In the Loop
General News : May 20, 2016

The International Piano Festival Returns to the University of Florida

By Brandon McKinley

The International Piano Festival is returning to Gainesville again this summer.

With 15 years of history, this event continues to grow in quality and interest every year, Dr. Kevin Orr said.

Orr, director of the University of Florida (UF) School of Music and the International Piano Festival, said he hopes students gain the highest level of artistic training at the festival.

The festival will run from June 11 to 18 and feature daily masterclasses and recitals that will be open to the public. Students will have the opportunity to attend and receive lessons from the guest artist faulty members, participate in masterclasses and perform in recitals.

Each of the five guest artist faculty members will give a masterclass in the afternoons. Three to four students will perform for each masterclass, and the faculty member will coach the student in front of the audience, Orr said.

The masterclasses are different from a typical private lesson. Orr said his comments to the performers are generally broader and apply to a wider range of musical situations so that the audience can take away something useful from the event.

On Saturday, finalists of the Pre-College Solo Piano Competition will perform at 10 a.m. The competition is open to students aged 15 to 18. $500 will be awarded to the first place winner and $250 to two honorable mentions.

The festival will close out the week’s events with the Final Participants Recital at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.  

“It will be comprised of our most outstanding participants as deemed by the faculty,” Orr said. “It is annually a showcase of exceptional talent.”

Rok Palčič, a guest artist in the festival and UF visiting assistant professor, said that every single event is worth attending.

The faculty represents different music schools including the University of Michigan, Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. Palčič said the international faculty, exceptional conditions UF offers, amount of activities and the high level of talented young musicians attending make this festival stand out from the rest.

“I hope we will be able to create an environment in which [students] will be able to bring their musicianship to a whole new level,” Palčič said.