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Pianist, Harpsichordist, Educator

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"... he proved himself to be an artist of considerable finish and even more promise."

Peter Jacobi, Bloomington Herald Times

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Based in Columbia, Missouri, Dr. Curtis Pavey is a pianist, harpsichordist, and educator serving as the Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy and Performance at the University of Missouri. Passionate about works from the 16th through the 21st centuries, he feels equally at home performing or teaching from the piano or the harpsichord. 

As a pianist, Pavey engages audiences with intellectual and thoughtful interpretations, striving to make meaningful connections between repertoire old and new. As a soloist, Pavey has performed in the Oklahoma Mozart Festival, the Edward Auer Summer Piano Workshop (EASPW), the Great Lakes Chamber Festival, Montreal’s Kin Experience, and the Madison Performing Arts Foundation. In Cincinnati, he gave the world premiere performance of composer Grace Choi’s Voyage, a work for solo piano. In August 2021, Pavey was named a finalist in the 2021 Beardsley Cup Piano Prize Competition. He has a special interest in the music of Maurice Ravel and is currently working to learn his complete piano music. In 2020, he won a Teacher Enrichment Grant from the Music Teachers National Association that supported private piano lessons on Ravel’s piano music with Canadian pianist and Ravel specialist, André Laplante. In 2016, Pavey won the EASPW Chamber Music Competition and performed Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 with guest artists including Sarah Kapustin, Godfried Hoogeveen, and Marcus Thompson. The following year, he won the EASPW Solo Piano Competition. He has performed in master classes for renowned pianists Julian Martin, Emile Naoumoff, Su Bin, Bruce Brubaker, Olga Kern, and Malcolm Bilson. He has also privately worked with Jerome Lowenthal, Peter Bithell, Jon Nakamatsu, Crystal Lee, and Amy Yang.

In 2021, Pavey was recognized as a member of Diapason Magazine’s “20 Under 30 – Class of 2021,” recognizing rising stars in the organ and harpsichord field. The same year, he was a semifinalist in the Jurow International Harpsichord Competition. Pavey was acclaimed by Peter Jacobi of the Herald Times, who described him as “an artist of considerable finish and even more promise” after his opening debut recital in the Bloomington Early Music Festival as an “Emerging Artist.” In October 2017 and January 2018, he performed Bach’s Harpsichord Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055 with the IU Baroque Orchestra. As a continuo player, Pavey has performed in the Bloomington Early Music Festival and the Oregon Bach Festival in addition to performances around Cincinnati with choral and instrumental ensembles.  He has coached with many distinguished early music specialists including Elisabeth Wright, Jacques Ogg, Wilbert Hazlezet, Alexander Weimann, John Butt, Debra Nagy, Dana Marsh, Stanley Ritchie, Richard Egarr, and Bruce Dickey.

Pavey regularly collaborates in a number of ensemble settings. He was chosen to perform amongst CCM faculty pianists James Tocco and Dr. Dror Biran in Stravinsky’s Les Noces. With pianist Helena Hyesoo Kim, he performed a four-hands piano recital in Madison, Indiana at the Madison Performing Arts Foundation Series, and at the Kin Experience in Montreal, Quebec. In 2019, Pavey performed works of Handel as well as Schubert’s complete Die Winterreise, D. 911 with bass-baritone Daren Small. Working with contemporary composer Hojin Lee, he performed her Four Miniatures for Flute and Piano (2009) in a concert of the composer’s works. With the Loeffler Trio, he has performed and recorded works for oboe, viola, and piano.

Besides performing, Pavey enjoys an active teaching career. In August 2023, he joined the faculty at the University of Missouri as Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy and Performance. In the spring semester of 2023, he served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and taught courses in Piano Pedagogy and Group Piano. At the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), he served as Adjunct Instructor of Harpsichord and Piano Pedagogy during the fall 2022 semester, working with students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He previously served as a Graduate Assistant in Secondary Piano, where he taught group piano classes and applied lessons to undergraduate and graduate students. Pavey also taught applied harpsichord and continuo lessons. At Indiana University, he held an Associate Instructor and Coordinator of Music Theory position, where he taught undergraduate written and aural theory classes. He also was a member of the pre-college piano faculty through Indiana University’s program Young Pianists. Outside of his collegiate teaching, he maintains a private studio and has taught privately for over twelve years.

He is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and has presented talks at many prominent conferences including the Music Teachers National Association National Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the Piano Pedagogy Symposium, and the Ohio/Kentucky Music Teachers Association Conference. At NCKP 2023: The Piano Conference, Pavey presented a lecture recital on the music of Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, and a presentation on historic improvisation titled “Make It Your Own: Improvising in Baroque Styles.” In July 2023, he presented a webinar for the MTNA titled “Reimaging the Baroque: Reflections from Performance Practice,” which is archived on the MTNA website. The Frances Clark Center’s From the Artist Bench series includes his video teaching demonstration and performance tips for Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre’s Suite in A Minor; another video on Ravel’s Prelude in A Minor is forthcoming on their Inspiring Artistry series. His research focuses include Baroque piano pedagogy, historic improvisation, early French music, the music of Maurice Ravel, music by Cuban composers, and composers from underrepresented backgrounds in the classical music field.

In addition to teaching, Pavey is actively involved in service organizations within the music field. Currently serving as the Manager of Online Publications for the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, Pavey assists with online courses, social media, and other publications with the Center. In 2022, he was selected to serve as a member of Early Music America’s Emerging Professional Leadership Council, helping to spread awareness and passion for early music in North America. At the University of Cincinnati, he served as Collegiate Chapter Co-President and the Events Coordinator for the CCM Chapter of MTNA, organizing a virtual guest speaker series, several student recitals, and other events during the 2019-2021 school years.

Pavey received his Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati where he studied with Professor James Tocco. He completed a cognate in harpsichord under the tutelage of Dr. Michael Unger and a cognate in piano pedagogy under the joint direction of Dr. Michelle Conda and Dr. Andy Villemez. His doctoral project is a textbook titled An Introduction to Early Music and the Harpsichord, which was used at the University of Cincinnati in the Fall 2022 semester. Prior to his studies in Cincinnati, he studied at Indiana University where he graduated from the Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance and Master of Music – Piano Performance and Early Music Harpsichord programs. During his time at IU, he worked with Professors Edward Auer, Elisabeth Wright, Lee Phillips, and Evelyne Brancart. 

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This textbook was created to provide more pedagogical resources for teachers introducing students to the harpsichord for the first time. This book combines all of the necessary topics and skills that would adequately introduce the harpsichord and early music to a novel student. Intended for use in higher education, the book was developed as a textbook for classes, but could also be used as a resource for experienced teachers to teach applied harpsichord lessons to pianists. The textbook will be available for purchase in Fall 2023, but excerpts can be requested directly via email.

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Curtis regularly presents talks and posters at conferences and universities throughout the United States. In 2021, Curtis presented at the Music Teachers National Association Virtual Conference, the MTNA Virtual Collegiate Chapters Symposium, the University of Cincinnati, Washington State University, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the Ohio Music Teachers Association/Kentucky Music Teachers Association Joint State Conferences.


Since 2018, Curtis has been learning the piano works of Maurice Ravel and has been planning a series of concerts to celebrate the 150th birthday of Ravel in 2025. The Ravel Project will feature all of the composer's solo piano works as well as works influenced and inspired by Ravel.

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May 27, 2022 - Concert No. 2 - Knox Church Cincinnati

April 8, 2022 - Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 2 - Watson Hall CCM

April 5, 2022 - World Premier of "Voyage" by Grace Choi - Cincinnati, OH

December 23, 2021 - Four-Hands Piano Concert - Wind Crest Senior Living Community, Highlands Ranch, CO

December 20, 2021 - Solo/Four-Hands Piano Concert - Private Home, Highlands Ranch, CO

December 12, 2021 - Four-Hands Piano Concert - Classical Revolution Cincinnati

November 7, 2021 - Handel Oratorio Concert - St. Catharine of Sienna, Cincinnati

October 31, 2021 - Buxtehude's "Membra Jesu nostri" - CCM Chamber Choir - Christ Church Cathedral Cincinnati

October 22, 2021 - Solo/Four-Hands Piano Concert - Madison Performing Arts Foundation

October 10, 2021 - Four Hands Piano Concert - Classical Revolution Cincinnati

October 8, 2021 - Four Hands Piano Concert - The Glen Senior Living Cincinnati

September 18, 2021 - Beardsley Cup Piano Prize Competition - Ruthmere Mansion, Elkhart, IN

August 7, 2021 - Semifinalist Concert - Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church

August 6, 2021 - Jurow International Harpsichord Competition Semifinals - The Baroque Room, St. Paul, MN

July 31, 2021 - Harpsichord Recital - CCM Organ Studio

April 15, 2021 - DMA Lecture Recital - Watson Hall CCM

March 15, 2021 - DMA Harpsichord Recital - Werner Hall CCM

March 11, 2021 - Loeffler Trio Performance - CCM

November 17, 2020 - DMA Solo Recital - Werner Hall CCM

November 3, 2020 - Music Live @ Lunch Series - Christ Church Cathedral

October 1, 2020 - Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 - Corbett Auditorium CCM

August 9, 2020 - Young Artists Concert - Live Virtual Concert

March 13, 2020 - Hannah Lohr-Pearson MM Recital - Watson Recital Hall CCM

March 6, 2020 - MTNA Showcase Recital - Church of Our Savior

February 29, 2020 - Great Lakes Chamber Festival Vignette - Detroit, MI

February 21, 2020 - Daren Small DMA Recital - Mary Emery Hall CCM

November 17, 2019 - Bach Well-Tempered Clavier Book II Recital with Professor James Tocco's Piano Studio - Werner Hall CCM

November 5, 2019 - Harpsichord Studio Recital - Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati

October 31, 2019 - Hojin Lee Composition Recital - Werner Hall CCM

October 30, 2019 - DMA Chamber Recital - Werner Hall CCM

September 23, 2019 - Schubert's "Winterreise" with Daren Small - Werner Hall CCM

August 10, 2019 - Solo Recital in Highlands Ranch, CO

June 29 - July 9, 2019 - Berwick Academy Performances at the Oregon Bach Festival - Berwick and Beall Halls

June 9, 2019 - "Concert Number 1" - Church of our Savior

April 2, 2019 - Grant Jackson Senior Recital - Watson Hall CCM

March 28, 2019 - Solo DMA Piano Recital - Werner Hall CCM

February 21, 2019 - Bach Well-Tempered Clavier Recital with Professor James Tocco's Piano Studio - Werner Hall CCM

February 17, 2019 - Stravinsky Les Noces - Corbett Auditorium CCM

February 14, 2019 - Daren Small DMA Recital - Werner Hall CCM

October 17, 2018 - CCM Chamber Singers - Bach Cantata BWV 144 - Nimm was dein ist, und gehe hin

September 27, 2018 - Sebastian Arredondo DMA Recital - Werner Hall CCM

July 26, 2018 - Edward Auer Summer Workshop - Senior Competition Winners Recital - Auer Hall

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Teaching piano lessons is one of my many passions - I enjoy sharing and instilling a love of music in others! With over twelve years of teaching experience, I've taught a variety of ages (including adult learners), levels, and backgrounds. Currently, I maintain a private piano studio in Brecksville outside of Cleveland, OH. My students represent a variety of learners and abilities. Recently, many of my students have participated in local festivals and competitions. Please feel free to contact me directly at if you are interested in lessons.

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In addition to piano lessons, I offer private tutoring or lessons in music theory. At Indiana University, I spent three years working as an Associate Instructor in Music Theory, where I taught written and aural undergraduate theory classes. Whether you are interested in learning fundamentals or are ready to learn rules of part-writing and analysis, I'm happy to help guide you.



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Exceptional professionalism, always attentive to the needs of the student and willing to adapt based on the student's learning style and goals.


Curtis has been a wonderful teacher for my son. The progress that my son made over the past year with Curtis was phenomenal. They both interacted well and Curtis knew exactly what my son liked and steered him towards that and at the same time encouraged him to learn other genres as well. Curtis and my son developed a great connection which I hope continues in future. Curtis is a positive and passionate piano teacher.


Curtis was a fantastic piano teacher for my daughter! He was patient, fun, diligent and amazingly knowledgeable! He really concentrated for the entire lesson on making her a better piano player and each lesson was completely worthwhile!


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