Ethel Caffie-Austin

Barbara Nissman

born 1944, Philadelphia, PA

Born in Philadelphia, Barbara Nissman is a “West Virginian By Choice” who has lived in Lewisburg for more than three decades. Hailed as “one of the last pianists in the grand Romantic tradition of Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and Rubinstein,” her recordings include a number of “definitive” works as well as releases on her own Three Oranges Recordings label.

Nissman has performed with some of the world’s leading orchestras including the London, Royal, Rotterdam, Munich and New York Philharmonics, as well as the Chicago, Pittsburgh and St. Louis symphonies.

In addition to performing and recording, contributing to books and music publications, and presenting master classes at universities in the U.S. and Europe, her music lecture series, Barbara and Friends, appeared on the BBC network and has been adapted for children in collaboration with the Greenbrier Valley Theatre. She performed with Don Henley and Billy Joel at a fundraiser at Lincoln Center as well as performing at the Kennedy Center’s 25th Anniversary Gala Concert.

Since 2002, she has been involved with the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation, raising more than $2 million for AIDS service organizations worldwide. She holds the Governor’s Distinguished Service to the Arts Award from the State of West Virginia, along with the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award.