Piano Academy - Level 1
CHETAN TIERRA, a Yamaha Artist, pianist, and composer has delighted audiences across the globe in recital, as soloist with orchestra, and on radio and TV. He has performed on some of the world’s most renowned concert stages after making strong and winning appearances in the most prestigious international piano competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth, Van Cliburn, Jose Iturbi, Hilton Head, New Orleans, Unisa, and Seoul. The NY Concert Review praised his 2006 Carnegie Hall debut as “magnificent”, and his charismatic persona and emotional style have led to many praises from audiences and critics alike. “Tierra held piano lovers on the edge of their seats.” says Chris Waddington from the Times-Picaynne in New Orleans. “Pianist Chetan Tierra, Magic and Mastery!” says Lyn Bronson from the Peninsula Reviews.
Mr. Tierra is artist-in-residence of the San Diego Piano Academy which he co-founded with his wife Melissa Tierra. His students regularly win local, national and international competitions and go on to study at top conservatories. Recently, for 2 years running his students have won first and second prize in the San Diego Concerto Competition. His attention to detail, nuance, deep artistic expression and systematic approach to building a world class technique has made him one of the most in demand teachers in San Diego.
Along with being a frequent lecturer and mentor to upcoming professionals, Mr. Tierra has also been able to help close to 1,000 students all over the world work towards their musical goals through his online courses. The school’s growing library of video courses, presented by Chetan and his wife, are designed to help musicians of all levels build a flawless foundation, grow their technique and hone their musicianship.
As a composer, Chetan’s works are garnering international attention for their pure, minimal, yet sophisticated style. His music has been described as “emotionally charged, hypnotic and meditative.” Most recently he completed his enchanting and modern piano cycle called ‘Moonshadows.’ His compositions reflect his deep love of classical music but are undeniably influenced by his time spent as a songwriter for several popular music groups.
Chetan began playing the piano immediately after birth as his father would tie him to his lap, point to the piano keys, and Chetan would play. His father was his first teacher and worked with him daily until he was 8 when he began more traditional lessons. He gives much of his credit to his former teachers Antonio Pompa-Baldi at the Cleveland Institute of Music and his high school teacher Hans Boepple from the Santa Clara University. He’s also worked with some of the world’s best pianists at the Juilliard school, Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin Music Festival, Prague Piano Festival, Chopin Summer Academy in Warsaw, and Brevard Music Festivals, and he has also studied with such talents as Peter Serkin, Richard Goode, Veda Kaplinsky, Bruce Murray, Sergei Babayan, Logan Skelton, John Perry, Pawel Skrypek, Alvin Chow, Ian Hobson, Paul Schenly, and Daniel Shapiro.
He currently resides in San Diego, California and lives with his wife, Melissa Tierra, who is also an accomplished pianist and teacher. They met while they were both studying with Antonio Pompa-Baldi in Cleveland, OH.
MELISSA EVANS TIERRA is an American concert pianist and teacher known for her avant garde approach to music and performance. She frequently records and performs works written by living composers and in many cases introduces audiences to world premiers of new music. Currently, her concert concepts weave together other multimedia productions with the music, creating a unique and more connective experience for her audience. Known as the pianist who is 'a force of nature,' she commands a large presence for her small stature, dazzling audiences with her virtuosity and musicality while cleverly conjuring those listening to think outside the box.
She received her BM degree from Baylor University, studying with James Williams and her MM degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Cliburn winning pianist, Antonio Pompa-Baldi. She also received a Postgraduate Diploma from the Koninklijk Vlaams Conservatorium in Antwerp, Belgium, studying with Levente Kende. Mrs. Tierra has performed recitals in Austria, Italy, Belgium, and Israel and has been highly praised for her interpretation of modern music. She has studied with many other notable teachers including Jerome Rose, Kum Sing Lee, Alon Goldstein and honed her craft of modern music with composers, Lowell Liebermann, Jo Verdis, Jacob Adams, and Chetan Tierra focusing on their works specifically. Melissa has also won several notable performance awards and been featured on radio and television. In March of 2021, she was featured in a full page interview with the San Diego Union Tribune for her latest concept concert, 'Compassion for a Modern World'.
Melissa is currently co-founder and Academy Chair for the San Diego Piano Academy which not only teaches students in the San Diego area but also worldwide through several online course programs. She resides in San Diego, CA with her husband, Chetan Tierra who is also a concert pianist and composer. She also enjoys painting contemporary art in her spare time.