Carol Leone


Professor of Piano, chair of Piano Studies




MSR Classics label, Change of Keys


An SMU Meadows music faculty member since 1996, Carol Leone is nationally recognized as an artist-teacher of piano. Dr. Leone has performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and has been a prizewinner in piano competitions such as the National Beethoven Sonata Competition, the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition and the International Masters Piano Competition. Her performances have been lauded as “revelatory” (, possessing “great pizzazz … luminous in tone and nimble finger work … ” (Dallas Morning News) and providing “every nuance with clarity and charm … ” (Peninsula Review).

Her professional training included study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she received a Certificate and was a student of the Polish pianist Mieczysław Horszowski. Leone was also a student of Guido Agosti in Rome and holds the prestigious Honors Diploma from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy.

Leone has recorded for MSR Classics, the Augusta Read Thomas Label, Gasparo Records and Crystal Records. Her solo CD Change of Keys was awarded two Silver Medals in the 2016 Global Music Awards. She performs regularly with the Grammy-nominated contemporary music ensemble Voices of Change as well as at universities and music conferences throughout the US.

Leone is also active in national and international keyboard festivals and conferences as a teacher, lecturer and adjudicator. She has been named Texas Music Teachers Association’s Collegiate Teacher of the Year and was one of 10 teachers selected nationwide to serve as Mobil Ambassador to the 9th Van Cliburn Competition. She has served on the piano faculty of numerous summer programs, including the Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna, the Cliburn Piano Institute, the International Fine Arts Institute in Moscow, the International Piano Master Class in Bojano, Italy and the Tong-Il Han International Music Festival in South Korea. Her students have been top prizewinners in international competitions such as the Virginia Waring, the Bradshaw and Buono, the Chopin Foundation Scholarship Program and the Center for Musical Excellence International Young Artist Awards.

Leone has presented at the Music Teachers National Association Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, and the European Piano Teachers Association Conference (Czech Republic), among others. Her articles on performance topics have appeared in American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, Piano Today, Keyboard Companion, The Texas Music Teacher, and the Piano Professional (UK).Considered the world’s leading artist-teacher on ergonomic piano keyboards to promote a pianist’s wellness, she has been invited to write on the topic by several of the world’s leading piano journals.

Dr. Leone is chair of the Department of Piano Studies at SMU.


M.M. and D.M.A., University of North Texas College of Music
Certificate, Curtis Institute of Music
Honors Diploma, Accademia Chigiana, Italy
B.M., California State University-Fullerton

Recent Work


Global Music Awards, Silver medals in Classical Recording and Solo Instrumental Recording categories, 2016

Collegiate Teacher of the Year, Texas Music Teachers Association, 2006

First Prize, National Beethoven Sonata Competition, 1989


Leone, Carol. “Size is Key: Ergonomically Scaled Piano Keyboards. ” The Piano Magazine Clavier Companion September – October 2015, Vol. 7, No. 5): 1-21. Print.

“Interpreting the Rhythmic Structures of Paul Creston,” D.M.A. dissertation, 1991, University of North Texas College of Music

Professional Experience

Performing artist, award-winning teacher, master classes and festivals throughout the U.S., Asia and in Eastern and Western Europe

Course list

Private StudiesPIAN 3200, 6200, ADPR 7300
Advanced Piano RepertoireMREP 6114
Departmental Performance ClassPERB 1001, 6001
Carol Leone in red shirt