Debra Lew Harder
With doctorates in both medicine and music, pianist Debra Lew Harder believes in the power of music to transform people's lives. Debra started playing the piano by ear at age three and began formal lessons at six, making her orchestral debut at twelve. At sixteen, she performed and recorded the Ravel G Major Concerto with the World Youth Symphony.
After earning a medical degree and practicing as an ER physician, she received a doctorate in music from the Ohio State University, where she studied with American virtuoso Earl Wild. Debra has performed with orchestras and in solo recitals around the world, including appearances at Wigmore Hall in London, The Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, Xavier University Piano Series, American University in Washington, DC, Colorado Music Fest, the historic Barocksaal in Rostock Germany, Haverford College's Guest Artists Series and its Music and Conversation series, Jefferson Medical College's Dean's Concert Series, The Curtis Institute, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. She was the founder of the Grand Piano Concert Series in Columbus, Ohio. As a collaborative pianist, she performs with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and regularly with her Trio MiReSol.
Debra was recently named Classical Mid-Day Host at WRTI-FM in Philadelphia, broadcasting live Tuesday-Friday from 10-2. You can also hear Debra host her popular "Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse", also on WRTI. She conducts Philadelphia Orchestra broadcast interviews, hosts live-to-broadcast performances, and produces arts news features for the station as well.
Her creative output includes numerous transcriptions for solo piano from the medieval, jazz, orchestral and non-Western repertoire. Debra has taught for many years at Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges in Pennsylvania and is currently working with students at Jefferson University developing a Medicine + Music program for its Co-Curriculum Initiative.