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School of Music hosts inaugural International Piano Festival

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
May 17, 2010

Texas State University-San Marcos School of Music will host the inaugural International Piano Festival June 5-13 on campus.

Approximately 24 young pianists from around the world will be selected by a panel of judges to participate in a week of lessons, master classes, recitals, seminars and recreational activities. The festival is designed to foster students' artistic development and create an international network of musicians from varied backgrounds.

Performances will include recitals by the festival's faculty as well as young artists from the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Md., and the Julliard School of Music in New York. Participants in the festival will be featured in performances for the community in Evans Auditorium at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. June 12.

Faculty for the festival include:

  • Washington Garcia taught at the Peabody Preparatory of the Johns Hopkins University and is currently assistant professor of piano at Texas State, where he is the coordinator of the piano area. García began his musical studies at the age of 6 under the Kennedy Center's Fellowships of the Americas Program. This brought him to the United States to begin intensive piano studies with Professor Julian Martin at the Peabody Institute. At age 25, he became the youngest Latin American to have received a doctoral degree in piano performance from Johns Hopkins University.
  • Jason Kwak began his piano studies at age 4 and earned degrees in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Texas. Currently an assistant professor of piano at Texas State, Kwak has held teaching positions at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the University of Texas, the University of Texas Extension Program and the Austin Chamber Music Center.
  • Julian Martin has been a faculty member at Juilliard since 1999. A graduate of the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, Julian Martin won his first major prize at the Montevideo International Competition in 1975. He was a winner at the Casadeus, Kapell and Bachauer competitions, and was awarded the jury prize for accompanying at the Tchaikovsky International Competition in 1982. Martin serves as a juror for international competitions in North America, Colombia and Korea, and was on the awards panel Virtuosi of the Year 2000 in St. Petersburg.
  • Spencer Myer is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied with Julian Martin. He was named Gold Medalist of the 2008 New Orleans International Piano Competition. A respected chamber musician and vocal collaborator, he devotes a month of his summer as a staff pianist at the Steans Institute Vocal Program of the renowned Ravinia Festival. His debut CD for Harmonia Mundi USA — music of Busoni, Copland, Debussy and Kohs — was released in 2007.
  • Boris Slutsky stormed onto the international music scene when captured not only the First Prize, but also the Audience Prize and the Wihelm Backhaus Award at the 1981 William Kapell (University of Maryland) International Piano Competition. He received his early training at Moscow’s Gnessin School for Gifted Children as a student of Anna Kantor and completed his formal studies at the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. Slutsky joined the faculty of Peabody Conservatory of Music in 1993, where he serves as the piano department chair.

For more information about the Texas State International Piano Festival, visit www.music.txstate.edu/piano/txipf/ or call (512) 245-3379.