Masterclass: Naomi Niskala and the Bardin-Niskala Duo
4:00pm - 5:30pm
Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Hamilton Hall
Audience: Alumni, Current Student, Faculty, Families, Neighbor or Friend, Prospective Student, Staff
Free admission to observe.
Pianist Naomi Niskala has appeared as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany, Kosovo, Israel, Japan, and Thailand, and her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, Deutschlandradio, RTV Germany, and NPR’s Performance Today. Niskala performed regularly with Spectrum Concerts Berlin from 2008-2017, one of Germany’s leading chamber organizations, and is a founding member of Trio Kisosen and the Bardin-Niskala Duo. She has established herself as one of the prominent scholars of the solo piano works of American composer Robert Helps (1928-2001), and 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 - the first volume was declared one of the “2007 Best of the Year” discs by Classics Today. Niskala has also recorded two discs of chamber works of Robert Helps and Ursula Mamlok with Spectrum Concerts Berlin for Naxos, and also for Bridge Records. Niskala holds degrees from the Yale School of Music with Claude Frank, Stony Brook University with Gilbert Kalish, and the New England Conservatory of Music. She is currently Associate Professor of Music at Susquehanna University, where she teaches piano and theory and leads a summer chamber music exchange program to Japan. She is also Co-Director of the Winterhaven Chamber Music Retreat in New Hampshire, and during the summers she is on the piano faculty of the Interlochen Arts Camp of Michigan.
The Bardin-Niskala Duo (cellist An-Lin Bardin and pianist Naomi Niskala) uses music to
explore notions of identity, belonging, and community to fight racism, promote cultural
awareness, and celebrate humanity. The Duo commissions ALAANA (African, Latinx, Asian,
Arab, and Native American) composers to write pieces that incorporate folksongs and
children's songs of their particular cultures and countries. Through their commissions and
the performances of these works the Duo promotes these composers and opens dialogue with and amongst audience members on the notions of homeland, community, and belonging, on the complexity and uniqueness of various cultures, and on the challenges of navigating life in this country as a bi-cultural, multi-cultural, or minority person.