Oberlin-Como Piano Academy Enters Second Year

August 2, 2017

Erich Burnett

Pianist performing on stage
Oberlin-Como Fellow Allesandro Deljavan of Italy took part in a program of music by Johann Mayrhofer during the spring semester of 2017. Deljavan is one of three returning fellows for 2017-18.
Photo credit: Dale Preston '83

Partnership with esteemed European institution includes public master classes and performances on campus featuring master artist-teachers.

Oberlin Conservatory will begin its second full year as the U.S. home of the International Piano Academy Lake Como with a schedule of master artist residencies beginning this fall and spanning the academic year.

Started in 2016, the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy is an exclusive partnership with the esteemed Italian institution. Each year, up to three students, selected from applicants worldwide, begin a two-year program of study at Oberlin toward an artist diploma. Called Oberlin-Como Fellows, these exemplary young musicians work with Oberlin faculty and master artist-teachers who hold residencies at Oberlin throughout the year. All master classes and recitals presented by the visiting masters are free and open to the public.

The schedule of 2017-18 residencies is as follows (specific events TBD):

William Naboré, Oberlin-Como Director
September 11-20, 2017, and February 19-23, 2018
Originally from Virginia, William Naboré enjoyed a long career as a concert pianist in Europe—most notably Geneva, where he performed chamber music for more than two decades. In 1988 he founded Switzerland’s Amadeus Festival, and in 2002 he formed the International Piano Academy Lake Como, of which he is president and artistic director. In 2015 Naboré’s students won first prizes at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition (Dmitry Masleev) and the Honens Competition (Luca Buratto).

Martino Tirimo, Guest Artist in Residence
October 8-12, 2017
London-based Martino Tirimo boasts a repertoire that includes some 80 concertos and nearly the entire solo works of the great composers. Winner of the international piano competitions in Munich and Vienna, he has performed throughout the world with countless major orchestras including the Vienna Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra. Twelve of his students have won first prizes at international competitions.

Peter Frankl, Guest Artist in Residence
November 18-21, 2017

Hungarian pianist Peter Frankl rose to prominence on the international circuit in the 1960s and has performed with many of the world’s great conductors and orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. He studied at the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest and serves as a visiting professor at Yale University.

Paul Badura-Skoda, Guest Artist in Residence
March 9-12, 2018

Even as he approaches his 90th birthday, Austrian pianist Paul Badura-Skoda continues to perform on four continents. Winner of the 1947 Austrian Music Competition, he is beloved for his interpretations of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Ravel, and other masters.

The season-opening residency featuring William Naboré will include a master class in Clonick Hall at 1 p.m. Tuesday, September 19. The academy continues with Martino Tirimo, whose residency will include a performance in Warner Concert Hall at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 8. Additional events will be added to the Oberlin-Como Academy schedule throughout the year.

Oberlin-Como Fellows for 2016-17 included Aimi Kobayashi of Japan, Allesandro Deljavan of Italy, and Chi Ho Han of South Korea. All three will return in 2017-18, in addition to three first-year students in the program.

“The Oberlin-Como Program is rapidly changing the culture of piano at Oberlin, giving our students an unmatchable opportunity to learn from a wide variety of masters of today and tomorrow,” says Professor of Piano Robert Shannon ’72. “And we are just getting started.”

For more information on Oberlin-Como Piano Academy events, visit oberlin.edu.

ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL PIANO ACADEMY LAKE COMO: Located in a 17th-century palazzo on the shores of idyllic Lake Como, the International Piano Academy Lake Como is considered one of the top piano academies in the world. Founded in 2002, it is dedicated to nurturing the development of young pianists regardless of financial resources or country of origin. Each year, more than 1,000 students from around the world vie for seven available positions at the academy, where they have access to artist faculty who are among the most celebrated pianists in the world. Current and former members include Dmitri Bashkirov, Leon Fleisher, Peter Frankl, Fou Ts'ong, Malcolm Bilson, Alicia de Larrocha, and Menahem Pressler. Students of the academy routinely go on to win major international piano competitions. “The first thing we want people to become is nice human beings,” academy founder William Naboré says. “If they also become excellent pianists, that is great. Our role is to give the maximum of information from which our students can choose. We try to open their eyes to the secrets of music.”

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