B i o g r a p h y
Lee Alan Nolan received his Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of South Florida in Tampa. His principal professors were Peggy Salkind in San Francisco and Robert Helps in Tampa and San Francisco. While studying with his great mentor, composer/pianist Robert Helps (who was discovered as a child prodigy by legendary Leopold Stokowski, and later performed concert tours with composer Aaron Copland), Mr. Nolan discovered his facility for learning and performing contemporary classical works, and like Robert Helps before him, gave acclaimed premiere performances of works by William Susman, David Del Tredici, Robert Maggio, Robert Helps, and many others. In 1995 he recorded his debut CD Mendocino Suite by David Wurts, and it was released on Wild Iris Productions. In San Francisco, he was pianist for the New Music group Alternate Currents Performance Ensemble and in 1996 performed with them a concert of nine consecutive premieres. He also performed at City Hall, Herbst Theater, and Davies Symphony Hall while residing in San Francisco. He has participated in piano master classes given by Andre Watts, James Tocco, and Eduardus Halim. In 2000 Mr. Nolan performed a webcast of Bennett's Schematic Nocturne at Cal Arts Valencia which he had commissioned the composer in 1997 to write for him. In 1999-2001 he toured Switzerland, Germany, and Italy as pianist for the Singing Waiters, an L.A.-based vocal group. It was near the end of 1999 on one such tour that Mr. Nolan found himself playing ragtime piano for the entertainment of eminent pop star Sting at the Dolder Grand Hotel.
Lee Alan Nolan had taught himself to read music by the age of 4, and did not begin piano lessons until the age of 8. While growing up in Florida, Mr. Nolan began winning many awards for his performances, which also included singing in choruses, banjo playing, and national championship-level clogging. In 1986 he was awarded the Pinellas County Music Teacher's Association Community Service Award for contributing many hundreds of performances during his high school years alone. During this time he appeared onstage with Itzhak Perlman and Leontyne Price as a page turner for their accompanists. During his freshman year at the University of South Florida, he won the Zbar Award, a tuition scholarship given to only one piano student per year. He sang in the chorus onstage at Carnegie Hall in 1988 for a performance of Verdi's Requiem with the Manhatten Philharmonic. In 1989, Nolan won Grand Prize of the Florida Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition, for which he performed Ravel's Concerto in G Major with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Presently, Mr. Nolan performs and teaches piano, guitar, banjo, composition, and vocal coaches in Portland, Oregon. Previously, while still living in Ridgecrest, California, he was Music Director and Pianist for Cabaret in 2010, pianist and vocalist for RMES' Classic Autumn in 2011 and Broadway Nights in 2013, and pianist for Opera in Progress' Rigoletto in 2012 and in Ridgecrest Opera Guild's premiere concert Random Acts of Opera in 2013. His recent solo concerts 2011 to present received critical acclaim and CDs/DVDs of those concerts are available for purchase on this website (see "CDs & DVDs" tab), as well as Mendocino Suite on CD. His October, 2015 outing with an all-French and French-influenced program "Sacre Bleu!" was received with standing ovations at all three Ridgecrest shows, as was his 2016 one-man shows "Across the Genre-ations." He received special recognition for his accompanying work for the 2016 R.O.G. Prima Voce concerts.
My musical philosophy and goal is to perform, teach, and promote classical and new electro-acoustic solo piano and chamber music balancing faithfulness to the composer's intent and accuracy with excitement, flair, and a desire to expand the boundaries of the genre.