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; College Music Society Northeast Regional Conference; The Second Sunday Recital Series in Binghamton, NY; The Southwest String Quartet in Tucson, AZ; University of Wisconsin Eau Claire; Duke University; Bowling Green State University; West Chester University; Morgan State University; Buffalo Piano Teachers Forum; Randolph College; Duquesne University; the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania; 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 from James Madison University, summa cum laude, 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 has presented on Ned Rorem’s music for the College Music Society Northeast Regional Conference, and made his NYC debut at the Americas Society in Lukas Foss’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. 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 currently is the Mary A. Spadafor Endowed Chair of Music in the D’Angelo Department of Music and Associate Professor of Piano at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA, where in 2018 he received an award for excellence in faculty scholarship. 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 recording of Bach arias produced by the International Trumpet Guild.