Chair, D'Angelo Department of Music, Associate Professor of Piano
Nathan Hess has appeared throughout the United States and Europe in solo, chamber, and concerto settings. He has soloed with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, and York Symphony Orchestra, among others. Recent recital appearances and masterclasses have included the American Liszt Society Festival; The Americas Society in New York City; The Second Sunday Recital Series in Binghamton, NY; The Southwest String Quartet in Tucson, AZ; Duke University; University of Wisconsin Eau Claire; Bowling Green State University; West Chester University; Morgan State University; Buffalo Piano Teachers Forum; and the High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Pittsburgh.
Hess holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and the Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from James Madison University, where he was named a Presser Scholar. He has performed in chamber music settings with members of orchestras such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and Buffalo Philharmonic. Hess has also acted as orchestral pianist with the Erie Philharmonic.
Dr. Hess is especially interested in twentieth and twenty-first century American music. He presented a lecture-recital on Ned Rorem’s music at the 2014 College Music Society Northeast Regional Conference, and in April 2014 he performed Lukas Foss’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird at the Americas Society in New York City. Upcoming recitals and masterclasses include Randolph College, Duquesne University, and the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania. For five years Hess chaired the piano program at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts in Erie, teaching piano to some of the state's most talented pre-college students. He performed in and produced a set of recordings for the textbook Harmony in Context, published by McGraw-Hill and written by Miguel Roig-Francoli. In addition to teaching and performing, Dr. Hess is active in Music Teachers National Association and also adjudicates frequently throughout the region and East Coast. He is Chair of the D’Angelo Department of Music and Assistant Professor of Piano at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA. Each August he teaches on the piano faculty at Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado. He can be heard on the Centaur label in a recording with flutist Susan Royal and in a recent recording of Bach arias produced by the International Trumpet Guild.