Assistant Professor of Piano
- Doctor of Musical Arts
Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California
Dr. Joshua Pifer is Assistant Professor of Piano at Valdosta State University. During the summer months, he serves as piano faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Festival and artist faculty at Interharmony Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy. Prior coming to Valdosta State University, Dr. Pifer served as Senior Lecturer in Piano at Auburn University, Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida State University, Adjunct Faculty at Wittenberg University, and Artist Faculty at Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy. Dr. Pifer’s major teachers were Antoinette Perry, Robert Thomas, and Robert Howat.
Praised for his “sensitivity,” “color,” and “depth” in performance, Dr. Pifer has appeared in concert as a soloist and chamber musician in countries on three continents, including Taiwan, Switzerland, Italy, France, Japan, and Canada as well as having nationally toured for concerts in 22 U.S. states. Dr. Pifer has premiered works by 21st Century American composers including Andre Cormier, Justin Aftab, Gary Shields, Patrick Townsend, and Andrea Clearfield. In addition, Dr. Pifer is an advocate for the piano music of Alexander Tcherepnin. His first CD, “Alexander Tcherepnin My Favorite Piano Works” (released by Puros Records and co-produced with Chandler Bridges, a Grammy award winning recording engineer) was praised as “full of intensity and commitment” and “brilliant and original.” Dr. Pifer is the founding member of several chamber music ensembles: Plains2 with Dr. Matthew Wood, trombone; The Duo Echo with Jennifer Pifer, oboe; and The Oto Trio with Eleanor Pifer, violin, and Chikuen Kato, Japanese artist, who explore the inner connection between art and music.
Dr. Pifer provides masterclasses that are “filled with innovative substance and the joy of discovery” as well as performances at many universities such as the Tainan National University of the Arts in Taiwan, Louisiana State University, Texas A & M, University of Arkansas, University of South Dakota, California State University Long Beach, and the University of Cincinnati to name a few. Dr. Pifer’s “enthusiastic and compelling” pedagogical insights are also in demand as an adjudicator at festivals and competitions. The achievements of Dr. Pifer’s students include a National Finalist for MTNA Young Artist Composition Competition, multiple Finalists for AMTA and MTAC State Piano and Composition Competitions, and acceptance for further musical study at universities and conservatories. Dr. Pifer’s former students include successful musicians who are music professor at universities, successful performer/composers, small business owners of independent music studios, and professional church musicians. As a pedagogue and performer, Dr. Pifer believes that music is a tool for inspiration.
Dr. Pifer currently serves as the President for the Alabama Music Teachers Association and is a strong advocate for increasing professional music opportunities for collegiate students throughout the state. Dr. Pifer regularly presents lectures, clinics, and performances at professional conferences including the Society of American Music International Conference, International Horn Symposium International Conference, Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities, Florida Music Teachers Association State Conference, and the Music Teachers Association of California State Conference. As a clinician, his favorite presentations include “The Piano Music of Alexander Tcherepnin,” “Arm Usage and Injury Prevention in Piano Playing,” and “Teaching Jazz Improvisation, It’s Not That Scary.” When not performing or teaching, Joshua can be found playing tennis or practicing culinary arts with his family.