Colorado Springs Conservatory
SPOTLIGHT SERIES · February 2021
Dr. Adam Haas – Music Program Director & Lead Mentor
Championed by Oberlin Conservatory and Juilliard School-educated Founding CEO Linda Weise, the Colorado Springs Conservatory attracts and retains the nation’s finest arts educators. We have a deep and abiding respect for our faculty mentors and guest artists/lecturers who share with our students a gift for teaching and a deep passion for the arts.
This month, we’d like to shine our spotlight on the Colorado Springs Conservatory’s Music Program Director and Lead Mentor, Dr. Adam Haas, who recently took some time to share some thoughts on his educational and professional journeys, along with some of his current favorites in music and “to-dos” around the Springs!
Dr. Haas, at what age did you become interested in piano? Was there anything else you wanted to “be” when you grew up? Or was it always a career in piano?
I didn’t start piano lessons until I was 11 years old, and it really wasn’t until college that I truly fell in love with it. All through high school I was planning on pursuing a career in either a science field or engineering, and I even started college as a double major in music and civil engineering. It wasn’t until about two years into my undergraduate degree that I realized music was what I loved, and I decided at that time to pursue a career as a pianist and teacher.
Where did you achieve your PhD in piano? What was the most challenging part of your music education journey?
I received my Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder. My doctoral thesis projects were probably the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.
Do you play any other instruments?
Yes, I play the organ regularly at a church here in town, and I like to play the harpsichord when I get the opportunity. Back in high school and college I played french horn, string bass, electric bass, guitar, and I sang in a lot of choirs.
How long have you mentored at Colorado Springs Conservatory? What is your favorite part of teaching?
I am in my fourth year at the Conservatory. There are so many aspects of teaching that I love, but it certainly never gets old when I see that I’ve made a positive impact on my students.
Favorite memory(ies) made at Conservatory:
The duo piano concert with Linda Weise at Pauline Chapel. Additionally, I have always loved playing in pit orchestras, so I really enjoyed doing the Conservatory productions of Jack: A Moral Musical Tale and Amahl and the Night Visitors.
Why is music and performance education important?
To quote The Musical Life of Gustav Mole, “Music is made to make friends; Music is made for singing; Music is for everyone!”
What are some some of your career highlights:
- Winning the concerto competition in college and performing with the university orchestra. This was certainly a musical highlight, but it was also when I first met my wife, who was the principal clarinetist in the orchestra, so it has great personal significance as well.
- Lecture recital presentations at national and state music conferences.
- Solo concerto performance in New York City.
Tell us about your upcoming concert in Denver.
Conservatory mentor and violinist Byron Hitchcock and I are doing a performance for Englewood Arts at Hampden Hall. The program includes Mozart’s Violin Sonata in F major, K. 377, and Bartok’s 2nd Rhapsody. The performance will be video recorded and released later in the semester.
What are some of your hobbies?
Running/hiking/biking. Gardening and landscaping. Fishing. Spending time with my wife and four kids.
Favorite things to do in CO Springs (and/or Colorado in general)
Anything outdoors, especially hiking/running/biking on all the trails around town and in the mountains. One of my favorite places in this part of the state is Mueller State Park.
Who are you listening to (music), right now?
Brahms piano concerto no. 1 performed by Krystian Zimerman. If you’re interested in classical piano, check out Yekwon Sunwoo, he is a rising star in the piano world.
Dr. Adam Haas’s road trip playlist:
My wife and I like to listen to The Great Courses music lectures by Robert Greenberg when we’re on road trips. If I’m listening to music, I naturally go for classical first. My favorite composers are Beethoven, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev. I also like classic rock, oldies, and bluegrass.
Read Dr. Haas’s full bio here!