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, France, Germany, Italy, 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

2015

September 30, 2015
Christopher Azzara
Keynote Session
Creativity at the Core: 
    Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Cattaraugus County Music Teachers Association (CCTMA)
Ellicottville, NY
Colleen Hood
CHood@rand.wnyric.org

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

October 22, 2015
Christopher Azzara
Maritas Music Festival
  Improvisation Classes
    Hochstein School of Music & Dance
  Piano Performance
    University of Rochester
Rochester, NY
Robyn Hollander
HollanderR@nbps.org

October 25-26, 2015
Christopher Azzara
Opening Session: “Empower Creativity”
Session: “Developing Musicianship through Improvisation”
National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Conference
Nashville, TN
http://inserviceconference.nafme.org

November 1, 2015
Christopher Azzara, Piano
Concert Performance
    Mark Kellogg Recital
    Faculty Artist Series Concert
Hatch Recital Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
http://www.esm.rochester.edu

November 22, 2015
Christopher Azzara, Piano
Concert Performance
Faculty Artist Series Concert
    with guests: Clay Jenkins, trumpet; Doug Stone, tenor saxophone;
    David Azzara, tenor saxophone; Danny Ziemann, bass; Eric Metzgar, drums
Kilbourn Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
http://www.esm.rochester.edu

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

March 19, 2016
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation:
    The Heart of Developing Musicianship
Carnegie Hall
New York, NY
pbravo@carnegiehall.org

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

August 5-6, 2016
Christopher Azzara 
Keynote Session:
     Creativity at the Core:
     Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Session: Improvisation: Where to Begin
GP3 2016
National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum
Oberlin College
Oberlin, OH
https://members.mtna.org/gp3/index.html