Piano Performance

The OU Piano Area has influenced piano performance and education around the world. OU's nationally recognized faculty/artists and state-of-the-art facilities ensure piano students the opportunities and experiences necessary to develop talent to its highest potential.

The Piano Area is distinguished by a dedicated faculty committed to preparing the finest teachers and performers and is proud of its mutually supportive piano performance and pedagogy faculty. The essence of the program is the extraordinary student population, a group of students brimming with enthusiasm for playing, learning, teaching, and experiencing music.

Student piano experiences consist of weekly private instruction with the award-winning faculty, studio performance classes, and departmental recitals

Celebrated guest artists and scholars from across the nation also regularly present lectures, master classes, and recitals. Teaching and music making as soloist and chamber musician are at the heart of the program.


OU piano majors enjoy practicing on Steinway grand pianos in a newly renovated practice facility in the Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts Center. In addition to the music practice wing, this splendid performance facility includes a renovated historic Holmberg Hall. The Ruby Grant Piano Pedagogy Resource Center is an incomparable field research center that contains the latest in teaching materials and equipment.

View the Piano Performance website


Associate Professor of Music (Piano)
Office: CH 300
Phone: Please contact via email
Email: jeongham [at] ou [dot] edu
Website: www.jeongwonham.com

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Dr. Jeongwon Ham has won numerous competitions including the Bartok/Kabalevsky International, Paul Hindemith, Simon Belsky, and Folkwang piano competitions. She has also won top prizes at the Artur Schnabel and the Epinal International competitions, and the "best interpretation" prizes on Paul Hindemith (Hindemith competition) and Albert Roussel (Epinal International competition). The German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau has written, "Jeongwon Ham possessed astonishing and effortless technique. She plays not only with incredible warmth, but also with great power." Jeongwon Ham has performed throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States. Her major international appearances since 2007 include solo and chamber recital performances in Beijing (China), Berlin, Bochum, and Meissen (Germany), Sheffield(England), Seoul (Korea), among others. In 2007 and 2009, she was invited as the Artist in Residence at the Renmin University of China in Beijing. In 2011 summer, she was invited as a faculty member of the Asia International Piano Academy and Festival (AIPAF) in Korea, and to present a recital at the World Piano Conference in Serbia. In 2012 summer, she is invited to perform solo and chamber performances and teach a master class at the 37th Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt in Austria. She has been featured at international and national conferences and festivals including the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities and Festival Internationale Incontri Musicali di Sorrento in Italy. Dr. Ham's degrees are from the Folkwang Hochschule für Musik in Essen, the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, and the University of Kansas. Her principal teachers include Sequeira Costa, Klaus Hellwig, Hans Leygraf, and Ludger Maxsein. Dr. Ham has held teaching positions in Germany and the U.S.

Künstlerische Abschlußprüfung—Folkwang Hochschule für Musik, Essen, Germany
Konzertexamen-Hochschule der Künste, Berlin, Germany
DMA-Piano Performance, University of Kansas

Thomas Sherman Grant & Lizzie Oter Grant Endowed Chair in Music, Regents Professor of Music (Piano and Piano Pedagogy)
Office: CH 307
Phone: Please contact via email
Email: jmagrath [at] ou [dot] edu

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Dr. Jane Magrath is well known as an author, clinician, and pianist. Her book The Pianist's Guide to Standard Teaching and Performance Literature has become a classic reference work for pianists throughout the country, and Magrath's work in the area of the standard classical teaching literature has been central to the current revival of interest in this music throughout the U.S. She currently has more than thirty-five volumes published with Alfred Publishing, and her music editions are used widely throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Magrath is frequently in demand as a clinician and teacher, and during the last twenty years has performed and given presentations in over forty states including Alaska, and on three continents. Her workshops and master classes have drawn international acclaim. Magrath has served as Piano Coordinator for National Conventions of Music Teachers National Association and given presentations at MTNA National Conventions, the European Piano Teachers Association Conference, the International Society for Music Education, the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy, the World Piano Pedagogy Conference and at many state MTNA conventions. Her articles have appeared in the major piano journals. She was named the first recipient of the MTNA/Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award for the Outstanding Contribution to Piano Pedagogy. For many years she contributed New Music Reviews to Clavier and she currently serves as an editor for the Piano Pedagogy Forum. Magrath's regular column Polyphony can be found in The American Music Teacher. She is most at home working in the studio and classroom with students, and collaborating with faculty colleagues and area teachers.

A native of South Carolina, Magrath received her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Wesleyan College, and was the first person to receive the D.M. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Northwestern University. The University of Oklahoma presented her with the Regents' Award for Superior Teaching as well as the Associates' Distinguished Lectureship Award on two occasions and the Rinsland Award for Excellence in Educational Research. Currently, Magrath is Regents' Professor and holds the Grant Endowed Chair in Piano Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma, where she was named Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts. She also serves as Director of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. Her students have won numerous prizes and competitions.

BM-Wesleyan College
MM-University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
DM-Northwestern University

Visiting Instructor of Chamber Music and Accompanying
Office: CMC 127 D
Phone: Please contact via email
Email: sshames [at] ou [dot] edu

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Professor Stephanie Leon Shames, who serves as a visiting instructor of music and accompanist for the OU School of Music, has performed internationally as a recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. She has been a guest soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Wyoming Symphony, New Orleans Philharmonic, and on tour with the Orchestra of Chur, Switzerland, among others.

As a chamber musician, she has appeared at numerous international festivals, including the Radio France-Montpellier and MIDEM Classique Festivals, the International Piano Festival at La Roque d'Antheron, the Bordeaux Festival, the Saarbrucken Chamber Music Festival, the Pine Mountain (MI), and Olympic (WA) Music Festivals. She has performed in Detroit's Orchestra Hall, Boston's Tsai Center, the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington D.C., Salle Gaveau, the Louvre Recital Hall, the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau, Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore, and London's Royal Academy.

While living in Paris, Ms. Leon Shames' collaborations regularly involved tours of France, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain and encased a broad spectrum of activities, including playing harpsichord, playing modern music, being the official accompanist at international competitions, as well as performing as a member of chamber music ensembles. Ms. Leon Shames has been featured on the B.B.C., Radio France, German radio, N.P.R., and French TV.

As an "Artistic Ambassador" selected by the USIA, Ms. Leon Shames has given masterclasses and solo and chamber music performances in Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, and throughout China. With her sister, a violinist, she has recorded two CDs of the music of Faure and Dvorak for Cassiopee Disques. With her husband and duo-pianist partner, Jonathan Shames, she co-founded The Boston Players, a chamber ensemble that drew upon Boston Symphony members and international soloists whose performances are still heard on public radio.

Ms. Leon Shames has previously taught at the University of Puget Sound and at the Interlochen and Marrowstone Music Festivals. She attended the University of Michigan where her teachers included Theodore Lettvin, Leon Fleisher, Charles Fisher, and Eugene Bossart. She joined the University of Oklahoma faculty in 2005.

MM (Piano Performance), University of Michigan
BM (Piano Performance), University of Michigan

Office: CH 300
Phone: Please contact via email
Email: sbeus [at] ou [dot] edu

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“Mesmerizing… explosive… intelligent… he belongs on the world stage” (Salt Lake Tribune). In the space of four months, American pianist Stephen Beus won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, first place in the Vendome Prize International Competition (Lisbon) and he was awarded the Max I. Allen Fellowship of the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis).

As a result of winning the Juilliard School Concerto Competition Mr. Beus made his Carnegie Hall debut with the Juilliard Orchestra and James DePreist, playing Prokofiev Concerto No. 3. He has also performed as guest soloist with the Gulbenkian Symphony (Lisbon), Oxford Philomusica, the Tivoli Symphony (Copenhagen), the Tbilisi National Opera Orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonietta (Seattle), the Royal Philharmonic of Morocco (Casablanca), the Vaasa Symphony Orchestra (Finland) as well as with the Hamburg, Indianapolis, Nashville, Santa Fe, Utah, Fort Worth, Tucson, Yakima, Bellevue, Salt Lake, Eastern Sierra, Corvallis, Jacksonville, Texarkana and Walla Walla Symphonies.

Equally active as a soloist, Mr. Beus has performed at Wigmore Hall, the Salle Gaveau and Salle Cortot (Paris), Merkin Hall, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, the Central Conservatory (Beijing), Teatro San Carlo (Naples), Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), the Queluz Palace (Lisbon) and has performed for the Dame Myra Hess and Fazioli Salon series (Chicago), the International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York City), and has given recitals across the United States as well as in Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Georgia, China, France, Italy, Portugal, the Czech Republic, and Morocco.

Born and raised on a farm in eastern Washington, Mr. Beus began lessons at age 5 and made his orchestral debut four years later. He went on to win numerous national and international competitions throughout his youth, capturing the attention of both audiences and critics. Commenting on Mr. Beus’ competition success, Fanfare magazine writes: “In some ways Beus doesn’t fit the mold of the typical competition winner. His playing is strikingly original and, despite his youth, he has an interpretive voice all his own… Above all, his playing is so natural as to seem effortless and the sound he produces has extraordinary richness and depth, not quite like anyone else’s.”

Mr. Beus holds degrees from Whitman College, The Juilliard School, and Stony Brook University, where his teachers have included Leonard Richter, Robert McDonald, Gilbert Kalish and Christina Dahl. He has recorded on the Endeavor Classics and Harmonia Mundi labels. Stephen Beus is a Steinway Artist and currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma.For more details, visit www.stephenbeus.com.

Dr. Edward Gates teaches graduate piano literature. Hailed as "a splendid pianist" by The New York Times, he has performed in solo recitals and chamber concerts throughout the United States. He has been guest soloist with orchestras under such conductors as Robert Shaw, Guy Fraser Harrison and Luis Herrara. He studied at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg and the Hochschule fur Musik in Vienna. In 1971 he received a Fulbright grant to do research on Eighteenth Century pianos at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. In 1992 he was invited to give recitals, lectures and master classes in Taiwan and the People?s Republic of China. He has received the University of Oklahoma Regents' Award for Superior Teaching and the Burlington Northern Award for Faculty Achievement. In 1997 he was named the Irene and Julian J. Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts.

BM-Oberlin Conservatory of Music
MM-Indiana University
DMA-Indiana University