Pre-College Piano Conservatory Faculty

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Alan Huckleberry, associate professor of piano pedagogy and collaborative artsAlan Huckleberry, director

Praised for his “impeccable musicianship, exhilarating technique, and panache” (American Record Guide), pianist Alan Huckleberry is recognized as a multi-faceted artist on the classical music scene.  He has performed both in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in Germany, England, Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, Spain, France, Costa Rica, Colombia, and across the United States.

Huckleberry is also in demand as a chamber musician, with recitals across the United States, Australia, and Europe. He can be heard on four compact disc recordings on the Crystal Record and Albany Record labels.

In addition to his performing career, Dr. Huckleberry is equally passionate about his role as an educator.  He is currently associate professor of piano pedagogy and collaborative arts at The University of Iowa. There he heads the piano pedagogy program, which is now recognized as one of the leading programs in the nation.  He is a sought-after speaker on pedagogical topics, including talks at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the Music Teachers National Conference.  At The University of Iowa, he also maintains a studio of national and international students, who themselves are beginning to leave their mark in their field.  In fact, all DMA graduates from his piano pedagogy program are themselves now teaching at academic institutions across the country and abroad.    

A native of Indiana, Huckleberry began serious studies at the piano in Germany with Polish pianist Barbara Szczepanska.  Further studies at the conservatories of Karlsruhe and Cologne with Japanese pedagogue Naoyuki Taneda and German pianist Josef A. Scherrer solidified a diverse and international musical background. He then returned to the United States to complete his studies with Arthur Greene at the University of Michigan.

Huckleberry’s repertoire not only includes the standard works of the piano literature, but he is an ardent supporter of new music and young composers, as seen by a long list of compositions which were written for him. Among the many 20th and 21st century styles he enjoys, he is particularly interested in contemporary rags and other crossover genres.

Dr. Huckleberry has recently embarked upon a massive video recording project.  Together with Dr. Jason Sifford, he is creating the largest known database of performances of piano pedagogical literature.  In the end, it will encompass some 7000 videos of beginning to intermediate repertoire.  The videos are available to all, free of charge, at YouTube (search: UIPIANOPED).

Elizabeth Dolter, associate directorElizabeth Dolter, associate director

Elizabeth Dolter began her piano career at the age of 4. Her love of music was cultivated by her mother and first teacher, Patty Leier. Elizabeth’s early career was marked by participation in numerous competitions. She received 1st Prize

in competitions such as: State IMTA, Pella Rolscreen, NAMTA, UNI Piano Festival, and Beethoven Club. She has had the honor of performing in masterclasses with Chiu-ling Lin, Ralph Votapek, Daniel Rieppel, and Assaff Weismann. Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at Wartburg College where she studied with Suzanne Torkelson and Ted Reuter. In 2010, Elizabeth received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Iowa. A seasoned pedagogue, Elizabeth serves as a Lecturer in Music at Wartburg College. She maintains a private studio in Cedar Rapids in addition to serving as associate director and teacher for the University's Pre-College Piano Conservatory. Elizabeth is a member of several national organizations and is the Secretary of the Iowa Chapter of the American Liszt Society. Since beginning her musical degrees, Elizabeth has been active as a studio and choral accompanist, collaborating with choirs and soloists throughout the United States, Europe, and South Africa. In addition to performing as a guest artist for the North Dakota Music Teachers Association in 2010, she has participated in several festivals and concerts, including the 2011 Iowa Liszt Festival and the Old Capitol’s Piano Sundays series. Elizabeth is currently working toward a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa and studies under the guidance of Ksenia Nosikova.

Asami HagiwaraAsami Hagiwara 

Asami Hagiwara is a D.M.A. student in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at the University of Iowa.

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Ms. Hagiwara completed her Bachelor’s degree (high honors) in Piano Performance with earned minors in Business and German followed by graduate study (M.M.) in Piano Pedagogy. Awards from UIUC include the T. J. Smith Scholarship (full-tuition scholarship), Clara Roland Piano Competition (first place), and Annual Achievement Awards in both Piano and Piano Pedagogy.

Former piano teachers include William Heiles at UIUC, Marialena Fernandes at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, and Emilio del Rosario at the Music Institute of Chicago. Other important mentors include her UIUC piano pedagogy professors Reid Alexander and Christos Tsitsaros.

Ms. Hagiwara also enjoys fulfilling the role as a collaborative pianist.  She has studied chamber music with Dennis Helmrich and Dmitry Kouzov (UIUC), and Elizabeth Oakes (UIOWA). She also has had the privilege of working with members of the Pacifica Quartet, Cavani Quartet, Linden Quartet, Trio Solari, JACK Quartet and St. Lawrence Quartet.

Recent participation in music festivals includes Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival, the Toronto Summer Music Academy, and the Austrian Allegro Vivo-Internationales Kammermusik Festival.  At these festivals, Ms. Hagiwara had opportunities to study with stellar musicians such as Leif Ove Andsnes, John Perry, Rebecca Penneys, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Enrico Elisi, and Anton Kuerti. 

As an aspiring pedagogue, she has given several presentations at MTNA conferences.  This year, she presented a lecture on the piano music of Edvard Grieg at IAMTA.  She is also the President of the UIOWA Student Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).  The collegiate chapter has been invited to present at MTNA national, IAMTA state, and Canadian national conferences. 

At Iowa, Ms. Hagiwara studies applied piano with Kseina Nosikova and piano pedagogy with Alan Huckleberry. She serves as a graduate instructor for group piano classes and individual lessons as well as a studio accompanist.