Artist Spotlight : Jesse Pieper

Kristi Ruff

Senior Jesse Pieper strives to be a well rounded musician. Although he calls himself “a classical dork,” his iPod contains everything from death metal to Nick Drake to Norah Jones.
He began to play piano nine years ago, and has since performed on campus in various venues, throughout the state of Wisconsin and in Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival. He both participated in the concerto competition on campus and performed his junior recital last year.
Many of you saw him perform at Soundboard last Sunday, but if you missed it, he will be performing at the Kaleidoscope Concert Oct. 18 and will be giving a senior recital later in the year. As to why he chose Lawrence, Pieper said he “always knew that the conservatory was a place where [he] would be able to thrive.” Dmitri Novgorodsky, Pieper’s former piano teacher here at Lawrence, was also a big factor in his decision.
When he is not practicing, Pieper also enjoys composing. Though not entirely devoid of the influences of Prokofiev, Schumann and Bach, he says his music is “different, not just one style.”
One of his greatest accomplishments outside of the musical arena is the foundation of a performing arts series called “The Rising Stars” in his home town of Fond du Lac.
Despite his renown as a great pianist, Pieper says that being in the con all the time can make one feel “over stimulated, sometimes.”
For relief, he likes to get out and play soccer, read, watch movies and just think. The year ahead will be “busy,” said Pieper, who is preparing for his senior recital as well as getting ready for the “real world.”
As far as his plans for the future go, he knows that he will go to grad school and be “involved in music in some way or another.