MELISSA EVANS TIERRA is an American concert pianist, painter, and teacher known for her avant garde approach to music and art. She frequently records and performs works written by living composers and in many cases introduces audiences to music never before recorded or performed. Frequently, she also weaves her art with the music, creating acrylic paintings inspired by these pieces. Her paintings are abstract in nature and often include deep textures, a rich color palette, and evoke an emotional reaction in the viewer. As a performer, she commands a large presence for her small stature, dazzling audiences with her virtuosity and musicality while cleverly conjuring those listening to think outside the box.
She received her BM degree from Baylor University, studying with James Williams and her MM degree from The Cleveland Institute of Music, studying with Cliburn winning pianist, Antonio Pompa-Baldi. She also received a Postgraduate Diploma from the Koninklijk Vlaams Conservatorium in Antwerp, Belgium, studying with Levente Kende. Mrs. Tierra has performed recitals in Austria, Italy, Belgium, and Israel and has been highly praised for her interpretation of modern music, frequently premiering new works on her recitals. She has studied with many other notable teachers including Jerome Rose, Kum Sing Lee, Alon Goldstein and honed her craft of modern music with composers, Lowell Liebermann, Jo Verdis, Jacob Adams, Luca Moscardi, and Chetan Tierra focusing on their works specifically. Melissa has also won several notable performance awards and been featured on radio and television. In March of 2021, she was featured in a full page interview with the San Diego Union Tribune for her latest concept concert, Compassion for a Modern World.
Melissa is currently is co-founder and Academy Chair for the San Diego Piano Academy which not only teaches students in the San Diego area but also worldwide through several online course programs. She resides in San Diego, CA with her husband, Chetan Tierra who is also a concert pianist and composer.