Steinway Piano Gallery

Nashville International Piano Competition
Competition Committee

Steinway Artist Marilyn Shields-Wiltsie is the founding President of The Steinway Society of Nashville. Ms. Shields-Wiltsie’s concert tours have included solo recitals or concerto performances in Germany, Russia, Armenia, France, Switzerland, and Mexico, as well as in the United States. In 1989, she received the honorary title, “Ambassador of Armenian Music to the U.S.,” in ceremonies at the Khatchaturian Museum in Yerevan as a result of earthquake relief concerts she presented there. In 1990, she was invited by the Tchaikovsky Competition Committee to Moscow as its guest for the competition. As part of the 2000 Bayreuth Festival, she presented a solo recital on Wagner’s 1876 American Steinway at Villa Wahnfried, Richard Wagner’s home and now the Richard Wagner Museum, in Bayreuth, Germany. Ms. Shields-Wiltsie holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Peabody College, a School of Vanderbilt University, with post-graduate study with Leon Fleisher. She served in the past as a Senior Artist-Teacher of Piano at the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University.


Steve Hyman, M.D., an anesthesiologist at Vanderbilt and Skyline Hospitals, has studied piano from the age of five, first with Valeria Howard and Catherine Hiatt in Converse, Ind., and then at Ball State University with Charles Kuhn, at Indiana Wesleyan University with Carolyn Pocock Kindley, at the Blair School of Music with Marilyn Shields-Wiltsie and at Belmont University with Robert Marler. Recently, he received a Master of Music in Piano Performance degree from Belmont University. He also has been awarded the Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and the Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana University. He did his residency in anesthesiology at Vanderbilt.

Dr. Hyman was the first place winner in the annual concerto competition with the Marion, Ind., Philharmonic in 1972, and has performed many recitals at the Blair School of Music. He has played on numerous occasions for the Steinway Society; for the “Symposium 2000” Albert Schweitzer tribute; the Concourse des Grands Amateurs de Piano in Paris, France; and in the Van Cliburn Amateur’s Competition.


Jerome Reed, D.M.A., Patricia and Rodes Hart Professor of Piano, is Professor of Music and Music Division Chair, Governor’s School for the Arts at Lipscomb University. Jerry performs throughout the U.S. and the world. He has given recitals in England, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Japan, Taiwan, Uruguay and at the Orvieto Musica festival in Italy.

Dr. Reed has championed the music of 20th and 21st century American composers from Charles Ives to contemporary composers, such as Elizabeth Austin and N. Lincoln Hanks. He has recorded for Capstone Records and recently released a recording of North American sonatas for flute and piano with Dr. Deanna Little.

Dr. Reed’s students have attended some of the most prestigious graduate schools in the country and are now chairs of divisions in the music departments at schools, such as Vanderbilt and Pepperdine University. He has taught for 25 years at the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts and has served as Chair of the Music Division for the past eight years.

Dr. Reed is a Past President of both the Tennessee Music Teachers Association and the Southern Division of Music Teachers National Association. He is also the former music critic for The Tennessean. He is the recipient of the Avalon Award, the highest honor given by Lipscomb University in the arts.

Dr. Reed holds the Doctor of Music Arts degree in piano performance from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he was a student of Béla Böszörményi-Nagy.


Arunesh Nadgir Praised for his passionate, sensitive, and thoughtful musical style, pianist Arunesh Nadgir has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. He has performed in venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre, and Jordan Hall, and has participated in several international music festivals including the Millennium International Piano Festival, The Moulin d’Ande Festival, and the Kneisel Hall Summer Music Festival. He has been heard on Nashville Public Radio and WNYC in live radio broadcasts.

An accomplished teacher, Nadgir is the Coordinator of Keyboard Studies and Associate Professor of Piano at Middle Tennessee State University. He also maintains a private piano studio, is on the board of the Nashville International Piano Competition, and is on the faculty at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He has previously held teaching positions at New England Conservatory’s Preparatory and Continuing Education Departments, the Eastman School of Music, and the Point CounterPoint Music Camp. His students have been accepted to music festivals and college music programs across the country and have won prizes at pre-college and college level music competitions including the Beethoven Club of Memphis Young Artist Competition, the University of Rochester Concerto Competition, and the Tennessee Music Teachers Association Solo Piano Competition.

Nadgir holds degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music, The Juilliard School, and the Eastman School of Music where he studied under Wha Kyung Byun, Robert McDonald, and Natalya Antonova, respectively. He has performed in master classes conducted by many world-renowned musicians including Julian Martin, Joseph Kalichstein, Roger Tapping, Pamela Frank, and Daniel Pollack.


Heather Connor Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Steinway Artist Dr. Heather Conner is the Chancellor’s Chair of Pre-College Piano at the Blair School of Music. Prior to this appointment, she was Professor of Piano at The University of Utah School of Music where she served on the faculty for fourteen years.

As a recitalist, she has performed in many prestigious venues in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New Haven, Moscow, Salzburg, Niagara-on-the-Lake (Canada), Greenville (SC and NC), Stillwater and Oklahoma City, (OK), Tuscaloosa, (AL), Montgomery (AL), Murfreesboro (TN) and Salt Lake City. In 2010, she performed a solo recital at the Zwischen den Jahren festival in Antweiler, Germany. In 2006, she appeared as recitalist and artist teacher at several venues in Seoul, South Korea. Heather has won Grand Prizes at several international and national competitions including the First Hilton Head Island International Piano Competition and the Kingsville International Young Performers Competition, and has performed on numerous occasions as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. She has also appeared as soloist with the Lancaster (PA), Lansdowne (PA), Corpus Christi (TX), Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra, Haddonfield Symphony (NJ), Altoona Symphony (PA), Hilton Head Island Symphony Orchestra (SC), Midland-Odessa Symphony (TX), Warminster Symphony (PA), Yale Philharmonia (CT), Norwalk Symphony (CT), New American Symphony (UT) and the Salt Lake Symphony (UT).

Heather has recorded commercially for the Naxos, Centaur and Acis Productions labels and has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, WQED in Pittsburgh, WFLN in Philadelphia, and KCSC in Oklahoma City. Her performances can also be heard on the web at An avid chamber musician, Heather has appeared in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and at the Glenn Gould Studios in Toronto. She holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, and Manhattan School of Music.


Kristian Klefstad is Associate Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Piano Pedagogy at Belmont University, where he teaches piano, piano pedagogy, piano literature and class piano, and also directs the Belmont Piano Invitational summer keyboard program.

An active solo and collaborative recitalist, clinician, lecturer, and adjudicator in the United States, Dr. Klefstad enjoys presenting music by living composers; he has also appeared as a concerto soloist with the Jefferson City Symphony and the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

Dr. Klefstad is actively involved in regional, state, and national organizations devoted to teaching music. He has served as President, Vice-President, and Programs Chair of the Nashville Area Music Teachers Association, and is currently Immediate Past-President of the College Music Society’s Southern Chapter, for which he also has served on the Executive Board eight years.

He earned degrees in music from Millikin University (B.M.), the University of Missouri-Kansas City (M.M.) and The University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A.). Before his appointment at Belmont University, Dr. Klefstad taught at Baylor University and served as the Music Director of the Ballet Austin Academy.


Brandon Herrenbruck is the President and one of the owners of the Steinway Piano Gallery of Nashville, Tennessee and Alabama Piano Gallery in Birmingham, AL. After being an educator for 7 years, he joined the family business in June 2007. Mr. Herrenbruck grew up in Evansville, Indiana and received the Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education in Theatre from Indiana University in Bloomington. Upon graduation, he taught high school in Greenville, South Carolina, until he and his wife relocated to Nashville in 2000. At Franklin Road Academy, he taught middle and upper school technology classes, managed all theatre events, and was on the IT staff for five years. He holds a Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision.


Patricia Shelton McPherson is a classically-trained pianist who studied with Amelie Throne in Nashville and with Dr. Karol Liszniewski at the College Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a Certificate in Piano from the College-Conservatory and a B.S. degree in Music Education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.

Mrs. McPherson has been working as a professional fund-raising consultant for the past 27 years and has been owner of the consulting firm for 17 years. Among the services that the firm provides for nonprofit organizations are the following: conducting Feasibility and Assessment Studies, implementing and ensuring the success of Capital Campaigns, managing Annual Giving Programs, implementing Endowment and Planned Giving Campaigns, assisting with Board development and organizing special events.

Prior to her professional career as a Development Consultant, Mrs. McPherson served as President of the Nashville Symphony Guild, President of Fannie Battle Day Home, President of Community Concerts Association, and President of the Nashville Children’s Theatre. She served on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony Association, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera Guild and the March of Dimes. Her volunteer fund raising experience included Christmas Carol Chairman for Fannie Battle Day Home, Chair of the Mother’s Walk for the March of Dimes, Chairman of the Italian Street Fair and Chair of Ticket Sales for Community Concerts.


Advisory Committee Members

David Northington, D.M.A.
Professor of Piano
UT Knoxville (retired)


Chih-Long Hu, D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Music
UT Knoxville


Elaine Harriss, Ph.D.
Department Chair – Applied Piano
UT Martin



For More Info Contact: Dr. Jerome Reed at

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