2019 Festival In News

San Francisco International Piano Festival Expands Schedule, Performances, Venues for Second Season

For Release on June 19, 2018
Jeffrey LaDeur
New Piano Collective

Mark Smith
Cooper Hong Inc.

San Francisco International Piano Festival Expands Schedule, Performances, Venues for Second Season

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 – The second annual San Francisco International Piano Festival will present 14 concerts in nine Bay Area venues, featuring ten pianists in programs offering a mix of solo piano along with instrumental and vocal chamber music.

Scheduled for August 16 through 26, the festival is presented by the New Piano Collective, founded in 2016 by Bay Area pianist, Jeffrey LaDeur. This year’s iteration of the festival expands on the inaugural 2017 festival in all respects – number of days, concerts, venues, performers and composers.

“In producing this festival, the New Piano Collective creates an experience where artists can dream, risk and soar, while the audience witnesses inspiration take flight,” said LaDeur, who serves as the festival’s executive and artistic director. “We celebrate the individual voice, and prize the unique approach each artist brings to the piano, transforming the very same instrument into a prism of personal expression.

“Join us for an unforgettable festival of 14 richly varied performances, presented in nine beautiful venues by 15 world-class artists performing some of the greatest music ever written.”

While international in scope – both in terms of the performers and repertoire – the second annual San Francisco International Piano Festival will have a decidedly American flavor. Highlights will include three works of William Bolcom, to celebrate the 80th birthday of the dean of American composers. Other American composers include George Gershwin and Charles Ives.

The festival will present world premieres by American composers David Gordon and Paul Sanchez (who also will perform as a founding member of the New Piano Collective).

In all, the festival will include works by nearly 25 composers, including Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Liszt, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Schubert and Schumann.

New venues for the 2018 San Francisco International Piano Festival are the Legion of Honor Museum, Knuth Hall at San Francisco State University, Old St. Mary’s Cathedral and Old First Presbyterian Church, all in San Francisco; the Piedmont Center for the Arts, Piedmont; Piedmont Piano Company, Oakland; and the historic Empress Theater, Vallejo. Other venues are the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Recital Hall and the Maybeck Studio for the Performing Arts, Berkeley. All nine provide intimate perspectives for audience members to experience the performances.

Festival Also Presents Vocalists, Chamber Musicians
In addition to the ten members of the New Piano Collective, the festival will feature performances by mezzo soprano Kindra Scharich, baritone Brandon Hendrickson, soprano Kayleen Sanchez, violinist Liana Berube and cellist Michelle Kwon. In addition to their featured solo performances, Berube and Kwon will join LaDeur to perform as the Delphi Trio in William Bolcom’s first Piano Trio, composed recently for the Delphi Trio.

In an August 22 concert at the Empress Theater that departs from the festival’s other events, pianist Igor Lipinski returns to present his show, “Piano Illusions,” a unique combination of music and magic. Seamlessly blending his marvelous pianism and mystifying illusions, Lipinski welcomes the audience into a magical world of fun, humor, and insights into the music. After the break, pianist and artistic director Jeffrey LaDeur introduces Concert Confidential, a behind-the-scenes look at life as a pianist, the classical music world, and tragicomic encounters with travels, pianos, and people.

Standard ticket prices for festival events are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and free admission for children aged 18 and under, with the following exceptions:

  • For concerts at the Maybeck Studio, all tickets are $25.
  • For concerts at the Empress Theater, tickets are $20 when bought online, and $25 when bought by phone or at the box office.
  • For the Old First concert, tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, $5 for students and free admission for children under 12.
  • The concert at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral will be presented for no admission charge.

For online ticketing, please visit https://www.artful.ly/new-piano-collective. For more information about the festival, please visit  www.sfpiano.org.

About the Artists
Praised by critics for his poetic and lyrical style, Jiyang Chen made his concerto debut at the age of seventeen, graduated from New York University and the Eastman School of Music, and has earned acclaim in his dual career as a concert pianist and portrait photographer.

Albert Kim teaches and performs in the U.S and China as a solo and collaborative pianist. He joined the keyboard faculty of the University of Central Missouri in 2017, after serving on the faculty at Linfield College from 2013 to 2017.

Praised for “beautiful array of pianistic colors” and “original interpretation,” pianist Eunmi Ko concertizes throughout the US, South America, Asia, and Europe. She is a member of the music faculty at the University of South Florida, Tampa.

Praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for "glowing sound," Jeffrey LaDeur performs internationally as soloist with orchestra, recitalist, and chamber musician. He is founder and artistic director of New Piano Collective, and founding member and pianist of the Delphi Trio. His debut CD, “Debussy & Rameau: The Unbroken Line,” is available on MSR Classics.

Igor Lipinski is Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Oklahoma, a frequent orchestra and recital soloist, and a graduate of Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music

Bobby Mitchell's musicianship is embedded in the here and now of music as performance art. A frequent performer of new and rarely heard works, his interests lie mainly in combining contemporary works with the standard repertoire in an illuminating fashion.  

Lauded by the Cleveland Plain-Dealer as “…a pianist full of fire and warmth,” Daria Rabotkina has performed internationally with orchestra, in recital and as a chamber musician. She serves as an Assistant Professor of Piano at Texas State University, San Marcos.

Praised by José Feghali as “a great artist,” pianist/composer Paul Sánchez is Director of Piano Studies and Artistic Director of the International Piano Series at the College of Charleston, and is Artistic Director of Dakota Sky Academy. 

Johnandrew Slominski, DMA, joined the Linfield College faculty in 2017. He earned four degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He appears worldwide and records for Centaur Records and Soundset Recordings. 

Owen Zhou is a freelancing musician and teacher in Denver, Colorado. He made his New York debut in 2012 with the Scriabin Piano Concerto. Zhou is also an audio engineer, cinematographer, mountaineer and skier. 

Brandon Hendrickson, baritone, is an active performer on the opera, concert and recital stage. His “mellifluous,” and “beautiful baritone,” as hailed by Opera News, has been heard interpreting standard and contemporary operatic and recital repertoire on an international level.

Praised by Sherod Santos for her “keen technical virtuosity… her voice [that] thrills along the spine,” soprano Kayleen Sánchez is a recitalist, pedagogue and recording artist with particular passion for early and new music.

Mezzo Soprano Kindra Scharich has been praised by The San Francisco Chronicle for her "exuberant vitality," "fearless technical precision," "deep-rooted pathos" and "irrepressible musical splendor."  She has performed over 150 art songs in 10 languages.

Violinist Liana Berube is co-founder of the Delphi Trio, concertmaster of the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and the Magik*Magik Orchestra, and principal second violinist of the Oakland Symphony. She has performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Cellist Michelle Kwon is co-founder of the Delphi Trio, a member of the Oakland Symphony and Magik*Magik Orchestra, and a frequent chamber music collaborator. She holds B.A. and M.M. degrees in from Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

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NOTE: For high-resolution photos, please contact Jeffrey LaDeur, 877-497-4266, jladeur@sfpiano.org.

Announcing the 2nd Annual San Francisco International Piano Festival

Jeffrey LaDeur

On behalf of all the artists of New Piano Collective, I welcome you to the second annual San Francisco International Piano Festival! The overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to the inaugural festival in 2017 has inspired us to present the festival annually, and we have you to thank. You- our audience, colleagues, friends, family, community partners, volunteers, sponsors, hosts, writers, designers, photographers, videographers, and the list goes on…

It was during last year’s festival launch that I witnessed the core purpose of our organization manifest: the creation of a safe space where artists can dream, risk, and soar, all the while inviting the audience to be present for the journey. We celebrate the individual voice and prize the unique approach each artist brings to the piano, transforming the very same instrument into a prism of personal expression. This individualism is supported by decades of disciplined study of musical architecture and technique, literature and language, performance practice and, well… practice, pure and simple. In sharing what we create and re-create through performance, we share part of ourselves, and this creates connection. Such alchemy can take place only in collaboration with our audience; your presence sets the stage for magic to happen and for inspiration to take flight.

Join us for an unforgettable festival-14 richly varied performances, 9 beautiful venues, 15 world class artists, and the chance to experience to some of the greatest music ever written. I look forward to welcoming you in person at our concerts!


Jeffrey LaDeur

Founder & Artistic Director of New Piano Collective

Announcing the Inaugural San Francisco International Piano Festival

Jeffrey LaDeur, Founder and Artistic Director, San Francisco International Piano Festival

Jeffrey LaDeur, Founder and Artistic Director, San Francisco International Piano Festival


It is with great pride that I welcome you to the inaugural San Francisco International Piano Festival, presented by New Piano Collective. Inspired by my colleagues, I founded NPC on the principles of artistry, collaboration, and innovation, and the belief that solo pianists thrive together. In 2016, we launched our partnership with a weekend of recitals at Old First Concerts and were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response that we received from audiences, fellow musicians, and local media. San Francisco teems with artists of all disciplines, creating a uniquely vibrant cultural scene that encourages new ideas while valuing tradition; it seemed incredible that such a place would not have a piano festival of its own.

So…. we made one.

This festival celebrates not only the endless richness and variety of the solo piano literature, instrumental and vocal chamber music, premieres and debuts, anniversaries and homages, it invites the audience to experience the ongoing dialogue among our musical family. While the artists of New Piano Collective represent six countries and over a dozen venerable institutions such as Harvard, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Academia Granados-Marshall in Barcelona, and the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, we all received formative musical training at the Eastman School of Music. More than an alma mater, we share common artistic values that guide our careers as performers, educators, and entrepreneurs. In a world that is fixated on the illusion of competition and scarcity of opportunities, we are strengthened by one another’s supportive presence and creative energy.

Each salon concert will feature two pianists in repertoire of their choice that has been curated with utmost care by yours truly. These mini-recitals will be interspersed with interviews led by a third NPC artist, facilitating an engaging and approachable conversation between performers and audience. Wine and hors d'oeuvres will be included in admission for several concerts and available for purchase at all events.  

Our festival offers something for everyone, from mainstage concerts at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music’s gorgeous Concert Hall to the intimacy of the Maybeck Studio in Berkeley, from elegant salons to the irreverent and informal PianoFight cabaret club. We are honored to have the sponsorship of Steinway and will present concerts at their Walnut Creek Gallery in addition to Berkeley's Freight and Salvage, and other spectacular settings throughout the Bay Area.

Join us for a momentous start to what I believe will be a destination festival. All are welcome, and if you are new to classical music, please email me at info@sfpiano.org to discuss a special discounted ticket price.

We are grateful to you, our audience, friends, and supporters, for allowing us the privilege of bringing this glorious music to you in one of the world’s great cities. Thank you, and I look forward to welcoming you at our concerts this August!


Jeffrey LaDeur

Founder and Artistic Director
San Francisco International Piano Festival
New Piano Collective