We are saddened to announce that the 2020 Festival for Creative Pianists is canceled due to growing concerns over the coronavirus. The health and safety of everyone involved in this important event are our top priorities. Due to the new, unique and unknown nature of this virus, the CDC cannot at this time give assurances that the rapid spread of this potentially fatal disease will dissipate with warmer weather. Because of the international reach of this festival, the risk is too high for us to move forward.
All students who have registered and paid their application fee will receive a full refund before the end of March. We will also be offering additional online learning resources for students and teachers this year in preparation for our 20-year celebration in 2021. We are very excited for next year's festival; plans are already underway (tentative dates: June 8-12).
We apologize for any inconvenience; please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Updates to this and other pages will be forthcoming this summer.
2021 - TBA
All events open to the general public; free admission*
*Voluntary donation of $5 requested at the door for evening programs & Saturday "Celebration" recitals
Here's what happened in 2019:
• Wednesday through Friday, Classic Pianos:
- Contestant adjudications (Mandatory - Contestants must attend a minimum of 2 adjudications in addition to their own.)
- One-on-one Composition Sessions with Evan Mazunik (Martha Hill Duncan will return in 2020.)
• Wednesday evening, June 5, Schmitt Music (new in 2019):
- 7:00 PM Festival Alumni Celebration Recital
• Thursday evening, June 6, Classic Pianos:
- 7:00 PM Written Composition Finalists Concert
• Friday morning, June 7, Classic Pianos:
- Student/Teacher Workshops by Judges & Other Expert Clinicians:
• 8:25 – 8:55 AM
John Salmon: Improv 101
Dr. Salmon will suggest ways to introduce improvisation to beginning and intermediate keyboard students. While improvisation is a key component of jazz, jazz isn't the only musical language in which pianists can improvise. Techniques will range from playing one note in a certain rhythm to arpeggiations of various chords. Above all, the premise is that improvisation should be a skill regularly addressed and explored in piano lessons.
• 9:00 – 9:30 AM
Wynn-Anne Rossi: Muses and Monsters
The creative life is part magical, part practical. The inspirations and challenges we encounter are surprisingly universal. Naming and taming the process is akin to befriending a unicorn. Wynn-Anne will share a humorous take on her own wild ride, offering tips on how to feed the muses and laugh at the monsters.
• 9:35 – 10:05 AM
Kevin Olson: The Science of Creative Habits
We all know the value of developing the creative mind, but what does the research show about effective ways to develop habits that will stimulate ongoing, consistent creativity? Dr. Olson share some recent studies that have been done, practical applications of creative activities for musicians, and a demonstration of the interactive creative process with my partner-in-crime, John Salmon.
• 10:05 AM Break
• 10:20 AM – 10:50
Evan Mazunik: Where Do We Go From Here? - How to Move Forward When You're Stuck as a Composer
This workshop will help composers develop ideas, craft transitions, and push through mental blocks.
• 10:55 – 11:25 AM
Karali Hunter: Chopin's Shorter Forms - No Less Important
Dr. Hunter will discuss and demonstrate exactly what are Chopin's shorter forms and why they are, as compared to the larger forms, every bit as significant artistically and pedagogically - not to mention challenging! Mazurkas, in particular, are deceptively difficult to perform; eyewitnesses to Chopin's playing asserted that only Chopin could perform them with the right Polish dance "feel."
• 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Arthur Houle: Chopin's Mazurkas, Waltzes and Nocturnes - Improvisation Bonanzas
Frederic Chopin often improvised at the piano, particularly in his nocturnes, mazurkas and waltzes. Moreover, he would often pencil variants into his students' scores. Generally only specialized musicologists know about these fascinating alternative readings. Dr. Houle will demonstrate how to apply Chopin's improvisatory style - in a practical, tasteful and dynamic way - to our teaching and performing.
• 12:00 PM Lunch
• Friday evening, June 7, Classic Pianos:
- 7:00 PM Judges and Guests Recital
• Saturday afternoon/evening, June 8, Classic Pianos:
- 2:00 PM:
- Group I Photo & Awarding of Participation Certificates for Group I Recitalists
- Awards Ceremony for Group I Recitalists
- 4:00 PM:
- Group II Photo & Awarding of Participation Certificates for Group II Recitalists
- Awards Ceremony for Group II Recitalists
- 7:00 PM:
- Group III Photo & Awarding of Participation Certificates for Group III Recitalists
- Awards Ceremony for Group III Recitalists
The three separate award ceremonies will replace the end-of-the-evening ceremony we had at the culmination of previous festivals.
Students are welcome to attend all 3 programs, but attendance is only mandatory at the assigned recital/award ceremony.
2018 Festival Schedule - overview
2018 Complete schedule with repertory
2018 Workshops info (Friday, 9:30 AM to 1 PM)
2018 - Thursday, June 7, 7 PM Student Composers Program
2018 - Friday, June 8, 7 PM Judges/Artistic Dir. Recital with Martha Hill Duncan
2018 - Saturday, June 9 (3:45 PM, 5 PM & 7 PM) Celebration of Students Recitals
Full schedule with repertory 2017
Program booklet 2017
Thursday program 2017
Friday program 2017
Saturday program 2017
2016 Full Schedule
2016 Program Booklet
2015 Full Schedule
Previous schedules & programs - archives