Elizabeth Avery serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies. Dr. Avery joined the FSU College of Music faculty in 2023, after twelve years on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma, where she served as Associate Director/Coordinator of Graduate Studies and held the Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professorship. She has also taught at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, Austin Peay State University, Castleton State University, and the Crane School of Music. She earned the DMA in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Eastman School of Music, MM in Collaborative Piano from the University of Michigan, and BME from the Crane School of Music. She also completed the Special Studies program at the Prague Conservatory, performing Czech solo and chamber music while honing her expertise in Czech lyric diction.
Recognized for her remarkable blend of “artistic sensitivity and masterful virtuosity,” Avery is an accomplished collaborative pianist whose musical journey spans continents and genres. Performing widely across the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and Europe, she engages audiences through collaborative performances, lecture-recitals, and masterclasses. Her vocal coaching work encompasses repertoire from Monteverdi to modern composers, leading to collaborations with such renowned conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Giancarlo Guerrero, and John Mauceri. Her mastery of lyric diction across multiple languages and command of a wide-ranging song repertoire is evident not only in her vocal coachings, diction classes, and repertoire courses, but also in frequent invited guest lectures and master classes.
As an artist and scholar Avery’s interests are varied, but always gravitate to new music. She is committed to commissioning and premiering new works for voice and piano, having brought new performances to such prestigious venues as Weill Recital Hall and Steinway Hall in New York City. She enjoys her role as a catalyst for new music, advocating for composers and bringing to life new works that focus on climate and social issues. Among her ongoing commission undertakings is the collaborative project East Wing Songs, with mezzo soprano Ann Marie Wilcox Daehn; this series of song volumes, exclusively composed by women composers, imports the listener into the authentic lived narratives of the First Ladies of the United States. No One Saves the Earth from Us but Us, a 30-minute song cycle composed by Lisa Neher that premiered in 2021, is an urgent call to action interweaving texts of environmental poets Craig Santos Perez and Felicia Zamora. This evocative and unique composition is sung by Quinn Patrick Ankrum via fixed media and executed solely by the pianist. A live, collaborative version of the cycle will premiere in spring 2024 on the Cincinnati Song Initiative’s 2023-2024 concert series. Avery has also paired with Ankrum to establish Living Song Project, a groundbreaking initiative dedicated to enhancing access to living composers and their compositions through an expansive searchable database.
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