David Keep is a prize-winning pianist, theorist, and pedagogue.
As a pianist, Keep has performed throughout the United States. An active recitalist, concerto soloist, and chamber musician, he has won prizes in the Wisconsin MTNA Young Artists Competition, the Miroslav Pansky Memorial Concerto Competition, the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, and Wisconsin Public Radio’s Neale-Silva Young Artists’ Competition. Performance highlights include the complete Chopin op. 10 Etudes, a lecture recital focusing on musical narrative and Russian fairy tales in Prokofiev’s music, a concerto debut with the Green Bay Civic Symphony Orchestra, and Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time. Current projects include a performance cycle of the complete solo piano works of Brahms. He studied piano with Derison Duarte, Anthony Padilla, Luba Edlina-Dubinsky, and Vincent Lenti.
As a theorist, Keep has devoted much of his research toward understanding how meaning is perceived in music. Keep’s interests are centered on the music of Brahms, music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and the connections between analysis and performance. He has presented his research at the annual meetings of the Society for Music Theory, the Music Theory Society of New York State, and the Texas Society for Music Theory, where he won the Colvin Award for the best paper given by a graduate student. Invited lectures have been given on the music of Mahler for the Minnesota Orchestra and the music of Robert and Clara Schumann for “Performing Clara Schumann: Keyboard Legacies and Feminine Identities in the Long Romantic Tradition,” a conference held at Cornell University. An essay entitled “Brahms ‘versus’ Liszt: The Internalization of Virtuosity” is featured in the volume Liszt and Virtuosity, edited by Robert Doran and published by University of Rochester Press. His dissertation, “Brahms’s Re-Creativity in Opp. 80-90”, was advised by Jonathan Dunsby. This research was supported by the University of Rochester’s Raymond N. Ball Dissertation Fellowship.
As a pedagogue, Keep has taught piano and music theory to students of a variety of ages and skill levels. In addition to teaching piano privately, he has taught at the Lawrence Academy of Music, and has presented masterclasses at Lawrence University. He has taught music theory at the Young Pianists Program at Indiana University, the Eastman School of Music, Gustavus Adolphus College, and the University of Minnesota. In 2019, he was awarded the Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Classroom Instruction from the Eastman School of Music. Currently he teaches music theory and piano to majors and nonmajors at Hope College, emphasizing both the rigorous pursuit of specialization in music as well as the exploration of the art form’s significance within a liberal arts curriculum.
David Keep holds a Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. Keep earned a MM in piano performance with a minor in music theory from the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University; he also holds a BM in piano performance from Lawrence University. He is an Assistant Professor of Music at Hope College in Holland, Michigan.