Miami Piano Festival Academy is a dream come true for founder Brodsky

By Lawrence Budmen

Giselle Brodsky launchesd the Miami International  Piano Festival Academy this month.

Giselle Brodsky launched the Miami International Piano Festival Academy this month.

The first season of the Miami International Piano Festival Academy is currently underway at the Davie campus of Nova Southeastern University. The project is a dream come true for Giselle Brodsky, the festival’s founder-director and a veteran keyboard pedagogue.

“I have learned so much as a teacher from the core pianists of our festival, she said, “and wanted to create something that gives inspiration to emerging pianists.”

The academy’s initial piano fellows range in age from 13 to 34 and come from across the globe, including Turkey, Montenegro, Italy, Romania, Japan and Mexico as well as the United States and Canada. An 8-year-old prodigy is flying in from China and a player from Indonesia will arrive for the institute’s concluding week.

Brodsky notes that many of these young musicians are already accomplished pianists who have begun professional careers but have come because they feel that they can learn and continue to grow as artists. For example Luigi Carrochia, who made a highly praised debut at the festival’s May series in Miami Beach, is one of the participants.

Master classes will be given by festival regulars Misha Dacic, Francesco Libetta, Ilya Itin, Zlata Chochieva, Leonid Egorov and Jorge Luis Prats. University of Miami Frost School of Music composition professors Dorothy Hindman and Charles Mason will give a presentation on composers’ process and perspective.

Brodsky sees the three-week summer session as a chance for the young pianists to “share the journey and gain differing insights of great performing artists,” encouraging communal give and take rather than a hierarchical student-teacher relationship. She wants to encourage the musicians to “be authentic” rather than follow the regimen of well-drilled competition players.

Free public concerts featuring the fellows take place on July 13 and 20 at the Cotilla Gallery in the university’s Alvin Sherman Library. She feels these performances will “give the community a sense of what is happening during the very intense environment each day of the academy.”

All faculty members except Prats will give recitals. While Brodsky views the faculty recitals as “icing on the cake,” some interesting repertoire will be featured. On July 23 Dacic and Chochieva give the American premiere of Dacic’s transcription of Rachmaninoff’s choral-vocal work The Bells which the duo recently played in concert at Rachmaninoff’s former home in Russia. Chochieva’s recital on July 14 brings Liszt rarities and Rachmaninoff’s Etudes-Tableaux as well as an Ignaz Friedman transcription of Bach. Itin’s program on July 22 includes Debussy’s Deux Arabesques and 12 Preludes and Brahms’ monumental Variations on a Theme of Handel.

The performance series concludes on July 24 at Nova’s Miniaci Performing Arts Center with winners of the academy’s concerto competition, accompanied by faculty members. Up to three prizes will be awarded, depending on the quality of the concerto performances.

The winners will open next summer’s academy concerts, this time with full orchestra conducted by Carlos Riazuelo, former director of orchestral studies at Florida International University. (As part of their prize, each of the winners will be invited to appear as soloist with the orchestra at Louisiana State University where Riazuelo is currently on faculty.)

Brodsky’s vision for the seminar’s future includes the addition of master teachers including distinguished concert pianist Walter Ponce and a string institute, headed by Igor Gruppman, concertmaster of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. Eventually she envisions the program as a possible year-round offering.

The Miami International Piano Festival Academy presents Zlata Chochieva playing Friedman’s transcription of Bach’s Siciliano from Flute Sonata, Mozart’s Fantasy in C minor and Sonata in C Major, Liszt’s Klavierstuck in F minor, Hymn de la nuit and Czardas macabre and Rachmaninoff’s 10 Etudes-Tableaux 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Cotilla Gallery at Nova Southeastern University in Davie.

Francesco Libetta plays Handel’s Suite, Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy, Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, Op. 90 and the Wagner-Liszt Lohengrin Prelude 7;30 p.m. Saturday at the Cotilla Gallery. 305-935-5115.

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Mon Jul 11, 2016
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