Ellen Sommer

Ellen Sommer
  • Associate Professor of the Practice
  • Piano

Contact Info

318 Murphy Hall
1530 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045-3103


M.M. University of Missouri – Kansas City; B.M. Missouri Western University

Pianist Ellen R. Sommer has quickly established a reputation as a much sought-after collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and coach. She performs extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Central and South Americas, Europe and Asia. Most recent engagements have included concerts and master classes at Universidad de Costa Rica Conservatory in San Jose, Costa Rica. Additionally, Ellen traveled to Tokyo with the Allegresse trio, premiering two new pieces at the International Double Reed Society conference.

Sommer often serves as a pianist for regional, national and international competitions and festivals, as well as recital series and radio broadcasts. Sommer is a frequent performer in the live broadcast studio at Kansas Public Radio. Additionally Sommer coaches and performs for several summer camps and institutes, including the Omaha Conservatory of Music Institute, BLYAP and Sound Encounters Suzuki Strings camp in Ottawa, Kansas, Midwestern Music Camp in Lawrence, Kansas, and Interlochen Academy in Michigan.

Recently Sommer was awarded a prestigious honor as a 2016 Distinguished Alumni from Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph, MO.

Sommer is a founding member of Allegresse, a fresh and inspiring trio for flute, oboe and piano.  Recently the trio was invited to present a recital and master classes at the Festival of New American Music in Sacramento, California. Allegresse is currently completing a third CD recording and preparing for a March 2017 premiere of two new works for the trio, including soprano.

Sommer has collaborated on numerous professional recordings, including four under the auspices of Potenza Records.  Most recently, Sommer recorded works of composer, Ingrid Stolzel for the Parma label.

Sommer currently serves as a lecturer in piano at the University of Kansas School of Music.  She performs regularly with faculty, visiting artists, and students. From 1994-2003 Sommer taught at Missouri Western State University, both as piano and voice faculty.