Music Festival in Quito, Ecuador.

Roth is professor of piano at Drake University. Previous appointments include University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and Alma College. He has recorded for the Blue Griffin, Naxos, MSR Classics & Innova recording labels. His recordings with Blue Griffin have garnered exceptional reviews from International Record Review, Gramophone, Fanfare, and American Record Guide.

In March 2019, Roth participated in a performance of the Hexaméron for six pianos and orchestra in Baku, Azerbaijan. In recent years, he was a featured A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, and collaborated with Robert Spano in a performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Roth is the founder of the Drake University Keys to Excellence Piano Series, now in its seventh season, featuring renowned artists from all over the world.

Keys to Excellence Piano Series is supported by Yamaha, West Music, Civic Music Association, and Drake University Jordan Concerts. For more information, contact Nicholas Roth at 515-321-5947 or


SEPTEMBER 30: Robert Weirich– University of Missouri Kansas City (Emeritus)
OCTOBER 28: Carol lei Breckenridge – Central College (Emerita)
DECEMBER 2: Nicholas Roth – Drake University
FEBRUARY 10: Mattia Ometto – Tomadini Conservatory (Italy)
APRIL 6: Wei-Yi Yang – Yale University
APRIL 20: Nadia Weintraub– Israel

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