Keenan Reesor is a pianist and musicologist with a growing reputation for his ability to connect with audiences in both capacities. Of his pre-concert lecture and subsequent performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra in 2013, the South Coast Today reported that he displayed “depth and erudition, . . . and the down-to-earth humility and warmth that later infused his brilliant technical mastery of the piano with soul force and heart.”
Reesor has performed across the United States and in England, Austria, Hungary, and Russia. In addition to the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, he has appeared recently with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the Coachella Valley Symphony, the Downey Symphony Orchestra, and the Fort Collins Symphony. He is a laureate of the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, has been nominated for the American Pianists Association Classical Fellow Award, and has been heard on KUSC-FM Los Angeles, one of the nation’s leading classical radio stations. An enthusiastic chamber musician, he has collaborated with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, among many other distinguished musicians. In February, he performed Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Rockbridge Symphony.
As a scholar, Reesor specializes in the music and reception of Sergei Rachmaninoff, with broader interests in reception history, canonicity, and Russian music and musicians of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His dissertation, “Rachmaninoff in Music Lexicons, 1900–2013,” offers a conceptual introduction to the composer’s international critical reception, and he is in the process of developing his continuing research on this subject into a full monograph. Reesor’s research has taken him to archives at the Library of Congress, the British Library, the Royal Academy of Music, the Glinka State Museum of Musical Culture in Moscow, the Moscow Conservatory, and the St. Petersburg Philharmonia. He presents regularly at national and international conferences on Russian music and culture, including papers last fall at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Goldsmiths College in London.
Reesor is an assistant professor of music teaching piano and music history at Southern Virginia University, an LDS-aligned liberal-arts institution located in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. He taught courses previously at the University of Southern California, San Diego State University, and Utah State University. At USC he also served as a studio assistant in the Department of Keyboard Studies from 2010 to 2016, regularly offering private lessons to piano majors at all degree levels. He holds a PhD in musicology and a master’s in piano from USC (dissertation advising from Bryan Simms, piano studies with Norman Krieger), and a bachelor’s in piano from Utah State (piano studies with Gary Amano). Reesor lives in Buena Vista, Virginia, with his wife, Nonie, and their four little boys.
Those who wish to obtain a more complete summary of Dr. Reesor’s professional activities can view and download his current curriculum vitae here.
This site’s cover photo, which shows Reesor at the intersection of Bersenevskii Pereulok and Bolotnaia Naberezhnaia in Moscow, was taken by Li Mengeden in November 2015.