“I have listened to Rae de Lisle and it is a pleasure for me to say that I found her to possess an outstanding talent.
- Claudio Arrau, 23 September 1968
"Her understanding of the mechanical aspects of piano playing is at the very highest level. Her musical mind is imaginative, wise and profound, and her love of music is pervasive and deep... Rae is deeply interested in her students, empathetic and tireless, and she has demonstrated organisational skills of a high order."
- Michael Houstoun, 15 November 2005
Dr Rae de Lisle, MNZM is one of New Zealand’s foremost piano pedagogues. Currently Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Auckland, she has produced many outstanding students, most notably John Chen, first prizewinner of the 2004 Sydney International Piano Competition. Since then her students have won all the major piano competitions in New Zealand and have also been prizewinners internationally in the Lev Vlassenko Australasian Piano Competition, the Bradshaw and Buono Competition in New York, and the Perrenoud Foundation International Piano Competition.
Rae is Artistic Director of the Wallace National Piano Competition and the Wallace International Piano Festival. She is respected as as an adjudicator and has been on international competition juries in Singapore, Dublin and America. She is also an examiner for the New Zealand Music Examination Board.
Rae’s groundbreaking PhD research into focal dystonia, the most devastating of musician’s injuries, has resulted in specific concepts about instrumental retraining which has led to presentations and keynote speeches throughout the world. Her PhD has has received international recognition and is published by Paladinomedia.
For many years Rae has been researching methods of piano technique, interviewing pianists and pedagogues in America, England, Europe, Australia and New Zealand on this subject. Her experience in teaching students from the very beginning to international competition winners, as well as her own studies with renowned pedagogues Brigitte Wild (student of Claudio Arrau), Cyril Smith (student of Rachmaninoff) and Maria Curcio (student of Artur Schnabel) gives her a unique perspective on the development of injury-preventative piano technique at every level, from the beginner to the advanced pianist.
In 2015 Rae was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to music.