Biography

Katharine G. Smith Photography

David Keep is a prize-winning pianist, theorist, and pedagogue.

As a pianist, Keep has performed throughout the United States. An active recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician, he has won prizes in the Wisconsin MTNA Young Artists Competition, the Miroslav Pansky Memorial Concerto Competition, the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition. Performance highlights include the complete Chopin Op. 10 Etudes, a lecture recital focusing on musical narrative and Russian fairy tales in Prokofiev’s music, a concerto debut with the Green Bay Civic Symphony Orchestra featuring Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15, and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Current projects include performance cycles of the complete solo piano works of Brahms and Ginastera.

As a theorist, Keep has devoted much of his research toward understanding how meaning is perceived in music. Keep’s interests are centered on the music of Brahms, music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the connections between analysis and performance. Founded upon a strong belief in the integration of scholarship and performance, Keep regularly gives lecture recitals weaving together interdisciplinary perspectives from various cultural and musical traditions. These approaches have included folk music and Russian fairy tales, religious symbolism in twentieth-century music, and music from composers’ late periods. Outside music theory, Keep’s research interests include theology, broader European cultural history, and British Romantic painting, particularly the works of J.M.W. Turner. Current research projects focus on issues of form and meaning in the works of Brahms and the relationships between rhythm, temporality, and form in twentieth-century music.

As a pedagogue, Keep teaches piano and music theory to musicians of a variety of ages and skill levels. In addition to private piano lessons and theory tutoring, Keep has presented lecture recitals and piano master classes as part of a guest artist residency at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and has also taught as a theory instructor for the Young Pianists Program at Indiana University. Currently he teaches music theory in the undergraduate core curriculum at the Eastman School of Music.

David Keep is pursuing a Ph.D. in music theory at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. Keep earned a MM in piano performance with a minor in music theory from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; he also holds a BM in piano performance from Lawrence University. In addition he graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy. His primary teachers have included Derison Duarte, Anthony Padilla, Luba Edlina-Dubinsky, and Vincent Lenti.