Oberlin-Como Piano Master Class Series Opens with Robert Spano '84

Nov. 30, Dec. 2 events to be followed by four additional artist-teacher visits, with virtual festival in summer.

November 22, 2021

Erich Burnett

Oberlin-Como Piano Master Class Series

The Oberlin-Como Piano Master Class Series, a partnership between Oberlin Conservatory and Italy’s esteemed International Piano Academy Lake Como, will return for the 2021-22 academic year with a schedule of live events that will also be presented in summer 2022 as a virtual festival.

The first events of this year’s series feature pianist-composer Robert Spano, the longtime music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Aspen Music Festival and School, music director designate of the Fort Worth Symphony, and a 1984 graduate of Oberlin Conservatory.

Spano will lead public master classes on Tuesday, November 30, and Thursday, December 2, with sessions taking place each day from 4 to 6 p.m. in Clonick Hall.

Founded in 2016 as the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy, the Oberlin-Como program brings remarkable young pianists from around the world to Oberlin to work with master teachers, an arrangement that benefits not just the program’s students—called Oberlin-Como Fellows—but all Oberlin piano students.

The Oberlin-Como Piano Master Class Series continues in the new year with events featuring Oberlin-Como Artistic Director William Grant Naboré and Oberlin Conservatory professors Stanislav Ioudenitch and Dang Thai Son.

Each teacher will lead a series of master classes with this year’s participants: Oberlin-Como Fellow Kenneth Broberg and current Oberlin Conservatory students JJ Bui, Kai-Min Chang, Leo Choi, and Yangrui Cai, each of them earning the distinction Oberlin-Como Young Artists.

Broberg, winner of the 2021 American Pianists Association Award and silver medalist of the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2017, is a graduate student of Ioudenitch at Park University in Missouri.

Bui is a second-year student of Dang who earned sixth prize in the 18th Chopin International Piano Competition in October.

Chang is a third-year student of Dang and a quarterfinalist in the 18th Chopin International Piano Competition.

Choi is a fourth-year student of Angela Cheng and a prize winner in numerous competitions throughout China, including the 2016 Asian Youth Music Competition.

Cai is a fourth-year student of Ioudenitch and a prize winner at international competitions in Japan and the U.S.

Dates and times of the 2022 events will be announced at a later date.

This year’s live-virtual hybrid format builds on the format of the 2021 Oberlin-Como Piano Festival, which successfully transitioned to online-only in response to the ongoing pandemic. The festival included Oberlin-Como Fellow Bruce Liu, a student of Dang who went on to win first prize at the 18th Chopin International Piano Competition in October. Bui and Cai also participated in the 2021 festival.

To date, the 20 videos that make up the 2021 festival have received more than 30,000 views.

Oberlin-Como programs taking place on campus throughout this academic year will be released for a virtual audience in summer 2022.

The 2021 Oberlin-Como Festival, which includes master classes and insightful interviews with each master teacher, can be viewed on the Oberlin-Como Piano Festival website, which includes a complete lineup of events and links to each broadcast.

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