Nathan Eck tickles the ivories on his journey toward grad school


Nathan Eck (‘23) performed a piano recital in the Noble Recital Hall in preparation for graduate school on November 11. Photo courtesy of Hunter Meyer Photography.

The sounds of Bach, Beethoven, and more rang out from the Noble Recital Hall at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 11. The performance gave one student, Nathan Eck (‘23), a chance to put his skills to the test; Eck’s piano showcase was just one single stop on his larger musical journey. 


Eck is a senior majoring in philosophy and music. His recital was just the beginning of the myriad of preparations he will be making in the coming months. Eck is currently applying to graduate schools to continue studying the piano. Eck noted that he had to work hard to secure this performance.  


“This is actually my ninth semester,” Eck said. “I had my proper degree recital last March, [and] I am in the process of applying [to] graduate school. This is all music for that. I had to petition to have this recital happen in front of the music board just so I could have this chance to get ready for applications.”


Studying under Professor of Music John Strauss, Eck’s love for the piano has grown from a passion to a dream career. In his recital, Eck played a variety of pieces, including notable ones by Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Alban Berg and Frédéric Chopin. Eck named a few members of the Luther community who inspired him and supported him throughout his journey. 


“Definitely my professor, John Strauss,” Eck said. “[Assistant Professor of Music] Nicholas Shaneyfelt is also a piano teacher who has helped me a lot. Honestly, I would say a lot of people have [shown support,] those are just the main ones.”


While Eck played, both students and faculty alike gathered to listen. Associate Professor of Philosophy and Identity Studies Holly Moore attended to support Eck as his professor. Moore expressed admiration for Eck’s performance.


“For one thing, it is unbelievably beautiful,” Moore said. “This is world class artistry, [and] we are so lucky to have access to that. It is also so important to support our students in their creative endeavors and in their exceptional excellence.”


Since March, Eck has spent six to eight hours every day preparing for the recital, a fact recognized by his classmates. Sam Llamzon (‘24) is in piano seminar with Eck and has witnessed his diligence. Llamzon pointed to the importance of student recitals.  


“[Recitals] provide the student performing with an opportunity to learn music [and] enjoy playing in front of an audience, or showcase their hard work,” Llamzon said. “For the community it is really important just to have the opportunity to witness what is happening in the music department, perhaps learn something, or just enjoy a night of amazing music.” 

The next student recital will feature Emily Fisher (‘23) on saxophone on November 15 at 6:45 p.m. in the Noble Recital Hall. A full list of student recitals can be found on Luther’s upcoming events page: