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Hochstein String Faculty - Pia Liptak

Instrument/Department: Violin and Chamber Music, Director of HochStrings adult chamber orchestra, Co-chair of the string department

Joined Hochstein Faculty in: 2007

Pia Liptak has been encouraging an understanding of music among children and students of all ages for more than three decades. In her endeavors, she has been an advocate for bringing all levels of musicianship together. In her native Denmark, she taught at the Odense Music School and served as the concert manager for the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music. 

Pia has performed extensively in Europe and the United States. She is currently the artistic director and concertmaster for Cordancia Chamber Orchestra. She was previously concertmaster of the UR Symphony Orchestra and the Fynske Sinfonietta, and a member of the Odense Symphony Orchestra. She also has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in many chamber music ensembles. 

Exploring new music and lesser-known repertoire mark much of Pia’s career. With Japanese koto-player Ryuko Mizutani, she formed Duo vio-LINK-oto, a collaboration that produced a number of new compositions written for this ensemble and three CD recordings.

Pia earned degrees in violin and piano at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Denmark. She came to the United States as a Fulbright student in 1987 receiving her DMA in violin performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music. Her most influential violin teachers were Palle Heichelmann and Catherine Tait, both students of Ivan Galamian. 


2019 Faculty Service Award

The Faculty Service Award was first given in 1990 to recognize the contributions of outstanding faculty members to the work of the Hochstein School. Nominations are solicited from the entire faculty, from a list of those who have completed at least five years of teaching at Hochstein.

Pia Liptak is the recipient of the 2019 Faculty Service Award. Hochstein President & Executive Director Margaret Quackenbush said, “Pia joined our Strings faculty in 2007, and it was clear immediately that she was a dedicated teacher for all ages of students, and that she had a wonderful rapport with her students, who consistently win merit scholarships and hold leadership positions in our orchestras. The HochStrings ensemble, which she founded, has developed a strong following and is a great example of the way that making music together connects people.”

Click here to read the full press release about the 2019 Faculty Service Award


More About Pia Liptak

Hometown: Was raised in Denmark with a few childhood years spent in Switzerland.

Why the arts matter: Music matters because music is communication, it’s a language, it’s expression and a metaphor of life. Nothing crystallizes and focuses the mind better, both in being and in working. The process of learning can be transferred to anything else you do. The concentration needed benefits all other tasks. With music, you have to be in the moment and you have to be present. It is in motion at all times, like life itself. Music also fosters positive ways of interacting with other human beings. The beauty of creating together and of sharing human expression has the potential of carrying a reflection onto society. 

What inspires me: I love to travel, I enjoy excellence in art, and I’m refreshed by walks in nature and along the ocean. I’m also inspired by the interchange between performing and teaching which is the vital core of my work.

When I’m not at Hochstein, you can find me: Working with my Cordancia colleagues planning the orchestra’s concert season and educational outreach; or at the computer making posters for the next concert; and of course, in my studio practicing. When I need a break, I love visiting one of the many great coffee shops in the area.

What people would be surprised to know about me: As concert manager for the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense, I tutored college students in public relations management and graphic design.

Family: My husband is composer David Liptak. Our daughter, Carena, is a music journalist who lives and works in Nashville.