I am dedicated to nurturing talent of all ages. I hold both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School in New York City, and have taught as a Professor of Piano at The Juilliard School as well as The University of Southern California. I have been on the faculty at the University of Southern California as Professor of Piano for multiple seasons. Additionally, I've given numerous master classes at universities across the world while traveling internationally to perform.
In addition to professional teaching credentials, I teach piano privately in the Los Angeles area, and give Master Classes to those looking to enhance their piano performance.
I use my extensive performance and teaching experience to help students advance their piano technique. With a combination of mastering the basics, accountability for practice and repetition, and some advanced tips from a pro, I haves successfully trained students for competition, performance, and more.
I am now accepting new students for private piano lessons. Lessons can be held in person, remotely via video conference for those looking for such an option.
I love to help people discover the love of music within themselves and bring out their innate talents and abilities through proven and time honored techniques and traditions. Also, the students have fun!
Re: Recommendation for Dr. Daniel Lessner, Music Teacher, Composer, Instructor This is a letter of recommendation to who is interested in Dr. Lessner as a piano instructor/consultant in the music industry utilized in a personal teaching environment or advanced training of academic achievement. Daniel Lessner has been the instructor for our children for almost 3 years now. He works under demanding schedules with other students and professional music industry personnel and is capable of developing the potentials of all his students while contributing to the success in their music careers. Daniel Lessner is one of the few teachers who is a concert pianist and devotes his time to others interested in the love of music. He works with independent music producers as well as major motion picture soundtrack requirements, bringing to his students the real world essentials whether be Classical, Contemporary or Jazz curriculum. Dr. Lessner is also a certified CM Instructor dedicated to the advancement of academic endeavors for the young. Organized and diligent, Dr. Lessner always has his lessons in order and earned the respect of all students with his integrity and commitment. I would definitely recommend Dr. Daniel Lessner as a Professional Master in any capacity having to do with the training, development and creation of music. Sincerely, Douglas and Erika Young Proud Parents of Vincent and Benjamin P.S.: Welcome to call for reference (805)428-2723
Daniel Lessner is a brilliant pianist who plays with passion, intelligence, and intensity, and he brings the same brilliance and passion to his teaching. As a student who already had some background in piano before coming to Daniel, Daniel absolutely took my playing to the next level, both technically and musically speaking. My technique improved in difficult passages by Rachmaninov, Chopin, and other technically challenging composers after studying with Daniel. Musically, Daniel was also always able to articulate exactly what a piece was trying to evoke and knew how to bring this musicality out of me. His passion is contagious and his expertise is daunting, and even after one lesson, I often found that my playing had improved enormously. Over the years, he pushed my limits musically and my musicianship grew exponentially as a result. My lessons with him have stayed with me over the years and I absolutely would highly, highly recommend him to anyone who wants to study piano.
Daniel is an exceptional teacher, pianist, mentor, and role model. I've played piano since I was around 6 years old and had my fair share of teachers, but no teacher was able to help me improve as much as Daniel did. Throughout my years taking lessons with him, my sight-reading abilities and repertoire become vastly more advanced and I still am able to use the techniques he taught me as I practice remotely in college. I will be forever grateful for the knowledge, passion, and talent that Daniel graced me with. If you want to become a better pianist, I 11/10 recommend him as a teacher.
I have known Daniel for several years, and can strongly recommend him as both a teacher and a performer. His vast experience and talent set him apart, and any student would be lucky to have him as their teacher.
I find out first from the student what their goals and expectations are and then create a plan with the student to accomplish those goals.
University of Southern California, Adjunct Professor of Piano - 2005, 2011 Juilliard School, Assistant Professor of Piano to Adele Marcus - 1983-86 Juilliard School, Assistant Professor of Keyboard Studies - 1981-84
Taught music analysis and appreciation classes including detailed formal analysis of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka and Rite of Spring, Prokofiev’s Piano Sonatas, and Wagner/Liszt Transcriptions
Private Classes 1986-2018
Angela Cholakian received highest possible score from USC Jury in 2005 for her program including a Chopin Nocturne.
Lara Roizen was the 2nd prizewinner in the 2009 Los Angeles Music Teachers Association’s Concerto competition for her performance of Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Concerto.
Ray Ushikubo is the very young winner of many prizes and has performed in Disney Hall with Lang Lang.
Gloria Campaner was the 2nd prizewinner of the 1st Annual Paderewski International Piano Competition held at the Colburn School in Los Angeles in June 2010, and also won the Jury Special Prize for performances of Paderewski’s music.
The Juilliard School
Bachelor of Music Master of Music Doctoral Candidate
Teachers: Adele Marcus, Piano; David Diamond, Milton Babbitt, Composition; Sam Sanders, Felix Galimir, Leonard Rose, Julius Baker, Chamber Music; Daniel Ferro, Vocal Accompaniment; Joseph Bloch, David Dubal, Keyboard Studies.
Other Professional Experience
EMI Records – A&R Executive (1996-1997)
Composer and Producer – (1982-2018)
Over 100 projects in Film and Television in New York City and Hollywood, including the Clio Award winning United Airlines Worldwide Campaign featuring Rhapsody in Blue (Piano – Daniel Lessner, Orchestra – LA Philharmonic, Recorded at Capital Records Studio A.)
Northern Michigan University, May 2014, Mozart, Brahms-Handel Northern Michigan University, October 2013, Bach, Chopin, Stravinsky
University of Colorado at Pueblo, February, 2012; Goldberg Variations, Rachmaninoff Etudes-Tableaux
University of Colorado at Pueblo, October, 2011; Tchaikovsky Concerto, Beethoven, Schumann, Stravinsky
Minot State University, North Dakota, April 2010; Mozart and Beethoven Sonatas, Ginastera Sonata
Radford University, Virginia, April 2010; Haydn Sonatas, Rachmaninoff Preludes Berklee College, Boston, February 2010; Prokofiev Sonatas
University of Colorado at Pueblo, February, 2010; Chopin Mazurkas, Beethoven Sonatas, Mendelssohn Songs Without Words
University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, October 2008; Chopin Etudes, Mozart Concerto, Schumann Faschingsschwank aus Wien
Escuela de Moderna Musica, Santiago, Chile, October 2008; Rachmaninoff Etude- Tableaux, Beethoven Sonata
Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, April 2008; Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition, Beethoven Appassionata Sonata
Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, December 2006; Prokofiev Sonata no. 6, Tchaikovsky Concerto no. 1, Chopin Etudes
University of Miami, May, 2006; Barber Sonata, Scarlatti, and Chopin University of Southern California, 2005; Chopin Sonata no. 2, Schubert Sonata in B flat
Chopin Etudes Op. 10, Complete, Wake Forest University, North Carolina, December 2017
Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles, August 2017
Rachmaninoff Concerto no. 3 with the Marquette Symphony, Michigan - May 2014
Prokofiev Concerto no. 3 with the Marquette Symphony, Michigan - October 2013
Recitals in Marquette, Michigan - October 2013
Recital at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido – September 2012
Prokofiev Concerto no. 3 with the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra, Colorado - February 2012
Recital at Kfar-Shmaryahu Auditorium, Israel – December 2011
Tchaikovsky Concerto no. 1, Pueblo Symphony Orchestra, Colorado - October 2010
Recitals in Pueblo, Colorado - October 2010
Recitals in Accra, Ghana, Africa - May 2010 Recitals in Little Rock, Arkansas - April 2010
Performance of Goldberg Variations in Carnegie-Weill Hall in New York City, as Winner of IBLA Grand Prize International Piano Competition - April 2010
Recital at Radford University, Virginia - April 2010
Recital in Bottineau, North Dakota - April 2010
Recitals at Minot State University, North Dakota - April 2010
Recital at Berklee College of Music, Boston - February 2010
Chopin Concerto no. 1, Pueblo Symphony Orchestra, Pueblo CO - February 2010
Recitals in Pueblo, Colorado - February 2010
Performance of Goldberg Variations in Ragusa, Sicily, Italy as Winner of IBLA Grand Prize International Piano Competition - July 2009
Recital at University of Miami, Florida - May 2009 Rachmaninoff Concerto no. 3, Filarmonica de Chile, Santiago, Chile - October 2008
Recital at School of Modern Music, Santiago, Chile - October 2008
Bernard Herrmann Piano Concerto and Chopin Nocturne, Pasadena Symphony – July 2008
Recital at Pasadena Jazz Institute, Pasadena - June 2008 Recital at Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts - April 2008
Rhapsody in Blue, Solo Piano Version, Washington DC - November, 2007
Rhapsody in Blue, Solo Piano Version, Boston – July 2007 Rachmaninoff Concerto no. 3, Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, Massachusetts - December 2006
Recital at University of Miami, Florida, May 2006
Recital at Mark Taper Hall, Los Angeles - April 2006
Recital at Gussman Hall, University of Miami, Florida - April 2005
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, California Philharmonic, Pasadena - July 2005
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, California Philharmonic, Disney Hall - July 2005
Winner of the 2009 IBLA Grand Prize International Piano Competition, Italy Winner of Tchaikovsky Concerto Competition, Juilliard School Winner of Miecyslau Munz Prize, Juilliard School Winner of Van Cliburn Award, Interlochen, Michigan
Winner of Rachmaninoff Concerto Competition, Interlochen, Michigan Winner of MacDowell Concerto Competition, Interlochen, Michigan Irene Muir Award for Most Outstanding Talent, Florida MTA Concerto Competition, Florida
Finalist of Maryland International Competition, Maryland
Finalist and Chopin/Liszt Special Award Winner of Palm Beach International Competition, Florida
Finalist of Grand Rapids International Competition, Michigan
Earlier highlights include:
Recitals on tour with New York Philharmonia on White Star Line Classical Music Cruise in Brazil and Caribbean – 2000
Brahms-Paganini Variations in Carnegie Hall, New York City – 1998 Beethoven Concerto no. 4, Orchestra de San Luis, San Luis, Argentina – 1994 Recital in Santa Fe, New Mexico – 1994 Recital in Buffalo, New York – 1994 Numerous recitals in Miami, Florida - 1983-91 Recitals in Palm Beach, Florida, Hyannisport, Massachusetts, and McLean, Virginia, for the DNC Recitals in the Smithsonian and National Galleries of Art in Washington, DC -1991 Recitals in Dallas, and Amarillo, Texas - 1987 Recitals in Alexandria, Virginia - 1986-7 Liszt Concerto no. 1, Queens Symphony, New York - 1984 Tchaikovsky Concerto no. 1, University of Maryland - 1981 Tchaikovsky Concerto no. 1, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, New York - 1981 Recital at Ambassador Hall, Pasadena - 1981 Recital at The University of Southern California – 1980