Donald Isler


Pianist Donald Isler is the founder of KASP Records (, which has produced recordings of his performances of music by Schnabel and Spohr, as well as music of Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert and Schumann, music of the American composer, Louis Pelosi, and performances by great pianists of the past.

The New York Times has written of him “His ability to keep momentum alive through long movements makes him a most satisfying sonata player” and “Listening to Donald Isler in Schubert’s rarely-heard B Major Sonata, one thinks ‘What a marvelous piece!’” The Classical Music Guide wrote “Donald Isler brings forward the traditions of great piano playing.”

His book “Afterthoughts of a Pianist/Teacher – A Collection of Essays and Interviews” has received rave reviews from the American Record Guide, the American Music Teacher Magazine, and elsewhere. Jed Distler, who writes for Gramophone Magazine, has compared it to Abram Chasins’ book “Speaking of Pianists.” Those interviewed in the book include at least six people who have performed at the Summit Festival. 

A graduate of New York’s High School of Music and Art, he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and his teachers included Bruce Hungerford, Constance Keene, Lilian Kallir, Eleanor Hancock, Zenon Fishbein and Sina Berlinski.

Donald Isler teaches at the Hackley School Music Institute, and has served on the faculties of the Brooklyn College Preparatory Center, and many other schools. He has been an adjudicator for the Pre-College Concerto Competition at the Juilliard School, and a member of the Bruce Hungerford Award committee at the Young Concert Artists Competition.

He has written many reviews for the Classical Music Guide, and regularly writes articles about teaching and music on his Facebook page, entitled Isler’s Insights.