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Enroll in the Festival for Creative Pianists Today!

AWARD INFORMATION

All participants, all ages, will be recognized with one special, individually tailored award certificate to honor their finest achievement.

Our uniquely diverse awards celebrates standard baroque through contemporary repertory as well as neglected, yet important, skills -- e.g., improvisations (any style), original concerto cadenzas & classical embellishing (demonstrated by most of history's greatest composers yet seldom seen today), versatility (needed to thrive in today's competitive market), lyricism (usually overshadowed by "loud and fast" playing), original compositions (too few venues exist for young serious composers), works by female composers (underrepresented elsewhere), and tasteful arrangements & transcriptions (often disallowed in other events).


To qualify for awards, participants must:

  • Submit recorded performance videos for the virtual festival 

  • Participate in at least one online learning activity for the virtual festival 

  • Record and submit "Best Of" selection to be shared online with fellow festival participants

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At the Festival for Creative Pianists, we seek to foster diverse and well-rounded musicianship that goes beyond the "autonomic wizardry" that is often overemphasized in other competitions.

 

Above all, pianists and composers are urged to develop and showcase their unique creative talents and perform with individuality, personality, exuberance, originality, and spontaneity.

PIANIST AWARDS

  • In-Person Festival Praise
    "When first I attended the Festival for Creative Pianists, I did not realize what a major impetus it would provide in my growth as a musician. The festival’s emphasis on creativity, improvisation, and composition is a focus all too often missing in today’s musical education. Interacting with the wonderful faculty of this festival rounded me out as a musician, inspired me tremendously, and provided me with tools and perspectives I still use today." - Andrew Vargas, In Person Festival Participant
  • Virtual Festival Praise
    "I was so glad to come across Festival for Creative Pianists during the COVID-19 period, when the Festival went virtual. There were so many inspiring workshops and speakers who were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic in sharing their craft with the participants. The judges also gave very insightful comments and feedback on our performances and compositions. The activities were well-constructed and gave me great ideas to think about when improvising and composing. Thank you for a great experience!" "The organization of this Festival was fabulous! The presenters provided solid information for future creative growth. It was a wonderful experience." "I would like to thank everyone, who created, organized and participated in the Festival. During COVID time it was motivational event with lot of fun. I enjoyed zoom sessions with like-minded people. Opportunity to take a masterclass and a few workshops gave me more ideas how to improve my playing. Deadlines motivated me to work more on my repertoire that is important step for progress. Thank you!" "Festival for Creative Pianists has been a very rewarding experience! It allowed me to explore my creativity further, learn from multiple teaching artists, participate in private and group coaching and master classes, develop my composition skills further, communicate with other musicians, watch several concerts by the teaching artists, and engage in learning activities and challenges. The feedback I received throughout for each of my submissions was detailed and helpful." "This festival is amazing! I had tons of fun and learned a lot! I loved how I was able to connect with people even though it was virtual and all the awesome feedback I received from the wonderful teaching artist!" "Even though I wasn't present at Denver this year for the festival, I felt how the teachers actively engaged in helping the participants achieve a better level for themselves. Their knowledge and passion for music was overwhelming, and the experience was great. I highly recommend for all who love music to participate."

COMPOSER AWARDS

Festival teaching artists and directors will choose up to 3 written compositions to be performed at a culminating event at the end of each festival.

Festival directors and teaching artists will place all written compositions into the appropriate level listed below. All students who are accepted to the festival will submit their work using the OpenLearning platform.  

COMPOSER FEEDBACK
  • In-Person Festival Praise
    "When first I attended the Festival for Creative Pianists, I did not realize what a major impetus it would provide in my growth as a musician. The festival’s emphasis on creativity, improvisation, and composition is a focus all too often missing in today’s musical education. Interacting with the wonderful faculty of this festival rounded me out as a musician, inspired me tremendously, and provided me with tools and perspectives I still use today." - Andrew Vargas, In Person Festival Participant
  • Virtual Festival Praise
    "I was so glad to come across Festival for Creative Pianists during the COVID-19 period, when the Festival went virtual. There were so many inspiring workshops and speakers who were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic in sharing their craft with the participants. The judges also gave very insightful comments and feedback on our performances and compositions. The activities were well-constructed and gave me great ideas to think about when improvising and composing. Thank you for a great experience!" "The organization of this Festival was fabulous! The presenters provided solid information for future creative growth. It was a wonderful experience." "I would like to thank everyone, who created, organized and participated in the Festival. During COVID time it was motivational event with lot of fun. I enjoyed zoom sessions with like-minded people. Opportunity to take a masterclass and a few workshops gave me more ideas how to improve my playing. Deadlines motivated me to work more on my repertoire that is important step for progress. Thank you!" "Festival for Creative Pianists has been a very rewarding experience! It allowed me to explore my creativity further, learn from multiple teaching artists, participate in private and group coaching and master classes, develop my composition skills further, communicate with other musicians, watch several concerts by the teaching artists, and engage in learning activities and challenges. The feedback I received throughout for each of my submissions was detailed and helpful." "This festival is amazing! I had tons of fun and learned a lot! I loved how I was able to connect with people even though it was virtual and all the awesome feedback I received from the wonderful teaching artist!" "Even though I wasn't present at Denver this year for the festival, I felt how the teachers actively engaged in helping the participants achieve a better level for themselves. Their knowledge and passion for music was overwhelming, and the experience was great. I highly recommend for all who love music to participate."

SUBMIT YOUR WRITTEN COMPOSITION DURING THE FESTIVAL!

All Festival for Creative Pianist participants have the option to submit a written composition for additional feedback! Participants in all age categories will be able to submit their written composition as an assignment in our new online learning portal. A composition educator will provide feedback and comments on the work. Up to one winning work will be chosen from each of these five categories:

 

  • Piano Discovery

  • Piano Foundations

  • Piano Craft

  • Piano Artistry

  • Piano Mastery

 

The participant who is chosen in each of these five categories will be awarded a private follow-up revision lesson with the Abundant Silence Featured Composition Educator, Martha Hill Duncan!

MORE AWARDS

  • In-Person Festival Praise
    "When first I attended the Festival for Creative Pianists, I did not realize what a major impetus it would provide in my growth as a musician. The festival’s emphasis on creativity, improvisation, and composition is a focus all too often missing in today’s musical education. Interacting with the wonderful faculty of this festival rounded me out as a musician, inspired me tremendously, and provided me with tools and perspectives I still use today." - Andrew Vargas, In Person Festival Participant
  • Virtual Festival Praise
    "I was so glad to come across Festival for Creative Pianists during the COVID-19 period, when the Festival went virtual. There were so many inspiring workshops and speakers who were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic in sharing their craft with the participants. The judges also gave very insightful comments and feedback on our performances and compositions. The activities were well-constructed and gave me great ideas to think about when improvising and composing. Thank you for a great experience!" "The organization of this Festival was fabulous! The presenters provided solid information for future creative growth. It was a wonderful experience." "I would like to thank everyone, who created, organized and participated in the Festival. During COVID time it was motivational event with lot of fun. I enjoyed zoom sessions with like-minded people. Opportunity to take a masterclass and a few workshops gave me more ideas how to improve my playing. Deadlines motivated me to work more on my repertoire that is important step for progress. Thank you!" "Festival for Creative Pianists has been a very rewarding experience! It allowed me to explore my creativity further, learn from multiple teaching artists, participate in private and group coaching and master classes, develop my composition skills further, communicate with other musicians, watch several concerts by the teaching artists, and engage in learning activities and challenges. The feedback I received throughout for each of my submissions was detailed and helpful." "This festival is amazing! I had tons of fun and learned a lot! I loved how I was able to connect with people even though it was virtual and all the awesome feedback I received from the wonderful teaching artist!" "Even though I wasn't present at Denver this year for the festival, I felt how the teachers actively engaged in helping the participants achieve a better level for themselves. Their knowledge and passion for music was overwhelming, and the experience was great. I highly recommend for all who love music to participate."

A FEW NOTES 

Teaching artists may, at their discretion:  ​

  • Offer award recognitions not listed below

  • Present more than one of the same award to different participants

  • Not confer some of the awards​

We are grateful to all of our generous award sponsors! Many of these festival awards are sponsored by an individual who has a special affinity for a creative musical skill. We appreciate their dedication and commitment to helping others develop creative skills at the piano.

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS AWARD SPONSORS

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