Christopher Kies

Phone: (603) 862-3245
Office: Music, Paul Creative Arts Center Rm M216, Durham, NH 03824
Christopher Kies

Christopher Kies is a professor of music at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H., where he has taught piano, theory, and composition since 1979. His bachelors degrees are in piano and composition from the New England Conservatory and his M.F.A. and Ph. D. in composition are from Brandeis University. Kies is a Fulbright Fellowship recipient, and he has twice been awarded Individual Artist Fellowships in composition from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. In 2011, he won first prize in the Longfellow Chorus International Composers Competition in Portland, Maine. Both as a composer and as a performer, Kies has long been a major fan of piano ragtime. For seven straight years, 1994-2000, he performed classic ragtime pieces for First Night celebrations in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. He has composed several ragtime pieces for solo piano as well as two one-movement ragtime concertos: "Academic Festival Rag" for piano and wind ensemble (or orchestra) 2012, and "Introduction and Ragtime" for clarinet and orchestra (or piano) 2011. In recent years, his compositions have featured the combination of music and narration for young audiences, including several versions of "Little Red Riding Hood" for various ensembles (including orchestra and band) and narrator, "The Amazing Bone" (based on the story by prize-winning children's author, William Steig) for trombone, piano and narrator, "Amos and Boris" (based on a story by William Steig) for flute, bass trombone, piano and narrator, and a sequel to "Le Carnaval des Animaux" based on poems of Ogden Nash entitled "Le Tombeau de Saint-Saens" for narrator and either orchestra, wind ensemble, or brass quintet. In 2006, his "Franklin Portrait" for orchestra, double chorus and narrator was performed by student musicians from Franklin high school (Franklin, MA) in observance of the tercentenary of Ben Franklin's birth. Other compositions include two ballets, a ballet suite for orchestra, works for mixed, treble and children's chorus, music for solo piano, piano four-hands, and two pianos, and various pieces for mixed instrumental ensembles (with or without narration). Recordings of several of his works are available on CD; Kies' music is published by Veritas Musica Publishing Company.


  • Ph.D., Composition, Brandeis University
  • M.F.A., Composition, Brandeis University
  • B.M., Piano and Organ, The New England Conservatory of Music

Research Interests

  • Piano
  • Theory/composition

Courses Taught

  • MUSI 455: Collaborative Piano
  • MUSI 541: Piano
  • MUSI 541/741/841: Piano
  • MUSI 571: Theory II
  • MUSI 572: Theory II
  • MUSI 741: Piano
  • MUSI 775: Composition
  • MUSI 776: Composition
  • MUSI 777: Advanced Composition
  • MUSI 781W/881: Analysis: Form and Structure
  • MUSI 782W/882: Analysis: Form and Structure
  • MUSI 875: Composition
  • MUSI 994: Theory Seminar

Selected Artistic Activities

Accompanied the UNH Concert Choir in their spring concert performance of the Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes Vol. I (2018).

Performance of a work for two pianos by UNH exchange student, Louise Chartron (2018).

Accompanied UNH BA performance major, Erin Driscoll's, Senior Recital (2018).

Performed piano in a flute and piano recital at the Brookside Congregational Church in Manchester, NH (2018).

Performed piano on Faculty Trombone Professor, Nic Orovich's, Faculty Recital in the Bratton Hall (2018).

Performed three original arrangements of Brahms piano works for Violin and Piano on the UNH Composers Concert (2018).

Accompanied the Winter Concert of the Seacoast Choral Society (2018).

Accompanied the UNH Concert Choir in the annual Choral Gala in January (2018).

Performed as pianist with the Sospiri Trio (Janet Polk and Margaret Herlehy) for the UNH Double Reed Day (2018).

Two holiday season performances with the Portsmouth Symphony (2017).