Award-winning Canadian pianist Dr. Elissa Miller-Kay performs regularly in North America and Southeast Asia, where she currently resides. As a concerto soloist, she has appeared with the Mississauga Symphony, the Oakville Symphony, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, the York Symphony, and the Greater Toronto Philharmonic. Recital engagements include performances at Steinway Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Bohemian National Hall in New York City; the Beethoven Club in Memphis; Markham Theater in Markham, Ontario; and the Goethe Institute in Bangkok, Thailand. In 2009, Elissa was the first prize winner of the International Beethoven Piano Sonata Competition in Memphis, TN. In 2006, she won the Ben Steinberg Musical Legacy Award, a scholarship given annually to an outstanding young Canadian Musician.
In addition to performance, Elissa is a passionate educator. She is currently on faculty at the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music in Bangkok, Thailand where she teaches Piano Performance and Musicology. Elissa has previously taught at the New School for Music Study in Kingston, New Jersey and at New York University, where she was an adjunct instructor of piano and keyboard harmony.
Elissa holds a PhD in Piano Studies from New York University, as well as degrees in piano performance from Oberlin College (Bachelor of Music) and Mannes College (Master of Music), and a Licentiate Diploma with First Class Honors from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada. Her primary research interests are Beethoven reception, nineteenth-century piano performance practices, and piano pedagogy. She recently published a beginner piano method book, Piano, So Fun! with Surachoke Satraphai. As a public service, Elissa and Surachoke have decided to make this book freely available online. See pianosofun.com for more information.
Principal teachers include Peter Takács, Victor Rosenbaum, and Martin Canin. Elissa has participated in master classes taught by Angela Cheng, Claude Frank, Richard Goode, Anton Kuerti, Andre LaPlante, Robert MacDonald, John Perry, Russell Sherman, and Jeffrey Swann, among others. Her performance of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, Op. 110 in a master class with Seymour Bernstein was featured in the documentary Seymour: An Introduction, directed by Ethan Hawke.
In addition to music, Elissa has a passion for science and mathematics. Prior to attending Oberlin, she studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto. She was a National Biology Scholar in the University of Toronto National Biology Competition in 1999. She won a Regent’s In-Course Scholarship, was a Dean’s List Scholar, and was the recipient of the Gollop Memorial Scholarship in Chemistry.