Art of the Piano is an intense + intimate festival created and led by pianist Awadagin Pratt.

What if you could learn not from one – but 14 – of today’s top pianists?

What if you could ask them anything over lunch?

What if you could have access to all of them in one place?

What…if it were free?

A rigorous but supportive environment, inspired by the generous masterclasses of Franz Liszt.

It’s a platform for you to learn from the world’s leading artists and teachers, to perfect your recital and competition repertoire, and to have a quiet, beautiful place to apply all that you’re learning at the keyboard.

All the lessons are masterclasses.

There are meals and gatherings with the faculty.

A general openness is fostered in an exceptionally supportive environment.

This year’s festival focuses on the Sonatas of Beethoven and the solo works of Franz Liszt.  While performing Liszt or Beethoven is not at all required for participation, you are encouraged to come prepared to engage with Beethoven and Liszt  as “Primi Inter Pares.” It was, after all, Liszt who said “The name Beethoven is holy in art.” There will be an Art of the Piano Enlight Prize of $500 to the young artist who most fully embraces and embodies the spirit these two icons.

Awadagin brings some of the best and brightest students together with the world’s best artist-teachers.   Because of his strong belief in educating and lifting up talented young pianists, this festival is free.

The remarkably  generous donors at the Art of the Piano Foundation are making this possible, so all you have to worry about is showing up and playing your best.

“Be brave enough to ask yourself: who am I?

Then, let no one tell you what is not possible.”

Watch Awadagin’s address at Peabody Conservatory’s 2016 commencement.

Did you know?

Spots are also available for Apprentices and Observers.  

Apprentices: play in one masterclass as well as the student recital(s), and can attend all other festival events.

Observers: do not play in masterclasses or recitals, but attend all festival events, including the roundtable lunches.

BOTH levels include free housing and are free of cost.  

If you’re not quite ready to be a full participant, this could be a great option for you.  A limited number of apprentices and observers will be accepted.  The application process is the same regardless of your level of interest or acceptance –  you must apply + audition to be accepted to any of these levels.

Spots are limited to 25 exceptionally talented pianists 15 and older.**

 2017 Festival | May 30 – June 17

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

  • Thinking of entering a competition? Learn from the experiences of grand prize winners of the Tchaikovsky, VanCliburn, Cleveland, Chopin, and Naumburg Competitions.

  • Perform in 3 masterclasses

  • World-renowned artists in recital

  • Student recitals

  • Focus on Beethoven sonatas and solo works of Liszt – bring them for performance + discussion (not required, but encouraged)

  • Tell faculty what’s on your mind during our lunch-time roundtables

  • Discussion with Mark Rabideau and Tom Stone on starting your career + what it means to be a musician in the 21st century – learn how to make a living doing what you love.

  • An introduction to improvisation led by Charles Dennis Thurmond

  • Use of excellent Hamburg or New York Steinway for masterclasses

  • Unlimited access to excellent practice facilities at an all-Steinway school

  • Learn about + discuss every facet of beginning your career, whether as performer or pedagogue

Awadagin Pratt
Awadagin PrattArtistic Director
“What’s amazing for the students is that they’ll have worked with all these different faculty, each with their own point of view. They’ve got all sorts of important, and–in some cases–life-changing, feedback from our faculty.”
Bryan HoArt of the Piano Participant
“I learned a lot during the intense 2 weeks…I realized that I have much to learn in music.”

Applications for 2017 are now closed.

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Just so we’re playing from the same edition:

*Housing cost is covered for festival participants only, in a shared-room, on-campus, festival-provided setting.  Housing for minors’ required chaperones, private rooms, or off-campus housing is at your own expense.

**minors staying on campus must be accompanied by a chaperone.  A minor is anyone under 18 years of age during the festival.

Faculty and other aspects of the festival subject to change.

More questions?  Go to FAQs.

Art of the Piano is sponsored in part by the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory and Community Engagement Department.