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David Karp

Professor of Piano

David Karp, nationally known pianist, composer, educator, lecturer and author, holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Colorado with additional doctoral studies at Teachers College, Columbia University. He has performed, lectured and conducted workshops and seminars at many colleges and universities from Alaska to New Hampshire and as far away as Taiwan. 

A prolific composer, Karp’s compositions number over several hundred and are published by Alfred Publishing Co., Carl Fischer, Inc., FJH Music, Hal Leonard, Lee Roberts Music Publications and Shawnee Press. These compositions are performed in competitions, recitals and a variety of music venues all over the world, often listed as required repertoire for students. He has received numerous commissions from music teachers’ organizations and has been nominated by the Dallas Music Teachers Association for the Texas Music Teachers Composer of the Year award. Karp is an ASCAP composer.

In 1993, Dr. Karp was honored with the establishment of the David Karp Piano Festival, an annual event held at Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, in which students perform and are judged on Karp compositions.

Karp serves as Composition Chair for the National Guild of Piano Teachers Contest and is often a national and local adjudicator for composition competitions. He has served as a judge for several the National Cliburn Amateur Piano Competitions and is a sought-after master teacher and adjudicator throughout Texas.  In 2013 he judged competitions in Allen, McKinney, Dallas, Plano and Carrollton, and at the Concerto Competition at University of North Texas in Denton.

His composition for voice, flute, cello and piano, entitled Homesick, premiered at the National Holocaust Symposium in Dallas, Texas and performed at the Museum of Art in El Paso, Texas in 2010 and continues to be performed in many venues throughout the country.

The Voices of Change New Music Ensemble honored Karp at its 2006 Spring Gala Benefit for his lifetime participation in and promotion of new music composition, teaching and performance on May 7, 2006 at the Meadows Museum on the SMU campus.

Karp was featured in a lecture-recital of Leonard Bernstein’s Piano Music at the 2011 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago, Ill., and the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2012. 

Recent performances include two collaborations with Voices of Change; a concert in January 2013 featuring David Ludwig’s Trio and an Outreach Concert featuring the Ludwig Trio and Karp’s Homesick. There were also performances and a narration with the SMU Wind Ensemble and a solo and collaborative performance with the Larry Palmer Recital Series.

At Southern Methodist University, Karp co-chairs the piano division and teaches classes in performance, chamber music, improvisation, advanced class piano for piano majors, required piano classes for music majors and sight-reading classes for piano majors. He serves on the University Senate and is a member of the Nominating Committee for Honorary Doctorates.  He also serves on the Division of Music Curriculum Committee and is faculty advisor for upper-division and graduate piano degrees.  Dr. Karp recently chaired an Academic Program Evaluation Committee review of the chemistry program for the Provost’s Evaluation Committee and serves on the Meadows Promotion and Tenure Committee.

Karp is a participating member in the Texas Music Teachers Association, Dallas Music Teachers Association, Music Teachers National Association, ASCAP, Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Society, and American College of Musicians – National Guild of Piano Teachers.

During the summers Dr. and Mrs. Karp enjoy spending time with their family at their summer cottage in Maine.

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Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

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Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts



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