Piano concert Friday

Pianist Dr. Amber Shay Nicholson will perform a free solo recital at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, at First United Methodist Church, 200 Market St., Warren. The program of classical piano music will consist of Valses Poeticos by Enrique Granados; Sonata in D Major, Op. 10 No. 3 by Ludwig van Beethoven; and the complete Variations on a Theme of Paganini by Johannes Brahms.

Nicholson, a native of Cooperstown, Pa., is a member of the piano faculty at Slippery Rock University for the 2012-2013 academic year. She was on the faculty of the University of Southern Mississippi from 2004-2009. She received her bachelor of music, master of music, and doctorate of musical arts degrees in piano performance from Eastman School of Music, where she studied extensively with Nelita True. In addition to teaching, giving workshops and adjudicating piano competitions and festivals, Nicholson performs regularly as both a solo pianist and collaborative artist. Recent recitals have included performances at SUNY Fredonia, Edinboro University and Slippery Rock University, a concerto performance with the Southern Miss Symphony Orchestra, and collaborations with faculty artists from Eastman School of Music, East Carolina University, Yale University, Slippery Rock University, and the University of Southern Mississippi, among others. She has performed at the International Workshops in Stavanger, Norway and the International Summer Music Academy in Leipzig, Germany. She won the 2001 Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 concerto competition at Eastman School of Music and received a special prize at the Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev, Ukraine.

Honors include being the only U.S. citizen to be accepted into the 2001 TCU/Van Cliburn International Piano Institute in Fort Worth, TX. From 1996-2004, Nicholson was named a Liberace Scholar at Eastman School of Music and received scholarship support from the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts.

Nicholson received her professional certification as a teacher of piano from the Music Teachers National Association in 2005. She is currently working on a recording project of Russian cello/piano music with Dr. Alexander Russakovsky, cello. Nicholson is a former student of Alec Chien (Allegheny College, Meadville), and currently lives and teaches privately in Youngsville with her husband and daughters.