Brian Preston


Pianist Brian Preston has been proclaimed “a pianist processing real charm, with musical instincts intelligently put to work” (Tribune de Genève), praised for his “extremely delicately developed feeling for sound nuances” (Berlin Tagespiegel), while following his New York City Lincoln Center solo debut recital the New York Times critic wrote that “there was a full measure of excitement in his playing….Finish and thoughtfulness made his recital an especially satisfying one.”  Preston made his concerto debut with the Baltimore Symphony at age 17 and has since performed concerts throughout the U.S. and Canada, in the Virgin Islands, and in many of Europe's leading music centers.  A double prizewinner in the Washington International Comp., National Prizewinner in 1985 Young Artist Comp. of the National Federation of Music Clubs and two time prizewinner in the Boyd Piano Comp. of Augusta, Georgia, Preston was also the only U.S. finalist in the Geneva, Switzerland Int’l (’78).

As a teacher dedicated to passing on the musical traditions handed down to him, Preston's pre-college private students have been winning competition first prizes from international through regional levels since 1980.  A leader in the Rochester, New York music community, Mr. Preston balances his private teaching with collegiate piano instruction through Nazareth College where he has been on faculty since 1991.  Brian Preston has had the privilege of working with some of the 20th century’s finest piano pedagogues.  In his formative years he studied with the Peabody Conservatory’s famed director and music author Otto Ortmann, and daughter Dorothea.   It was Preston’s eight years at the Eastman School of Music studying with legendary pedagogue Cécile Genhart which was most influential in shaping his teaching style and pianistic philosophy in which there is a never ending search for beauty in music-making.  Mr. Preston also worked with Peabody artist faculty Konrad Wolff and Walter Hautzig during his latter high school years.

Brian Preston has served on faculty of the Chautauqua Summer Piano Institute (‘12, ‘15).  There he has given masterclasses, as well as at Ithaca College, SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Potsdam, University of Connecticut and frequently for teachers’ groups in Syracuse and Buffalo. Along with his teaching and performing, Brian Preston serves as the Artistic Director of the Thousand Islands Int’l Piano Competition in Cape Vincent, NY.  He is also serving as NYS President of the National Federation of Music Clubs and is dedicated to serving his local music community through the Greater Rochester MTNA and the Rochester Piano Teachers Guild.


School of Music Responsibilities

  • Studio Piano


  • Eastman School of Music, Artist Diploma, MM, and BM