In the Loop
General News : Jun 8, 2017

International Piano Festival brings students from around the world to Gainesville

By Samantha Brown

The 10th annual International Piano Festival (IPF) showcases the talents of piano scholars and artists from all over the world.

Dr. Kevin Orr, director of the School of Music (SOM), said the International Piano Festival is one of many wonderful “opportunities for students to come together who may not otherwise meet.”

Thesmooth integration of diverse groups of scholars and artists is a primary component of the UFIFP experience, in addition to “the exchange of new ideas and new friendships formed,” Orr said.

Besides the variety of student interactions, IPF has worked to network with artist-teachers at the top of the profession, who share its goals to offer scholars personal attention and meet each person’s needs.

Students in the festival participate in masterclasses, in which they are assigned and guided by the expertise of one of the five international piano artists.

“We’ve been told [this] fosters a collaborative, sharing spirit not always found at such events,” Orr said.

Co-running the event with Dr. Orr is Rok Palčič, visiting assistant professor at UF’s SOM, who said during masterclasses he looks for topics to discuss with the students and a focus for the lesson to engage the audience and students with useful material.

Audiences are invited to sit in on the IPF masterclasses and attend recitals for free.

During recitals, students are evaluated on their performances and assessed throughout the course of the week, Palčič said.

Some of the 18 students will be selected to perform in the final recital on June 17.

“The participants pool looks very fine, the level is very high and we are all looking forward to working with them,” Palčič said.  

There are gratifying aspects of this festival: one of the biggest is when someone sends you a thank you email for what’ve you done, Palčič said.

“Whenever you make a little difference, that’s what I appreciate the most,” Palčič said.

To view a full schedule of IPF events, please click here.