Paul Nitsch is the Carolyn G. McMahon Professor of Music and the Macavity Artist-in-Residence on the faculty of Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been a member of the faculty at Queens since 1977.
For twelve years, Dr. Nitsch was the Assistant Director, Pianist-in-Residence, and Pianist of the Garth Newel Piano Trio at the Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs, Virginia.He subsequently served for nine years as Artistic Director for the Fontana Concert Society in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he earned an ASCAP award for “adventuresome programming.” He recently retired as Executive Director for the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival in Asheville, NC.He his also the co-founding director for the Bechtler Ensemble, in collaboration with Tanja Bechtler and the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art in Charlotte, NC.He has been a guest pianist at the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, at Bennington College in Vermont and has been invited as a Guest Faculty to present master classes at the first annual Palmetto International Piano Festival, scheduled to open in summer, 2021.
He is particularly devoted to the study and performance of chamber music with piano. He has collaborated with many ensembles, including the Solaris Wind Quintet and the Cavani String Quartet, and many other chamber musicians in frequent performances of almost all of the standard piano chamber music literature during the last three decades, as well as many contemporary and commissioned works.His performances have been heard nationally on National Public Radio, as well as locally on WQXR in New York City, WCLV in Cleveland, and in Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina. Paul Nitsch was born in Great Bend, Kansas, and grew up in Boulder, Colorado.He studied piano with professors George Crumb, David Burge, and Paul Parmelee at the University of Colorado during his junior high and high school years.
Dr. Nitsch earned the Bachelors and Masters degrees in piano performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland.His teachers there were Walter Hautzig and Leon Fleisher. He was awarded two Fulbright Scholarship Grants for study with Dieter Weber and Noel Flores at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria.He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music with pianist Anne Epperson. He has also been an adjudicator for numerous piano festivals and competitions in GA, SC and NC, as well as for the prestigious Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition at Notre Dame University, and the Wolff-Bing Chamber Music Competition at Wichita State University.
Students of Dr. Nitsch have gone on to attend the most prestigious conservatories and music schools in the US, including the Cleveland Institute, The Curtis Institute, The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin College/Conservatory, and Yale University, among many others.Many of his students have captured top prizes in all local and regional piano competitions. Recently, two of his students, Clara Gerdes and Hannah Wang, won First Place prizes in the North Carolina State, Southeastern Regional and National MTNA Piano Duet category competitions. They also performed as special guests on the NPR radio program “From the Top”.In February, 2016, Keona Lim-Rose, 14-year-old piano student of Dr. Nitsch, performed for the first time in Carnegie Hall as the First Prize Recipient of the Malek Jandali International Piano Competition.
In spring, 2018, 12-year-old student, Cristian Makhuli, won the Peter Peret Talent Search in Winston-Salem, NC, and subsequently performed Beethoven’s 3rd Piano Concerto, 1st movement, with the Winston-Salem Symphony.Soon after that, Maestro. Peret invited Cristian to perform the entire Beethoven 3rd concerto on a series concert with the Philharmonia of Greensboro, NC on May 10, 2019.In addition, Cristian placed first in the NC Bach Festival Young Artists Concerto and Aria Competition in April 2019, where he performed the first movement of Bach’s D minor piano concerto with the Festival Orchestra. He also earned First Prize in the 2019 Steinway and Sons Piano Competition in Charlotte in April, 2019. In fall, 1919, Cristian won 1st Place in the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum Concerto Competition, and two more students of Dr. Nitsch, Daniel Tsc and Skyla Kiang, won 2nd and 3rd places in the Senior Division.In 2020, Cristian won the first place in the Senior Division, once again in the Peter Peret Talent Search.He subsequently performed Liszt’s Piano Concerto no. 1 in Eb with the Winston-Salem Symphony. And finally, on February 8, Cristian won first place in the Charlotte Symphony Youth Concerto Competition.He is scheduled to perform the Liszt Eb concerto with the Charlotte Symphony in March, 2021, by invitation as a guest artist on a main weekend concert series under the baton of Maestro Christopher Warren-Green.