Summer Programs

Piano Festival

Dang Thai Son works with a piano student.
Oberlin piano professor Dang Thai Son works with a student in a master class.
Photo credit: Dale Preston '83

Sunday, July 23-Saturday, August 5, 2023



This two-week Festival is designed for advanced pianists middle-school age through  those who have finished their junior year in high school.
Please note that students under 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent and live off-campus.

The Festival features private lessons, master classes, technique sessions, an optional competition, concerts in Oberlin Conservatory’s Warner Concert Hall, and lots of summer fun including a trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park!

This summer, during the second week of the Festival, the Cooper Piano Competition will take place. A field trip to Severance Hall, in Cleveland Ohio concludes the program with the Cooper Concerto finalists and The Cleveland Orchestra.

Please note: All summer programs are subject to the College's public health and Obiesafe policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All participants agree to adhere to all College policy while participating in a summer program.


photo of Alvin ChowAlvin Chow has appeared throughout North America and in Asia as an orchestral soloist and recitalist. In addition, he has performed extensively in duo-piano recitals with his wife, Angela Cheng, and his twin brother, Alan.

A native of Miami, Florida, he graduated summa cum laude and co-valedictorian at the University of Maryland, where he was a student of Nelita True. Chow received the Victor Herbert Prize in Piano upon graduation from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Sascha Gorodnitzki, and held the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship at Indiana University as a student of Menahem Pressler.

Chow was the first Fulbright College Visiting Artist in Piano at the University of Arkansas during 1987-88. He later taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Since 1999, he has been a member of the artist faculty at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he is currently chair of the Piano Department and the Ruth Strickland Gardner Professor of Music.

Chow has performed in major concert halls including the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Orchestra Hall in Chicago; Weill and Steinway Halls in New York City; and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. 

He has presented as recitalist in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Detroit, and Miami, and has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Pan-Asia Symphony in Hong Kong, and the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, among others.


photo of Carl CranmerCarl Cranmer made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of nine. Since then he has given solo recitals in Europe, Asia, and North America, and he has performed in concert with the Royal Philharmonic of England, the Gulbenkian Orquesta of Portugal, and the Juilliard Orchestra, among others. In addition to his study in the United States, he also studied at the Sommerakademie at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria where he was under the tutelage of Karlheinz Kammerling, Jacob Lateiner, and Hans Graf.

Cranmer has performed in important national and international venues including Avery Fisher Hall, Carnegie-Weill Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Merkin Hall in New York; in the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; and in the Academy of Music and the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater in Philadelphia. His performances have been televised in Madrid, Tokyo, Missouri, and Philadelphia, and his performances have been aired on NPR and radio stations in New York, Chicago, Montréal, Boston, and Atlanta. In addition to performances in Austria, France, England and Japan, he has had the opportunity to give two solo concert tours of Spain. In 2002, he was invited to perform a solo recital sponsored by the American and Spanish Embassies in Panama City, Panama.

Cranmer also performs a wide variety of chamber music. He has performed in recital with Naumburg Competition winner Axel Strauss in Boston, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Seattle. In 2004, their performance in Steinway Hall in New York City was broadcast by NHK on public television stations in Taiwan, Korea and Japan. Cranmer has also collaborated with the Grammy-winning Takács Quartet, baritone Randall Scarlata, tenor Robert White, and violinist Akiko Suwanai. He has performed in the summers at Tanglewood, Pianofest in the Hamptons, and the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival.

Cranmer can be hear in recordings of Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Piano with the Russian Philharmonia led by maestro Ovidiu Marinescu; "Soirée," a collection of solo works by Poulenc, Chopin, Fauré, Granados, Liszt, and Barber; and in collaboration with violinist Sylvia Ahramjian in music of Saint-Saëns, Beethoven, and others, titled "Crossroads."

Cranmer is on the faculty of West Chester University and is a member of the Music Teachers National Association. He gives numerous master classes in the Philadelphia area and maintains a private piano studio.


photo of Dang Thai SonDang Thai Son is regarded as a masterful interpreter of the works of Chopin and French repertoire. He has performed extensively in top concert halls and with major orchestras around the world and has enjoyed collaborations with artists ranging from Vladimir Ashkenazy to Pinchas Zukerman.

He rose to prominence in 1980 by winning first prize and the gold medal at the X Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition, the first major international competition won by an Asian pianist.

Dang’s extensive discography—much of it devoted to the music of Chopin—includes a pair of 2017 releases: a recording of Schubert on JVC Kenwood and a collection of works by Paderewski that includes a concerto recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Ashkenazy.

In 2016 Dang won Canada’s Prix Opus for Concert of the Year, an award presented by the Fondation Arte Musica. He is a professor of piano at Oberlin Conservatory, where he also mentors fellows of the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy..


photo of Stanislav IoudenitchBorn in Uzbekistan, Stanislav Ioudenitch earned widespread recognition in 2001, when he won the gold medal at the XI Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The victory served as a springboard that has resulted in engagements in premier venues around the world.

He has since collaborated with numerous orchestras and musicians, including the Munich Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C.; the Takács, Prazák, and Borromeo string quartets; and conductors including James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, and Mikhail Pletnev.

Ioudenitch helped create the International Center for Music and the Youth Conservatory of Music at Park University near Kansas City, Mo. His former teachers include Natalia Vasinkina, Dmitri Bashkirov, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Rosalyn Tureck, William Grant Naboré, and Leon Fleisher. He has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi and Academy labels.

Ioudenitch is a former student of the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy. He later became the youngest teacher ever to present a master class there. He now serves as vice president of Lake Como, which, since 2015, has enjoyed a partnership with Oberlin Conservatory that brings elite student pianists to the Ohio campus for advanced study.

Prior to his appointment at Oberlin in 2017, Ioudenitch had performed in recitals and led master classes on campus and was a longtime fixture on jury panels for the Cooper International Competition for young pianists as well as its predecessor, the Oberlin International Piano Competition.


photo of Tatiana IoudenitchTatiana Ioudenitch holds a master’s degree in piano performance, piano teaching, chamber music performance, and piano accompaniment from the Saratov State Conservatory of Music in Russia, and a music performance degree from the Uspensky Specialized School of Music in Uzbekistan. Ioudenitch also studied at the Rachmaninov International Piano Courses in Russia and received high accolades at the All-Russia Piano Competition. She regularly performs on international and U.S. stages.

Ioudenitch’s students consistently receive high acclaim and have been awarded prizes at competitions including the Golden Classical Music Awards, WPTA Finland International Competition, Paderewski International Competition, Grand Prize Virtuoso International Competition in Bonn and Salzburg, Baldwin Piano Award Competition, Music Teachers’ National Association competition, Kansas City Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition, Omaha Symphony Competition, Heritage Philharmonic Young Artist Competition, Missouri State University Fite Family Foundation Piano Competition, Topeka Symphony Concerto Competition, and Missouri Western State University Young Artist Piano Competition.

Ioudenitch’s students have given numerous public performances including recitals for the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation’s International Music Festival in Moscow, Russia; in concerts with the Omaha Symphony, Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, Independence Symphony; as well as at prestigious concert venues including Salzburg’s Mozarteum and Carnegie Hall. They have also participated in the prestigious International Lake Como Summer Piano School in Italy. Ioudenitch was recently appointed a Tholen Fellow Master Teacher at Portland Piano International.


photo of Robert ShannonRobert Shannon has presented solo recitals, ensemble concerts, and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. His repertoire ranges from Bach to Adams. He has been especially noted for his penetrating interpretations of recent American music.

He has commissioned and premiered works by John Harbison, Charles Wuorinen, Carla Bley, and Steven Dembski, among others. Shannon’s recordings of sonatas by Charles Ives on Bridge Records have received rave reviews worldwide. His recordings of Ives’ complete works for violin and piano, and works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb are also available on Bridge Records.

Shannon has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Festival Tibor Varga in Switzerland, the Sacramento Festival of American Music, and as guest artist with the Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players. In recent seasons, he has appeared in London, Paris, Glasgow, Rome, Stuttgart, New York, San Francisco, Colombia (South America), and Taiwan.

He is professor of piano at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, director of the Division of Keyboard Studies, and director and founder of the Cooper International Competition for Piano. He joined the Oberlin faculty in 1976.


photo of Haewon SongPianist Haewon Song is a member of the acclaimed Oberlin Trio. An internationally recognized artist and pedagogue, Song has performed and taught at top venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her frequent appearances include concerto performances with the KBS Orchestra in Seoul, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the

Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and Oberlin Conservatory ensembles. 
Song has appeared at numerous international festivals, among them Mexico’s Cervantino Festival, the All-American Music Festival in Stuttgart, Grand Teton Music Festival, Aria Festival, Canada’s Institute of Musical Arts, Festival de Nice in France, the Oberlin Summer Piano Festival, and the Tonghai Music Festival in Taiwan. In 2005, Song toured Korea as a member of the Oberlin Piano Quartet, which included celebrated performances in Daejun and at the Kumho Concert Hall in Seoul.

A native of South Korea, Song attended the Toho School in Tokyo, Peabody Preparatory School, and the Juilliard School, where her major teachers were Julian Martin, Martin Canin, and Shuku Iwasaki. She has taught at Tunghai University in Taiwan and Kyung Won University in Seoul, and has been a member of the Oberlin piano department since 1991. Throughout her tenure at Oberlin, her students have won major prizes in both national and international competitions, including MTNA Nationals, Wideman, Kingsville, Oberlin International Piano, Walgreen, World, and Corpus Christi, and they regularly appear with significant orchestras across the United States and Asia.


photo of John WeemsJohn Weems has established himself as one of the most outstanding private studio artist teachers in the nation. His teaching legacy was featured in a recent edition of Clavier Companion magazine in an article entitled “A Legacy of Excellence – An Interview with John and Nancy Weems.” Since founding his private studio in the Houston, TX area, his students have garnered top awards in numerous state, national and international competitions, including the Music Teachers National Association national Young Artist competitions; local, district, and state competitions sponsored by the Texas Music Teachers Association (winners for forty consecutive years); the Texas and South Central Division MTNA Baldwin and Yamaha Awards (over a dozen national finalists); numerous contests sponsored by colleges and universities; the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras Young Artist, and the prestigious Houston Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Contest.  In addition, his students have been chosen by audition to perform in numerous recitals and master classes and have performed annually as concerto soloists with orchestras in over two hundred performances. These appearances include the Interlochen Orchestra, the Houston Symphony, the Houston Civic Symphony, the Houston Symphony North, the Richardson Symphony, the University of Houston Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony, the Lubbock Symphony and numerous others.  Former students are now successful teachers and performers around the nation and the world, including several under professional concert artist management.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Weems is very active as a clinician and adjudicator, and he has given numerous master classes and workshops both nationally and internationally. A recent tour of China featured him in lectures and classes in a four-city tour – Beijing, Nanjing, Chengdu, and Shenzhen. Mr. Weems has been a featured guest clinician at many state teacher conventions in the United States, including the states of Texas, New York, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Minnesota and South Carolina.  He has been a guest faculty member in summer music programs including those of the Eastman School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Indiana University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Southwest Texas State University, Southern Methodist University and the Moores School of Music of the University of Houston.  He has presented lectures at the MTNA national convention in Washington, D.C. and the World Piano Pedagogy Conferences.

John Weems is a charter member of Forum Music Teachers Association in Houston, and has served as President, Vice-President, Student Affiliate Performance Contest Chairman, and Concerto Contest Chairman for that association.   Also, Mr. Weems has served on the state TMTA board of directors. In 1991, the Texas Music Teachers Association awarded John Weems the Pre-College Teaching Excellence Award.

photo of Nancy WeemsNancy Weems, pianist, has established herself as both a performer and a noted pedagogue across the nation and the world. She has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Central America, and Russia to wide critical acclaim. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Texas, her solo appearances include concerts in over fourteen foreign countries, in addition to the U.S.  As a United States Artistic Ambassador, Ms Weems was invited to concertize in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Russia, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad, Costa Rica, and Taiwan. After a recital in Reykjavik, Iceland, one critic called her "a rare treasure... Nancy Weems is an extraordinary pianist, grand in scope, and powerful in her interpretation, possessing fantastic technique” Additional international tours followed, to the United Kingdom, Korea, Malaysia, and the People’s Republic of China. After her solo debut recital at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post praised her “powerful technique" and "delightful mix of strength and flexibility."  And the music critic of the Houston Post reported, "Nancy Weems put an amazing display of energy and keyboard technique into a recital that went from strength to strength."  

As a respected pedagogue, Nancy Weems has given master classes in music schools and conservatories in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the West Indies. Ms. Weems was an exchange professor and guest performer at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England; Sungshin Women's University in Seoul, Korea; and for the International Piano Master Class Series of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In 2016, Ms. Weems performed and taught in a four-city tour of China.

Nancy Weems is now retired from her position at the University of Houston Moores School of Music in Houston, Texas, a post that she held for over three decades. During her tenure there, she was a Madison Endowed Professor and Coordinator of the piano area. Her students have won top awards in many national and international competitions including top prizes in the MTNA Collegiate Artist Competition, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Leeds International Piano Competition, the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, the Sydney International Piano Competition, the Hastings International Piano Competition, the Bach International Piano Competition,  the Dallas International Piano Competition, the New Orleans International Piano Competition, the Corpus Christi Young Artist Competition, and the Nena Wideman National Young Artist Concerto Competition. Many of her current and former students now hold positions in music schools and universities worldwide, and many have successful performing careers under professional artist management.  A dedicated teacher, she was named the Outstanding Collegiate Teacher in l99l by the Texas Music Teachers Association and received a University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award in 1995. 

Professor Weems regularly presents lectures, recitals and teacher workshops and has been a featured MTNA convention artist for the states of New York, Washington, Minnesota, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, North Dakota and Texas. In addition, Ms. Weems has been a frequent presenter at the Music Teachers National Association Convention and the World Piano Pedagogy Conferences and has served as a frequent adjudicator of national and international piano competitions.

Ms. Weems has recorded for the Albany and the Bay Cities labels.  The recording, "Classical Hollywood" was nominated for a Grammy award in 1990. In addition, she has been featured in recordings of American composers Arnold Rosner, Chris Theofanidis, and David Ashley White. Her career was recently highlighted in a cover article by Clavier Companion entitled “A Legacy of Excellence.”

Practice and Lessons

Master Classes and Lectures: Theory, Piano Literature, Preparing for Auditions, Preparing for Competitions, Optional Festival Competition
Optional additional practice

Student and Faculty Concerts, Leisure Activities

Participants will be given the opportunity to request teachers for private lessons. We will do our best to schedule at least one lesson with the teacher(s) of your choice. Everyone will receive three 45-minute lessons per week (six lessons total).

Due to the limited number of master class performance slots, although we can not guarantee performance slots to everyone who wishes to perform, we look forward to seeing everyone at these open lessons.

Please note that the application requires you to include a link to a video recording of a solo piece that demonstrates your level of skill.

Priority Application Deadline: March 1
If space allows, final application deadline: April 25

Application reviews will occur after these two deadlines.



Application fee: $55

On-Campus attendees
Program fee, including air-conditioned dormitory room with linens and all-you-can-eat meals at the dining hall:

Double, shared room: $2,800
Single, private room: $2,900
Bathroom facilities with private shower and toilet stalls on each floor.

Program fee: $1550
Lunch and Dinner card: $360 (optional)

Please note that all fees paid are nonrefundable.

Please feel free to email: