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Based in Southeastern Michigan, pianist John Etsell collaborates with musical artists from all around the world. His playing has been described as “well-balanced and sensitive” (Cleveland Classical) and “gorgeous, and heart-rending” (CASA Magazine).

He currently works with Detroit Opera, the University of Michigan, and Adrian College, and has been a pianist and vocal coach at the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Piobbico, Italy, and The Institute for Young Dramatic Voices in Reno, NV.

Equally active in the instrumental realm, John is a member of the Lumino trio (, which has been described as “just the sort of high-execution, high-ambition ensemble that Detroit’s chamber music world so desperately needs” (Avant Music News).


In addition to performing, John is also a passionate teacher, having taught at the Santa Barbara Music and Arts Conservatory, and Adrian College.


John holds degrees in Piano Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Nevada, Reno, and received his D.M.A. in Collaborative Piano at the University of Michigan, where he studied with Martin Katz. He espouses a creative, open-minded, and improvisatory approach to performance informed by scholarship, personal sensibility, and intuition. 

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