Joel Clifft earned his Doctorate from the University of Southern California while studying with Dr. Alan Smith and Bernadene Blaha. Dr. Clifft’s primary area of study was keyboard collaborative arts, with minor fields in solo piano, music theory, and composition. He graduated Pi Kappa Lambda and was chosen as the “Most Outstanding Graduate” at both the Master’s and Doctoral levels. Dr. Clifft attended USC on a full scholarship and in addition, was a recipient of the Gwendolyn Koldofsky scholarship.
As an active collaborative pianist, Dr. Clifft has performed in concert with world-class musicians, including violinist Midori, and erhu player, Ma Xiao Hui. He also has performed with the Foothill Philharmonic Society, the Debut Orchestra, the Brand Library Concert Series, the Lake Avenue Chamber Orchestra, and the Idyllwild Faculty Concert. He is sought after by many singers and instrumentalists and gives approximately fifty concerts per year of new repertoire. Dr. Clifft has also been engaged for many master classes, including those given by the Jascha Heifitz Society, Alice and Eleanor Schoenfeld, Martin Katz, and Midori.
Dr. Clifft is the Director of Keyboard Studies at Azusa Pacific University, where he teaches music theory, accompanying and ear training courses. Dr. Clifft is also an adjunct faculty member at USC where he teaches collaborative piano to all undergraduate piano majors.
Dr. Clifft has extensive international performance experience, appearing in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Korea, China, and Singapore. He was recently invited to perform at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
D.M.A. - Keyboard Collaborative Arts, University of Southern California, 2007
M.M. - Keyboard Collaborative Arts, University of Southern California, 2002
B.M. with honors - Piano Performance, Music Theory/Composition, Music Education, Azusa Pacific University
- School of Music
- Undergraduate Programs
- Graduate Programs
- Instrumental Accompanying
- Music Fundamentals
- Music Theory
- Practical Musicianship
- Vocal Accompanying
Professional Involvement and Accomplishments
Outstanding Graduate, Class of 2002, Keyboard Collaborative Arts program, USC
Gwendolyn Koldofsky Scholarship recipient