Naomi Oliphant

Keyboard Area Coordinator, Distinguished Teaching Professor

Naomi Oliphant has earned an international reputation as a soloist and chamber musician in the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, and Japan. Along with a Carnegie Hall debut in 2010, she has performed as soloist with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra under Seiji Ozawa, the Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Ballet, the Hamilton Philharmonic, and the Niagara Symphony. She has been featured on radio and television in North America and Europe.

Long-time pianist of The McHugh-Oliphant Duo which served as Duo-in-Residence at the University of Louisville, she performed well over 300 recitals, three European recital tours, and appearances on such illustrious series as The Phillips Collection in Washington and the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago with violinist, Peter McHugh. With tenor, Daniel Weeks, she has presented over 150 recitals throughout the United States, Canada, and on four European tours. Their three CD’s, Women of Firsts: Art Songs by the First Important Twentieth Century Women Composers from the Czech Republic, Poland, United States, and France; The Lieder of Franz Liszt; and Van Gogh’s Flowers: The Music of Marc Satterwhite (with Bruce Heim, horn), have been released by the Centaur Records label. Dr. Oliphant is an inaugural member of the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Players, a chamber ensemble founded in 2010 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in Music Composition, presented annually by the University of Louisville. 

Dr. Oliphant began a Phased Retirement in the Fall of 2019 after serving in the role of Associate Dean of the University of Louisville School of Music from 1998-2019. She served as Chair of the Keyboard/Vocal Performance department beginning in 1985 and currently remains as Keyboard Area Coordinator as well as Special Assistant to the Dean for Special Projects. The university honored her with its Distinguished Teaching Award in 1994 and the titles of Associate Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus in 2019. Since 2003, she has been responsible for coordinating an exchange program between the University of Louisville and the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, Poland. A portion of her Spring 2004 sabbatical was spent in Poland researching Polish piano literature and piano pedagogy.

A student of Eugene Bossart and Charles Fisher, she was the first recipient of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance (Piano Chamber Music and Accompanying) from the University of Michigan. She received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Toronto where she studied with Anton Kuerti and Pierre Souvairan. She also holds the Master Teacher Certificate from MTNA. Honored in 2016 with the Teacher of the Year Award from the Kentucky Music Teachers Association, she received the Woman of Achievement Award from the University of Louisville Business and Professional Women in 1998 and the Distinguished Service Award form the Kentucky Music Teachers Association in 2003. She was selected in 2017 and 2019 as a Steinway and Sons Top Music Teacher.

A Past-President of the Greater Louisville Music Teachers Association, she has served as Second Vice-President and Workshop Chair of the Kentucky Music Teachers Association and as Senior Editor of the Kentucky Music Teacher journal from 2000-2010. From 1988-1995, she was a committee member of the National Conference on Piano Pedagogy. She was elected to serve on the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance Alumni Society Board of Governors from 2006-2011 and has been involved with the Music Mentorship Program at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music since 2014. She has also served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts Music Panel.

She remains active as a lecturer and presenter of master classes across the country. She has had articles on piano pedagogy published in Clavier, Keyboard Companion, National Conference on Piano Pedagogy Conference Proceeding Reports, American Suzuki Journal, Ensemble, and Kentucky Music Teacher. She was an invited performer/presenter for the for the 2007 MTNA/CMTA/RCM Collaborative Conference in Toronto, Canada; the 1995 and 1996 MTNA National Conferences; was a Seminar Leader for the 2001, 2003, and 2005 National Conferences on Keyboard Pedagogy; and has served as a Workshop Clinician for the Frederick Harris Music Company and the Roland Keyboard Technology Seminars. She was an invited performer for the 9th Suzuki Method International Conference in Matsumoto, Japan, the National Flute Association, the International Horn Symposium, the NE Horn Workshop, and many Kentucky Music Teachers Association and Kentucky Music Educators Association Conferences. In 1998, she conducted TECHLA, the University of Louisville’s electronic keyboard ensemble at the Music Teachers National Association Conference

Dr. Oliphant is active as an adjudicator and consultant to area music teachers. In addition to a number of research grants from the University of Louisville, Dr. Oliphant has received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council, the Southern Regional Educational Board, the Canadian Federation of University Women, the Arts Councils of Ontario and Kentucky, and the Kentucky Business and Professional Women’s Foundation.