A creative and engaging multi-instrumentalist, Mary Vanhoozer began piano lessons at age five in Edinburgh, Scotland, with her father, an amateur pianist and professional theologian. At age seven, she started violin lessons with June Nelson, a member of the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra, and developed an enduring love of folk music. Mary's French mother further cultivated a love of folk tunes by introducing Mary to French folk songs at an early age. These formative experiences continue to fuel Mary's artistic work and creativity today. In 2019 she officially launched Bard and Ceilidh: a classically trained folk-inspired artist's multi-track recording project. Mary maintains an active music making schedule. In addition to tune writing and playing, she is studying traditional European folk music for hurdy gurdy with Richard Taylor.
Mary has performed on both piano and violin in prestigious venues including Orchestral Hall in Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center. She has appeared as a soloist (piano) with the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra and the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra. She has performed solo piano programs and taught masterclasses at numerous academic institutions across the United States including Wheaton College (IL), Biola University, California Baptist University, Oakland University, and Denison University. Her debut recording for solo piano, From Leipzig to LA, features the complete keyboard partitas of J. S. Bach as well as a commissioned work, Partita Picosa, by Josh Rodriguez.
Mary released her first album of original music in 2015, Songs of Day and Night. The music reflects both her love of folk music as well as early music sensibilities, demonstrated in transparent textures and modal melodies. Mary's second album of original music, Bard and Ceilidh, features instrumentals as well as songs. Mary is also joined on some tunes by lute player Laudon Schuett and cellist Robert Nicholson. The album has received positive reception, and has been broadcast on the UK National FM radio.
Mary is co-founder of Pear Tree and Partridge, a duo of renaissance women with a passion for bringing art and beauty into conversation with the rhythms and routines of everyday life. In addition to concerts, Pear Tree and Partridge also shares blogs, poetry, and recipes on their website, creating a virtual space for artistic reflection and personal rejuvenation. To find out more about the duo, please visit:
Mary received her degrees in piano performance: her BM from Wheaton College Conservatory, her MM from the Eastman School of Music, and her DMA from the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is grateful for the artistic inspiration and musical mentorship of: Daniel Shapiro, Daniel Paul Horn, Douglas Humpherys, Paul O'Dette, Peter Slowik, June Nelson, Carol Honigberg, and Richard Taylor.