Pia Liptak


Pia Liptak has been encouraging an understanding of music among children and students of all ages for more than three decades. In her endeavors, she has been an advocate for bringing all levels of musicianship together. The richness of interchange between performing and teaching has always been an essential key in Pia’s work.


She joined the faculty at The Hochstein School where she teaches violin to students of all ages, currently ages 10-78. She is also co-chair of the String Department and Director of HochStrings adult chamber orchestra. In her native Denmark, she taught at the Odense Music School and served as the concert manager for the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music. 

Pia has performed extensively in Europe and the United States. She is currently the artistic director and concertmaster for Cordancia Chamber Orchestra, an orchestra she founded with oboist Kathleen Suher in 2009.  She was previously concertmaster of the UR Symphony Orchestra and the Fynske Sinfonietta, and a member of the Odense Symphony Orchestra. She also has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in many chamber music ensembles. Exploring new music and lesser-known repertoire mark much of Pia’s career. With Japanese koto-player Ryuko Mizutani, she formed Duo vio-LINK-oto, a collaboration that produced a number of new compositions written for this ensemble and three CD recordings.

Pia earned degrees in violin and piano at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Denmark. She came to the United States as a Fulbright student in 1987 receiving her DMA in violin performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music. Her most influential violin teachers were Palle Heichelmann and Catherine Tait, both students of Ivan Galamian. 


Pia has presented lectures and workshops at colleges and conferences, and performed in schools. On many occasions, she has had the opportunity to adjudicate youth competitions including the Steinway Festival in Odense, the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competitions, the University of Rochester Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competitions, and the SUNY Geneseo’s Young Artists Competition. She has also served as the administrator of concerts and public relations at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music.

Why the arts matter:

Music matters because music is communication, it’s a language, it’s expression and a metaphor of life. Nothing crystallizes and focuses the mind better, both in being and in working. The process of learning can be transferred to all other aspects of life.  Music happens in the moment and one has to be complete present. It is in motion at all times, like life itself. Music also fosters positive ways of interacting with other human beings. The beauty of creating together and of sharing human expression has the potential of carrying a reflection onto society. 


I love to travel, I enjoy excellence in art, and I’m refreshed by walks in nature and along the ocean. I’m also inspired by the interchange between performing and teaching which is the vital core of my work.

When I’m not at Hochstein, you can find me:

Working with my Cordancia colleagues planning the orchestra’s concert season and educational outreach; or at the computer making posters for the next concert; and of course, in my studio practicing. When I need a break, I love visiting one of the many great coffee shops in the area.


My husband David Liptak is a composer teaching at the Eastman School of Music. Our daughter, Carena, is a music journalist who currently lives in Alabama, writing for an online country music magazine based in Nashville.