Faculty & Staff
Naomi Niskala, D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Music
Office Location: Cunningham Cma - Rm 216
AD, Yale University
DMA, SUNY Stony Brook
MM, SUNY Stony Brook
BM, New England Conserv Music
Piano Studies at SU
Niskala has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada, and Japan, and her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio and NPR's Performance Today. Her competition awards have included first prize at the 1996 Kingsville International Isabel Scionti Solo Piano Competition, and a top prize at the International Stravinsky Awards Competition in Illinois. Attending two summers each at Tanglewood's Music Center and Ravinia Festival's Steans Institute, Niskala also toured on the first “Musicians from Ravinia's Steans Institute” tour with violinist Miriam Fried. She was later invited by Zarin Mehta to Israel, Turkey, and Greece to perform chamber music for a Ravinia Festival benefit. Niskala also performs as a member of ADCA, a chamber ensemble based in New York City.
Niskala has established herself as one of the prominent scholars of the solo piano works of American composer Robert Helps (1928-2001), and has been invited to perform and lecture on these works at universities and halls in the United States, Canada, Japan and Germany. Her release of the first complete recordings of Helps' solo piano works on two discs with Albany Records in 2007 was met with high acclaim, and the first volume was chosen by ClassicsToday as one of its "2007 Best of the Year" discs. Recent performance highlights include the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Series at Davies Symphony Hall and Spectrum Concerts Berlin at Philharmonie Hall in Germany, as well as performances this season in Jacksonville, Florida, at the Icicle Creek Music Center in Washington State, the Wuerth-haus in Berlin, the Eastman School of Music, Eastern Washington University, the University of Manitoba, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the College of Staten Island, and Niigata University in Japan. Niskala will return to Berlin’s Philharmonie Hall in 2010 to perform two concerts with Spectrum Concerts Berlin and record the piano chamber works of Robert Helps for Naxos Records.
Born to Japanese/Finnish-American parents, Niskala began studying piano at the age of three. She was raised in Rochester, New York and later in Tokyo, Japan. Niskala holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the New England Conservatory of Music, and also attended Tufts University. She received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Piano Performance with Gilbert Kalish at Stony Brook, and an Artist Diploma with Claude Frank at Yale. Other teachers include the late pianists Patricia Zander and Maria Luisa Faini. Niskala also studied chamber music with pianists Leon Fleisher, Peter Serkin, and Menahem Pressler, violinists Louis Krasner and Eugene Lehner, and bassist Julius Levine. Niskala taught on the faculties at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Conn., and Wesleyan University (Conn.), the University of South Florida's School of Music, and the University of North Dakota. During the summer Niskala teaches at the Interlochen Arts Camp.
- MUSC-005 Piano Lesson
- MUSC-006 Piano Lesson
- MUSC-038 Piano Technique
- MUSC-066 Collaborative Piano
- MUSC-076 Chamber Music
- MUSC-162 Theory II: Chromatic Harmony
- MUSC-261 Theory III: Advanced Tonal Harmony
- MUSC-399 Pedagogy
- MUSC-501 Independent Study
- MUSC-506 Independent Study in Music-Capstone
- OFFP-JPNWND A Window to Japan
- OFFR-JPNWND A Window to Japan
- OFFS-JPNWND A Window to Japan