Dr. Ron Surace

Piano Faculty
Program Area: 
Jazz Studies
Private Instruction
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Ron received his Bachelor of Music Education from Kent State University. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Music from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Following this, he received his M.M. from Northwestern University in piano, and his DMA from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in piano as well.

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Several of his teachers/mentors that were most helpful in helping him reach his goals were: Robert Palmieri at Kent State University, Joseph Hungate from the Oberlin Conservatory, Mme. Olga Conus, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, George Shearing, and Dr. Paul Cooper- Composition.

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

I see myself as a "Cultural Warrior"

Awards and achievements: 

Mr. Surace was a narrator/piano soloist for Concertante di Chicago, participated in the Chubb Classical Music Oasis recital of original composition for the Heritage Foundation, and aided in the publication of the lives and works of "Bartolomeo Cristofori" and "Giovanni Ferrini" for the Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments. He was also awarded the "Festivanni" (Arts Council) award to produce his original one-act opera "Wonderland". He has also had several pieces become recorded such as: "The New Cool" Southport records "Nearly Blue", Southport records "Trio City", Southport records "The Return of the Trio", Southport records "Jazz Date Kent State" Columbia Pictures, and was winner of the 4th Annual Musicfest USA National Finals Competition in Oakland, California. In 2015 Ron was selected to perform his original duo piano pieces (along with his wife Ann) "Pinocchio Suite" at the annual Illinois State Teachers Convention in Chicago.  These pieces are now available in print at the jwpepper.com publishing company.

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Mr. Surace was given the Illinois Library Association Award "Best of the Best V" (2005 and 2006) Director/conductor "IFS" jazz orchestra, and is also a member of NSMTA, and AIM Adjudicator

Interests outside of music: 

Ron enjoys reading, composing and learning  music, religious studies, and watching BBC theater productions.

Favorite quote: 

"I could have been a contender"...Marlon Brandon On the Waterfront

Favorite practice tip: 

Just remember: "Speed kills..." and, "repetition, repetition is your friend."

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

J.S. Bach, Ron Surace, Chopin, JS Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Beethoven, Liszt, Bull, Berg, Prokofieff, Ravel, Debussy, Bartok, Scarlatti, and L. Couperin.

Favorite musical moment: 

Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Op. 43 for the first time