Dr. Scott Beard, nationally recognized pianist, teacher, clinician, author and recording artist is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Shepherd University in West Virginia. Recognized for his outstanding teaching abilities, he was named 2006 West Virginia Music Teacher of the Year. His piano students have won prizes in such prestigious competitions at the Ithaca, International Institute for Young Musicians, IYPAC, Beethoven Society and International Young Artist Piano Competitions, in addition to state, regional and national MTNA competitions, including the 2006 National MTNA Junior High School winner in piano and the 2008 MTNA National Piano Duet winner.
One of the leading experts on the music and teaching of 19th-century pedagogue, Theodore Leschetizky (1830-1915), his doctoral dissertation and CD recording Leschetizky: Piano Treasures represent one of the first major research projects concerning this composer’s music. He has performed Leschetizky’s music and given lectures about this important historical figure to audiences of teachers and students throughout the East Coast.
Concerts as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral soloist have taken Dr. Beard throughout the United States and also to Canada, Croatia, Italy and France. Recent recital and lecture appearances include Weill Recital Hall, World Piano Pedagogy Conference, the Tenri Cultural Institute (NYC), the Polish Embassy, the Russian Cultural Institute, conference artist for the Virginia Music Teachers’ Association, as well as numerous universities and MTNA organizations throughout the East Coast. Orchestral appearances have included performances with the Georgetown, Southern Arizona, York, Richmond Philharmonic, Friday Morning Music Club and NOI Symphony Orchestras. His Canadian debut was well received by critics and audiences alike, and, his concerts have been praised for their poetry, passion and innovative programming. In May 2009, he toured the Mediterranean as part of the Yale University alumni travel association, performing concerts in France, Italy, Spain, and Croatia.
As an author, Dr. Beard has published articles in regional newspapers and for periodicals such American Music Teacher, Piano Rendezvous, the Leschetizky Annual Bulletin and pianolane.com. He is currently a member of the Alfred Publishing (one of the world’s largest music publishers) family of authors, having co-edited with Dr. Lucy Mauro several anthologies of ensemble music for piano duo, duet and six hands. A textbook on ensemble playing is forthcoming. He has also recorded music by Leschetizky, Chopin, a classical Christmas album, and incidental music for the play Mr. Marmalad
A champion of French Piano Music, he was a participant for many years in the France Piano Internationale Festival & Competition held at the Schola Cantorum. There he received the Roussel Foundation Prize for the best performance of that composer’s works, as well as prizes for the best performance of a work by a French composer and the jury prize for baroque music. In addition to French music, Dr. Beard has performed premiers by such exceptional contemporary composers as Lee Hoiby, Amy Scurria, Terry Vosbein, Mark McCoy, and most recently the world premiere of a one-act opera and song cycle on poems of Robert Louis Stevenson by composer Robert Convery. The premiere took place at Weill Recital Hall, sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Opera.
Dr. Beard is an active member, clinician and adjudicator for Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), where is currently President of the West Virginia MTA, and competitions chair for the Eastern Division (13-state region).
Dr. Beard believes in Leschetizky’s mantra of “No life without art; no art without life,” by bringing music and the arts to students and audience members in a variety of settings. His musical story telling (spoken program notes) gives audience members many new ways to relate to the music, making the concert experience more personal, enjoyable and insightful. He has also received a number of grants from the Arts and Humanities Alliance, the Lyell B. and Patricia K. Foundation, and Shepherd University Professional Development grants to aid in completing projects that bring new equipment and concert programs to the Eastern Panhandle.