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Crane School of Music Hosts First International Piano Festival

June 25, 2019

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music Hosts Inaugural Crane International Piano Festival from June 30 to July 6

SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will soon welcome accomplished young pianists from across the country for the inaugural Crane International Piano Festival, to be held from June 30 to July 6.

The festival—a seven-day event for young pianists from 13 to 18 years old—will offer intensive training opportunities with renowned faculty members from The Crane School of Music and other guest artists. The inaugural festival features one week of concerts, masterclasses, private lessons and workshops for talented young pianists, all on SUNY Potsdam's beautiful campus. At the completion of the festival and the final recital, cash prizes will be awarded to the top three outstanding pianists.

“I am excited about the opportunity that this initiative offers to a group of outstanding young pianists as they work with Crane faculty members, hear outstanding guest artists and perform in masterclasses, and deepen their knowledge of the piano and its literature,” Crane School of Music Dean Dr. Michael Sitton said.

Students will have the chance to attend workshops and perform on stage at The Crane School of Music during the festival, learning from world-renowned faculty, including Crane professors Young-Ah Tak and Eugenia Tsarov, and guest artists Victoria Mushkatkol, a piano faculty member at The Julliard School's pre-college division, and Erikson Rojas, a piano faculty member at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

“As I was envisioning this festival, I wanted it to be a place where all of us can share, learn and experience a unique musical journey together. In addition, I wanted to be able to share this wonderful event with our Potsdam community,” said Assistant Professor of Piano Dr. Young-Ah Tak, who is the festival’s artistic director. “Our goal is to inspire young musicians through teaching, playing and daily interactions at the festival.”

The festival’s concerts and daily masterclasses will all be free and open to the public. The opening gala concert will be held on Sunday, June 30 at 7 p.m., in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater. The gala will feature all four faculty artists, beginning with Tak and Tsarov joining forces for two selections from Antonín Dvořák’s “Slavonic Dances for Piano, Four Hands.” Tak will then present Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Rondo in C-Major, Op. 51, No. 1” and “Sonata in F-Major, Op. 10, No. 2.” Rojas will perform the “Fantaisie-Impromptu, Op. 66” by Frédéric Chopin and two concert hymn settings by Samuel Hsu. Mushkatkol will join Tsarov at the piano to close out the performance with several more works for four hands, including Edvard Grieg’s “Norwegian Dance, Op. 35, No. 2,” three pieces from Georges Bizet’s “Jeux D’Enfants,” and Valery Gavrilin’s “Tarantella for Four Hands.”

Two young artist recitals will be offered, featuring the students performing works that they are studying during the festival. The first recital will be offered on Thursday, July 4 at 4 p.m., and the closing recital will be held on Saturday, July 6 at 1 p.m., both in Snell Theater.

Daily open masterclasses will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. each morning, from Monday, July 1, to Friday, July 5, also in Snell.

The young artists taking part in this year’s festival were selected through a competitive audition process. They include:

  • Luca Albano of Rochester, N.Y.
  • Jonathan Duan of Bear, Del.
  • Dimitri Eugene Galterio of New York City
  • Nabil Hetman of Lyon Mountain, N.Y.
  • David Johnson of Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Alexander Jurak of Hicksville, N.Y.
  • Kyra Lombard of Queensbury, N.Y.
  • Rishi Ramsingh of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Salvatore Sanfilippo of Buffalo, N.Y.
  • Zachary Slade of New Hartford, N.Y.
  • Christoph Tremble of Wilmington, Del.
  • Monica Trummer of Saranac Lake, N.Y.
  • Grant Wu of New York City
  • Xiaozhou Xu of New York City

The Crane School of Music is distinguished as the only All-Steinway School within the SUNY System, with more than 150 Steinway pianos, including three new concert grands. In fact, Crane has made the largest piano order in Steinway & Sons history—twice. This happened in 1955 (with 125 pianos) and 2007 (with 141 pianos).

To learn more about the Crane International Piano Festival, visit

About The Crane School of Music:

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution. For more information, please visit

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Alexandra Jacobs Wilke 315-267-2918

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