Musical Improvisation for Everyone!

Presented by Christopher Azzara, PhD

Saturday, April 13, 3:30 PM
About this Lecture:
This interactive session will explore the fundamental nature of music in our lives, and include the relationships among music listening, improvising, music reading, and composing. With an understanding of how these skills are related, participants gain a deeper understanding of music and have inspiration for creative music making.
About Christopher Azzara
Pianist, arranger, author, and educator, Christopher Azzara has made important contributions to advancing the understanding of creativity and improvisation in the music learning process. An innovator in music teaching and learning, Dr. Azzara is Eisenhart Professor of Music Teaching & Learning and Affiliate Faculty, Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media, and Woodwinds, Brass, & Percussion at the Eastman School of Music. Teaching and performing internationally, he is the author of numerous articles, arrangements, and books, including Developing Musicianship Through Improvisation and Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series (GIA). His arrangements for instrumental and vocal ensembles include A la nanita nana for choir and chamber orchestra or piano (Oxford), and Concert Selections for Winds and Percussion (GIA). His research and publications are concerned with meaningful relationships among listening, creating, improvising, reading, composing, and analyzing music in vocal and instrumental settings. Dr. Azzara’s work appears in journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Bulletin of the Council for Research in Music Education, the Music Educators Journal, Early Childhood Connections, and in The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning (MENC/Oxford), and Oxford Handbooks Online.

Azzara performs as a soloist and in various ensembles, including the Chris Azzara Trio, and has played on and produced many studio and educational recordings. In Rochester, he performs with freelance musicians, members of the Eastman School of Music Faculty, and members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

An active teacher and clinician, he has presented and performed extensively throughout the United States, and in Canada, the Caribbean, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, China, Japan, and Australia. He has presented clinics and workshops in a variety of settings, including TEDxRochester, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and leading music schools in this country and abroad.

Christopher Azzara is a native of Virginia and attended public schools in Fairfax County. After receiving the Bachelor of Music degree from George Mason University (1981), he taught instrumental music in the Fairfax County Public Schools and performed as a pianist in the Washington D.C. area. He later received a Master of Music (1988) and a Ph.D. in Music Education (1992) from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to joining the Eastman faculty, Azzara was a professor at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre of the University of Hartford, CT (1991-2002). Dr. Azzara joined the Eastman faculty in 2002 and was chair of the Music Teaching & Learning Department (then called the Music Education Department) from 2010-2018. In 2022, as an Eastman professor, Azzara received the University of Rochester’s Edward Peck Curtis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which recognizes a record of distinguished undergraduate teaching and a commitment to helping less experienced faculty colleagues and teaching assistants master their craft. In 2023 Christopher Azzara was named Eisenhart Professor of Music Teaching & Learning, the oldest endowed professorship at The Eastman School of Music.

About the Arts & Entertainment Lecture Series:
Experience the PREMIERE SEASON of the Arts and Entertainment Lecture series in the NEW state-of-the-art Performing Arts Building on Cape Cod. Visit in person or tune in virtually to celebrate the power of creativity in Arts and Music as we explore, learn, and connect with renowned experts and enthusiasts. Ignite your imagination and deepen your appreciation of Art, Music & Culture. We have the privilege, the challenge and the responsibility to carry out the mission of the Arts to humanize culture. Join us for this unforgettable PREMIERE SEASON with music and art lovers from around the world.
Don’t miss the next Arts & Entertainment Lecture of this Premiere Season – Sign up here to be notified in your inbox!