Thomas Azar is a native Texas pianist, composer and teacher. He holds a BA in piano performance and another in theory/composition from the University of Texas, El Paso, principal teacher Dena Kay Jones, a MM from the University of Arizona, Tucson with Tannis Gibson, and a post-Graduate Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music with Philip Kawin, both in piano performance. He studied at the Aspen Music Festival and Academy for three summers with John Nauman, the late Herbert Stessin, and Rita Sloan, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, and Vladimir Feltsman’s Piano Summer in upstate NY. He studied chamber music extensively with his duo partner and cellist, Jeanette Stenson, their principal coaches were Alan Stepansky (principal cellist of the NY Philharmonic) and Wolfram Koessel (cellist of the American String Quartet). Thomas won first prize in the El Paso Symphony Guild’s Young Artist competition, performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor with orchestra. He also won the President’s Competition while at the U of A, which resulted in several performances of Liszt’s Totentanz on tour in Mexico and Arizona. While studying in NYC he performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the school’s orchestra.
He has collaborated with his brother in creating theater rock music, and is currently creating an original musical with two other local artists. Thomas has served and continues to serve as organist at several churches in Arizona and Texas. He was on the teaching faculty at Bergen Academy of Music in New Jersey, and Orpheus Academy here in Austin. He now maintains a full private studio of 35 pupils- and works to incorporate the rigorous discipline of piano and music into each of their lives by uniquely tailoring the lessons to suit their individual needs. He is also a member of Austin-based PrismATX, which premieres original compositions in the central Texas region.