Mid-way Report from the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival

I’ve had a fantastic time teaching and performing at the inaugural Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, which is being held at the University of South Florida, School of Music, through August 4th. With more than 80 applicants, the festival has accepted about 30 highly accomplished young pianists, ranging from high-school age to doctoral students. The participants all play at a high level and attend excellent music programs around the country and the world. Speaking of the world, we have students from Chile, Guatemala, Colombia, Korea, Japan, Russia, Macedonia, Poland, China and the US (I may have forgotten one country). There are daily masterclasses, performance classes, recitals, lecture-performances, as well as classes and training sessions on attention, memory and vision (with Dr. Ray Gottlieb). Last week’s guests included Christopher Harding from the University of Michigan, Svetozar Ivanov from USF and John O’Connor (who had just returned from teaching at the Aspen Music Festival). This week we have Roberta Rust from Lynn University and Father Sean Duggan, who will be giving a special lecture and performance on Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” sonata.

To celebrate the festival ending, Rebecca Penneys, Johnandrew Slominski, Eunmi Ko and myself will present the annual 2-piano, 8-hand concert, aka “what pianists do for fun concert”. After that it’s pizza, cry, bye, and fly.

Here’s a tiny little promo produced by my colleague, Johnandrew Slominski, from my lecture-performance on the Brahms, Ballades, Op. 10.

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