Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s 2019-20 Concert Series welcomes back the stunning pianistic talent, Naomi Niskala, Sunday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m. in Grace Chapel. Critically acclaimed as bold, rigorous, and poetic by “American Record Guide,” Niskala will entertain the audience with performances of twentieth-century masterpieces by Robert Helps, Ursula Mamlock, and others. The event is free and open to the public.

Niskala has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, North America, Russia, Israel, Thailand, and Japan, and her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, Deutschlandradio, RTV Germany, and NPR’s “Performance Today.” Recent performance highlights include the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Series at Davies Symphony Hall, soloist with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic of Russia, and solo and chamber performances with Spectrum Concerts Berlin in the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal of Berlin, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, and in Thailand and Kosovo. She has recorded five CDs for the Albany, NAXOS, and Bridge labels. She has established herself as one of the prominent scholars of the solo piano works of American composer Robert Helps (1928-2001), and has been invited to perform and lecture on these works at universities and halls in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Germany.

Raised in Rochester, New York, and later in Tokyo, Japan, Niskala began studying the piano at the age of three and holds degrees from Yale School of Music, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and the New England Conservatory of Music. She received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in piano performance with Gilbert Kalish, and an artist diploma with Claude Frank.

Niskala taught on the faculties at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven, Connecticut, and Wesleyan University (Connecticut), the University of South Florida’s School of Music, and the University of North Dakota. During the summer, she teaches at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, and is currently associate professor of music at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania, where she teaches piano and music theory.

The doors for the Niskala performance will open at 3:30 p.m. For more information, visit lr.edu/concertseries or call the LR Box Office, which is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 828.328.7206.

Established in the fall of 2000, the Concert Series at Lenoir-Rhyne University serves the University community and the Greater Hickory area by providing opportunities to hear and interact with superb musical artists. The Concert Series brings musical artists to the University to present concerts and recitals, work with students in the master class setting, lecture to music classes, and provide examples of professional artistry in music.

Photo: Naomi Niskala