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JULY 12 – AUGUST 1, 2014



NEW YORK, NY – From July 12 – August 1, 2014, PianoSummer celebrates 20 years as an international summer institute and festival dedicated solely to piano music. Hosted by the School of Fine & Performing Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz, this program features an integrated approach to learning and performance. Under the artistic direction of renowned pianist and pedagogue Vladimir Feltsman, gifted students from around the world join with devoted musicians and teachers to learn more about the art of the piano and, ultimately, more about themselves and their place in the world of music.

Members of the Institute’s faculty bring many special qualities to the program in addition to their artistic excellence, including diverse cultural backgrounds, pedagogical traditions and varied ideologies. Daily instruction from this distinguished group of artists and teachers provide students with multiple perspectives, allows them to explore the piano repertoire and encourages deeper understanding and insight. Each student receives daily coachings from every professor on each work selected for study over the course of the festival. This unique teaching model encourages individual interpretation as well as artistic mastery. The faculty consists of (pictured here, standing left to right): Paul Ostrovsky (SUNY Purchase), Phillip Kawin (Manhattan School of Music), Vladimir Feltsman, Susan Starr, Robert Hamilton (University of Arizona), Alexander Korsantia (New England Conservatory) and Robert Roux (Rice University). Artistic Director Vladimir Feltsman remarked: “Teaching is one of my greatest passions, and it is a privilege to celebrate 20 years at an institute unlike any other.”

In addition to private lessons with each instructor, PianoSummer offers master classes, lecture demonstrations, student recitals and festival concerts. All events are open to the public so students have multiple experiences not only performing in front of a live audience, but also developing skills necessary to present themselves in a professional context. Artists such as John Browning, Harold Schonberg, Joe Horowitz, Claud Frank, Fima Bronfman, Alexei Lubimov, Steve Lubin, Sasha Korsantia, Jeremy Denk, Jonathan Biss and Anthony Newman have performed and taught master classes at PianoSummer.

The 20th Anniversary begins July 12 with a Faculty Gala, during which all seven teachers perform in concert to open the Festival. Vladimir Feltsman performs an all-Schumann program on July 19. The Jacob Flier Piano Competition, open to all students under the age of 35, will be held July 21 and July 23. The Competition was established to honor this distinguished Russian pianist who taught for many years at the Moscow Conservatory. Jacob Flier influenced several generations of prominent musicians, including Vladimir Feltsman, Rodion Shchedrin, Lev and Natasha Vlassenko, Mark Zeltser and Mikhail Pletnev. On July 26, nine previous winners share the stage in recital for the Competition Gala. The winner of the 2014 Jacob Flier Piano Competition performs a piano concerto with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic conducted by Maestro Feltsman in the Symphony Gala, concluding the three-week program on August 1. The second- and third-place winners share a recital, and all three winners receive scholarships to attend the following year’s PianoSummer Institute. For more details on the Competition’s rules, please visit PianoSummer’s website.

“It is PianoSummer at New Paltz where one can hear a cross-section of young American and international piano talent, shepherded by the Russian-American pianist and teacher Vladimir Feltsman and the team of his demanding colleagues. The students go through a learning and performing experience, which, quite literally, can change their musical philosophy, and even their lives.”

– Harold C. Schonberg, Musicologist
Former Chief Music Critic for The New York Times

Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, 90 miles north of New York City, PianoSummer at New Paltz offers a full range of recreational activities on and off campus, including trips to Steinway Hall in New York City. To fund PianoSummer, SUNY New Paltz has established an endowment in support of this superior program for young pianists. 

Ticket prices range from $24-$39, and can be purchased by calling 845-257-3880 or by visiting SUNY New Paltz’s Parker Theatre box office.

For PianoSummer faculty bios, please click here

For the full 2014 Schedule of Events, please click here

About Vladimir Feltsman

An artist of immense range and insight, Mr. Feltsman is recognized as one of the most imaginative musicians of our time. Equally respected as both an educator and conductor, pianist Vladimir Feltsman was born in Moscow in 1952 and debuted with the Moscow Philharmonic at age 11. In 1969, he entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory of Music to study piano under the guidance of Professor Jacob Flier.  He also studied conducting at both the Moscow and the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Conservatories.  In 1971, Mr. Feltsman won the Grand Prix at the Marguerite Long International Piano Competition in Paris; this was followed by intensive concert tours throughout the former Soviet Union, Europe and Japan. 

In 1979, because of his growing discontent with the official Soviet ideology and rigid governmental control of the arts, Mr. Feltsman made his intention to emigrate from the Soviet Union clear by applying for an exit visa.  In reply, he was immediately banned from performing in public.  After eight years of struggle and virtual artistic exile, he was finally granted permission to leave the Soviet Union.  Upon his arrival in the United States in 1987, Mr. Feltsman was warmly greeted at the White House, where he performed his very first concert in North America.  That same year, his debut at Carnegie Hall immediately established him as a major pianist on the American scene.

Mr. Feltsman expressed his lifelong devotion to the music of J.S. Bach in a cycle of concerts which presented the major clavier works of the composer and spanned four consecutive seasons (1992-1996) at the 92nd Street Y in New York. His more recent project, Masterpieces of the Russian Underground, unfolded a panorama of Russian contemporary music through an unprecedented survey of piano and chamber works by fourteen different composers from Shostakovich to the present day and was presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in January 2003. Mr. Feltsman served as Artistic Director for this project as well as performing in most of the pieces presented during the three concert cycle. The programs included a number of world and North American premieres and were also presented in Portland, Oregon and in Tucson, Arizona at the University of Arizona. In the fall of 2006, Mr. Feltsman performed all of the Mozart Piano Sonatas in New York at the Mannes School of Music and NYU’s Tisch Center presented by New School on a specially built replica of the Walter fortepiano.

Mr. Feltsman’s extensive discography has been released on the Melodiya, Sony Classical, Musical Heritage Society, and Nimbus labels. His discography includes eight albums of clavier works of J.S. Bach, recordings of Beethoven’s last five piano sonatas and of the Moonlight, Pathetique and Appasionata Sonatas, solo piano works of Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Liszt, Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Messiaen and Silvestrov, as well as concerti by Bach, Brahms, Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev. His most recent recording with orchestra is a release of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 with the Russian National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mikhail Pletnev from a November 1992 performance at the Bolshoi Hall of Moscow Conservatory, alongside a recording of Rachmaninoff’s Elegy and Six Preludes made in November 2010. His latest discs include highly acclaimed “Tribute” recordings on the Nimbus label featuring the music of Tchaikovsky and Scriabin, as well as recordings of Chopin’s Ballades, Waltzes and Impromptus, Haydn’s sonatas and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations – 26 CDs on Nimbus in total. Future recordings include the complete Schubert sonatas, Bach’s French suites, Schnittke’s sonata and works by Schumann.

Recent highlights include performances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and James Conlon at the Ravinia Festival, Aspen Music Festival with Jane Glover, Eastern Music Festival and Seattle Symphony engagements with Gerard Schwarz, and appearances with the Orquesta Filharmónica of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires and the Orquesta de Sinfônica de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Mr. Feltsman has returned to his native Russia multiple times to work as a conductor with the “Moscow Virtuosi” and St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and also performed with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Yuri Temirkanov and Mikhail Pletnev. A consummate musician, Mr. Feltsman returned to Carnegie’s Stern Auditorium in March 2011, and has recently played in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami, Indianapolis, Richmond, Portland, Kansas City, Palm Beach, Fort Worth, Lincoln, and Ann Arbor. In January 2013, South Korea welcomed Mr. Feltsman for both recital and chamber music performances.

A dedicated educator of young musicians, Vladimir Feltsman’s passion and concern about musical education in the U.S. is long-lasting. In the mid-1990s, Mr. Feltsman established a Special Music School (SMS) at the Kaufman Music Center in New York City. Currently, Mr. Feltsman holds the Distinguished Chair of Professor of Piano at the State University of New York, New Paltz, and is a member of the piano faculty at the Mannes College of Music in New York City. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the International Festival-Institute PianoSummer at New Paltz, a three-week-long, intensive training program for advanced piano students that attracts major young talents from all over the world. For further information, please visit Vladimir Feltsman’s website.

“Clearly, one of the supreme Bach keyboard exponents of our time…”
Chicago Tribune

“Mr. Feltsman is indeed a major pianist. He has a great deal of musical and physical personality.”
The New York Times

“Feltsman’s gracious strength is grounded in his breathtaking technique at the keyboard.”
The Ann Arbor News

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