Nevada DRIVE Research Assistantships recipients | Research | The Graduate School

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Adea Badivuku, PhD student in piano performance


Adea Badivuku is a concert pianist from Kosovo. She grew up listening to classical music, with her favorite styles being romantic and contemporary. A pianist who has recently performed at Carnegie Hall and won first prize at the New York International Piano Competition, she is privileged to be the first doctoral student in piano performance from Kosovo in the United States. During her studies, Adea took part in numerous piano competitions, master classes and music workshops. She has performed at many concerts and festivals in the Balkans, Europe and the USA and has collaborated with well-known artists in the music world.

Badivuku was accepted into Central Michigan University in 2019 as an MM student with a full GA in Piano. In 2021, she joined the university team as a DMA candidate with a full piano performance scholarship and a GRA position. Adea is the Vice President of the University Music Teachers National Association and the representative of the Music Graduate Student Council. She is part of the Graduate Student Association and serves on performing arts and student council committees. She is also co-founder and performer of the ADE DUO ensemble.

Adea Badivuku explores the diverse colors of contemporary piano music techniques. She analyzes several new music notation, internalizes contemporary piano notation into her pianistic skills and teaches her students and colleagues while sharing the experiences with interdisciplinary colleagues. She is interested in works for piano/midi keyboard with tape music, mainly in terms of tonal sound quality. In 2021, she wrote an article entitled Moving Beyond the Traditional Piano: A Literature Review of Extended Techniques and Electronic Enhancements, in which she examined several new standard musical techniques for piano performance and was admitted to the Michigan Music Conference.

She has recently collaborated with composers and painters to perform in an audiovisual art installation called Shadows. She explores the music of John Cage from a technical and contextual perspective. Badivuku explores Cage’s prepared piano and landscape approach and collaboration with electro-acoustic music.

“Being a Drive Scholar was a great honor for me! This award enabled me to focus solely on my academic advancement. I was able to work towards the album release of my duo ensemble, managed to collaborate with other artists like a painter from Istanbul and a composer from UCSB to put together an audiovisual work of art and most importantly it helped me focus on creating the proposal establishing a festival for innovative/contemporary art in Kosovo, Reno and Santa Barbara. After all, I believe hard work always pays off.”

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