The International Symphony

by Nicole Chin '08

A flutter of symphonies filled ears as fingers carefully glided across black and white keys. Classical harmonies played by pianists from all across the world united listeners in the 2005 International Piano Institute hosted by APU from June 30-July 10.

The second annual institute featured internationally renowned pianists Pavel Nersessian, Susan Svrcek, and Edward Wolanin, as well as artists from APU, including the School of Music’s dean, Duane Funderburk, DMA, and Roza Kostrzewska Yoder, M.M. More than 40 aspiring pianists between the ages 10 and 39 attended, from China, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and the United States.

The intense 10-day program included private lessons, master classes, concerts, lectures on music literature and pedagogy, a specially guided tour of the J. Paul Getty Museum, chamber music coaching, and movement workshops.

The song of the piano does not need words as it unites people with its serene tune. In the master classes, however, renowned pianists used interpreters to constructively critique students’ performances and help them master pieces by Bach, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.

“Students are just absorbed into the music," said Funderburk. "They come away saying they had no idea they could learn so much in 10 days.”