Guest pianist shares talent with students, community in Seward

Published by Concordia University, Nebraska 6 years ago on Fri, Sep 4, 2015 10:13 AM
Jonathan Sokasits will perform a recital as a guest artist at Concordia on Sept. 13, 2015.

Jonathan Sokasits, professor of piano at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, will perform at Concordia University, Nebraska as a guest artist on Sept. 13, 2015, at 3 p.m. The recital, which is free of charge and open to the public, will be held in the university’s Recital Hall in the Music Center on campus.

Sokasits teaches studio piano and class piano, piano literature, piano pedagogy and chamber music at Hastings College. He has previously served as assistant professor of piano at Ithaca College and as instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sokasits holds Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was a student of Howard Karp and three-time recipient of prestigious Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Graduate Fellowships. He holds the Bachelor of Music in music education and applied music from Ithaca College.

Sokasits is active performing in solo, duo and chamber recitals. He is a member of the artists’ rosters for the Nebraska Arts Council Touring Artists Program and the Heartland Arts Fund/Mid-America Arts Alliance. He has appeared as soloist with the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Festival Band, Hastings College Concert Band, Hastings Symphony Orchestra, UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Chamber Players, Northwest Wind Symphony and the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble, with whom he recorded Karel Husa’s “Concertino for Piano and Wind Ensemble” under the supervision of the composer. 

Sokasits appears on Mark Custom Records with the Ithaca College Wind Ensemble and the Ithaca Children’s Chorus and on Albany Records with flutist Leonard Garrison. He has appeared in recital with the Chiara String Quartet, the Oakwood Chamber Players, the Petrella percussion and piano duo, the Nebraska Chamber Players and numerous faculty colleagues and students.

Sokasits is a regular presenter at state, regional and national conventions of professional organizations such as the Music Teachers National Association and the College Music Society. Recent significant performances include a recital and master class tour to universities in New Zealand, presenting recitals of contemporary music by New Zealand and American composers; a lecture-recital at the Rhodes International Rachmaninoff Conference; and appearances as featured recitalist, master class teacher and adjudicator for the inaugural Beşparmak International Piano Festival at Eastern Mediterranean University in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. 

A devotee of contemporary music, Sokasits has worked with composers Christian Berg, Karel Husa, John Psathas, Christopher Rouse and Dana Wilson, whose sets of piano pieces, “Persona—Five Pieces for Piano” and “Constellations—Eleven pieces for piano inspired by jazz and the blues,” were given their premiere performances by Sokasits. 

Sokasits is a nationally certified teacher of music through the Music Teachers National Association. He has served MTNA and the Nebraska Music Teachers Association in numerous capacities at the local, state and division levels. In 2010, Sokasits received the NMTA Award for Outstanding Service, and in 2011 he was honored as a national MTNA Foundation Fellow. His pupils have continued their precollege studies at the Interlochen Arts Academy, and undergraduate and graduate studies at many institutions including the Cleveland Institute of Music, Lawrence Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Texas Christian University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.