Elevating Talent at the 2024 PianoTexas Festival & Academy

Group photo of PianoTexas participants on stage at the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU.

Join us for the PianoTexas Festival & Academy June 5-30 in the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU.  

TCU and the College of Fine Arts are proud to host the highly anticipated PianoTexas Festival & Academy, a month-long celebration of musical excellence that gathers the finest pianist talent from across the globe. Taking place June 5-30, this prestigious festival will feature a distinguished artist concert series, master classes and special performances with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO).  

Established in 1981 during the sixth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, PianoTexas has since become an international music festival and academy, under the direction of Professor of Piano Tamás Ungár.

This year, PianoTexas received over 300 applications by pianists from 20 different countries. The festival and academy offer valuable musical and career insights to talented young pianists, along with special programs tailored for dedicated teachers and passionate amateurs.  

The 2024 PianoTexas Festival

Over 108 musicians, ranging from nine to 76 years old will come to the TCU campus for the chance to perform in the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU alongside the FWSO. Under the baton of FWSO’s Music Director Laureate Miguel Harth-Bedoya, the concerto winners concert will showcase winners from three distinct programs: Young Artists, Juniors, and Teachers/Amateurs. 

Tamás Ungár, founder of PianoTexas

Tamás Ungár, founder of the PianoTexas Festival & Academy

“Performing a concerto with a professional orchestra is a rare opportunity for any aspiring pianist,” said Ungár. “It is important to have several orchestra performances in your biography, as managers take note of these experiences. The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra offers an exceptional experience as they are the ensemble that accompanies the finalists of the Cliburn Competition. PianoTexas “Concerto Experience” is unique amongst all festivals in providing its participants with this rare opportunity.” 

 The festival will also include a distinguished artist concert series featuring five acclaimed musicians, including:   

  • Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, multi-award-winning recording artist and judge of the 2022 Cliburn Competition.
  • Sa Chen, a distinguished pianist and the youngest invited jury member of the 2021 XVIII International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. She received the Crystal Award at the 2005 Cliburn Competition. 
  • Enrico Elisi, renowned pianist and TCU Associate Professor of Piano and the Harold D. and Imogen Herndon Professor in Music .
  • Vadym Kholodenko, gold medalist of the 2013 Van Cliburn Competition. 
  • Eric Lu, first-prize recipient of the 2018 Leeds International Piano Competition at the age of 20.

Special Homecoming  

Guest recitalist Eric Lu will make a special return to the festival, marking nine years since his last appearance at PianoTexas in 2015 when he was 17 years old.

Eric Lu, dressed in a black suit, seated on a stone staircase.

Guest recitalist Eric Lu

Lu first came to international attention as a Laureate of the 2015 Chopin International Competition in Warsaw.

“I attended PianoTexas at a very crucial time in my life, right before participating at the Warsaw International Chopin Competition,” said Lu. “The masterclasses, lessons and stage experience garnered there helped me immensely in my preparation for such an enormous event just a few months later.”

Lu was later the recipient of the International German Piano Award in 2017 and has since signed an exclusive contract with Warner Classics. He has collaborated with esteemed orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic.   

“Another key point to mention about PianoTexas was how it further established connections for me to colleagues and more senior established artists in the profession. The music world is small, and it is critical to be able to branch out and have these personal relationships with people that you will undoubtedly see again in the future”

“The goal of PianoTexas International Festival & Academy is to bridge the gap between the music profession and the halls of academia,” said Ungár. “The demands of participating are very high and motivate the highest level of performance. Eric Lu is the epitome of why this festival was created. He has demonstrated that winning competitions is only the beginning of a career. To maintain performance on such a high standard is an inspiration to all of us participating in the 2024 PianoTexas. Welcome home, Eric!”  

Join us for the PianoTexas Festival & Academy June 5-30 in the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU.