End-of-summer RPPF 2021 News

by | Aug 17, 2021 | Festival

End-of-summer greetings from the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival 2021. This was a summer we will all remember!  It started with “Elsa” – a Category 1 hurricane that blew through on our first day, closing the Tampa airport temporarily and the USF School of Music for two days.  Quite the chaotic process to get things up and running!  However, afterwards, everything settled into place and we were thankful to be 100% live, 100% vaccinated, and 100% masks optional.  We even enjoyed extra fun together at our annual beach day and dolphin cruise.

RPPF was closed to the public this year, and as a result the festival grew in its intimacy and profundity.  Each eminent faculty member shared a unique approach to performing and mentoring, and our international collegiate pianists, all at the beginnings of bright and promising career paths, were extraordinarily responsive and eager to learn.  Watching the chemistry between these two groups was breathtaking.  It was a powerful blending of generations that spurred terrific artistic growth and deeply personal musical connections.  To their brilliance we added Ray Gottlieb’s Awareness and Vision Improvement, Dalcroze Eurhythmics with Terry Boyarsky, and Yoga led by Rie Tanaka.  Our grand finale concert, the Student Showcase, featured all 35 students in a fabulous musical marathon before we enjoyed one last party together.  We hope that RPPF continues to inspire such wonderful collaboration and creativity for years to come.

Both students and faculty are crazy about RPPF because of its intensity and the free learning environment it espouses.  Students pick and choose from a huge menu of options; they meet and work with numerous prominent teachers, making connections that may direct their future academic options; they form friendships that we hope will last a lifetime!  The Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival is a unique gem in the world of summer piano programs.  Our 10th season is approaching in 2022 and we are already dreaming!

Want to share some of our favorite moments? Click to watch highlights from this season for free on our YouTube channel: RPPF Rebecca Penneys  Be sure to watch the Faculty Forums in particular.  Students are enthralled by these sessions which bring an “old-world” aesthetic into the present tense.  And to tell the truth, faculty love sharing their adventures and life stories as well.  We hope you will have a blast!  Be sure to hit the red Subscribe button when you visit so you will be notified when we post more RPPF treasures.


Rebecca Penneys (ESM)
Kathryn Brown (CIM)
Alan & Alvin Chow (Eastman & Oberlin)
Christopher Harding (UMich)
Kevin Kenner (Miami U)
Michael Lewin (Boston Cons.-Berklee)
Jerome Lowenthal (Juilliard)
Ursula Oppens (CUNY)
Roberto Plano (Indiana U)
Dmitry Rachmaninoff (Cal State)
Roberta Rust (Lynn U)
Ann Schein (Mannes)
Boris Slutsky (Peabody)

Soirée, Special Topic, Faculty Forum
Faculty Forums – 3 classes – Different faculty groups
James Douthit – Finding Employment (ASU)
Kenneth Frazelle – About the Book of Blue Flowers (UNCSA)
Arthur Greene – Chopin Ballades (UMich)
Christopher Harding – Is it Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven? (UMich)
Jose Mendez – Touch and Color (Northwestern)
Antonio Pompa-Baldi – Finger and Foot Pedal (CIM)
Dmitri Shteinberg – Russian School (UNCSA)
Rebecca Penneys – Flexibility (ESM)
Rebecca Penneys – Questions from Students (ESM)
Dave Riggenbach – Steinway Restoration Center in Iowa

Endorsements & Souvenirs
Annual Fun! – Showcase Concert – Lowenthal-Oppens Duo

Ray Gottlieb Stress Point Learning & Vision Improvement
RPPF Info – RP General Comments
Rebecca Penneys – Various solo and chamber works


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