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Praised as “an artist of utmost taste, proportion and charm” (The Cleveland Plain Dealer) and “a force to be reckoned with in the world of classical musicians” (Southampton Press), American pianist Esther Keel has captivated audiences around the world since making her debut with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the age of thirteen. Since then, she has concertized throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Korea, and Russia.

Ms. Keel has performed as soloist with over 30 orchestras including the Jacksonville Symphony, Pasadena Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, Korean American Symphony, Merrick Symphony, Mozart Festival Orchestra, Peninsula Symphony, Colburn Orchestra, and the San Francisco State Symphony, among others. In addition to Esa-Pekka Salonen, she has worked with notable conductors such as Otto-Werner Mueller, Rossen Milanov, Fabio Mechetti, Nicholas McGegan, and Bundit Ungrangsee.

As a soloist Ms. Keel has appeared in prestigious concert halls including Kennedy Center in Washington D.C, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and abroad at the Kurhaus Bad Aussee in Austria, Teatro Guglielmi in Italy, the Poland Embassy in Moscow, Royal Dublin Society Concert Hall, and the Villa Strauli as part of a 5-city tour throughout Switzerland. She has been featured in the Southampton Rising Stars Concert Series, the Los Angeles Da Camera Society at the historic Doheny Mansion, San Francisco’s Annual Chopin Concert Series, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Rising Stars Recital Series. Ms. Keel’s numerous competition honors include top prizes in the Moscow International Chopin Competition, Juilliard Concerto Competition, Washington International Piano Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs Competition, Ostra International Piano Competition in Italy, Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, and the American Prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

In addition to her recital and orchestral performances, Ms. Keel has dedicated herself to the art of chamber music. She has most recently performed with Ronald Leonard and Clive Greensmith and regularly collaborates with the students of Clive Greensmith at the Colburn Conservatory. As a chamber musician, Ms. Keel has performed in venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, Wilshire Ebell Theatre, LACMA, Zipper Hall, and the California Club. She has worked with musicians including Fred Sherry, Jonathan Feldman, Joseph Kalichstein, Seymour Lipkin, and Vivian Weilerstein. She has performed in the Musica L’Amore Chamber Music Series, Alice Tully’s Wednesdays at One Series, and the Young Musicians Foundation Chamber Music Series, which was broadcast live on the classical music station KUSC 91.5.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Ms. Keel began playing the piano at the age of three with her concert pianist mother, Mihyang Keel. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School and an Artist Diploma from the Colburn Conservatory. In addition to her studies, she has served as an instructor in the college division of the Juilliard School. She has been on the MTAC South Bay Board of Directors as Vice President. She currently maintains a private piano studio in the South Bay. Her former teachers have included John Perry, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Yong Hi Moon, and Robert McDonald.
...an artist of utmost taste, proportion, and charmCleveland Plain Dealer
Keel played with technical élan and detailed shading.Cleveland Plain Dealer
A rising-star among pianists, Esther Keel is an amazing talent, truly displaying a life dedicated to eighty-eight keys.St. Galler Tagblatt
Keel utilized keyboard technique that seems to blend old-style accuracy and modern sensibility leading to a rendering of the not-too-often heard Saint-Saens work filled with colorful timbre, careful pedaling, and brisk, clean arpeggios.Arcadia Weekly
Especially impressive was Keel's handling of the concerto's[Saint-Saens 'Egyptian' Concerto] slow movement, where her prismatic colors and well-honed sense of lyricism paid dividends in this movement's mood of melancholy rumination...But Keel knew when to call in the proverbial big guns too, as she did with her dazzling rendition of the work's finale, which gained her the audience's well-deserved and very warm approbation.Crescenta Valley Weekly
...a superb pianist of phenomenal technique and depth of musical understandingRheintalische Volkszeitung
"Her performance of Liszt's Dante Sonata reached powerful interpretative depths, vividly revealing the piece's dramatic character...an extraordinary performance of the highest caliber.Rheintalische Volkszeitung
Elegance and warmth combined with brilliant technique describes Keel's dazzling interpretation.Korea Times
From the very first moment that pianist Esther Keel commenced her performance of Tchaikovsky's popular piano concerto, the air was charged with rare musical electricity. She demonstrated her orchestral drama and her brilliant technique beyond anyone's expectation.Merrick Life
Keel dazzled the audience with her elegance and charm in Rachmaninoff's difficult Piano Concerto No. 2. She boldly attacked the majestic bell-like opening chords with energy and drama and brought out the emotional intensity of the gorgeous theme...Her entire performance came off as graceful and polished, and the audience was quick to reward her with a standing ovation.Daily Breeze
Keel's Chopin Etudes aptly exhibit her virtuosity that places intelligent interpretation of the music ahead of brandishing formidable technique.News of Polonia
Keel's inherent musicality enhanced a spontaneous, seemingly artless flow of endless melody.News of Polonia
...an artist full of great emotional intensity and passionNeue Zuger Zeitung
...incessantly uncompromising in her pursuit of glorious sound and powerful effectsNeue Zuger Zeitung
With commanding technical control, she beautifully recreated the emotional world of Chopin.Rheintaler
Ms. Keel has become a force to be reckoned with in the world of young classical musicians.Southampton Press
Keel’s performance in Mozart’s D minor Piano Concerto, K. 466 was impressive, technically immaculate and surprisingly mature. She exhibited the delicacy and mastery of nuances that are the hallmarks of Mozartean style. Her command of dynamics, from whispered pianissimo to thunderous fortissimo, was absolute, and she maintained her poise and control to the utmost.Long Beach Gazette
She kept the audience enthralled with her showmanship, dexterity and versatility.Richmond Register

Past Performances

Friday, January 18, 2019Beach Cities SymphonyEl Camino College Center for the ArtsTorrance, CARachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 in F Sharp Minor
Friday, August 4, 2017KYCC Annual Benefit ConcertWalt Disney Concert HallLos Angeles, CA 90012Gershwin Rhapsody in Bluemore info...
Sunday, July 23, 2017Peninsula SymphonyRedondo Union High SchoolRedondo Beach, CA 90277Addinsell Warsaw Concertomore info...
Wednesday, April 5, 2017Recital with Minji Choi, celloThayer HallLos Angeles, CAJanacek Pohadka
Tsintsadze Five Pieces on Folk Themes for Cello and Piano
Rachmaninoff Sonata for Cello and Piano, Op. 19
Monday, December 14, 2015Recital with Yun Han, celloThayer HallLos Angeles, CABeethoven 7 Variations on a theme from Mozart's "Magic Flute"
Chopin Sonata for Cello and Piano in G minor, Op. 65
Sunday, October 18, 2015Recital with Yong Kim, violinBeethoven Violin Sonata No. 1
Franck Violin Sonata
Wednesday, September 30, 2015Recital with Peter Eom, celloThayer HallLos Angeles, CABritten Cello Sonata
Ives 4 Songs
Poulenc Cello Sonata
Sunday, September 20, 2015Seoul National University Alumni ConcertZipper HallLos Angeles, CA 90012Works by Brahms and Berio
Esther Keel, Mihyang Keel, pianos
Friday, April 10, 2015Recital with Yewon Ahn, celloThayer HallLos Angeles, CABrahms Sonata No. 1 for Cello and Piano in E Minor, Op. 38
Bartok Rhapsody No. 1 for Violin and Piano; arranged for cello
Saturday, January 17, 2015Pasadena SymphonyAmbassador AuditoriumPasadena, CA 91105Poulenc Concerto for 2 Pianos
Esther Keel, Mihyang Keel, pianos
Nicholas McGegan, conductor
more info...
Tuesday, December 9, 2014Duo Piano Recital with Mihyang KeelSteinway Piano GalleryPasadena, CA 91105Works by Berio, Brahms, Debussy, Poulenc, and Gershwin
Friday, October 3, 2014Performance with Clive Greensmith, celloBarnum HallSanta Monica, CABruch Kol Nidrei
Friday, August 29, 2014Students of Esther Keel in concert with Musica SinfoniaTorrance Armstrong TheatreTorrance, CA
Friday, April 18, 2014Recital with Ronald Leonard, celloZipper HallLos Angeles, CAHandel-Feuermann Adagio and Allegro
Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 1 in F Major
Poulenc Cello Sonata
Friday, January 31, 2014Recital with Yewon Ahn, celloThayer HallLos Angeles, CASchumann Fantasiestucke for Cello and Piano, Op. 73
Tsintsadze Five Pieces on F olk Themes for Cello and Piano
Brahms Sonata No. 2 in F Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 99
Friday, January 25, 2013Beach Cities SymphonyEl Camino College Center for the ArtsAddinsell Warsaw Concerto
Saturday, November 10, 2012San Bernardino SymphonyCalifornia TheatreSan Bernardino CARavel Piano Concerto in G
Saturday, September 29, 2012Moorpark SymphonyMoorpark College Performing Arts CenterMoorpark CAGershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Sunday, April 29, 2012Peninsula SymphonyRolling Hills Covenant ChurchRolling Hills Estates CABrahms Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Majormore info...
Saturday, February 18, 2012Pasadena SymphonyAmbassador AuditoriumPasadena CASaint Saens Piano Concerto No. 5 'Egyptian'more info...
Sunday, October 9, 2011Solo RecitalPeninsula Committee of the Los Angeles PhilharmonicPalos Verdes CA
Friday, July 22, 2011Redlands SymphonyRedlands BowlRedlands CABeethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 'Emperor'
Friday, July 8, 2011Solo RecitalMessiah Lutheran Summer SeriesSavannah, GA
Friday, May 13, 2011LA Doctors SymphonyGrand Lounge of the EbellLos Angeles CABeethoven Choral Fantasy
Ebell Chorale & the Hollywood Master Chorale
Saturday, April 23, 2011Sejong SoloistsPrivate ResidenceLos Angeles CAWorks by Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Sarasate, Wieniawski, Ponce
Sunday, April 3, 2011Recital with Steven Chang, violinThayer Hall at ColburnLos Angeles CAWorks by Mozart, Brahms, Sarasate, Williams
Sunday, February 20, 2011Solo RecitalThayer Hall at ColburnLos Angeles CAWorks by Beethoven, Vine, Brahms, Ravel
Sunday, January 23, 2011Musica L'Amore Chamber ConcertLos Angeles, CASchubert Wanderer Fantasie, Schubert Trout Quintet
Tuesday, January 18, 2011Pasadena & FriendsPasadena CAw/violinist Nigel Armstrong
Saturday, November 20, 2010Solo Recital, The Previews Concert SeriesTrinity Lutheran ChurchManhattan Beach CAWorks by Bach-Petri, Vine, Brahms, Ravel
Saturday, September 25, 2010 Colburn OrchestraAmbassador AuditoriumPasadena CAFranck Symphonic Variations
Sunday, June 27, 2010Steinway Concerts in the CanyonBeverly Hills, CAWorks by Chopin, Albeniz, Liszt
Tuesday, June 22, 2010Da Camera Society Private EventDoheny MansionLos Angeles CAWorks by Chopin, Brahms, Ravel, Gershwin
Wednesday, May 19, 2010Solo RecitalChunrat HallAltstatten SwitzerlandWorks by Mozart, Debussy, Liszt, Chopin, Ravel
Tuesday, May 18, 2010Solo RecitalCollege Untere WaidSt. Gallen SwitzerlandWorks by Mozart, Debussy, Liszt, Chopin, Ravel
Saturday, May 15, 2010Solo RecitalKnight's HallRegensberg SwitzerlandWorks by Mozart, Debussy, Liszt, Chopin, Ravel
Saturday, May 15, 2010Solo RecitalVilla StrauliWinterthur SwitzerlandWorks by Albeniz, Debussy, Chopin, Ravel
Wednesday, April 21, 2010Recital with Christine Kwak, violinThayer Hall at ColburnLos Angeles CAWorks by Strauss, Debussy, Albeniz, Janacek, Brahms
Saturday, April 3, 2010Musica L'Amore Chamber ConcertOld Ranch Country ClubSeal Beach CAMozart Piano Quartet in E-flat, Dvorak Piano Quartet in E-flat
Tuesday, March 2, 2010Evening of BrahmsThe California ClubLos Angeles CABrahms Clarinet Trio
Sunday, February 21, 2010Annual Chopin Birthday ConcertOld First ChurchSan Francisco CAWorks by Chopin, Liszt, Ravel
Friday, January 29, 2010Beach Cities SymphonyEl Camino College Center for the ArtsTorrance CARachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor
Saturday, October 3, 2009Moorpark SymphonyMoorpark College Performing Arts CenterMoorpark CASaint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor
Lisa-marie MazzuccoLong Island based classical music photographer Lisa-Marie Mazzucco. Lisa Marie Mazzucco, photographer and make up artist, Montauk, New York, NY.http://www.lisamazzucco.com
Aestheticize MediaAestheticize Media is a web/graphic design and photography firm based in the Greater Toronto Area.http://www.aestheticize.com
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Ms. Keel is a member of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT), Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC), and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Her students have been prize winners in numerous competitions such as the Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF), CAPMT Sonata Competition, CAPMT Contemporary Competition, CAPMT Concerto Competition, VOCE competition, MTNA Competition, Southern California Junior Bach Festival, MTAC Scholarship Competition, MTAC Concerto Competition, Bellflower Concerto Competition, Marina Del Rey-Westchester Symphony Young Artist Competition, Torrance Symphony Concerto Competition, Artists of the Future Competition, Glendale Piano Competition, Korea Times Music Competition, American Protege Competition, Lansum International Piano Competition, and the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, among others. Her students have also been admitted to prestigious colleges including New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, University of Southern California, San Francisco Conservatory, and the Peabody Conservatory.

For current lesson rates and to arrange a lesson, students should contact Esther by email: