Dr. John Vaughan is an American pianist who lives in Taipei, Taiwan. A full-time professor of piano, he is also a performer, lecturer, writer, and music presenter whose activities span the divide between academia and popular entertainment. At Soochow University, where Dr. Vaughan has been professor of piano for over 25 years, he teaches courses in piano performance and piano literature.
As a lecturer, he presents weekly seminars on piano music to piano teachers and students who follow along with the score while he performs and examines works from both performance and pedagogical perspectives. Known for both his highly entertaining style and unique musical insights, Dr. Vaughan has presented over 500 musical works covering the entire history of keyboard.
As a performer, he presents lecture-concerts as soloist or with instrumentalists and singers. His recent solo concerts include Cloudy with a Chance of Bass Clefs and A Musical Journey with JV Tours. His lecture concerts with other performers include Beethoven’s Three Amigos, as well as Two Johnnies Walking and Unraveling Ravel with string players from the NSO, also A Pair of New Shoes with flautist Anders Norell, and Unlikely Friends with percussionist Tim Hogan. He has also appeared as Narrator in both English and Chinese performing The Composer is Dead and This is 20th Century Music with the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Vaughan and his student of 21 years, blind pianist Hsu Zhe-Cheng, have been performing together since 2008. Their interest in presenting classical music in novel ways led to the creation of “Just Play It” with director Ismene Ting and Performance Workshop, Asia’s premiere theater group. “Just Play It,” which combines music from diverse styles with comedy, theater and storytelling, has received more than 150 performances in over 40 different cities throughout Taiwan and China.
Their latest show ” Do You See What I Hear” has begun in 2018 and first performed in small venues for students. Since 2020, it has received performances in the major concert halls throughout Taiwan.
From 2011-2018, Dr. Vaughan wrote a monthly column for the Performance Arts Review published by the Taipei National Concert Hall. A collection of these essays have been published as “Musical Marvels, Musings…and Murder!”