Tarleton State University
Professor of Piano
Leslie Spotz, as Professor of Piano at Tarleton State University, received the 2017 Texas Music Teachers Association “Outstanding Collegiate Teaching Achievement” Award. As winner of the 2017 TSU College of Liberal and Fine Arts Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award, Spotz enjoys an international performing career that spans four continents and four decades, and has included solo performances in Moscow at Tchaikovsky Hall of Moscow University, South Bank Center of London, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the famed Academy of Music in Philadelphia, her highly acclaimed tours of Germany, concerts in Italy at the Lorenzo de’Medici Institute, solo recitals in Taiwan and Brazil, and her performance at the inaugural opening of Philadelphia’s magnificent performance venue, the Kimmel Center. Recent seasons have included solo recitals throughout Texas, Rio de Janeiro and Il Encontro Internacional de Pianistas de Brazil and performances at the Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women. In 2015 she performed solo recitals in New York City’s Tenri Cultural Institute, Indiana Wesleyan University, Dallas Public Library, and chamber music concerts in Dallas, TX, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. She returned to New York and the Tenri Cultural Institute with colleague, Heather Hawk, soprano, for the Leschetizky Association Annual Living Composers Concert May, 2016. She returned to Italy in June 2013 for performances at the Conservatorio di Milano and the Ambrosianeum Foundation. Also, in June 2013 she performed in Buenes Aires, Argentina with soprano Marika Kyriakos and returned to London in May 2011. February 2010 included an all-Chopin Bicentennial recital in New York City. December 2010 she returned to Germany in a solo recital at the Heilig–Kreuz–Kirche in Berlin. Hailed by the prestigious Süddeutsche Zeitung of Munich, Spotz’ Beethoven was described thus: “Stripped of veneer, revealing all the edges and corners, Spotz earnestly confronted Beethoven’s tempi and dynamic indications, leaving mediocrity and shallow beauty behind and bringing out truth. In all, a concert of the highest critical standard, further proof of the high carat quality of this series.” Spotz has performed extensively throughout the U.S. from coast to coast. Concert highlights include her 2007 performance at Tarleton as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony, performances of twenty Beethoven Sonatas at Rutgers University and her recitals for the Bach Festival of Philadelphia.
Receiving a full scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music, Spotz studied for five years with the legendary, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, part of the heritage that is only three musicians-students-teachers away from Beethoven. She completed her doctorate at Rutgers University in 2002. Her appearances as soloist include the Mozart Society of Philadelphia, South Jersey Symphony, Curtis Symphony, Kinhaven Symphony in Vermont, the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra in North Carolina, the Old York Road Symphony in Abington, PA, and the Clear Lake Symphony in Texas. March 2013 she was soloist with the University of Texas – San Antonio Symphony.
Spotz has become an advocate for women musicians through her performances, collaborating with flutist Adeline Tomasone on the critically acclaimed CD Fantasias, and women composers are featured on her solo CD, issued by Leonore Records in 1999. Published recordings also include the three sets of 5 CDs each of solo piano literature, representing the repertoire for 13 graded levels, 2019-2021, 2016-2018 and 2010-2012 for the International Piano Performance Examination Committee (IPPEC) based in Taiwan and Southeast Asia. She has collaborated with violinists: Maria Bachmann, Joseph Genualdi, and Mark Steinberg; flutist Laurel Zucker; David Wetherill, former co-principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Frank Kaderabek, former principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Joseph Depasquale, who was longtime principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Among the notable international singers for whom Spotz has accompanied are sopranos Heather Hawk, Amanda Squitieri, Julianne Baird, Gwendolyn Bradley, Judith Lovat and Donna Connolly, and tenors Martin Dillon and Robert Guarino. According to the The Philadelphia Inquirer, "Miss Spotz commands the resonant sound and the elegant gesture… playing of great color, boldness, and suavity… most engaging…"