azzara_christopher

Christopher D. Azzara

Professor of Music Education

Affiliate Faculty, Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media
Chair, Music Education Department

Departments:
Contact: Links:

Biography

Pianist, arranger, author, and educator, Christopher Azzara has made important contributions to advancing the understanding of creativity and improvisation in the music learning process. An innovator in the area of music teaching and learning, Dr. Azzara is Professor and Chair of Music Education and Affiliate Faculty of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music. Teaching and performing internationally, he is the author of numerous articles, arrangements, and books, including Developing Musicianship Through Improvisation, Creativity In Improvisation, and Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series (GIA). His arrangements for instrumental and vocal ensembles include A la nanita nana for choir and chamber orchestra or piano (Oxford), and Concert Selections for Winds and Percussion (GIA). His research and publications are concerned with meaningful relationships among listening, creating, improvising, reading, composing, and analyzing music in vocal and instrumental settings. Dr. Azzara’s work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Music Educators Journal, Early Childhood Connections, and in The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning (MENC/Oxford). He performs as a soloist and in various ensembles, including the Chris Azzara Quartet, and has played on and produced many studio and educational recordings. In Rochester, he performs with free-lance musicians, members of the Eastman School of Music faculty, and members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. An active teacher and clinician, he has taught and performed extensively throughout the United States, and in Canada, the Caribbean, Germany, France, Lithuania, Poland, Japan, and Australia. He has presented clinics and workshops in a variety of settings, including TEDxRochester, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and leading music schools in this country and abroad.

Christopher Azzara is a native of Virginia and attended public schools in Fairfax County. After receiving the Bachelor of Music degree from George Mason University, he taught instrumental music in the Fairfax County Public Schools and performed as a pianist in the Washington D.C. area. He later received a Master of Music and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to joining the Eastman faculty, Dr. Azzara was a professor at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre of the University of Hartford, CT.

Works / Publications

Selected Works and Publications:

Christopher Azzara on TED Talks

Azzara, Christopher D., Grunow, Richard F. Developing Musicianship through Improvisation.
App for iPad. Chicago: G.I.A Publications, Inc., 2014.

Azzara, Christopher D., Grunow, Richard F. Developing Musicianship through Improvisation.
Book/CDs 1 for Strings. Chicago: G.I.A Publications, Inc., 2011. Books include: 1) Violin, 2) Viola, and 3) Cello/Bass.

Azzara, Christopher D., Grunow, Richard F. Developing Musicianship through Improvisation.
Book/CDs 1, 2, & 3, Chicago: G.I.A Publications, Inc. (2006, 2010) Books include: 1) Vocal – Treble Clef, Bass Clef 2) Instrumental – Treble Clef, Bass Clef, Bb, Eb, and F Instruments.

The recordings for this publication include performances with members of the Eastman School of Music Faculty, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and various free-lance musicians:

  • Christopher Azzara, Piano, Musical Director
  • Gene Bertoncini, Bob Sneider, Guitar
  • Aleck Brinkman, Jeff Campbell, Bass
  • John Beck, Mike Melito, Drums/Percussion
  • Mark Filsinger, David Hart, Clay Jenkins, Mike Kaupa, Trumpet
  • Al Regni, Ramon Ricker, Alto Saxophone
  • Kirsten Edkins, Jose Encarnacion, Ramon Ricker, Walt Weiskopf, Tenor Saxophone
  • Shirantha Beddage, Baritone Saxophone
  • Mark Kellogg, Trombone
  • Lisa Azzara, Karl-Erik Jansson, Jamie Jordan, Luann Saunders, Vocals

Azzara, Christopher D. (2008). Improvisation and Choral Musicianship. The School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing, and Teaching. (M. Holt & J. Jordan, Eds.) Chicago: G.I.A. Publications, Inc.

Azzara, Christopher D. A La Nanita Nana.
Arranged for Children-s Choir, Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, and Clarinet. (2006)

Azzara, Christopher D. A La Nanita Nana.
Companion piece arranged for Choir (SATB), Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, and Clarinet. (2006)

Co-author and Pianist for Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series, Solo Book/CD 1-A and Solo Book/CD 1-B.
Chicago: G.I.A. Publications, Inc. (2006)
Eight Books and CDs: 1) Violin; 2) Viola; 3) Cello; 4) Bass.
(Grunow, Richard F., Gordon, Edwin E., Azzara, Christopher D., Martin, Michael E., Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series for Strings.)

The recordings for these publications include performances with members of the Eastman School of Music Faculty, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and various free-lance musicians:

  • Christopher Azzara, Piano, Musical Director – Eastman School of Music
  • Gene Burtoncini, Guitar – Free-lance musician, New York, NY
  • Bob Sneider, Guitar – Eastman School of Music
  • Jeff Campbell, Bass – Eastman School of Music
  • John Beck, Percussion – Eastman School of Music
  • Marissa Regni, Violin – Principal Second Violin, National Symphony Orchestra
  • George Taylor, Viola – Eastman School of Music
  • Mimi Hwang, Cello – Free-lance musician and instructor of chamber music, Eastman School of Music
  • James Vandemark, Bass – Eastman School of Music

Azzara, Christopher D. (2002). Improvisation. In “The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning.” New York: Oxford University Press

For more information on Dr. Azzara’s publications, visit G.I.A. Publications.

Engagements / Professional Activities

2014

September 5, 2014
Christopher Azzara, Piano
Concert Performance
Jazz Faculty Showcase
Kilbourn Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
http://www.esm.rochester.edu

September 14, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity at the Core:
Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Donald Hodges Lecture Series
University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
Susan Dill
susan.dill@utsa.edu

October 9-12, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Classes, Performances, and Research Presentations
Musikhochschule
Mannheim, Germany

October 13-16, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Classes, Performances, and Research Presentations
Musikhochschule
Hamburg, Germany

October 18, 2014
Christopher Azzara
MEL Talk: Creativity & Improvisation: Inspiration and Meaning for
Music Teaching and Learning
Meliora Weekend/Eastman Weekend
University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
https://www.rochester.edu/melioraweekend/

October 26-29, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Session with Eastman Music Education Faculty,
“Prioritizing Musicianship in Music Teaching and Learning”
National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Conference
Nashville, TN
http://inserviceconference.nafme.org

November 9, 2014
Christopher Azzara, Piano
Concert Performance
Mark Kellogg Recital
Hatch Recital Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
http://www.esm.rochester.edu

November 15, 22, & December 6, 2014
Christopher Azzara
3 Improvisation Sessions for
the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS)
Session 1, Saturday, November 15, 2014 
12:30pm – 2:00pm, Messinger One
Session 2, Saturday, November 22, 2014 
12:30pm – 2:00pm, Messinger One
Session 3, Saturday, December 6, 2014 
12:30pm – 2:00pm, Messinger One
Eastman Community Music School
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
Howard Potter
hpotter@esm.rochester.edu

2015

January 15-17, 2015
Christopher Azzara
Indiana Music Education Association Conference
Keynote
Headliner, 3 Sessions
Fort Wayne, IN
http://www.imeamusic.org

January 22-23, 2015
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation in Instrumental Music
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA
Paul Doerksen
doerksenp@duq.edu

January 28, 2015
Christopher Azzara, piano 
Concert Performance
    with Mark Kellogg, Larry Zalkind, & Jim Martin
Hatch Recital Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
http://www.esm.rochester.edu

February 21, 2015
Christopher Azzara 
Creativity at the Core
Nazareth College Arts Center
Rochester, NY
Sara Rogers
srogers4@mail.naz.edu

March 20, 2015
Christopher Azzara 
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Creativity, Improvisation, Composition
Niskayuna Central School District
Niskayuna, NY
Matthew Cremisio
mcremisio@niskyschools.org

April 16, 2015
Christopher Azzara 
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Roberts Wesleyan College
Rochester, NY
http://www.roberts.edu

June 24, 2015
Christopher Azzara, piano 
Concert Performance
Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festiva.
BOA Editions, LTD presents
“Poetry and Jazz”
Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery
East End
Rochester, NY

July 4-9, 2015
Christopher Azzara 
Improvisation Classes
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Milan, Italy
Silvia Biferale
silbif@gmail.com

July 20-31, 2015
Christopher Azzara
Instrumental Methods and Techniques
Developing Musicianship in Instrumental Music
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
Sylvie Beaudette
sbeaudette@esm.rochester.edu

August 3-4, 2015
Christopher Azzara
Concert Performance and Workshop
Eastman Summer Trombone Institute
   with Mark Kellogg, Jim Martin
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
Sylvie Beaudette
sbeaudette@esm.rochester.edu

October 10-11, 2015
Christopher Azzara 
Improvisation Classes
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Associazione Italiana Gordon per l’Apprendimento Musicale
Rome, Italy
Andrea Apostoli
a.apostoli2@gmail.com

December 3-6, 2015
Christopher Azzara 
Session: Teaching Improvisation: Where to Begin
New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Conference
Rochester, NY
http://www.nyssma.org

2016

January 22-23, 2016
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation in Instrumental Music
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA
Paul Doerksen
doerksenp@duq.edu

April 22-24, 2016
Christopher Azzara 
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
“Kinder Singen!”
University of Arts
Berlin, Germany
Gudrun Geirszal
gudrun.gierszal@googlemail.com