Colburn Virtual Piano Seminar

August 3–14, 2020
For advanced pianists (no age minimum)

Tuition: $2,000, plus $40 application fee
Auditing fee: $300, includes $40 application fee

During this two-week online seminar, piano students will receive expert instruction from Colburn’s talented faculty as well as many renowned guest artists. Participants will play in a weekly performance class, receive three private lessons each week, and take part in master classes, which include a Q&A with the artist. Students will also take classes given by highly experienced professionals in the fields of piano mechanics, career development, and technology and have the option to observe any private lesson given during the seminar.

The seminar will take place online via Zoom, which requires a strong internet connection, USB microphone and computer/tablet. All lessons and classes are available to audit.

No longer accepting applications

Questions? Email

Audition Requirements

Video submission of two contrasting pieces

Piano Seminar Competition

Participants may enter the piano seminar competition for a chance to win up to $1,000. Video submission for the competition are due Friday, August 14. Submission instructions will be shared with accepted students.

Junior Division (up to age 16)
· Submission requirements: 15 minute piece(s) of their choice
· Prize: $500 Steinway Prize

Senior Division (17 and above)
· Submission requirements: 30 minutes of 2 or more contrasting pieces
· Prize: $1,000 Colburn Prize and recorded recital in Colburn’s Zipper Hall (plus travel expenses up to $1,000 for a non-local winner)

Colburn Faculty

Fabio Bidini is recognized as one of today’s most important pianists and pedagogues. At the age of five, he received his first piano lessons and had his first public performance at age six and half. In the years following his debut, he won eleven of the most important Italian piano competitions. He studied under Orazio Frugoni and Maria Tipo at the Conservatorio Santa Cecilia.

His playing combines technical wizardry with poetic lyricism, which continue to win him praise and prizes. Bidini has been a frequent guest of the most prominent orchestras playing in the most famous concert halls. He has collaborated with the leading conductors of our time. He has also been invited to perform at international festivals and is in great demand as a chamber music partner.

He is currently piano faculty at the Colburn School and Artist in Residence at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz.

He is an official Steinway Artist.

Praised by critics for her “passionate…polished and expressive” performances, pianist HyeJin Kim is one of South Korea’s most thrilling young classical stars. Born in Seoul, she began playing piano at age five and later enrolled at the Yewon Arts School. She furthered her studies in Germany, earning her MFA from the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler. She recently received an artist diploma at the Colburn School in its Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Fabio Bidini.

Kim first attracted international attention at age 17 when, as the youngest participant, she won third prize in Italy’s prestigious Busoni Competition. Since then, Kim has received numerous awards and toured with many orchestras under some of the greatest conductors. She is a recording artist with Sony.

Kim teaches at the Colburn Community School and Music Academy.

The brilliant Italian born pianist Rodolfo Leone was the first-prize winner of the 2017 International Beethoven Piano Competition Vienna. Described as “a true sound philosopher” (Oberösterreichische Nachrichten), Rodolfo released his debut album on the Austrian label Gramola in May 2018. A native of Turin, Italy, Rodolfo made his orchestral debut in 2013 and has performed in orchestras and in recitals across North America, Europe, and China. As a 2018–19 Performance Today Young Artist in Residence, Rodolfo’s live recordings were broadcast throughout the United States.

Rodolfo is currently based in Los Angeles where he previously studied at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He holds both a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma from Colburn, where he studied with Fabio Bidini. He previously studied at the Hans Eisler School of Music and at the G. Rossini Conservatory.

Acclaimed Canadian pianist Micah Yui has appeared with orchestras, in recital, and as a chamber musician on three continents. A winner of numerous competitions and prizes, her recording of the Bloch Concerto Symphonique with the London Symphony was awarded Record of the Year by Stereophile Magazine.

Yui received her BM from the Juilliard School where she studied under Bella Davidovich; her Artist Diploma at the Royal Conservatory of Music; her MM at the University of Toronto; and a Graduate Performance degree from Peabody Conservatory, studying with Leon Fleisher. She has also studied with Boris and Inna Zarankin, Marietta Orlov, Giovanni Valentini, and Menahem Pressler.

She is committed to mentoring the next generations of artists and has served on the faculty of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Peabody Preparatory, Heifetz International Music Institute, and the Music Institute of Chicago. Yui currently teaches piano at the Colburn Community School of Performing Arts.


Specialized Instructors

Neema Pazargad began playing the piano at age six, quickly realizing he had found his calling in life. After attending Hamilton High School Academy of Music in Culver City, Neema received a full tuition scholarship to attend the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, where he won numerous awards and accolades.

After concertizing and teaching in Denver, Neema moved back to Los Angeles in 2000 and attended the California Institute of the Arts obtaining a Master of Fine Arts in Piano Performance, specializing in Collaborative Piano Studies.

Neema has since been living in Los Angeles, performing regularly, maintaining a studio of excellent piano students, operating a general engineering construction company, and studying the craft of being a Piano Technician. He is currently employed as the Director of Piano Technology at the Colburn School in downtown Los Angeles.

Nate Zeisler envisions a world where arts majors have a path to a sustainable career, creative minds are empowered to rule the workforce, and access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all. As the Dean for Community Initiatives in Colburn’s Center for Innovation and Community Impact, Dr. Zeisler is building a pipeline of sequential arts learning so that children of all backgrounds may experience a performing arts education. He supports the careers of world-class artists and passionate entrepreneurs, offering career advice and learning opportunities that prime them for the 21st century workforce.

Multi-Grammy Award-winner Frederick Vogler enjoys working as principal sound designer and mixer for the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Throughout the year, he also records the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, LA Master Chorale, and the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for commercial and broadcast release. Mr. Vogler works closely with composers, artists, directors, producers, and architects.

Mr. Vogler has worked in feature film as a music-scoring mixer for composers such as David Newman (Norbit, Spirit) and Jeff Richmond (Baby Mama), as well as an on-set music playback/live record engineer for movies including Sister Act I & II, What’s Love Got to Do With It, and Preacher’s Wife.


Guest Artists

Acclaimed for his “elegant poetry and virtuosic fire,” Alan Chow’s career is sparkling with accolades from various competitions, festivals, and universities.

A Steinway artist, Mr. Chow has performed in recital and in concert with orchestras from coast to coast in 47 states as well as Asia. An avid chamber musician, he has performed in many internationally renowned festivals. Also in demand for his teaching, Mr. Chow has given master classes throughout North America and Asia at conservatories, universities, and summer festivals.

Mr. Chow studied with Nelita True at the University of Maryland where he graduated Co-Valedictorian; with Sascha Gorodnitzki at The Juilliard School; and with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University. He also studied at the Mozarteum Sommerakademie with Carlo Zecchi. Formerly on the faculty of the University of Arkansas and Northwestern University, Mr. Chow is currently on the artist faculty at the Eastman School of Music.

Since winning the gold medal at the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Douglas Humpherys’ concert career has spanned four decades across four continents. During recent years, he has concertized and taught in many of the major cities of Asia, Europe, the United States, Canada, and Argentina. He has also adjudicated several competitions across the globe.

Mr. Humpherys completed graduate degrees at the Juilliard School (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (DMA). During his student days, he studied with Nelita True, Martin Canin, and Robert Smith.

Mr. Humpherys is currently the Artistic Director of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and Chair of the Piano Department at the Eastman School of Music. In 2016, Professor Humpherys received Eastman’s Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is also listed on the Artists roster of Steinway and Sons.

Yoheved Kaplinsky is currently chair of the piano department at the Juilliard School, as well as the Artistic Director of its Pre-College Division.

One of the most sought after pedagogues in the music world today, she is active as a guest lecturer and a performer in various festivals and universities.

A native of Israel, she earned her BS, MM, and DMA degrees from Juilliard as a student of Irwin Freundlich and continued her studies with Dorothy Taubman. A prize winner in the JS Bach competition in Washington DC, she has performed with orchestras, in recitals and in chamber music series in various cities in the States and in Israel. She is noted for her insight into piano technique and is in demand for lectures and workshops throughout the world. She has appeared on various documentaries on television and given master classes in the US, Israel, Europe and Asia. She is also a frequent visitor to various festivals and an adjudicator in international competitions.

Known for his elegant and insightful musicality, Jean Yves-Thibaudet has established himself as an iconic figure both on and off the stage. For more than three decades, he’s traveled the globe as one of the world’s most sought after concert pianists with a style distinctly his own.

For Thibaudet, teaching reaches beyond simple instruction. It also represents the continuation of a valuable tradition.

He believes having a strong understanding of the fundamentals is only half of the journey. Of equal importance is helping students find their own voice and individuality.

Thibaudet is renowned as an artist not just because of how he plays, but also because he plays well with others. His collaborative and good-spirited nature help him build and maintain relationships in the field, and he hopes to impart this knowledge to students.

He is currently an Artist in Residence at the Colburn School.