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Two $500,000 endowments support UNCSA distinguished piano faculty

Anonymous gifts matched by UNC System trust

October 10, 2019

WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has awarded two new endowed professorships in piano – the Clifton Matthews Distinguished Professorship to Dmitri Shteinberg and the Eric Larsen Distinguished Professorship to Dmitri Vorobiev – that will help to ensure that top faculty members continue to thrive in the School of Music.

The professorships — both named for retired piano faculty — were created through anonymous gifts of $500,000 each. Those gifts were matched, dollar for dollar, by the UNC System Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund, creating significant endowments capable of funding the professorships in perpetuity.

The endowments honor the contributions of emeritus professors whose decades of service had a profound impact on the School of Music.

“We are deeply grateful to our remarkable donors and to the UNC System for making these significant professorships possible,” said Interim Chancellor Brian Cole. “Endowed professorships play an extraordinarily important role in keeping UNCSA competitive for top-tier faculty in the School of Music, as well as within every one of our schools. I am grateful that we will be able to continue to recruit and retain exceptional artist faculty for our piano program thanks to this thoughtful gift.”

The professorships were fully endowed during the 2018-19 academic year and awarded for the first time this fall.

“This investment shows that the School of Music is creating great confidence with the major donor community by delivering on its strategic plan,” said Tony Woodcock, interim dean of the School of Music. “These remarkable new professorships will allow for further development, innovation and greater visibility.”

Shteinberg has taught at UNCSA since 2011. He has been a soloist with the Jerusalem Symphony, Porto National Orchestra, and the Richmond, Baton Rouge, Charlottesville, Danville and Manassas Symphonies. His chamber music appearances include Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. He has appeared at festivals in England, Germany, France, Russia, Canada, Israel and the United States.

Shteinberg’s honors include winning the Citta de Senigallia International Piano Competition and receiving a Salon de Virtuosi Career Grant and a Pinchas Zukerman Education Fund Grant. In 2015, he was the recipient of a UNCSA Teaching Excellence Award. He has recorded with Summit Records, Sono Luminus and Yamaha Disklavier.

Shteinberg performs Mozart Sonata KV 280, Brahms Three Intermezzi Op. 117, Chopin Ballade No. 4 and Schumann Fantasy, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan, 18, 2020, in Watson Hall.

Vorobiev is an alumnus of UNCSA who has been a faculty member since 2017. He began studying the piano at the age of five and first came to international attention after winning the Casagrande International Piano Competition in 1994. He has appeared as a soloist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, Pretoria Chamber Orchestra, Durban Symphony, Terni Philharmonic, Manhattan School of Music Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony and Western Piedmont Symphony.

Vorobiev is the founder and artistic director of the Midwest International Piano Competition and artistic director and leading teacher of the Leipzig Summer Piano Institute in Germany. He is also a frequent recording artist with the Blue Griffin label, and is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes including the Harold Bauer Award at the Manhattan School of Music and major prizes at the Busoni, Cincinnati World, Ibla Grand Prize, A.M.A. Calabria, Iowa and Alabama international piano competitions.

Vorobiev performs with faculty colleague Tadeu Coelho in Flute Monsters, a recital featuring some of the greatest monster pieces created by Schubert, Jolivet and Prokofieff, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 2 in Watson Hall.

Matthews served on the UNCSA faculty for more than 43 years, and is an internationally acclaimed pianist who concertized widely in England, Scotland, Scandinavia, Holland, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the Casella Prize from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy, Mr. Matthews conducted an international masterclass for 24 summers at the Tibor Varga Festival in Sion, Switzerland. Prior to UNCSA he was on faculty at Skidmore College and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Larsen also made an indelible mark on both the artistry and pedagogy of the School of Music in nearly four decades of service, and he leaves a legacy of distinguished alumni throughout the industry. He created UNCSA’s popular annual event, the Mozart Birthday Concert, for which he continues to serve as  artistic director. During the summers, he led the renowned Meadowmount School of Music, providing an important industry connection for UNCSA and an effective pipeline for talented students of many disciplines.

The gifts to fund these professorships were made as a part of Powering Creativity: The Campaign for UNCSA, a multi-year comprehensive campaign which launched its public phase in September. One of the five central pillars of the campaign is faculty support.

“Faculty are among our most important assets,” said Edward J. Lewis III, UNCSA’s vice chancellor for advancement. “Gifts such as these help recruit top faculty to UNCSA, which in turn enables us continue to attract top students. This support is vital to the future success of UNCSA.”

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is America’s first state-supported arts school, a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in dance, design and production, drama, filmmaking, and music. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system when it was formed in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.


Images are provided by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for editorial use by the news media.