Dr. Thomas Lanners
Thomas Lanners has appeared as a solo and collaborative pianist and clinician throughout the U.S. and abroad, presenting his New York solo debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2004. His performances have been broadcast nationally and internationally on programs such as American Public Media’s Performance Today, BBC3 in London and RTÉ Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany in Ireland, among many others. Designated the 2014 Distinguished Music Teacher by the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association and inducted into the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame in 2021, he currently serves as Professor of Piano at Oklahoma State University.
Thomas has performed, presented master classes, and given lectures on various musical topics as a guest artist throughout the United States, in Mexico, Canada, Europe and Asia. In recent summers he has served on the faculties of the Shanghai International Piano Festival and Institute and the Conero and AmiCaFest Piano Festivals in Italy. Within the past five years, he’s presented master classes at Rice University, the University of Washington, at Yonsei University in Seoul, in China at the Sichuan, Shanghai and Zhejiang Conservatories, the Shanghai Conservatory Middle School, and East China and Beijing Normal Universities, and in Mexico at the Unidad Académica de Artes de la Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas. Thomas served as a performer, teacher and adjudicator at the Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition in Tennessee in 2021, having also been one of the three guest artists in 2012. He gave a master class on the NYU Steinhardt School of Music’s Piano Artist Master Class Series in 2012.
Other institutions he has visited as a guest artist include the Eastman School of Music, the Universities of Texas-Austin, Colorado-Boulder, Washington, North Texas, Miami, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Western Ontario (Canada), and Iowa; Northwestern, Syracuse, Louisiana State, Southern Methodist, and Baylor Universities.
His latest recording, Ned Rorem: Piano Works, Volume 2, was released worldwide by Centaur Records. The disc received great critical praise, including this from the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “Thomas Lanners brings exceptional detail and urgency to the repertoire, taking as much care with inner voices as he does with arching statements. Grade: A.” An American Record Guide review of Thomas’ previous CD, Ned Rorem: The Three Piano Sonatas, read: “Anyone who cares about mainstream 20th Century piano music should seek out this superlative recording.” Links to three tracks on the recording were included in Sunday New York Times articles in 2018 and 2022, on the occasion of Rorem's 95th birthday and then as a tribute soon after his death. In a review of Lanners’ recording of Leonard Bernstein’s solo piano works, Jed Distler wrote for ClassicsToday.com: “All told, Lanners’ loving mastery easily holds its own in any company. Warmly recommended.” His championing of American piano music was the topic of an interview article in a 2010 issue of Fanfare.
Thomas is an active writer on musical topics, with several feature articles, column contributions and reviews published in American Music Teacher, most recently in 2023. His writing has also been published in Clavier and Canadian Music Teacher, among others. Always in demand as a clinician, he has presented many sessions at national and international conferences, including six appearances at the Music Teachers National Association and three at the China International Piano Pedagogy Conference, hosted by the Shanghai Conservatory, which boasted 850,000 online attendees in 2021. Thomas has served as a juror in numerous international piano competitions based in North America, Europe, Asia and South America.
Lanners’ students have been accepted into graduate piano performance degree programs at the Eastman School of Music, the Universities of Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Southern California, Washington, Kansas, Missouri-Kansas City, the Manhattan and Mannes Schools of Music, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. They have had success in numerous competitions, winning Oklahoma Music Teachers Association Collegiate competitions (including 14 first place winners and numerous runners-up), 6 state winners in the MTNA Senior Artist competitions, 2 MTNA Young Artist winners (plus a national finalist in the String Chamber Music category in 2013), and 2 MTNA Junior winners. His students were named Alternate (Second Place) for the South Central Division three times since 2017. Four of his students have won the OSU Symphony Orchestra’s annual Concerto Competition in the past two years alone.
Lanners was the 2021 recipient of the Wise-Diggs-Berry Endowed Award for excellence in the visual, performance or written arts at OSU, and a 2022 recipient of the OSU Regents Distinguished Research Award, presented each year to one arts and humanities faculty member at the university.
Thomas received his Master’s and Doctoral degrees from the Eastman School as a student of Barry Snyder. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree summa cum laude as a student of Leonidas Lipovetsky at Florida State University, where he won the Brautlecht Award as the School’s Outstanding Rising Senior. He also studied under John Perry at the Aspen Music Festival and Jerome Lowenthal at the Music Academy of the West.