University of Minnesota Duluth

Piano Faculty


Alexander Chernyshev – Piano
Office: Humanities 230
Office Phone:726-8184

Alexander Chernyshev earned his doctorate and masters degrees with honors in piano and chamber music from the prestigious St. Petersburg (formerly Leningrad) Conservatory named after Rimsky-Korsakov in Russia. He has also received the American equivalent of the doctoral of musical arts since his move to the U.S. He taught piano and chamber music for eighteen years at the St. Petersburg Conservatory branch in Petrozavodsk, which is Duluth's Sister city. In Russia, he was a very active performer and collaborator with many Russian and International musicians. He has performed many times in such countries as Finland, Italy, France, Japan and Hong Kong. He was a founder and leader of the internationally-acclaimed trio Classic Retro, an ensemble that has recorded extensively and received many awards and honors in Russia, Europe and the United States. He was also a featured artist on Soviet television as a prelude to the 1980 Olympic games with cellist Grigory Yanovsky.

Alexander moved permanently to U.S. during Classic Retro's second national tour in 1991. He has resided since then in Duluth, where he maintains an active life as both a performer and teacher. In 1998 he was invited to France for a concert tour with his wife Olga, an accomplished violinist, and with French piano professor Francoise Foray to play two-piano recitals. He has performed with the Petrozavodsk Symphony Orchestra, Karelia Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra, LSCO, Itasca Symphony Orchestra, Ashland Chequamegon Symphonette, and UMD Orchestra. Alexander joined the music faculty of UMD in 1993 and is currently head of the piano department. For the last 20 years, he has performed and recorded intensively with UMD colleague and cellist Dr. Betsy Husby in the United States, Asia, and Europe.



Ryan Frane – Jazz Piano & Jazz
Office: 224 Humanities
Office Phone:726-6327

Ryan Frane is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he oversees the jazz studies major and jazz studies program, teaches Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Combo I, Jazz Theory, Jazz Pedagogy, Jazz Piano and other courses. Ryan also coordinates the annual Head of the Lakes Jazz Festival at UMD, drawing internationally known artists and high schools from throughout the state. Under his direction the UMD Jazz Ensemble I has performed in Italy, Switzerland and Holland at the Montreux and North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as performing at the MMEA and WMEA annual conferences, UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival and throughout the region. As a pianist, Ryan has performed throughout the country as well as in Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Holland and France. Ryan has performed with the Green Bay Packers band and was a member of the Denver Nuggets house band. He has performed locally with the Big Time Jazz Orchestra, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Arrowhead Chorale, Lake Superior Youth Chorus and many others including his own small groups. Ryan's most recent trio recording entitled "People We Know" features all original compositions with the exception of one standard. Also, Ryan has backed or performed with many musicians including The Mills Brothers, Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Bobby Vinton, Steve Lippia, Tom Harrell, Wes Anderson, Rex Richardson, Ingrid Jensen, Jim Snidero and many others. Ryan has been an active clinician and performer at several colleges across the country including the University of Northern Colorado, University of South Dakota, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, Tiffin University, Lawrence Conservatory, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and the University of Southern Colorado. Ryan has conducted numerous honor bands in Minnesota and Wisconsin and has been a section coach for the MMEA All State Jazz Ensemble. Internationally, Ryan has performed master classes at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Boulogne-Billancourt (Paris, France), Conservatoire National de Région Lyon (Lyon, France) and Petrosovadsk State Conservatory (Karelia, Russia). Under Ryan's direction, graduates of the UMD jazz studies program have gone on to become collegiate level teachers, performers and graduate students at some of the nation's strongest jazz schools while also becoming great contributors to society. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and a Masters of Music in theory and composition from the University of Northern Colorado.



Tracy Lipke-Perry – Collaborative Piano
Office: Humanities 234
Office Phone:726-8140

Dr. Tracy Lipke-Perry enjoys a wide variety of teaching and performance opportunities as a collaborative artist, vocal coach, and solo pianist. She holds a D.M.A. in piano performance with a minor in neurophysiology from the University of Arizona, an M.M. from the University of Utah, and a B.M. degree in both piano performance and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Her pedagogical interests focus on applying current scientific research to enhance understanding of piano technique. Dr. Lipke-Perry has been a presenter at national and international conferences including the 2011 MTNA / NATS National Convention and the 2009 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities.

Highlights of her solo career include performing at a reception for former Secretary of Defense, Melvin Laird, and the opening of the Laird Research Center in Marshfield, Wisconsin and as part of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation Music in Our Schools program.

An enthusiastic collaborator, she has appeared on stage with Richard Stoltzman in a performance of Bernstein's Prelude, Fugue, and Riffs and in recital with artists such as Alicia McQuerrey of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and with Yamaha artist, Mary Karen Clardy. Highlights of 2010-11 include commissioning and premiering a new piece for piano four-hands by Libby Larsen with colleague, Dr. Jeanne Doty, a residency and collaborative recital at the Lyon Conservatory in France, and a New York recital with bassoonist, Dr. Jefferson Campbell.

Dr. Lipke-Perry returns to the Midwest after serving on the faculty at the University of Idaho. She is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Piano Support Staff


Jacqueline Holstrom – Piano
Office: Boh 31
Office Phone: 726-8139





For Information about music department programs and upcoming concerts, please call 218-726-8877