Degrees Offered

  • Bachelor of Music (BM) in performance
  • Bachelor of Music (BM) in performance and education (double concentration)
  • Master of Music (MM) in performance
  • Artist Diploma (AD) in performance
  • Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) in performance

Instruments Taught

  • Solo Piano
  • Organ


The Mason Gross piano program is designed to provide the highest level of training to young artists and to help them develop the skills needed for a variety of careers in music. Students work closely with members of our distinguished faculty to refine their craft and develop as musicians. The small size of our program helps to ensure a personalized education for each student as well as a communal atmosphere. The unique nature of Mason Gross enables students to have the advantages of a professionally-oriented conservatory program and still benefit from the many advantages of a large university.

The undergraduate curriculum centers on individual private lessons, a rigorous music theory and ear training sequence, as well as a variety of courses in music history. The student’s study is further supplemented by chamber music, pedagogy, accompanying classes and a large offering of liberal arts courses. Additionally, students benefit from the weekly meeting of a Music Assembly, where master classes, guest lectures and other seminars take place in a supportive and nurturing environment. This comprehensive education ensures that students who progress through the undergraduate program are well-rounded artists who will be able to succeed in a variety of capacities in the musical world.

The graduate program is designed for students who have fully committed to a life in music and are focused on honing their craft before embarking on a professional career. In addition to private study, students are able to choose from a variety of specialized courses in music history and music theory. DMA students are also trained to pursue the highest level of academic scholarship in addition to musical excellence. Graduate assistantships and merit scholarships are available to both MM and DMA students. There are also numerous opportunities to work on campus, including as a faculty at Extension Division and as a Staff Accompanist.


Head of Keyboard: Daniel Epstein
Coordinator of Keyboard: Robert Grohman
Piano: Karina Bruk (Undergraduate piano), Daniel Epstein, Robert Grohman (Undergraduate piano), Min Kwon, John Perry (Henry Rutgers Term Chair in Piano), and Vladimir Valjarevic
Collaborative Piano: Warren Jones and Barbara Gonzalez-Palmer
Secondary piano (for non-piano majors): Barbara Gonzalez-Palmer (Coordinator of All Non-Majors)
Chamber Music: Robert Grohman (Coordinator of Chamber Music)

Guest Artists

The school has hosted a long list of distinguished artists including Leif Ove Andsnes, Richard Goode, Jerome Lowenthal, among many others. Most recently, the piano program has organized residencies, which brought Pavlina Dokovska and Alan Feinberg to campus. During these residencies every student in the piano program received a private lesson from the artists.

Performance Opportunities

Students may perform in the many concerts and recitals organized by the piano program. In addition to regular studio classes, music assemblies and annual concerto competitions, pianists perform in such renowned settings as Steinway Hall, the New York Public Library and, in our critically acclaimed annual recital-gala, at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Additionally, students may participate in our “Rutgers in Viennaprogram, which, in conjunction with the CME Center for Musical Excellence’s “Vienna ConcertoFest,” provides students with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to appear as soloists with the Vienna International Orchestra. In recent years, the piano program has celebrated the anniversaries of Grieg, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Debussy with student performances at Carnegie Hall.

While there is a thriving musical life on campus, the regular access to the highest level of excellence in music-making is a necessary supplement to a comprehensive music education. Our proximity to New York City, Philadelphia and Princeton, affords students both professional opportunities and access to world-class musical events unlike anywhere else. These opportunities include the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Great Artists Series at Lincoln Center and the Keyboard Virtuoso Series at Carnegie Hall. Students are regularly offered a complimentary ticket Keyboard Virtuoso Series and are extended an invitation backstage to meet the artist.


The list of our distinguished alumni and current piano students include Vladimir Valjarevic (piano faculty at Mannes College of Music and Mason Gross), Alexander Beridze (Winner of Cincinnati World Piano Competition and Founder and Director of New York Piano Festival), Miao Hou (Winner of Virginia Warings and Iowa International Piano Competition), Diyi Tang (Artistic Director of INC Music Festival and prize winner of multiple competitions), Wael Farouk (piano faculty at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University),  Lachlan Glen (pianist and coach at Metropolitan Opera Lindenmann Young Artist Program and Delos recording artist), and Erikson Rojas (piano faculty at Eastern University, PA)

For more information about our program, contact our chair of keyboard program, Daniel Epstein at