Born in Buffalo, New York, Anita King earned degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Iowa where she completed her Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Pedagogy in 1981. A winner of several piano competitions, King has appeared as piano soloist with the Omaha Symphony, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Pueblo Symphony, the Oberlin Orchestra, the University of Iowa Orchestra, and the Salem Chamber Orchestra. She was pianist for the Iowa Center for New Music and was piano soloist in the Berg Chamber Concerto. King performs regularly as soloist and chamber musician and has collaborated with such artists as cellists Fred Sherry and Nancy Ives, clarinetist David Shifrin, the Ridge String Quartet, sopranos Barbara Pearson, Susan Narucki, Nancy Zylstra, Kym Amps, Jenni Cook, and Allison Swenson, oboist Stephen Caplan, pianist Charles Wadsworth, and the Zephyros Wind Quintet. King was a member of Trio Northwest (piano, violin, cello) in residence at Willamette University from 1986-1997. In 1989 Trio Northwest toured South America as winners of the U.S. Information Agency “Artistic Ambassador” auditions. The Trio performed 23 concerts and presented master classes in 5 countries.
Since joining the faculty of Willamette University in 1981, King has taught piano, accompanying, chamber music, advanced music analysis courses, and, more recently, the Alexander Technique. She has also participated in interdisciplinary teaching that reflects her interest in the relationships between the arts. In 1989 King won the prestigious Graves Award which sent her to England to pursue an intensive study of Shakespeare. In 1993 and 1995 King presented a series of public lectures on Schubert’s song cycles, Die Schone Mullerin and Winterreise in which she explored the relationship of poetry to music. She performed both cycles with baritone, Julio Viamonte. In 2008, King was visiting professor for Willamette’s ILACA program in London where she taught a rollicking course on the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan. In addition to her teaching duties, King is the founder and artistic director of the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series at Willamette University.
Since 1997, King has been immersed in the field of kinesthetic re-education as it relates to musicians’ health. King began studying with Barbara Conable in the spring of 1998 and became a certified Andover Educator in the fall of 2000. She has been a certified teaching member of Alexander Technique International since 2003 and for 15 years has been integrating the work of Dorothy Taubman which provides movement re-education for pianists. King created a college course for musicians (offered every year at Willamette University) in which she teaches Body Mapping and the Alexander Technique. She has been a frequent presenter of workshops for musicians throughout the U.S. Her groundbreaking presentation, “Understanding Music’s Multiple Levels: Creating the Foundation for Interpretation and Movement” intimately connects her research into musicians’ movement with her Schenkarian approach to understanding musical structure. She has given this presentation and related workshops at the Two-Piano Institute of the Ernest Bloch Festival, the Oberlin College-Conservatory of Music, Akron University, the Universities of New Hampshire and Las Vegas, the Hawaii International Conference for Arts and Humanities, the Andover Educators International Conference, music teachers’ organizations throughout the northwest and most recently for musicians and Alexander Technique teachers in Geneva, Switzerland.
In 2011-12, Anita King will perform piano trios of Schubert and Brahms with colleagues Daniel Rouslin, violin and Jason Duckles, cello. She will present workshops on musicians movement and musical interpretation at the Alexander Technique International Annual General Meeting in Boulder, Colorado, at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and for the Mid-Columbia District of the Oregon Music Teachers’ Association.