The Art of the Piano: Running on all cylinders

Put together a faculty composed of major luminaries of the piano world helmed by our very own Cincinnati treasure Awadagin Pratt, give it a catchy title and invite two dozen young pianists to be mentored by a faculty of masters and watch the wondrous engine run on all cylinders.

Now on stage at CCM’s acoustically flawless Werner Recital Hall for the next three weeks. Tickets on line $20 at

I am unable to attend all of the wonderful offerings of this one-time event (which we fervently hope to see return next summer), but these are in my bucket list for the next couple of weeks:

Friday, June 2, 7:00 pm – Stewart Goodyear

Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best pianists of his generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished young pianist as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist and composer. In his program, Stewart Goodyear will include works by Liszt, Gibbons, Bach, a premiere of one of his own compositions, and Beethoven’s Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101.

Saturday, June 3, 7:00 pm – Olga Kern  is now recognized as one of her generation’s great pianists. She jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years. Ms. Kern will play Beethoven’s Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53, “Waldstein” and Franz Liszt’s Réminiscences de Don Juan (S. 418).

Sunday, June 4, 4 pm – Barry Douglas has established a major international career since winning the Gold Medal at the 1986 Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, Moscow. As Artistic Director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage while also maintaining a busy international touring schedule. His program will include works by Schubert and Beethoven.

Wednesday June 7, 7 pm – Kevin Kenner’s artistry is recognized throughout the world by three prestigious awards: the top prize at the International Chopin Competition, the recipient of the International Terrence Judd Award in London, and the bronze medal at the Tchaikovsky International Competition. In his recital he will play an all-Chopin program.

Friday June 9, 7 pm – Dan Tepfer has made a name for himself as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality and drive. The New York City-based Tepfer, born in 1982 in Paris to American parents, has performed with some of the leading lights in jazz, including extensively with veteran saxophone luminary Lee Konitz. In the program: Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Tepfer’s Integrated Improvisations on Goldberg Variations.

Sunday, June 11, 4 p.m. Awadagin Pratt and Dennis Thurmond 

Artistic Director of Art of the Piano, Awadagin Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then, he has played numerous recitals throughout the US including performances at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and the NJ Performing Arts Center, and appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, National, Detroit and New Jersey symphonies.

Dennis Thurmond is a master of free improvisation both in the classical and jazz realms. His signature performances and lectures feature his creation of improvised works in historic styles ranging from Czerny to present day. A classical and jazz pianist, as well as a keyboard synthesist, he is the author of Tai Chi of Improvisation, and co-author of Improvisation: A Systematic Approach for the Classical Pianist.

Friday June 16, 7 pm – Pianist and conductor Vladimir Feltsman is one of the most versatile and constantly interesting musicians of our time. His vast repertoire encompasses music from the Baroque to 21st-century composers. He has appeared with all the major American orchestras and on the most prestigious musical stages and festivals worldwide. The artist will play and all-Brahms concert.

There are many other events, master classes, free student recitals. For complete schedule go to

Rafael de Acha


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