Apply Now MSA Visit


Piano Faculty

Joaquín Achúcarro
An internationally acclaimed pianist and recording artist, Professor Achúcarro has performed in 59 countries with 202 orchestras and over 330 of the world’s greatest conductors. He was honored by UNESCO in 2000 for his “extraordinary artistic achievement.”; 214-768-3902

Alessio Bax
Winner of the 2000 Leeds International and 1997 Hamamatsu International Piano Competitions, Mr. Bax is an international performing and recording artist. He received an Artist Certificate from SMU in 1996.; 214-768-4609

David Karp
A nationally known pianist, composer, educator, lecturer, and author, Dr. Karp is the Director of the National Piano Teachers Institute and a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music.; 214-768-3188

Carol Leone, Chair of Piano
Chair of Piano and a prizewinner in the National Beethoven Sonata and Missouri Southern International Competitions, Dr. Leone is a graduate of the Curtis Institute, and was the 2005 TMTA Collegiate Teacher of the Year.; 214-768-3722

Alfred Mouledous
A prominent member of the artist piano faculty since 1955, Professor Mouledous is a former student of Walter Geiseking, Alfred Cortot, and Cecile Genhart and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. 214-768-3627

Samuel Holland, Chair of Piano Pedagogy
Dr. Holland is a former student of John Perry and Abbey Simon and the co-author of over 75 critically acclaimed method and repertoire collections.; 214-768-2544

Catharine Lysinger
A Senior Lecturer in Piano Pedagogy and Artistic Director of the Piano Preparatory Department, Dr. Lysinger was the 1995 national winner of the MTNA Young Artist Competition.; 214-768-1682

The Meadows Advantage

As one of a select group of 40 talented undergraduate and graduate pianists from around the world you will experience a vibrant, stimulating atmosphere in which to develop your artistic skills. Meadows has a tradition of excellence in piano performance and has been a leader in the field of piano pedagogy from its earliest years.

Our renowned international faculty is committed to preparing you for a professional career in performance, pedagogy, accompanying, chamber music, music education, composition, or music therapy. Our students consistently excel as winners in international and national competitions and are regularly accepted into the world’s finest graduate institutions and summer music festivals. Because of our strong faculty, a rigorous musical education, plentiful performance opportunities, and a state-of-the-art facility, you will have abundant opportunities and the personal attention needed to develop your gifts. A generous endowment for the purchase and maintenance of pianos ensures that our piano majors practice on the finest grand pianos. For the student pianist with smaller hand spans, SMU is one of only a handful of universities in the nation that offers the opportunity to study, perform and teach on Steinway pianos fitted with narrower keyboards. The piano department ensures that these alternatively sized keyboards conform to the highest international standards through the adoption of and adherence to the DS Standard®.

At SMU, you will encounter a rich musical experience on a beautiful campus within close proximity to the downtown Dallas Arts District. As a result, you will not only have access to all the advantages of being a student in the Division of Music at this prominent university, but will be within easy reach of more than 500 cultural events a year. The world class Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Opera, Dallas Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music International, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and other arts organizations all interact with SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts to create a vital cultural life for you. Our 300 music students form a close-knit community for you to engage with and learn from while enjoying university life.

Undergraduate Degrees for Pianists

Graduate Degrees for Pianists

The Master of Music in Performance degree prepares students to pursue a career in performance or to undertake further studies at the doctoral level. The MM in Piano Performance and Pedagogy prepares students to teach and perform or to undertake further studies at the doctoral level, positioning them to become college studio professors. The performance degree is completed in four semesters of study with a minimum of 30 credits required for graduation (36 credits required for Pedagogy). The Performer Diploma and Artist Diploma are two-year programs (20 credits) for musicians in their final stages of preparation for professional performance careers.

Complete the graduate application online.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

If undergraduate need-based financial aid is desired, the FAFSA and CSS Profile must be completed. All applicants are considered for academic and music scholarships. We will do our best to provide a financial aid package that makes an education in the Meadows School of the Arts affordable.

Graduate financial assistance is available through merit scholarships, graduate assistantships, and work-study positions. The FAFSA is required for work-study and graduate assistantships.

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts



Featured Alumni

About the Division of Music

Undergraduate Studies

Graduate Studies

Classes (See Catalog)


Classical Guitar

Music Education

Music Therapy




SMU Institute for Young Pianists

Meadows Young Artist Program


Theory and Composition




Faculty and Staff

Faculty Travel Request Form

Visiting Artist Request Form

Student Resources

Student Internships & Collaborations

Meadows Artist Bridge

Dallas Resources

Peak Fellowship Ensemble-in-Residence

SMU Meadows Licensed Music Rights

Workshops and Special Programs

Opportunities for Non-Music Majors