Student Pianists to Refine Their Craft at International Piano Festival

The School of Music and Fine Arts at Palm Beach Atlantic University will welcome nine rising pianists from around the world Feb. 19 through 24 for the 11th annual International Piano Festival, presented in partnership with the International Certificate for Piano Artists.

Student musicians from France, Canada, Russia, Brazil, South Korea, Portugal, Lithuania, Taiwan and Japan have been chosen to participate in the festival, which will include four public performances.

Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri (left) of the ICPA works with an artist at the Palm Beach Atlantic International Piano Festival.

Participation in the International Certificate Sessions is highly competitive, as only a limited number of students from around the world are chosen for the program each year. The ICPA is organized in collaboration with the École Normale de Musique in Paris — the historical and legendary school that Alfred Cortot founded; and the Fondation Bell’Arte in Braine l'Alleud, Belgium. 

The festival opens with a 4 p.m. concert on Sunday, Feb. 19, in the Helen K. Persson Recital Hall in Vera Lea Rinker Hall, 326 Acacia Road, West Palm Beach. Concerts also will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, and Wednesday, Feb. 22, also in the Helen K. Persson Recital Hall.

The festival concludes with a concerto concert featuring the PBA Symphony, which will take place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in the DeSantis Family Chapel, 300 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach.

“The final concert this year in PBA’s International Piano Festival features four young pianists who are moving into major worldwide career opportunities,” said Dr. Lloyd Mims, dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts.

Pianist Arvindan Thekkadath from Canada will join Alan Duarte Manhas from Brazil to perform Leopold Kozeluch’s Concerto for Piano-Four Hands. Kozeluch was a contemporary of Mozart, and this unknown work is as delightful and engaging as any written by Mozart himself, Mims said.

Elodie Vignon, from France, will perform Camille Saint-Säens Piano Concerto No. 2 — his best-known piano concerto. After intermission, Russian pianist Nicolai Saratovsky will perform George Gershwin’s iconic favorite Rhapsody in Blue

Other festival pianists are Kim Kyung-Ah of South Korea, Manuel Beja Santos of Portugal, Eglé Sarmaviciuté of Lithuania, Kathy Lee of Taiwan and Nanami Sato of Japan.

In addition to the concerts, the festival features master classes by famed ICPA professor Nelson Delle-Vigne Fabbri, as well as other ICPA piano faculty members. Delle-Vigne Fabbri is the founder and artistic director of ICPA. The master classes are free.

Sponsors for this year’s event are Bob Luptak and Steinway Gallery of Boca Raton; The Hyatt Place Hotel; Estibaliz Gastesi and Bak Middle School of the Arts; and Stefanie Katz Shear and Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

For information about master class locations and times, call (561) 803-2422. For information about the festival and ticket information, visit www.pba.edu/pianofestival.