Shuko Watanabe Petty Instructor of Music, Applied Piano, Accompanying, Aural Skills

Shuko Watanabe Petty

Wilson Hall 4025

Shuko Watanabe Petty received her early musical training in Japan under Noriko Kanayama and Shuku Iwasaki. Matriculating to the United States for further study, Watanabe entered the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University as a scholarship student under Lillian Freundlich, completing her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance. She later earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, where she studied with professors Stewart Gordon, Roy Hamlin Johnson, and Ray Luck. Her dissertation, Tradition and Synthesis: Influences on the Solo Piano Works of 34 Japanese Composers Surveyed (704 pp), dealt extensively with the ethnomusicological aspects of traditional Japanese music as well as with contemporary Western-style compositions by Japanese composers.  


Dr. Watanabe is frequently engaged as a soloist, chamber-music performer, and as a lecturer. She has appeared in Japan and throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West, and Southern United States, at over 45 colleges, universities, along with concert series and other venues. Her performances have been regularly broadcast on Public Radios, WVTF and WMRA/WMEC. She has been a featured soloist with the Elon University Orchestra, Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke, and Washington and Lee University Symphony Orchestra: her repertoire includes Bach's Keyboard Concerto in D Major; Mozart's Double Piano Concerto; Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 & No. 3; and the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1. As a founding member of Ardo Duo/Ardo Consort with her husband, Byron W. Petty, she has credits on three CDs (including MP3 downloads): Traveler’s Tales (2007/2012); Tendrils (2010) and Clementi Grand: His Works, His Piano (2014)

Dr. Watanabe has been on the faculty at Washington and Lee University since 1991 and currently teaches courses in Applied Piano, Aural Skills, and Supervised Accompanying. She is also a member of the coaching faculty for the Princeton Chamber Play Week Virginia during the summer. Previously, she taught at several area colleges in Virginia, including Hollins University, Roanoke College, and Southern Virginia University. Other past professional positions include two terms as Secretary/Treasurer for the College Music Society Mid-Atlantic Chapter; Music Director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke, Virginia; founder of the "Con Spirito" Concert Series of Roanoke, Virginia; and as Board of Directors/Artistic Director of the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke, Virginia.


Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance: Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, 1978

Master of Music in Piano Performance: Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, 1979

Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance: University of Maryland at College Park, 1992 (Pi Kappa Lambda)


Contemporary Japanese Piano Music; Contemporary American Piano Music; Historical Keyboard Performance Practice, Piano Pedagogy, Collaborative Piano


Music 108 Supervised Accompanying

Music 141P, 241P, 341P, 441P Applied Piano

Music 161 Aural Skills (First Term)

Music 162 Aural Skills (Second Term)

Music 261 Aural Skills (Third Term)

Selected Publications

“Tradition and Synthesis, East and West: Japanese Contemporary Piano Music for Children,” American Music Teachers Magazine (MTNA), October/November, 1991

“Synthesis of Traditional Elements in Western-style Solo Piano Works by Japanese Contemporary Composers,” website publication, Hamilton College, 1996

“Solo Piano Works of Masao Honma: Searching for the Japanese Sensitivity,” website publication, Hamilton College, 1996


Parma Artist, Parma Recordings [Capstone, Ravello Navona Lebels/Naxos Distribution]  

As a founding member of Ardo Duo (with her husband, Byron W. Petty) and Ardo Consort

  • Traveler’s Tales—Recent Compositions of Byron W. Petty, Capstone Records label [CPS-8776], currently available as MP3 downloads through Navona label (re-released in 2012)
  • Tendrils, Navona Records/Parma Recordings [NV 5833], 2010: music of Byron W. Petty, also available as MP3 download through Amazon, iTunes, etc.
  • Clementi Grand: His Works, His Fortepiano, Navona Records/Naxos Distribution [NV5966], 2014: utilizing Washington & Lee University's "1814 Clementi Grand Piano," featuring solo and duet works of Clementi (recorded together with her colleagues, Dr. Timothy Gaylard and Parma Artist Byron W. Petty on 1-key traverse flute), celebrating the instrument's 200th anniversary. MP3 download through iTunes,, Classics on Line, Spotfy, Rdio & Naxos Music

Paper/Lecture/Lecture-Recital Presentations

Roanoke Valley Virginia Music Teachers Association, 15 April 1994

Central Virginia MTA/Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, 20 April 1994 

Northern Virginia Community College, 8 November 1996

George Washington University, 9 November 1996

State University of New York at Potsdam, 3 April 1997

Southern Virginia University, 18 January 2006

Virginia Military Institute, 22 January 2006

“Twentieth Century Music Encounter Series: Panel Discussion:” Contemporary Art Group, Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, 21 March 1991

“Widening the Horizon of Western Music with Eastern Elements: Synthesis of Traditional Elements in Western-style Solo Piano Works by Japanese Contemporary Composers” (lecture-demonstration): National Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc., The Imagine ’96 Festival, University of Memphis, Tennessee, 29 March 1996