Nathaniel Pierce, cello
Artistic Director and co-founder
Dr. Nathaniel Pierce, cellist and tenor, is a highly active and multi-faceted musician. He has performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and has been a featured soloist with the Toledo, Dexter, Dearborn, Albany, Ann Arbor and Birmingham-Bloomfield Symphonies, as well as the University of Michigan and Indiana University Symphonies. As a recitalist, Pierce has performed his own innovative arrangements for cello and voice, and has collaborated with internationally acclaimed artists, such as Martin Katz and Amy Cheng. He is also a dedicated chamber musician, and has performed with Ayano Ninomiya, Jorja Fleezanis, David Halen, Yizhak Schotten, Steven Shipps, Martin Katz, Yehonatan Berick, among others. In recent years, Pierce has won numerous competitions; he was a prize-winner in the Matinee Musicale Competition; he won both concerto competitions at the University of Michigan and Indiana University, and in 2008 he won the Louis Potter Cello Competition. In 2014, his quartet won the prestigious Kuttner Quartet Competition at Indiana University. Pierce has dedicated many projects to perform and feature compositions by renowned University of Michigan faculty composers, William Bolcom, Kristen Kuster, Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, and Paul Schoenfield.
Pierce has taught classes at University of Michigan, Indiana University, University of Minnesota Duluth, and Western Illinois University. His students have continued to study cello at Michigan State, Boston University, and Easter Michigan Universities. Pierce is a founder and Artistic Director of the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, and Education Director at the Innsbrook Institute. His summer activities have included performing and teaching at the Maui Classical Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, Ann Arbor Chamber Fest, and the Oberlin Acoustics Workshop.
Pierce is a founding member of the Koinonia Piano Trio which has toured in Europe and in the United States. The trio recently was awarded the American Prize in the collegiate division, and has garnered numerous prizes, including first prize in the Briggs Chamber Music Competition, the Binkow Chamber Music Award, the EXCELerator Fellowship at the University of Michigan, and more.
Pierce appeared on stage as a member of the children’s choir of the Brandenburg State Theater in Germany, where his parents were engaged as operatic soloists. He started his cello studies with Guenther Grossman, and Anna Zinke at the Cottbus Conservatory in Germany, and has studied with Marianne Jakobovitz, Ulrike Schaeffer of the Peter Cornelius Conservatory in Mainz, Germany, and Erling Bloendal Bengtsson in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has studied voice with Alice and John Pierce, George Shirley, Andreas Poulimenos, David Daniels and Scott Piper. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance at the University of Michigan under the instruction of Richard Aaron, and completed his Master of Music degree with Brandon Vamos at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He completed his DMA degree under the tutelage of Anthony Elliott, cellist, Martin Katz, collaborative pianist, and Scott Piper, Professor of Voice, at the University of Michigan.