Donald Isler is a classical pianist, piano teacher, and recording artist who is active in Westchester County, just outside New York City. In addition to working with his private students he teaches at the Hackley School Music Institute, and serves on the faculty of the Summit Music Festival in Purchase, New York.
His CD's have appeared numerous times on the prestigious WQXR radio program "Reflections From the Keyboard," as well as on the WWFM radio program "The Piano Matters." In 2017 he will appear at least twice on another WWFM program, "Between the Keys," being interviewed about his late teacher, Bruce Hungerford, and comparing various CD's of other artists performing the same work. He has given a presentation on the music of Artur Schnabel at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival at Mannes College, written the Preface for a new edition of the Dance Suite of Schnabel, and been interviewed on the blog, New York Pianist.
Also, he is the founder of KASP Records, which has produced thirteen CD's. They include his performances of music by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms, plus little known but important works of Ludwig Spohr (1784-1859) and Artur Schnabel (1882-1951). Among these are the first recordings of Spohr's Piano Sonata and Schnabel's Dance Suite, as well as a performance of Schnabel's Seven Pieces of 1947. Another CD is his recording of a major piano work, 37 Canons, Inventions and Fugues by the American composer, Louis Pelosi.You can read about these recordings at www.kasprecords.com.
Some of Isler's performances have been captured on video, and may be viewed on YouTube:
- Donald Isler plays Godowski: Alt Wien (Old Vienna). 1:40
- Donald Isler plays Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2 In B-Flat Minor. 7:15
- Donald Isler plays Saint-Saens: Etude (In The Form of a Waltz). 7:09
He has served on the juries of various competitions, such as at the Pre-College Concerto Competition at the prestigious Juilliard School, and on the Bruce Hungerford Memorial Award panel at the Young Concert Artists auditions.
He writes concert reviews.
And he's had years and years of education, both before and after receiving the Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, majoring in piano. For example, he attended pedagogy courses at the Diller-Quaile School in New York, as well as the summer seminar in piano technique at the Taubman Institute in Massachusetts.
His teachers were three wonderful ensemble artists, Sina Berlinski, Artur Balsam and Eleanor Hancock, and five pianists with major solo and recording careers: Bruce Hungerford, Constance Keene, Robert Goldsand, Lilian Kallir, and Zenon Fishbein.
What does one do with all these different influences? One takes the best one learned from each one!