Musician Extraordinaire Donald Nold

Donald Nold: My Musical Inspiration

My name is Katherine Sundstrom, and I am a student in the Master of Music in Music Education program at William Paterson University. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Music from Wellesley College in 2014. I am incredibly lucky to have as my musical inspiration my relative, Donald Nold. Donald is a world-renowned pianist, vocal coach, and educator.  I am so lucky to have him as my mentor! 

Donald, The Student

Donald began playing piano at a young age. The photograph below shows him playing a school recital in 1944.

Donald Nold: Pianist and Coach Extraordinaire
Donald Plays a School Recital in 1944

Donald earned his Master of Science at the Juilliard School. He can be seen in one of his classes at Juilliard in the photograph below.

Musician Extraordinaire Donald Nold
Literature and Materials of Music Class at Juilliard, Taught by William Bergsma. Donald is on the far right, in the front row.

International Career

Donald began his international career with his European solo debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He traveled the world on concert tours with the most talented singers and instrumentalists on the world stage, including Martina Arroyo, Grace Bumbry, Maureen Forrester, Graziella Sciutti, Justino Diaz, Michael Rabin, Tossy Spivakovsky, and Gloria Davy, who is pictured with Donald below.

Musician Extraordinaire Donald Nold
Donald Nold and Gloria Davy


Donald on Faculty at MSM

After living in Europe for a decade, Donald returned to the US and served on the music faculty at various schools, including his alma mater. From 1964-1994 he was on faculty at the school where he would play the most formative role, not only in the lives of his students, but in the history of the school itself; for thirty years he was a member of the faculty in Manhattan School of Music’s Opera, Vocal Literature, Music History, Ensemble and Accompanying Departments. He founded the Accompanying Department in 1970, and served as the chairman of the department from 1980 until his retirement in 1994.

Musician Extraordinaire Donald Nold
The Artist Reflected in His Instrument, 1952

Noteworthy Publication

Donald co-authored The Songs of Max Reger: A Guide and Study (Scarecrow Press, 2008), the definitive text on prolific composer Max Reger’s (1873-1916) body of songs, the most famous of which is the Christmas favorite Maria Wiegenlied. The text is a comprehensive study of Reger’s songs, and for each includes the year of composition, vocal range, tempo, the poem in its original German as well as the English and IPA translations, and analysis and reflections from the authors. It is a valuable source for any musician studying Reger, and an especially valuable one for singers and pianists. To “look inside” the The Songs of Max Reger: A Guide and Study on Amazon, click here.

Musician Extraordinaire Donald Nold
The Songs of Max Reger: A Guide and Study

With Donald As My Guide

Donald is my inspiration and my mentor, and he played a large role in my decision to study at William Paterson. As my graduation from Wellesley approached, I discussed my options for my future with him. He told me that his former student, Warren Helms, was on faculty at William Paterson, and that he was an incredible coach who would do wonderful things with my voice. Now, I am a proud student of Warren’s, and I am blessed to have both of these incredible musicians as my guides.

Musician Extraordinaire Donald Nold


Donald is a blessing in my life. I couldn’t have a more talented, distinguished, and knowledgeable guide as I embark on my music career!

– Katherine Sundstrom, WPU Class of 2016

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