CCM Piano Instructor Wins UC’s Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award

Andy Villemez, CCM Adjunct Instructor of Piano. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Andy Villemez, CCM Adjunct Instructor of Piano. Photo by Andrew Higley.

Distinguished faculty members were recognized in UC’s university-wide Faculty Awards Celebration on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. They were each nominated by students, staff or other faculty members in December and given awards during Tuesday’s ceremony in Tangeman University Center’s Great Hall.

Along with the other award winners, CCM Piano Instructor Andy Villemez was honored in this year’s ceremony, where he was presented with the Outstanding Adjunct Faculty Award. Visit the Faculty Awards website to read profiles on each of the recognized faculty members.

Villemez is praised by his CCM colleagues for going above and beyond for students. The adjunct instructor of piano carries a full course load, teaching undergraduate and graduate classes, while mentoring students outside of the classroom.

“He uses his position as an adjunct instructor to better prepare his students for life as professional musicians rather than just fulfilling his duties as an instructor,” says one current student.

He graduated from CCM with a DMA in Piano in 2015 and incorporates his experience as a recent graduate into his teaching methods. In order to better prepare students for life after graduation, Villemez began the “Big Picture” lecture series, a professional development initiative that is open to all CCM students of any major.

The lecture series falls outside of Villemez’s typical responsibilities as an instructor. It includes mentoring students on community engagement, finance management and even how to build a professional website.

He is also the faculty advisor for CCM’s Chapter of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), where he works with students on research projects and conference proposals. Earlier this year, one student presented research at the MTNA Collegiate Symposium in Austin, Texas, and thanks Villemez for helping her develop an engaging presentation in her nomination letter.

Villemez recently presented two of his own research papers at the Ohio Music Teachers Association Annual Conference: “Building Arts Ambassadors Through Private Music Instruction” and “Teaching to Everyone: The Basics of Universal Design for Learning.” He has also written multiple scholarly articles focused on piano pedagogy for the MTNA Electronic Journal and Clavier Companion.

“What distinguishes Dr. Villemez is his commitment to research, pedagogical leadership and mentorship of students,” says CCM Interim Dean bruce mcclung. “Simply put, he is one of CCM’s most valuable adjunct faculty members for the model he sets and his deep engagement with student learning and career development.”

CCM Alumni Applause Faculty Fanfare

CCM’s World-Class Piano Faculty Welcomes ‘Fresh Sounds, Fresh Faces’ on Nov. 13

Two new piano professors add their individual flair to CCM’s annual Pianopalooza XII concert Fresh Sounds, Fresh Faces at 7 p.m. on November 13 in Robert J. Werner Recital Hall.

CCMWinter2014PianoPerformancesIn this annual display of stunning virtuosity, new faculty members Dror Biran and Ran Dank join the returning artists of CCM’s illustrious piano faculty on stage. Concert highlights include not one, but two Chopin Ballades — No. 3 in A-flat major and No. 4 in F minor —, an original work from CCM assistant professor of jazz students Stephen Allee and Dvořák’s Slavonic Dances for Piano Four-Hands.

Allee’s special appearance in this year’s program features his composition, Tippin’. In addition, Pianopalooza XII includes performances from piano faculty artists Michael Chertock, Soyeon Kate Lee, Awadagin Pratt and James Tocco as well as collaborative piano faculty member Sandra Rivers and visiting adjunct piano professor Andy Villemez.

Tickets for Pianopalooza XII are available through the CCM Box Office; UC students have free admission. View complete program information below.

About Dror Biran
Born in Israel, Biran is a graduate of the Givatayim Conservatory where he studied with Lily Dorfman, as well as the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel-Aviv University where he studied with Arie Vardi. Biran received his Doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro.

Biran has won top prizes at the M.K Ciurlionis International Piano Competition and the Cleveland International Piano Competition, where he also received a special prize for the best performance of works by Chopin. His honors include the first prize at the Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition (Zaragoza, Spain), first prize at the Israeli Rubin Academy Piano Competition and the Rafi Goralnik prize for pianists in the Aviv Competition. Biran has been a recipient of multiple scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for distinguished musicians.

Biran has performed widely as a soloist with major orchestras including the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has played under the batons of Etinger, Rodan, Gueller, Gacia Asensio, Mester, Lane and others. His concert tours have taken him to the United States, Israel and South America, along with Eastern and Western Europe.

About Ran Dank
A graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University and the Juilliard School, Dank has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Joseph Kalichstein, Ursula Oppens and Robert McDonald.

Dank performs in New York City’s most notable venues to frequent critical acclaim by the New York Times. In recent seasons, he has been heard in recitals in Town Hall and Symphony Space. As a soloist, he has performed Prokofiev’s Second Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall and Tobias Picker’s Keys to the City at Columbia University. In September of 2013 he and fellow CCM faculty member Soyeon Kate Lee performed the world premiere of Fredric Rzewski’s Four Hands at (le) Poisson Rouge to a glowing review by the New York Times.

A recipient of numerous honors, Dank won a coveted place on the Young Concert Artists’ roster in 2009 and subsequently made his New York recital debut. He is a laureate of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, where he also won the Bach Prize, the Naumburg and Sydney International Piano Competitions, and was the First Prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.


  • CHOPIN: Ballade No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 47
    Featuring Sandra Rivers
  • DVOŘÁK: Slavonic Dances for Piano Four-Hands
    Featuring Sandra Rivers and Soyeon Kate Lee
  • CHOPIN: Ballade No. 4 in F minor
    Featuring Dror Biran
  • CHOPIN: Andante Spianato and Grand
    Featuring James Tocco
  • DEBUSSY: Fille Aux Cheveux de Lin
    DEBUSSY: L’isle Joyeuse
    Featuring Soyeon Kate Lee
  • GAO PING: Dance Fury
    Featuring Michael Chertock
  • NIKOLAI KAPUSTIN: Andante, Op. 58
    Featuring Andy Villemez
  • FRANCK: Prelude, Fuge and Variation, Op. 18
    Featuring Awadagin Pratt
  • STEPHEN ALLEE: Tippin’
    Featuring Stephen Allee

Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
$15 general, $10 non-UC students, UC students FREE. Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at
Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

CCM is proud to be an All-Steinway School

Story by CCM graduate student Charlotte Kies


CCM News Faculty Fanfare