Val Underwood is Artistic Director of Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. He is distinctive for his equal skill as a pianist (the LA Times described his playing as “exquisite”) and as a voice teacher. He has trained a number of successful concert pianists, as well as singers who appear with companies world-wide. As a pianist he has performed in concert with principle players of the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics and with artists such as Mitchell Lurie, Eudice Shapiro, Glenn Dicterow, Ofra Harnoy, Gary Gray, Jeannine Altmeyer, Jennifer McGregor, Ricky Ian Gordon and many others. His film and television performances include the Masterpiece production of Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark. After directing programs in The Strawberry Creek Festival and The Adriatic Chamber Music Festival, he co-founded Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in 2004 with his close friend, Genette Freeman. Hawaii Performing Arts Festival has hosted hundreds of students from all over the world and an acclaimed faculty of performers and teachers. His teaching career has taken him regularly to Los Angeles, New York and London. He guest lectures and conducts master classes at schools throughout the country. He counts among his own most influential teachers Rita Hutcherson, Reginald Stewart, Dora Zaslavsky, and Arminda Canteros (student of Vincenzo Scaramuzza) in piano and Ernest St. John (Jack) Metz and Martial Singher in voice. Early in his career, he had opportunities to accompany in the studios of some of the great singers/teachers of the century – Lotte Lehmann, George London, Rose Bampton and Martial Singher. He is honored that a number of his colleagues and former students have been esteemed faculty members of Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.