Pianist Derek Polischuk Performs at Gustavus Adolphus College Posted on February 26th, 2023 by

On March 5, pianist Derek Polischuk is coming to Gustavus Adolphus College for a lecture and a piano recital. The lecture will be at 2:00 p.m. and the recital will be at 6:00 p.m..

Polischuk is a founder and director of the “Celebrating the Spectrum” Piano Festival for advanced pianists on the Autism Spectrum. The festival is designed to give qualified advanced pre-College students on the Autism Spectrum a preview of a life in music.

“Everybody, whether a musician or not, can understand music and can be moved by music,” says Polischuk.  “So I think it is really important that everybody engages with music.”

On Sunday. March 5, Derek will give a lecture at 2:00 p.m. and perform at 6:00 p.m. in Bjōrling Recital Hall. The events are free admission.

Derek Kealii Polischuk is professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at the Michigan State University College of Music. Originally from San Diego, Polischuk studied with Krzysztof Brzuza before attending the University of Southern California, where he received the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Piano Performance with distinction under the tutelage of Daniel Pollack.

Polischuk’s 2013 solo piano recording “Terra Incognita” for the Blue Griffin label has received international critical acclaim. Colin Clark of Fanfare Magazine wrote, “The Schubert receives an excellent performance from Polischuk. Shadings are perfectly judged, and Schubert’s sense of timelessness is superbly judged, finding the pianist testing the boundaries of what constitutes too much without actually transgressing. The playful F-Minor offers pure joy.” Lawrence Consentino wrote, “Polischuk hits every chord with a sweet weight. Every now and then, a set of notes tumbles down like flecks of snow breezed from a crow’s nest, with no evident human touch. With a warm but not ingratiating touch, he lets the music resound as if it were coming from inside your mind… ‘Terra Incognita’ is a thought-provoking mix of sensual pleasure and deep reflection.” Of Polischuk’s recording “Latin American Music for 2 Pianos” with pianist Sarkis Baltaian, James Harrington of American Record Guide wrote, “I cannot imagine anyone listening to this and not being drawn in.”

An enthusiastic supporter of the education of musicians at every age, ability and background, Polischuk has been a clinician at conferences around the world, including the Music Teachers National Association, the National Group Piano and Pedagogy Conference, the Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the DOCTRID Conference in Ireland, the ABLE Assembly at Berklee College, and at universities and conservatories across China. Polischuk serves on the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy’s Committee for Teaching Students with Special Needs, the Advisory Board of the Orange County School of the Arts Pianist Program, the Board of Directors of the San Diego Musical Merit Foundation, and is President of the Michigan Music Teachers Association.


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