Biography

Hillary Nordwell, an active performer on both piano and viola, has performed chamber music throughout the United States, as well as in Italy, Austria, Germany, and Sweden.  In 2006, she was invited as pianist of the Eusebius Duo to perform in Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall, New York), following the duo’s success as first prize winners of the CMFONE International Chamber Music Competition.

Hillary earned her masters degree in Chamber Music Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory in 2005, and was honored during her studies there for her outstanding accomplishments as a pianist.  At the San Francisco Conservatory, she studied with Paul Hersh, Jodi Levitz, Axel Strauss, and Mark Sokol and participated in master classes with renowned artists Menahem Pressler and Paul Katz.

In 2003, she completed her bachelors degree in Piano Performance, magna cum laude, at Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, Wisconsin, where she studied with Catherine Kautsky and was honored for three consecutive years with the Marjory Irvin Prize for “excellence in solo piano and chamber music.”  In 2001, she spent a semester abroad in Vienna, studying piano with Christiane Karajeva and developing a love for opera and the German language.

As a soloist, Hillary has made concerto appearances with orchestras including the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, the Port Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and the Port Townsend Community Orchestra.  She has worked with master pianists and teachers Richard Goode, Robert McDonald, and Gilbert Kalish, and has performed chamber music with Ian Swensen and Paul Hersh of the San Francisco Conservatory, as well as with San Francisco Symphony French Horn player Jonathan Ring.

In 2005, Hillary Nordwell founded the Eusebius Duo with Monika Gruber, violinist. The Eusebius Duo, which derives its name from the more inward of the two characters Robert Schumann used to describe his ego, enjoys programming the work of Robert Schumann, as well as a wide variety of music from many different eras and nationalities.

Though much of her performing involves works from the standard chamber music repertoire, Hillary has also frequently collaborated with CMASH, a New Music repertory group committed to establishing and nurturing long-term collaborative relationships between composers and performers. She has enjoyed exploring and premiering new vocal chamber music by Vartan Aghababian, Liam Wade, and Miriam Miller, through her collaboration with soprano Ann Moss and violist Alexa Beattie in the One Art Ensemble.  She has worked with prominent American composer Joan Tower leading up to a performance of her “ballet for two pianos,” Stepping Stones, and collaborated with Santa Cruz composer Nick Vasallo on his chamber work for mixed ensemble, Explosions in the Sky.

Hillary has been featured as a soloist and chamber musician on many Bay Area concert series including Noontime Concerts, Trinity Chamber Concerts, Old First Concerts, 405 Shrader, and the Bing Concert Series at Stanford University Hospital.  Alongside her performing career, she enjoys working with young musicians in both private lessons and chamber music coaching at her home studio in Pacifica, CA, where she is also the mother of a 5 year old daughter.