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David Northington

KNOXVILLE — David Northington, professor of music at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has been selected by the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society as the 2010-12 National Phi Kappa Phi Artist for his accomplishments as a pianist, professor and campus and community volunteer.

Only one of these awards is given nationally every three years.

“Dr. Northington has lived out his commitment to excellence as a performer, as a teacher and as an officer of the society’s chapter at UT Knoxville,” said Phi Kappa Phi Executive Director Perry Snyder. “He has adroitly combined performing and teaching with serving his honor society. Indeed, he epitomizes the servant leader ideal.”

Northington has performed concerts and concerto engagements throughout the United States, eastern and western Europe, Canada, China and Russia. In addition, he has led master classes at many of the leading conservatories in these countries.

He performed solo recitals in the U.S., Italy and Poland following the 2006 international release of his CD, “Chopin Waltzes,” and has toured extensively in France, Spain and Portugal as an artistic ambassador for the U.S.

Currently, Northington is preparing to release recordings of the complete solo and transcribed piano works of the great American composer, Aaron Copland. These will be released by Centaur Records on three separate compact discs.

Roger Stephens, director of the UT School of Music, notes Northington’s professional and academic accomplishments.

“David Northington is truly an outstanding artist/teacher. He is nationally and internationally known for his artistry but just as importantly for his work as a leader on campus and in the community,” he said. “David’s award from Phi Kappa Phi brings well-deserved distinction and honor to himself and to the UT School of Music.”

Receiving numerous performance and teaching awards, Northington is a leader on campus and in the community. He serves his Phi Kappa Phi chapter as president, has served the same capacity for the Knoxville City Ballet, is on the board of UT’s public radio station, WUOT, Knoxville’s Young Pianist Series, the UT School of Music’s Development Board of Advisors, and serves on several arts councils.

Northington, who also routinely lends his considerable talents to charity events, said he was humbled by the honor.

“Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest and certainly one of the most prestigious academic honor societies in the nation. It has been my honor to serve as the president of the UT chapter for the past year, as well as its treasurer for the preceding five years,” Northington said. “I am indeed humbled and honored to be selected by the National Headquarters as its Phi Kappa Phi Artist for the 2010-12 triennium.”

Northington has been a professor of music at UT Knoxville since 1977. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from Yale University School of Music.

First presented in 1983, the Phi Kappa Phi Artist Award recognizes the achievements of those who, in addition to their outstanding scholarship, have displayed talents in the broad realm of the arts — creative, graphic, performing, visual and/or fine arts. Recipients receive a $1,000 honorarium.

The Tennessee chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was one of the three original chapters of the honor society when it was founded in 1897. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, La. Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually more than 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. The society has chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. For more information, visit

C O N T A C T :

Kristi Hintz (865-974-3993,