Lee University School of Music is hosting its 15th annual International Piano Festival from June 23 to June 29 on the Cleveland, Tennessee, campus.
The event began in 2005 as a competition for high school students, then expanded in 2011 to include opportunities for participants to study with internationally acclaimed artists.
The festival will begin with a concert by faculty and guest artists on Sunday, June 23, at 5:30 p.m. in Squires Recital Hall in the Humanities Center, 1120 N. Ocoee St. in Cleveland.
Later in the week, participants will compete for cash awards totaling $10,000, as well as scholarships for undergraduate and graduate studies at the university. All festival events are free and open to the public.
Natalya Antonova, Dr. Heather Conner and Dr. Henry Wong Doe are guest artists at this year's festival. They will be joined by Lee faculty Dr. Joong Han Jung, Dr. ChoEun Lee, Dr. Cahill Smith and Dr. Phillip Thomas. Smith and Thomas serve as artistic director and executive director of the festival, respectively.
"We are truly humbled to host a gathering of this caliber at Lee," says Smith.
"An internationally renowned artist faculty will come together with top young pianists from around the world for a week-long celebration of the piano. Participants are presented unique opportunities to learn and grow as artists and professionals."
Antonova made her debut with the Leningrad Philharmonic at age 16. As a soloist of two major concert managements, State Concert and Soviet Union Concert, she has performed throughout Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine. Formerly on the faculty of Leningrad Conservatory, she currently teaches piano at Eastman School of Music.
Conner is the Chancellor's Chair of Pre-college Piano at Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Prior to this, she was professor of piano at the University of Utah School of Music, where she served on the faculty for 14 years. As a recitalist, she has performed in venues in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Moscow and Salzburg.
Doe earned Audience Favorite awards in the Rubinstein, Busoni and Sydney International piano competitions. He has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Heinz Hall, St. Martin-in-the-Fields London, Esplanade-Theatres on the Bay Singapore, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv. He is professor of piano at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
"This is the kind of experience I dreamed of as a student," said Smith. "This year, I am especially excited to welcome my teacher from my doctoral studies, Natalya Antonova, to our festival. We hope everyone can join us for this feast of piano music."
For more information: 423-614-8264.