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Deborah Lee Hollis, pianist/teacher


Deborah Hollis, pianist from Dover, Pennsylvania, began her piano studies at the age of five.  After working with Anne Vanko Liva at Footlight Ranch for the Performing Arts, Hollis spent her high school years traveling regularly to Scranton to continue her piano studies.  She was awarded the Bachelor of Music degree at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with Miles Mauney, and the Master of Music degree at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, as a student of Kenneth Drake and Claire Richards.  Hollis also attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where she graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano under the direction of Andrew Harley and James Douglass.  Her doctoral dissertation explores how the collaborative pianist can enhance performance choices of Richard Strauss’s lieder by studying his orchestrated lieder. 


Hollis began her career in Chicago where she was pianist for the Chicago Symphony First Chair Series.  Since coming to the Triangle, she has worked with many prominent music organizations.  She served as the official accompanist for the Long Leaf Opera Company, playing for the National Opera Vocal Competition, master classes with composer Jake Heggie, rehearsals with soprano Elizabeth Futral, and the production of over ten operas.  Hollis was also the official pianist for the Eastern Music Festival master classes with Ryan Anthony and David Krakauer.  She was an active performer with the Mallarme Chamber Players, and is currently pianist for the Chapel Hill community chorus, VOICES.


An active recitalist, Ms. Hollis is highly respected by colleagues for her sensitivity and skill as a collaborative partner.  Her passion for vocal music has led to masterclass performances for such esteemed artists as Frederica von Stade, Dawn Upshaw, George Shirley, Anthony Dean Griffey, and Jennifer Larmore; collaborative pianists Rudolph Jensen, Martin Katz, Warren Jones, and John Wustman; and composers Jake Heggie, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, and John Harbison; and pianist Geza Anda.  Over the last twenty years, Hollis has played numerous recitals with university faculty members from Shenandoah, Shepherd, James Madison, Duke, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She has performed on numerous recital series including Strobilus/Chapel in the Pines in Pittsboro, North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, St. Mary’s Parlor Series, Cherry Hill, and Methodist Church in Salisbury.  She recently re-joined forces with her four-hand partner, friend, and colleague, David Heid, and will be presenting a duo piano recital in the 2015-16 season NCMA chamber music series.


An avid educator, she has taught piano to students of all ages and levels for over thirty-five years.  She has conducted masterclasses for collaborative pianists and singers at Shenandoah and Furman Universities, and presented lecture-recitals at Duke University on the fortepiano and music of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.  Dr. Hollis has held teaching positions at Wheaton College, Guilford College and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she taught solo and group piano.  She was a collaborative pianist at Duke University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and currently maintains her association with UNC-CH as a collaborative artist.


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