Hailed by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation as an artist “...poised to make an impact ... that will transform our lives and society,” Evan Ritter is a multifaceted pianist, composer, and teacher. His musical life began at the Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas where he studied violin with Nicolette Solomon and piano with Dr. Bret Serrin. While at SMID, Evan gave his public concerto debut with the Plano Symphony Orchestra two years after beginning piano lessons. He remained a piano student of Dr. Serrin until his high school graduation. Since then, he has captivated audiences worldwide and enjoyed a versatile career as a soloist and collaborative pianist in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia.
Evan holds three degrees and several prizes from the Eastman School of Music. One of a select few dual-degree Master’s students, he earned graduate degrees in Piano Performance as well as Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music studying with Douglas Humpherys and Jean Barr. His love for collaboration coalesced at Eastman in 2014 when he founded the Windsor Piano Trio, a group which went on to win first prize at the MTNA National Competition. The trio concertized regularly in the USA and Canada and commissioned works by living composers to supplement the greater body of piano trio literature.
Since receiving the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s $10,000 Young Artist Award on National Public Radio’s “From the Top”, Evan’s musical education was sponsored by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He was one of 82 nationally-recognized Cooke Graduate Scholars in 2018.
Equally at home on-stage as a soloist and chamber musician, Evan has performed and studied at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Orford Musique in Montreal, New Mexico Chamber Music Festival, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and the Gijon International Piano Festival in Spain where he worked closely with mentors including, Robert McDonald (Juilliard, Curtis), Marc Durand (University of Montreal), Logan Skelton (University of Michigan), and Andre Laplante. He has won and received top prizes at competitions including the Sixth International Chopin Youth Piano Competition, WRR Young Artist Piano Competition, Juanita Miller Concerto Competition, Hubbard Chamber Music Competition, Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, the Fort Worth Symphony Young Artists Competition, Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts YoungArts Competition.
Evan has performed as a member of SoundExchange and The Andrew Alden Ensemble, and been a visiting artist at SouthEastern Young Artists, OpenClassical DFW, Street Symphony, and more. Recent performances include the Ritter-Riley Lecture Recitals, an Austin-based concert series aimed at de-mystifying and contextualizing the history surrounding classical repertoire and composers, and One Piano: Four Hands , another Austin-based series he created specifically for piano four-hands repertoire.
As a composer, Evan draws influence from the music of Arvo Pärt, Keiichi Okabe, John Cage, and Kaija Saariaho. His “Fantasy for Piano and Fixed Media” premiered in 2017 at the Eastman School of Music, and his “Chronologies for Violin and Fixed Media” premiered in 2019 at the Juilliard School. He was a member of the Eastman Audio Research Studio (EARS) where he studied composition under German composer Oliver Schneller. Recently, his piece for solo piano entitled “Spectator” premiered during Summer 2020 as part of a multi-disciplinary online recital through the Literary Music Series. Currently, Evan is engaged in composition projects including works for mixed instrumentation employing graphical scores, improvisation, and experimental notation. Additionally, he creates avant-garde video and static art, lending visual dimensions to installations and live performances.
In a teaching career spanning over a decade, Evan has held faculty positions at the Eastman Community Music School, Clavier-Werke School of Music, Austin Chamber Music Center, and the Southeast Asia Music Festival. He is also the founder and director of the Austin Young Musicians Festival. Evan has been described by former students as “endlessly patient, kind, and sincere.” His teaching philosophy has been molded by his early childhood experience as a student of the Suzuki Method, the joy of collaboration through music, and a sincere belief that every child can. Evan has done his Suzuki training with Fay Adams.