RPPF’s 2020 Amazing Piano Faculty by Lara Saldanha

by | Jan 23, 2020 | Festival

When we ask students about their favorite aspects of RPPF, the overwhelming response can be summarized as “lessons and faculty!” Our program is a one-stop-shop where students receive nearly a semester’s worth of lessons with world-class teachers from major schools throughout the USA. In addition to giving lessons and masterclasses, faculty participate in Q&A Sessions, Special Topic Classes, and Legacy Forums. Read on for a bird’s-eye view of this summer’s amazing faculty and be sure to check the website regularly for information on upcoming events and concerts. Pianists – apply by March 3 for your chance to join us!

Lydia Artymiw (University of Minnesota) has been praised by the New York Times as “a compelling musical personality with the unusual ability to reach out and touch her listeners. She has a beautiful touch, a creative imagination, and a feeling for her instrument’s possibilities of color and texture far in advance of that cultivated by most of the young virtuosos we hear.”

Kathryn Brown (CIM) has performed around the globe as concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. She is widely hailed for her interpretations from Mozart to Gershwin, as well as her premieres of the new music of today. She gave her New York Recital Debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and has also appeared at New York’s 92nd Street Y.

Alan Chow (Eastman) is highly regarded for his “elegant poetry and virtuosic fire,” performing to critical acclaim in such major venues as New York’s Lincoln Center and Merkin Hall and Chicago’s Symphony Center and Ravinia and with orchestras in the United States and Asia. He is an active collaborative performer and his students have been winners in international piano competitions.

Alvin Chow (Oberlin) has performed throughout North America and in Asia as an orchestral soloist and recitalist, lauded for his ability to “virtuosically unleash from the keyboard a veritable display of fireworks (Salzburger Nachrichten). He has been a prizewinner in the University of Maryland International Piano Competition and the MTNA Collegiate Artist Competition, among others.

Arthur Greene (University of Michigan) has been called “a masterful pianist” by the New York Times and “a profound musician” by the Washington Post. Launched with victories at the Kapell, Bachauer, and Busoni competitions, he has played with the Philadelphia Orchestra; San Francisco, Tokyo, and National Symphonies; and performed in major concert halls in the U.S. and Asia.

Christopher Harding (University of Michigan) maintains a flourishing international performance career, generating acclaim for his substantive interpretations and pianistic mastery. He presents frequent solo, concerto, and chamber music performances in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei, and others in Canada, China, Israel, and Romania.

Kevin Kenner (University of Miami) has performed worldwide and is particularly recognized for his Chopin performances. Says Kenner, “Music is the perfect expression what it means to be alive. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to witness the creative spirit take wings, to guide students of music in their discovery and realization of the powers that lie within them.”

Michael Lewin (Boston Conservatory) has performed to acclaim in over 30 countries. His many recordings, enormous repertoire, and charismatic stage presence have established him as an artist whose warmth, imagination, and dazzling virtuosity make him an audience favorite. “Lewin’s playing positively brims over with high spirits, glitter, panache, and stylistic awareness.” (Gramophone)

Marina Lomazov (Eastman) has been praised by critics as “a diva of the piano” (Salt Lake City Tribune), “a mesmerizing risk-taker” (Plain Dealer, Cleveland), and “simply spectacular” (Chicago International Music Foundation). She is highly sought after as a teacher and has established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today.

Jerome Lowenthal (Juilliard) has performed a voluminous and variegated repertoire that includes more than 63 different concerti, performed with many of the world’s greatest conductors. His recordings include both canonical and contemporary repertoire from Beethoven, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky to Rzewski, Chihara, Messiaen, and Michael Brown. “His playing was a marvel of control.” (NY Times)

Jose Ramon Mendez (Northwestern) has been hailed as “an artist with a polished sound and tremendous constructive power” and “the Spanish pianist of his generation.” He has performed recently with the Cuban National Symphony and the Nittany Valley Symphony, as well as numerous solo and chamber music performances in the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Ursula Oppens (CUNY), a legend among American pianists, is admired for her original and perceptive readings of new music, and her knowing interpretations of the standard repertoire. No other artist alive has commissioned and premiered more new works for the piano. Her “probing intellect” and “ability to clarify what she perceives” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) make her performances absolutely compelling.

Rebecca Penneys (Eastman Emerita) is a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, educator and adjudicator. For over six decades she has been hailed as a pianist of prodigious talent – “Penneys playing is nothing short of amazing.” (Fanfare Magazine) A Steinway artist, Rebecca has performed in the USA, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Canada.

John Perry (Rutgers) has been praised as a “pianist who doesn’t show off at all, who seems to want nothing more than to communicate the music” and for giving “…illuminating and always engaging performances.” (L.A. Times) He won the highest prizes in the Busoni, Viotti, and Marguerite Long competitions and has performed throughout Europe and North America to great critical acclaim.

Roberto Plano (Indiana University) has been a prize winner at the Cleveland, Van Cliburn, and Honens International Piano Competitions. Described as the “Pavarotti of the Piano,” he has performed at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, where he performed the American premiere of Luis de Pablo’s Retratos y Transcripciones; Severance Hall in Cleveland; National Arts Centre in Ottawa; and others.

Antonio Pompa-Baldi (CIM) won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 1999, a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn Competition, and a bronze medal at the 1998 Marguerite Long Competition and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. His playing has been acclaimed by The New York Times as “meltingly beautiful.”

Ann Schein (Mannes) is an unparalleled performer and pedagogue about whom the Washington Post has written “Thank heaven for Ann Schein…what a relief it is to hear a pianist who, with no muss or fuss, simply reaches right into the heart of whatever she is playing – and creates music so powerful you cannot tear yourself away.” Her amazing career has garnered praise in over 50 countries.

Dmitry Rachmanov (California State University Northridge) has garnered much acclaim for his passionate performances, refined musicianship, and brilliant pianism. He is hailed as an “indisputable musician” by the Brussels’ Le Soir and a “suave and gifted pianist” by the New York Times. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and in major venues throughout Europe and Asia.

Dmitri Shteinberg (University of North Carolina School of the Arts) has performed extensively worldwide across North America, Germany, England, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Bulgaria, and Israel. His playing has been called “protean and refined” by the New York Times, and his interest in new music has led to world premieres and numerous commissions.

Boris Slutsky (Peabody and Yale) is acclaimed for his exquisite tonal beauty and superb artistry. He captured every major prize at the 1981 Kapell International Piano Competition and won prizes at many other major international competitions. He has played recitals throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the Far East, in addition to collaborating with some of the world’s top orchestras.


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The Steinway pianos at USF are made possible by the kind assistance of the Music Gallery, Clearwater, Florida. THANK YOU!