Deon Nielsen Price

Photo of Deon Nielsen Price

Deon Nielsen Price (Bachelor of Arts and Gold Medal Piano Award-Brigham Young University; Master of Music in piano performance and composition-University of Michigan, Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance with Honors in Accompanying-University of Southern California) is a prize-winning pianist, commissioned composer, choral and orchestra conductor, recording artist, veteran educator and published author. Since Fall of 2017, she has curated the monthly Sunday Concert Series at historic Presidio Chapel for the Interfaith Center at the Presidio of San Francisco, where she is Composer-in-Residence. Dr. Price serves on the Boards as president and past-president of the National Association of Composers, USA (NACUSA) and the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM). She also has been an officer in Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Fraternity (MPE) and the International Congress on Women in Music (ICWM) and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

As a solo and collaborative pianist, since the early 1950s, she has performed regularly on university and community concerts across the continental United States, as well as at international festivals in the U.S.A., China, Alaska, Italy, Austria, Germany, England, France, Spain, Mexico, Panama, and Korea, under the auspices of Academia Pro Arte, the International Congresses on Women in Music, the National Association of Composers/USA, the International Alliance for Women Composers, the ECHOSPHERE touring ensembles and the Price Duo (son Berkeley Price, Doctor of Musical Arts in clarinet performance Eastman School of Music, and Deon, pianist/composer.) Her piano teachers included C.W. Reid, Carl Fuerstner, Erwin Schmieder, Benning Dexter, Gyorgy Sandor, Aube Tzerko, Daniel Pollack, Malcolm Hamilton, Gwendolyn Koldofsky, and Brooks Smith.

Having studied composition primarily with Leslie Bassett and Samuel Adler, she has heard her compositions performed in many countries in Europe, former Soviet Union, Asia and Central America, as well as across the United States. Most titles are published by Culver Crest Publications or Southern Music Company. Many chamber works are recorded on Cambria Master Recordings distributed by NAXOS: SunRays: Music of Deon Nielsen Price (“first rate” American Record Guide); SunRays II: City ViewsClariphonia (“inventive and entertaining” AMR); Radiance in Motion (“personal style,” “secure craftsmanship,” fascinating music, “no two works on this CD particularly resemble each other, although Price’s compositional fingerprints show up in all of them.” Fanfare); New Friends/Old Friends (Toads and Diamonds, folktale, solo piano); and orchestral works on Oneness (“‘Violin Concerto for Oneness’ is a splendid piece”  “The energy and power of the opening told the audience that we were at “one” with the music” IAWM Journal); Dancing on the Brink of the World (“…recorded at higher level than usual…close-up and vivid…intriguing-rich…very Californian… freewheeling… impressions flood in…ear constantly beguiled…” Music Web)

Artistic Director/Conductor of annual MESSIAH Sing-Ins for fifteen years in Santa Monica and San Diego, she has also conducted church choral festivals in the Los Angeles Sports Arena, Rose Bowl, and Shrine Auditorium, as well as in Heidelberg and Berchtesgaden, Germany, and has guest conducted several Southern California orchestras and ensembles in her own works.

Artist/composer residencies, commissions, grants and awards have been from the Alaska Arts Council, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, Arts/Mid-west, Barlow Endowment for Composition, Beijing Concert Hall, Beijing 2008 International Congress on Women in Music, National Association of Composers/USA, International Alliance for Women in Music, Mu Phi Epsilon Fraternity and MPE International Foundation, Professional Fraternity Association, American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, University of Northern Iowa, University of Panama (and many U. S. universities), U.S. State Department Artists Abroad, California Composers Today, New York LDS (Mormon) Composers, the Musicians’ Union and Meet the Composer.

Retired from the piano/theory faculty at El Camino College in Torrance, CA, Dr. Price has also taught on the music faculties at California State University, Northridge; University of California, Santa Barbara; University of Southern California; Los Angeles Harbor and Mission Colleges, Long Beach City College, and the Crossroads School of Arts and Sciences, as well as in her private studio. She has served as adjudicator for performer and composer competitions, such as the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, California Association of Private Music Teachers (CAPMT), Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC), Young Musicians Foundation (YMF), International Congress on Women in Music (ICWM), International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) and National Association of Composers, USA (NACUSA).

Author of the text, Accompanying Skills for Pianists, 2nd Edition, and the manual, SightPlay with Skillful Eyes (Culver Crest Publications), she has also written articles on piano accompanying and sightplaying for Clavier Magazine and Keyboard Companion and edited the text College Class Piano-Comprehensive Approach (Demibach Editions; Reading Keyboard Music, Ltd.).

Deon was married to the late Kendall O. Price, Ph.D. for 63 years. They are parents of five children and have eighteen grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. Dr. Deon Nielsen Price resides in Arroyo Grande, California.