A native of Terre Haute, Indiana, Marcia Eckert holds degrees in Piano Performance from Indiana University School of Music and State University of New York at StonyBrook. Teachers have included Jorge Bolet, Gilbert Kalish, Claude Frank, William Masselos, Seymour Bernstein, and Lucy Greene. Ms. Eckert is active as piano soloist and collaborative artist and has appeared in the Mostly Mozart Festival, as well as at Merkin, Alice Tully, and Weill concert halls, and London’s Leighton House. She has been referred to as “a pianist of impressive skill and sensitivity, the sort of keyboard collaborator that every instrumentalist dreams of” (Scott Cantrell, Albany Times-Union). She has partnered Timothy Merton in a cello/piano duo, violinist Ruth Ehrlich (with whom she recorded an album of music by Germaine Tailleferre), and pianist Deborah Gilwood in the Eckert/Gilwood Duo. Other chamber groups include Aurelia, The Beehive, Dulcinea Trio, Blue Door and Sarasa. She has recorded for the Cambria, Leonarda and Ravello labels. At Mannes College the New School for Music, she teaches piano and chamber music in the Preparatory Division. She is the founder/director of Pianophoria!, a summer piano intensive for adults and is a longtime member of the Leschetizky Association.
Deborah Gilwood has appeared as a soloist, as well as a collaborator with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Long Island Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonia, and Solisti New York. An active chamber musician, Ms. Gilwood has performed with Musical Elements, Infusion, Alliance for American Song, Blue Door with cellist Arthur Cook, and the Eckert/Gilwood Piano Duo. She and Mr. Cook are the co-founders of Blue Door Chamber Music, and their recording, Censored by Hitler, was recorded for the Centaur label. Ms. Gilwood has performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and the Miller Theater in New York. She attended Mannes College of Music, and received degrees in Piano Performance from SUNY Purchase and SUNY Stony Brook. Her principal teachers include Richard Goode, Gilbert Kalish and Lucy Greene. She has taught piano at Smith College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Seton Hall University, and currently teaches at Westfield State University and Mt. Holyoke College. Ms Gilwood has been on the faculty of Pianophoria! since 2007.
The Eckert/Gilwood Duo was formed in 1994. They have performed in the New York area numerous times including at Mannes and Queens College, the Howland Cultural Center in Beacon, NY and in Northampton, MA. Their children’s program Piano Magic: Beauties, Beasts, Bells and More...has been presented at the Howland Cultural Center on the Classics for Kids series, as well as at Mannes Prep. In addition to performing, the duo has presented master classes for young pianists.