2017 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival

CLICK HERE for the festival program!! 

Join us for Grand Valley State University’s 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival!

CLICK HERE for the registration form.

Saturday, October 28, 2017, Performing Arts Center, Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall

  • This Festival is a celebration of 20th/21st-century piano music with performances throughout the day (each recital: 50 minutes). 
  • Students play in a supportive venue where families, teachers, and friends are invited to be part of the audience.
  • This year’s commissioned piece, Tiny Machines, will be premiered, and the composer, Dr. Bill Ryan, will be in residence to celebrate the occasion!
  • The nationally recognized New Music Ensemble at GVSU will also be in residence! ("The members of Grand Valley State's ensemble play with a confident swing...To put it another way, these kids are a trip."--NEWSWEEK)


  • Pre-college students are eligible to participate.
  • Each student performs one piece from the 20th or 21st century.


  • CLICK HERE for the registration form.  No paper registration will be accepted.  The registration fee is $12.00/student.  Registration forms and fees are due by Friday, October 13, 2017.
  • All registrations will be processed in the order received.  The Festival board reserves the right to limit the number of participants in each category in order to fill each recital time and also not go over.
  • Each participant will choose at least three options for the recital time at the time of registration. Each recital will be 50 minutes long.
  • Repertoire changes are prohibited after students send in their registration forms.
  • Click here for Recommended Repertoire List. 
  • Students should bring the music with measures numbered (no photocopies, please).
  • All pieces must be memorized. An exception may be made in case of playing a work that uses experimental contemporary techniques.
  • All teachers of participants will receive an evaluation of the student’s performance by GVSU faculty.
  • Every participating student will receive a Certificate of Participation. Students who play in this festival for THREE years will be awarded a handsome trophy.
  • Questions? Please contact Dr. Sookkyung Cho at [email protected].



All performances will be in the Sherman Van Solkema Recital Hall, on a Steinway B grand piano.

Recital #1                        9 a.m.-9:50 a.m.
Recital #2                        10 a.m.-10:50 a.m.
Recital #3                        11 a.m.-11:50 a.m.
Recital #4                        1 p.m.-1:50 p.m.
Recital #5                        2 p.m.-2:50 p.m.
Recital #6                        3 p.m.-3:50 p.m.                                       

The composer-in-residence, Dr. Bill Ryan*, will be at each recital to introduce the commissioned piece, Tiny Machines.  GVSU piano students, faculty, and the nationally recognized New Music Ensemble** will also participate in the festival! 

All performances are open to the public. Video Taping is strictly prohibited. Food and drink are not permitted in any GVSU concert hall. Photos may be taken after each recital.

* Dr. Bill Ryan has won the American Composers Forum Champion of New Music Award for his significant contributions to the work and livelihoods of contemporary composers throughout the country, the Michigan Governor’s Award in Arts Education, and was a finalist for the Michigan Distinguished Professor of the Year award for his work at Grand Valley State University.  As a conductor Bill has commissioned and premiered dozens of works by such notable composers as Phil Kline, Marc Mellits, Belinda Reynolds, Jad Abumrad, Zoe Keating, Evan Ziporyn, and David Lang.  In 2006 he founded the Grand Valley State University New Music Ensemble, who have been profiled in numerous publications including Newsweek, the New York Times, and Billboard Magazine, and featured on NPR's Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, and WNYC's Radiolab. Beyond their many campus events they have performed concerts in Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C., at New York’s Bang On a Can Marathon, as members of the all-star ensemble assembled by the Kronos Quartet to perform on the In C 45th Anniversary concert at Carnegie Hall, and at the Make Music New York summer festival.


ONLINE REGISTRATION will be available on July 15, 2017 and remain open until October 13, 2017.    

When you register online, you will need the following information:

  1. Your name and contact information
  2. Your teacher’s name and contact information
  3. Preferred recital times (at least three)
  4. Eligibility for a trophy
  5. Repertoire information: composer, title, length [The accurate length is extremely important for scheduling purposes. Please do not exceed 5 minutes in duration. If you are performing a piece that is longer than 5 minutes, please perform an excerpt from the piece. The Festival board may interrupt your performance after 5 minutes.]
  6. Payment method [If you choose to pay online, you will be directed to the online payment system.]

Page last modified August 17, 2018