J. Bradley Baker, DMA
At home on the concert stage and in the classroom, pianist J. Bradley Baker enjoys a versatile career as a performing artist, vocal coach, and educator.
Baker's solo performances have been heard in concert halls throughout the United States and Canada, as well as on the Navona Records label. Recorded performances have been broadcast on public radio stations throughout the United States and United Kingdom. He has been heard live on Kansas Public Radio, and will be presented again in recital in the KPR studio in October 2018. Upcoming recording projects include a recording with violinist Betul Soykan on the Centaur label.
Baker serves as Executive Director and Music Director & Coach for Music On Site, Inc., an exciting new opera company based in Central Kansas (www.MusicOnSite.org). He has been coach and pianist for Lawrence Opera Theatre (KS) for two seasons, and has recently been named a pianist and coach for Ad Astra Festival for Summer 2018. He has also held the role of Head Coach for Wichita Grand Opera and faculty of WGO's Opera Academy of the Midwest. Other professional opera companies Baker has served on the staff of include Natchez Opera (MS), and Opera Birmingham (AL). Within academia, Baker was Pianist and Assistant Musical Director for the nationally-recognized University of Alabama Opera Theatre, and is currently pianist and vocal coach for Tabor College Opera. Artists with whom Baker has worked include Samuel Ramey, Michael Sylvester, Hugo Vera, and William Powers. He has been coached in collaborative masterclasses of Margo Garrett and Warren Jones.
Equally at home in instrumental collaboration, Baker has served as the Director of Chamber Music at the Hot Springs Music Festival, and is currently the orchestral keyboardist of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra (KS) and the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra (AL). Baker has also presented chamber performances at the North American Viola Institute, the International Double Reed Society Conference, and numerous universities throughout the United States. Baker has collaborated with cellist Jeffrey Lastrapes, violinist Betul Soykan, cellist Leonid Shukaev, and flutist Nicole Esposito, among countless others. Chamber music coaches include Cleveland Quartet founding violinist Peter Salaff; pianists Elizabeth DeMio, Virginia Weckstrom, Yi-Fang Huang, and Anita Pontremoli; and violists Jeffrey Irvine, Robert Vernon, and Heidi Castleman.
In addition to performing, Dr. Baker is a passionate arts educator. He serves as Assistant Professor of Music in Piano and Collaborative Piano, where he leads a vibrant studio of piano majors and non-majors. Dr. Baker also serves as the Collaborative Pianist & Vocal Coach for Tabor College Opera and Director of the Tabor College Music Preparatory School. At the Music Preparatory School, he leads a group of expert faculty in the music education of pre-college youth in Central Kansas. In his tenure as Director, the Music Preparatory School has tripled in enrollment and has expanded to offer lessons in piano, voice, guitar, woodwinds, brass, and strings. Previously, Baker has held teaching appointments at The University of Alabama, The University of Texas at Tyler, Stillman College, and Judson College, teaching courses including music theory, class piano, and accompanying, as well as serving as departmental collaborative pianist and vocal coach.
Baker regularly presents master classes and is in demand as an adjudicator of state and regional competitions. He is the Kansas State Collaborative Music Chair and UPDATE editor for the Kansas Music Teachers Association (KMTA), an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), a full member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and an active member and staff pianist for the National Opera Association (NOA).
Baker has earned degrees from North Dakota State University, Cleveland Institute of Music, and The University of Alabama. His primary teachers include Sandra Siler, Robert Groves, Daniel Shapiro, and Noel Engebretson, in addition to coachings with Robert Roux and Paul Schenly.