New tuition-free format helps PianoSummer attract more world-class pianists

PianoSummer at SUNY New Paltz will return for its 2017 season from July 10-28, with a new, tuition-free structure designed to help attract the very best emerging young pianists from around the world to come study and perform in the Hudson Valley.

PianoSummer includes three weeks of intensive lessons, given by an exceptional faculty, and the annual Jacob Flier Piano Competition for pianists under the age of 35. This year the Flier Competition carries a new first prize: a solo debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

PianoSummer also brings a series of marquee public concerts given by an exceptional special guest performer, previous years’ Flier Competition winners and PianoSummer faculty. Among the featured events on this year’s schedule are:

  • Faculty Gala: Saturday, July 15, 7 p.m. in McKenna Theatre
    A rare chance to hear dynamic classical music performed by six master pianists, all in a single night. The program highlights showpieces of celebrated composers performed by the PianoSummer faculty.
  • Ilya Rashkovskiy Guest Artist Recital: Saturday, July 22, 7 p.m. in McKenna Theatre
    Acclaimed for his powerful expressive interpretations and richly eloquent playing, Ilya Rashkovskiy has earned a reputation as one of the most promising pianists of his generation.
  • Flier Competition Gala: Friday, July 28, 7 p.m. in McKenna Theatre
    PianoSummer invites the previous year’s Flier Competition winners back to New Paltz for a Gala evening of solo performance.

Over the course of more than two decades, PianoSummer has grown to become one of the most competitive piano programs in the country, bringing many of the finest musicians from around the world to study on the New Paltz campus. This year, for the first time, the 25 gifted pianists invited to participate will be able to do so free of tuition and housing charges.

“For years we have welcomed members and ticketholders with the wish that PianoSummer might someday be able to attract the top emerging young pianists from around the world based solely on their ability to play, not on their ability to pay,” said Vladimir Feltsman, master pianist and artistic director of PianoSummer. “Each year, with their support, we have moved closer to reaching that goal. This year, we have finally achieved it!”

For more information about PianoSummer at New Paltz, and to purchase tickets to these and other recitals and concerts, please visit