Institute Faculty

Nathan HessNathan Hess
Assistant Professor, Performance Studies, Ithaca College School of Music

Professor Hess has appeared in concert to critical acclaim throughout the United States and Europe in solo, chamber, and concerto settings. He has soloed with the Erie Philharmonic, Erie Chamber Orchestra, Orchard Park Symphony, Western New York Chamber Orchestra, New River Valley Symphony, and York Symphony Orchestra, among others. Recent guest recital appearances and master classes have included Penn State University, Mansfield University, SUNY Fredonia, and Buffalo State College.

Dr. 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. His major teachers have included Elisabeth Pridonoff and Eric Ruple, and he has performed in masterclasses for such luminaries as John Browning, James Tocco, and Emanuele Arciuli.

An advocate of chamber music, he has performed in chamber music settings with members of orchestras such as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, and Buffalo Philharmonic. His chamber music coaches have included Sandra Rivers, Jane Coop, Ronald Copes, Seymour Lipkin, Jan Vogler, Charles Neidich, Kenneth Griffiths, Lee Fiser, and eighth blackbird. Hess has also acted as orchestral pianist with the Erie Philharmonic and Binghamton Philharmonic.

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. Currently he is an assistant professor of piano at Ithaca College and teaches in the College's Summer Piano Institute held each July. 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.