Pianist Lois Svard has received critical acclaim for her performances and recordings of contemporary piano music.  She has premiered more than a dozen works written specifically for her and has recorded for both Lovely Music, Inc., and Innovera Studios.  Fanfare magazine wrote: “Svard’s performance impresses. . . as so in keeping with the music’s soul as to sound a syncretic marvel.”  Her DVD of Annea Lockwood’s prepared piano work Ear-Walking Woman has been called “fascinating,” “irresistible, “full of subtleties,” and” a superb way to experience Lockwood’s work.”

Photo by Julie Louisa Hagenbuch

Svard has performed as a soloist at festivals and on concert series across the United States and in Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.  Her performances often celebrate the avant-garde in piano music, whether in the music of Franz Liszt in the nineteenth century, or in more recent works using multimedia, prepared piano, digital keyboard or microtonal tunings.

Svard is also known for her work in applying current neuroscience research to the study and performance of music.  Results of her work have been presented at national science conferences such as the Society for Music Perception and Cognition and the Performing Arts Medical Association, and at national and international music conferences and meetings such as the International Society for Music Education (Thessaloniki, Beijing, and Glasgow), the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in London, the European Piano Teachers Association in Amsterdam, the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations in Halifax and Winnipeg, and the Music Teachers National Association in multiple US cities.  

Her blog, The Musician’s Brain, has introduced readers in more than 120 countries to some of the latest research in neuroscience and music.  Her  book The Musical Brain: what students, teachers, and performers need to know, recently released by Oxford University Press, explores the application of recent discoveries in neuroscience to the teaching studio, the practice room, the concert stage, and the community.  

Svard is Professor of Music Emerita and former chair of the Music Department at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, where she received the 2007 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching and the 2014 Artistic Achievement Award.  She received her D.M.A. in piano performance from the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University where she studied with pianist Ann Schein.  


All music on these CDs/DVD was written for and premiered by Lois Svard.

Music of “Blue” Gene Tyranny, William Duckworth, and Robert Ashley
Lovely Music CD, 1994

“Svard is a marvelous musician, and I find it impossible to tune her out.”  -American Record Guide

“Svard’s performance casts a radiant spell.” -American Music

Music of Elodie Lauten, Jerry Hunt, and Kyle GannLovely Music CD, 1997

“Svard plays with enormous sureness and poetry. . .she has excellent taste, great intellectual and artistic curiosity, and rock-solid technique.”  -Fanfare

“Three wonderful recordings of works premiered by the brilliant new music pianist Lois Svard.” -allmusic

Music of Alvin Lucier
Music for Piano with Magnetic Strings is performed by Lois Svard
Lovely Music CD, 1999

“a fascinating and beautiful electroacoustic work.” -allmusic

Annea Lockwood, composer
Innovera Studios DVD, 2005

“Brilliant…a DVD that is irresistible.” -Musicworks

“Lois Svard’s recordings of Annea Lockwood’s Ear-Walking Woman represent a significant contribution to the performance, composition, and study of contemporary avant-garde piano music.” -Music Library Association Notes

“Svard played with an emotionality that many pianists bring to Brahms, but not to post-Cage repertoire.”

— Village Voice