Brian Dykstra

Brian James Dykstra

Professor of Music Emeritus - Piano

Office: Scheide 211
Phone: 330-263-2033


  • Doctor of Musical Arts (Piano), Eastman School of Music
  • Master of Music (Piano), Eastman School of Music
  • Bachelor of Science (Piano), Juilliard School of Music

Courses Taught

  • MUSC 132: Piano
  • MUSC 232: Piano

Biography, Performance, and Research

Pianist and composer Brian Dykstra is the Neille O. and Gertrude M. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Music. Currently he teaches piano on a part-time basis at the College but served full-time for 38 years (1969-2007), during which time he taught a dozen different courses and chaired the Department of Music for 14 years. He holds the B.S. in Piano from the Juilliard School of Music in New York City and the M.Mus. and D. Mus. Arts in Piano from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. He attended the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria for one year as a Fulbright Scholar. As a piano soloist and collaborative pianist, Dykstra has annually presented programs of classical music at Wooster and elsewhere. These programs have cumulatively included hundreds of works by a great many composers from the 18th century to the present. As a chamber musician he has participated in many concerts included several in the Purcell Room on London’s South Bank and Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City.

Dykstra has won acclaim for his 64 compositions in the concert ragtime genre, and for his ragtime performances and recordings. His 2012 CD Neo-Ragtime, on the Centaur label, received several rave reviews in the July/August 2012 issue of Fanfare magazine (one sample: “Do we have a stars rating system here at Fanfare? No? Four out of four stars, anyway. This is great ragtime by a modern composer who is also an excellent piano advocate of his wares.”). Among the other performers on this CD are several current members of The Cleveland Orchestra and other top musicians from the Cleveland area. His second Centaur CD, Ragtime Classics, 1901-1919, appeared in early 2014. In the Sept.-Oct. 2014 issue of American Record Guide, reviewer James Harrington wrote that Dykstra’s “selections and performances are so good and varied that listening to this four or five times in a week remains enjoyable…[His] program notes are exemplary and reveal the depth of his knowledge about this idiom…This is now my ragtime disc.”

Dykstra’s Two Rags for Bassoon and Piano are published by International Opus. Many of his piano pieces for children have been published by the Willis Music Co., the Boston Music Co., Centerstream Publications, and Spectrum Music Press.

In the past few years Dykstra has been involved in a recording project on the Centaur label with a faculty colleague, violinist Dr. Thomas Wood. 2016 saw the release of their CD Jean Baptiste Singelée: The Opera Fantasies for Violin and Piano, Vol. 1. In the spring of 2017 the Dutch magazine Stretto—Magazine for Art, History and Music reviewed this CD, commenting that “Dykstra is a superb pianist.” Volume 2 in the Singelee series was released in 2017, and further additions to the series are planned.