Naomi Niskala

Department: Music

Associate Professor of Music

  • Education
  • AD, Yale University
  • DMA, SUNY Stony Brook
  • MM, SUNY Stony Brook
  • BM, New England Conserv Music
  • Areas of Specialty
  • Piano
  • Music Theory

Born to Japanese/Finnish-American parents, Naomi Niskala began studying piano at the age of three. She was raised in Rochester, New York and later Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Niskala holds degrees from the Yale School of Music, Stony Brook University and the New England Conservatory of Music. She received her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Piano Performance with Gilbert Kalish, and an Artist Diploma with Claude Frank. Other teachers include the late pianists Patricia Zander and Maria Luisa Faini.

Dr. Niskala has appeared as soloist and chamber musician in Europe, North America, Russia, Israel, Thailand, and Japan, and her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio, Deutschlandradio, RTV Germany, and NPR’s Performance Today. Dr. Niskala performs regularly with Spectrum Concerts Berlin, one of Germany’s leading chamber organizations, and is a member of the Trio Kisosen. Recent performance highlights include the San Francisco Symphony Chamber Series at Davies Symphony Hall, soloist with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic of Russia, and solo and chamber performances with Spectrum Concerts Berlin in the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal of Berlin, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, in Thailand, and in Kosovo. Her release of the only complete recordings of American composer Robert Helps’s solo piano works on two discs with Albany Records in 2007 was met with high acclaim, and the first volume was declared one of the ten “2007 Best of the Year” discs by ClassicsToday.

She has also recorded piano chamber works of Robert Helps and Ursula Mamlok with Spectrum Concerts Berlin for two discs on Naxos, as well as the world premiere of Mamlok’s 2015 quintet “Breezes” for Bridge Records. Performances this season include a return to the Philharmonie Kammermusiksaal with Spectrum Concerts Berlin, as well as recitals in Japan, South Korea, Kosovo, Minnesota, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, New York, and Pennsylvania, and a recording of Brahms chamber music for Naxos Records.

Courses taught:

  • MUSC-005 Piano Lesson
  • MUSC-006 Piano Lesson
  • MUSC-038 Piano Technique
  • MUSC-076 Chamber Music
  • MUSC-076 Piano Quintet
  • MUSC-162 Theory II: Chromatic Harmony
  • MUSC-261 Theory III: Adv Tonal Harmony
  • MUSC-261 Theory III: Advanced Harmony
  • MUSC-399 Piano Pedagogy
  • MUSC-450 Piano Literature
  • OFFP-JPNWND A Window to Japan
  • OFFR-JPNWND A Window to Japan
  • OFFS-JPNWND A Window to Japan