Dr. James Cook
UNK Department of Music and Performing Arts, 308.865.8611

Dr. Kevin Ayesh, sometimes described as “pianist extraordinaire,” will perform a guest recital at the University of Nebraska at Kearney Thursday, April 12.

Free and open to the public, the performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building Recital Hall. Sponsored by UNK Faculty Senate Artists and Lecturers Series and the Loper Programming and Activities Council, Dr. Ayesh’s program will feature the music and works of Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera, Mozart, Brahms and Bach.  

The chair of the Blue Ridge Community College music department since 1992, Dr. Ayesh has performed throughout the U.S. and has received a number of awards. Among his honors are the Naftzger Piano Award and Baltimore Music Club Award.

A competitive pianist, Dr. Ayesh has won the JCC Baltimore Piano Competition, the Maryland State Music Teachers’ Elizabeth R. Davis Memorial Piano Competition, and he has been a finalist in several national and international competitions, including the Fourth New Orleans International Piano Competition. In addition, he has performed as a soloist for symphony orchestras in North Carolina, Kansas and Maryland. During his time as a North Carolina Visiting Artist, he played at as many as 100 concerts and recitals each year.

A Wichita, Kan., native, Dr. Ayesh began studying piano under Elinor Aiken when he was eight. During his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Ayesh was a piano student under William Race and graduated with highest honors.

Dr. Ayesh earned both of his advanced degrees at the University of Maryland, where he studied under Nelita True. He then taught piano in the Washington, D.C., area and at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania.

Currently, he teaches applied and class piano, as well as music theory, history and appreciation at Blue Ridge Community College. He is also the artistic director of the college’s annual concert series.