NASA Collaborative Pianists

Casey Dierlam | Ieng-Ieng Lam | Liz Ames

Competition Information: If you are planning to hire a NASA collaborative pianist, you must consult their repertoire lists when programming your choice repertoire. At least 2 of the 3 pianists need to know the piece you wish to program. If none or only 1 of the pianists knows a piece you wish to program, you must contact the Collaborative Pianist Coordinator, Casey Dierlam (, to get special permission.

Casey Dierlam


Casey Gene Dierlam is an avid performer of contemporary music and is devoted to promoting the music of innovative new composers through solo performances and collaborative endeavors. As a collaborative pianist, her recent performances include a recital at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with guest artist Claude Delangle, and a 2013 premiere of three works for bass and piano at the International Society for Bassists Convention held in Rochester NY. In 2010-2011 she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame, functioning as a collaborative pianist and instructor for the department of music. In 2012, she performed at the North American Saxophone Alliance competition in Phoenix, AZ and the MTNA National Competition in New York City. She was also on staff as an accompanist for the International Saxophone Symposium and Competition in Columbus, GA. She is currently working on a professional recording entitled “The Sonata Project” with bassist, Michael Cameron. The first CD is forthcoming on the Albany Records label in fall 2013, with a second CD projected for release in 2014.  These recordings focus on the music of living composers, much of which is being recorded for the first time.

Casey received a BM from Indiana State University studying with William Hughes and a MM in Piano from the University of Illinois. She is currently working on her DMA at Illinois with Timothy Ehlen. She also worked with Krassimira Jordan at the Bosendorfer Piano Academy in Vienna, Austria, and is supplementing her pianistic studies with pedagogue Zitta Zohar in New York City.

Ieng-Ieng Lam

leng leng Lam

Macau pianist, Ieng-Ieng Lam has made frequent solo appearances with the Macao Orchestra and Macao Youth Symphony Orchestra since her concerto debut with the Macao Orchestra at the age of 14. In 2000, she was invited to perform XingHai Xian’s Yellow River Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra in the presence of China’s leading officials and foreign dignitaries. Her European tour with MYSO in 2010 put her on international stages in Portugal, Italy and Germany.  Her acclaimed performance of Franck’s Variations Symphonique at the Berlin Koncerthaus was described as “absolutely wonderful” by the Berliner Morgenpost.

Currently a Doctoral candidate at University of Illinois, Ieng-Ieng has studied with esteemed teachers in Asia and North America, including Gabriel Kwok at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Professor William Heiles at University of Illinois. She also studied chamber music under artists such as the Pacifica String Quartet, and cellists Suren Bagratuni and Ko Iwasaki.

Ieng-Ieng’s passion for the saxophone repertoire has grown out of her association with saxophone studio of Professor Debra Richtmeyer. Her knowledge of the saxophone repertoire encompasses core works, transcriptions and new music, and she is in demand as a collaborative artist in the Illinois saxophone studio and beyond. In 2009 she collaborated with Professor Richtmeyer in the premiere of Hillary Tann’s “In the first, spinning place” at the 15th World Saxophone Congress in Bangkok, Thailand. Their subsequent recording of the piece was featured on the CD: World Without Words: Debra Richtmeyer and the University of Illinois Saxophone Studio.

Liz Ames

liz-amesLiz Ames is a collaborative pianist who is passionate about performing and working with instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers. Liz began working at Northwestern University in September, 2013 as a staff pianist; primarily working with the saxophone studio. In March 2012, Liz served as piano coordinator and staff pianist at the North American Saxophone Alliance Biennial Conference in Tempe, AZand played for the NASA Region 5 and 8 Conferences in 2013. She was a staff pianist for the ISSAC competition in Columbus, Georgia in October and, last September, Liz was the pianist for Northern Arizona University’s Single Reed Symposium. She will be returning to perform again at the next NAU Symposium in 2013.

Liz received permission to create piano reductions for several concerti, including John Mackey’s Soprano Saxophone Concerto, Henry Brant’s Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra, Edison Denisov’s Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, and My Assam Dragon by Jan Sandstrom, and the Idlewood Concerto by Carl Anton Wirth, among others. These reductions are a part of Liz’s life-long project of making saxophone concertos more available to saxophonists.

In addition to specializing in saxophone repertoire, Liz has pursued projects in other areas. Between 2010 and 2011, Liz was the pianist for a series of four recitals in which she performed the 114 Songs by Charles Ives. She has recently finished writing a reduction for Don Grantham’s Tuba Concerto and continues to write reductions for other instruments. Liz completed her doctorate in Collaborative Piano from Arizona State University in April, 2013.