Chang steps down from teaching to focus on Lied Center artistic director duties

Ann Chang
Ann Chang

Chang steps down from teaching to focus on Lied Center artistic director duties

calendar icon25 Jan 2018    

Lincoln, Neb.—Following the spring 2018 semester, Associate Professor of Practice Ann Chang will step down from her teaching duties in the Glenn Korff School of Music, but is continuing her role as Artistic Director for the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

Chang said she will miss the talented students she has taught.

“I will miss the mentoring of great talent,” Chang said. “The great students give back to you 100 times. It’s been wonderful.”

Chang came to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1995 through a dual-hire position, serving as senior lecturer (1995-2012) and then associate professor of practice (2012-present) in the Glenn Korff School of Music. Her responsibilities included teaching all levels of applied piano lessons and coaching chamber music ensembles. She also taught the course “Career Development—Music Entrepreneurship,” where she helped the next generation of musicians think creatively and thrive in the performing arts.

In 2009, following one year of service as Interim Executive Director of the Lied Center for Performing Arts, Chang accepted a newly created position as its Artistic Director, allowing her to serve in a dual capacity of presenting world-renowned artists on a major stage, while also helping to prepare the next generation of musicians for the world stage.

Chang said she will miss the daily interaction with faculty and students in the Glenn Korff School of Music.

“My lasting memories in the School of Music will be the friendships with talented colleagues, both the ones I performed with and those with whom I worked side by side,” she said. “It was a highlight to be surrounded by such great talent every day when you walk into work.”

Two of Chang’s recent graduate students have won the highest honors for Glenn Korff School of Music students. Rebeca Ordóñez-Rodríguez (D.M.A. 2014) and Dimitra Kokkinopoulou (D.M.A. 2017) each won the Presser Award and Glenn Korff Award.

An active pianist and lecturer in the U.S. and Europe, Chang’s curiosity and wide-ranging musical interests have taken her in many directions. In the summer of 2009, the U.S. State Department appointed her as a Fulbright Scholar to The Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium, allowing her to expand her expertise in classical performance practice.

In 2001, she founded the award-winning Meadowlark Music Festival, creating the artistic vision for this summer series of chamber music performances. The Governor's Arts Award in 2007 named the Festival as the "Best Arts Organization in Nebraska." In that same year, Chang stepped down from her role as Founder and Director of the Festival. The Festival currently continues its grand summer tradition in Lincoln under the direction of Professor Hans Sturm.

“Dr. Chang’s vision in founding the Meadowlark Music Festival is extraordinary,” said Glenn Korff School of Music Director Sergio Ruiz. “She has influenced the lives of countless musicians through the arts entrepreneurship program in the Glenn Korff School of Music. Her leadership will be missed.”

Chang said the Meadowlark Music Festival was a good example of putting her entrepreneurial skills to use.

“I didn’t have the formal training to develop the festival,” Chang said. “It’s what I’m trying to change through my teaching entrepreneurship so we can have more people doing this sort of thing. It was a good marriage of my entrepreneurial skills and my love for the music.”

Her interest in teaching entrepreneurship was personal.

“When I was going through school, entrepreneurship was not something talked about very much,” Chang said. “But reflecting back on the things that have gotten me to where I am now—it’s all entrepreneurial. It became clear to me that it’s important to equip our graduates of the School of Music with the knowledge and the savviness to maneuver their careers after they leave us. Of course, our job is to get them well equipped artistically, but in this new world of the music industry, that’s not enough. My job is to change the mindset of the students to know they need to be aware of the tools they need to stay in the field that they’re passionate about.”

Chang received her B.M., M.M. and D.M. degrees from Indiana University-Bloomington. She has served as vice chair of the Woods Charitable Fund from 2007-2010, as well as numerous community boards and university committees. In 2014, she was invited to be a TEDx speaker with a speech titled “Big Goals Not Required.”

Chang said the success of the Lied Center is a good sign for the arts in Lincoln.

“The Lincoln Symphony’s partnership with the Lied Center is a great sign. The Lied Center’s increased attendance, especially in classical programming, is a great sign,” Chang said. “It’s extremely pleasing to see audiences who are sophisticated and informed enough to embrace great art that the Lied Center, the Lincoln Symphony and the Glenn Korff School of Music produce on a constant basis at a high level.”

Chang said her role as Artistic Director for the Lied Center for Performing Arts is just an extension of what she and her colleagues do in their roles as faculty members.

“It’s just continuing another angle of what we’re trying to do in the School of Music,” Chang said. “Our goal is to assist in developing highly talented professionals. I look forward to the day when one of our graduates might appear on the Lied Center series. I’m very happy to remain in the work of the arts.”