Delana Thomsen, piano
Delana Thomsen is a highly accomplished solo and collaborative pianist who has given recitals throughout Europe and the United States, as well as Master Classes in Iceland and Bulgaria. In New York, she has appeared at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall, Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the Nicholas Roerich Museum, the Oyster Bay Beethoven Festival as well as Cami Hall in a recital sponsored by the Estonian Society. Ms. Thomsen has been affiliated with the Aspen Music Festival, the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music. She is a former member of the New York Bach Ensemble, The Engle Winds, and Windsong. She is the recipient of the Ruth Slenczynska Chamber Music Award and is in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities.
Ms. Thomsen has accompanied the violin classes of the late Ivan Galamian and has been the pianist for the Master Classes of Dorothy Delay, Shirley Givens, Sally Thomas, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Eleanor Lawrence, Channing Robbins, Leonard Rose and Mstislav Rostropovitch. "Morgunbildith" in Iceland wrote "artistic...a first-rate musician (who) projects unusually loveable playing"; The "Borba" in Bulgaria wrote "Ms. Thomsen plays with an authentic and sensitive style that gives the listener a sound picture of the boundless nuances of human life"; and "The Music Connoisseur" wrote "…the appealing duo displayed a high level of virtuosity throughout".
Ms. Thomsen was the pianist and assistant conductor of the Dalton Chorale, and for a recent 5 years was the organist and music director at the Hillsdale (NY) Methodist Church as well as the former pianist for the Hudson Valley Choral Society. In addition to freelancing in the New York City area, she is a member of the Thomsen/Belli duo-piano ensemble, SAGA Ensemble, and performs regularly in concert with her bassoonist husband, Paul Stebbins.
She is a sought after teacher and inspiring mentor, and her pupils have had great recognition. Several have had the honor of being chosen to perform in Master Classes with Jerome Lowenthal, Malcolm Bilson, Edna Golandsky, Gilbert Kalish and Robert MacDonald. Ms. Thomsen, who has been a member of the MSM PreCollege Piano Faculty since 1978, established the "Sassa Maniotis Scholarship" at Manhattan School of Music in honor and memory of her beloved High School piano teacher in her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. It is awarded annually to a deserving pupil. Ms.,Thomsen's MSM pupils have been the winners of numerous concerto competitions including Yonkers Philharmonic, Long Island Youth Orchestra and LaGuardia High School in NYC as well as many local competitions where pupils had the honor of performing in Weill Hall. She is also on the piano faculty at the Hoff-Barthelson Music School and has private teaching studios in New York City and Columbia County. She also has created and taught a summer piano ensemble program for students called "Musica Breva" and has been on summer faculties at Hoff-Barthelson's Summer Arts Program (10 years), and USDAN Center for the Creative and performing Arts (4 years).
Her teachers have been Ruth Slenczynska (Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville: B.M. Piano Performance), Arthur Balsam (Manhattan School of Music: M.M. Accompanying), Dalmo Carra (MSM Piano Faculty for 3 years of post graduate studies), and Elizabeth Moschetti Tobias (former assistant to Dorothy Taubman for 13 years of further postgraduate studies).