2018 GVSU 20th/21st-Century Piano Festival

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Click HERE for the Registration Form.

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

Saturday, October 27, 2018, 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 will be premiered, and the composer, Tim Brown, will be in residence to celebrate the occasion!


  • 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 12, 2018.
  • 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.
  • 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 choso@gvsu.edu.


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

Recital #1                        9am-9:50am
Recital #2                        10am-10:50am
Recital #3                        11am-11:50am
Recital #4                        1pm-1:50pm
Recital #5                        2pm-2:50pm
Recital #6                        3pm-3:50pm                                       

The composer-in-residence, Tim Brown*, will be at each recital to introduce the commissioned piece.  GVSU piano students and faculty 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.

* Award-winning American composer Timothy Brown is one of the most popular and widely performed composers for the piano of his generation. His music has been influenced greatly by the Italian composer Ennio Morricone, and his music is noted for its “immediate emotional impact” and its roots in the neo-romantic style of music composition. His traditional formal structural elements are embedded in his wide array of compositions which includes orchestral, ballet, choral, chamber works, and over three hundred publications written specifically for the piano for “pedagogical purposes.” He was born in Middletown, Ohio and his early piano and music theory studies were with Rebecca Shoup Willhide. His undergraduate studies were at Bowling Green State University, and he later received his master’s degree from the University of North Texas where he studied piano with Adam Wodnicki and music composition with Newel Kay Brown. He later was a recipient of a research fellowship from the Royal Holloway, University of London, where he pursued his post-graduate studies in music composition and orchestration with the English composer, Brian Lock. He later continued his research at the well known Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Foundation in Rome, Italy. Early in his career, he was awarded the first prize at the (2000) Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition (Centaur records). His world premieres have included commissions by The Daniel Pearl Music Foundation, The Music Teachers National Association Collaborative Composer Commission (2015), The Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education, and The Carter Albrecht Foundation. Through an artistic collaboration with the “Ballet foundation for the XXI Century” he has received five commissions for contemporary works for dance including the staging of “three contemporary ballets” including “The Happy Prince” which is based on the writings of Oscar Wilde. His music has been showcased at numerous venues throughout North America and Europe including the Mozarthaus Vienna, Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City, the “Library of Congress Concert Series” in Washington D.C, the Spoleto Music Festival, and the Chapman University Symphony and Chorus. His most recent new Piano Concerto (2016), “The Classical Concerto for Piano and Orchestra” is written in the style of Prokofiev’s first symphony, Op. 25, “The Classical Symphony,” and was recently premiered by the Korean Concert Pianist, Hwa Jung Lee in the Dallas area. He is an exclusive composer/clinician for The FJH Music Company Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. (ASCAP).

ONLINE REGISTRATION will be available on July 15, 2018 and remain open until October 12, 2018.    

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.]