biography

 

Filipino-American pianist Jovanni-Rey Verceles de Pedro has developed an international

reputation as a soloist, collaborator, pedagogue, speaker, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.

 

Coming from a family of musicians whose musical heritage dates back more than a century,

Jovanni has appeared to public acclaim in recital and academic venues on five continents

including London’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, the

Eroica-Saal in Vienna, and the Irish World Academyof Music and Dance. His broad musical

interests range from the Viennese Classics and German Romantics, to the music of Latin

America, and the jazz-inspired works of Friedrich Gulda. An enthusiastic advocate for

contemporary music, he has commissioned or premiered 16 new works since 2013. His artistic

endeavors have been further supported by grants which have led to tours of Australia and

Argentina, and a tour of Ireland performing Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time with his trio,

TaRvangIO. Additionally, Jovanni has received numerous prizes in competitions in the United

States, Canada, Spain, England, Austria, and Greece, including the Isabelle Bond Gold Medal for

Performance Excellence, first place at the Pacific International Competition, and second place at

the Ibiza International Competition.

Jovanni’s academic research and pedagogical interests have led to presentations for the Music

Teachers National Association (MTNA) and its state and local affiliates, the College Music Society

(CMS), and the European Piano Teachers Association/World Piano Teachers Association in Serbia.

He has also been featured as a keynote speaker and recitalist for the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, and the Music Teachers Association of Queensland’s Alan Lane Memorial Workshops in Australia. He has given numerous masterclasses worldwide, and is currently Artistic Director of Mélange Vienna - a summer piano program that brings together young professionals, students, music teachers, and music lovers who wish to experience the rich history, language, and cultural traditions of the city of Vienna, while discovering life as a 21st century musician.

A recipient of the 2017 Steinway Top Teacher Award, Jovanni's mission as a pedagogue is to develop pianists and teachers who are intelligent, creative, disciplined, reflective, and communicative. In addition to helping students reach their full potential as sensitive musicians, he is passionate about the growth of professional skills - whether giving them the experience of putting together a CD, revising cover letters, or developing presentation and research skills. In 2012, he received national recognition for spearheading the formation of the Piano Pedagogy Symposium, a conference by college students for college students. This MTNA event has since brought together hundreds of young music professionals to share creative ideas, network, and develop skills as scholars, presenters, thinkers, performers, entrepreneurs, and teachers. Jovanni is also a founding member of the Young Professionals Track at the MTNA National Conference, and currently serves as the advisor for Samford University's MTNA Collegiate Chapter.

Whether it be collaborating with engineers to perform at a university football game on a spinning piano with the marching band, or teaming up with an award-winning community service program to bring piano lessons to adults from impoverished areas of the community, Jovanni can be continuously seen seeking ways to reach a wider audience, further music and music education, and give back to the community. Over the years, he has helped raise more than $100,000 for dozens of civic and religious organizations such as the Alay Sa Kabataan (Gift of the Children) Foundation in the Philippines, the Filipino Catholic Chaplaincy of Vienna, Grace House Mississippi, and the Austrian-American Council West.

A California native and alumni of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), Jovanni holds a Diplom (with auszeichnung) from the Vienna Conservatory’s Konzertfach Abteilung in Austria where his studies were supported by the ASCAP/Leiber & Stoller Foundations. He received a Master of Music degree in Performance Studies from Trinity College of Music in London, and earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). After teaching appointments at Millsaps College in Mississippi, the Levine School of Music in Washington D.C., and the University of Idaho, Jovanni was recently named Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy at Samford University's School of the Arts in Birmingham, Alabama.

 

Now a mentor to his own students, “Dr. J” is grateful for his teachers and people who have positively impacted his life - namely his parents (his dad was his first piano teacher), Gloria Ho-Sims, Vilma Posadas, Robert Ward, Gerhard Geretschläger, Aries Caces, Yonty Solomon, Mikhail Kazakevich, Deniz Arman Gelenbe, Louis Nagel, and John Ellis.