6th Annual VARNA International Piano Master Class
Master Classes and Concerto Competition
Varna, Bulgaria

July 24 - August 6, 2005



International Faculty (alphabetic listing)
Joseph Banowetz (Co-Director)
Jan Kadlubiski
Joseph Stanford
Tamas Ungar
Adam Wodnicki (Co-Director)

Since its inception in 1998, the International Piano Master Class  continues to attract students from North and South America, Asia, Europe, and South Africa. Participants have come from such countries as Brazil, Canada, The People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of South Africa, Taiwan and the United States. 

The 2005 International Piano Master Class will take place in Varna, Bulgaria. Since 2001 the program  includes an opportunity for young concert pianists to read and perform with orchestra, and to take part in a competition to play in a public concert with orchestra. This summer, readings with orchestra, as well as a public concert, will be offered with the Varna Philharmonic for selected participants.

Varna, Bulgaria

Varna is Bulgaria's third largest city and easily accessible from many major European cities as well as the capital, Sofia. It was inhabited  even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik. In 1393 it was captured by the Turks, who made it an important military centre.

Today Varna  is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of Golden Sands, St. Constantine (Drouzhba) and Albena, it has a stimulating cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sailors on shore-leave in unfamiliar ceremonial uniforms mingle with foreign tourists and locals as they promenade along shady boulevards, lined by dignified 19th and early 20th century buildings.

The city is known as the summer capital of Bulgaria for such traditional international cultural events – International ballet Competition, Varna Summer International Music Festival, Jazz Festival, Biennale of Graphics, Theatre Festival, Love is Folly Film Festival, etc.

Main places of interest are the Opera Theatre, the Museum of History, the Open-air Theatre, the Government Residence in the Palace of Euxinograde, the Sea Garden, the Roman Baths, and the Dolphinarium.

Central Varna is ALL within walking distance of the Black Sea - making it very pleasant and cool in the summer.

For more information about Varna see
For more information about Bulgaria see http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/europe/bulgaria/              



Faculty (alphabetic listing)

Joseph Banowetz  Co-Director (U.S.A.)
Joseph Banowetz has been described by Fanfare Record Review (U.S.A.) as "a giant among keyboard artists of our time." He has performed on five continents, and his recordings of concertos by Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Anton Rubinstein and d'Albert, as well as numerous solo repertoire, appear on Naxos and Marco Polo, two of the world's most widely distributed CD labels. Mr. Banowetz's teachers include Carl Freidberg (himself a pupil of Clara Schumann) and the legendary Gyorgy Sandor. Banowetz's book "The Pianists Guide to Pedaling" has been translated into several languages.

Mr. Banowetz has lectured and taught master-classes at such renowned schools as The  Julliard School in New York, the St Petersburg Conservatory, London's Royal College of Music, the Chopin Academy of Warsaw, the Beijung Central conservatory, and the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts. He has served on many international competition juries, including the Gina Bachauer International Competition (U.S.A.), and the Arthur Rubinstein Master Competition (Israel). He is a Steinway Artist.


kadlubiski.jpg (38297 bytes)Jan Kadlubiski (Poland)

After graduating from Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in his native Warsaw with Margerita Trombini-Kazuro and Zbigniew Drzewiecki JAN KADLUBISKI completed his piano studies in Vienna at the Akademie fur Musik und Darstellende Kunst (1961), in Italy with Ornella Puliti Santoliquido (Venice 1964) and in Siena at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana, where he was a pupil of Guido Agosti (1966-67-68).

He began his career as a concert pianist by winning the International Piano Competition (InternationalYouth Festival) in Warsaw in 1955. He has recorded a vast repertoire with numerous radio and television appearances. He has made concertos and recital appearances also in Austria, in Italy (in 1996 he performed both Chopin’s Piano Concertos at the Micat in Vertice Festival in Siena), in France, Switzerland, Germany, former Yugoslavia(the first performance of Karol Szymanowski’s Symphonie Concertante with Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra – Antoni Wit conductor), in Hungary, In Czech Republic, in Great Britain, in the United States and in China.

The work of Chopin and Szymanowski occupy an important place in his repertory.

JAN KADLUBISKI was invited to give master classes and lectures in Switzerland (Lausanne), several times in Italy (Trieste, Piediluco), in the United States (Ann Arbor- University of Michigan, New York – Juilliard School of Music, Mannes College, Oklahoma, Texas), in Germany (Berlin – European Piano Forum), in Great Britain (London- Royal Academy of Music, Chopin Society of London, Manchester- Chetham’s School of Music), in Czech Republic (Prague-Advanced Piano Workshop), and in China (Beijing- The Central Conservatory of Music, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Nanning).

Member of the jury of National and International Competitions JAN KADLUBISKI is professor of piano performance at the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music.He is author of several publications on piano playing and on musical aesthetics and the translator of Gyorgy Sandor’s word-wide renowned book “On Piano Playing” (Schirmer, New York) published in Warsaw by Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.

Joseph Stanford (South Africa)

Cape Town (South Africa) born Joseph Stanford is Professor of Music at South Africa's largest residential university, the University of Pretoria.  After his studies at the Universities of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, and Vienna, he returned to South Africa where he has held various senior positions at different institutions.  Since he stopped his performing career, he has devoted himself exclusively to his teaching.

He has served on juries of many national and international competitions.  His students include many winners of both national and international competitions.  He is the proud and youngest ever recipient of a Honorary Licentiate in Music which has only been awarded to six people by the University of South Africa (UNISA).  This award has been made to him as a result of his directive and innovative influence on piano teaching in South Africa, the excellence of his work that results in his pupils' outstanding achievements, and his intense and enthusiastic involvement in the UNISA music examination system.

Tamás Ungár

At age 10, Tamás Ungár emigrated from Hungary to Australia and studied under Alexander Sverjensky at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Subsequently he studied with Lajos Hernádi at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, and with György Sebök at Indiana University, where he was awarded the Doctorate in Music.

After performing and teaching in London for some years, Tamás Ungár was appointed to the music faculty at the University of California at San Diego, and in 1978 was invited to his current position at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. As the first performing musician ever to receive the coveted British Leverhulme Fellowship, Tamás Ungár served as Artist-in-Residence at York University during the 1984-85 season, playing over fifty concerto, recital and chamber music engagements throughout the United Kingdom.

Renowned for his powerful performances and innovative programming, Tamás Ungár records exclusively for Cala Records— www.calarecords.com. He performs and teaches regularly all over the globe, and has become one of United States' best-known and most respected piano teachers. At TCU he maintains a class of international piano students who consistently receive prizes in national and international competitions, and perform in such music centres as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Recital Hall.

Tamás Ungár is Founder/Executive Director of the TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute, which over the course of 25 years has become the foremost organisation of its kind. In a concentrated four-week period each year, the Institute offers individual tuition, master classes, concerto and chamber music experience to selected young pianists from around the world—many on scholarship—plus similar opportunities for piano teachers and talented amateurs.

Adam Wodnicki Co-director (Poland/USA)

Described by the critics as a “stunning virtuoso” and a “musical star”, Polish-born artist Adam Wodnicki has concertized and taught on five continents. He has appeared at prestigious international music festivals such as Arundel Festival in England, Les Rencontres Internationales Frederic Chopin in Nohant, France, Chopin Festival in Marianske Lazne (Marienbad), Czech Republic, International Shenyang Piano Festival in China, and others. Wodnicki has recorded extensively for various labels, CENTAUR and ALTARUS among others, and made numerous radio and TV recordings in different countries, as well as concerto recordings with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra. Adam Wodnicki studied with Jan Hoffman, Guido Agosti and Gyorgy Sebok, and his artistic roots can be traced to the traditions of Fryderyk Chopin, Franz Liszt and Ferrucio Busoni.

Wodnicki has served on juries of international competition and is performance editor for the first ever edition of the Complete Works by Paderewski. A Steinway Artist, Adam Wodnicki is Professor of Piano at the University of North Texas


Pianos and Practice Facilities

There will be access to practice rooms and rehearsal halls at the Varna Music School (Secondary) from 8:00 to 20:00 daily. The pianos available are German and Czech (Foerster, Petrof, Blutner, Gayer and Czerny). The Music School is located about 4 minutes walk from the accommodation.

Workshop Outline (subject to change)

  • Master Classes
    Daily master classes will  take place from 10:00  to 12:00.  Master classes may take the form of seminars/lectures, "public" lessons, demonstrations, etc. All students are required to attend the master classes. Students are entitled (but not obligated) to participate in one master class per week.
  • Private Lessons
    Students are entitled to four private lessons. Lessons are assigned.
  • Public Recitals
    All participants will have the opportunity to perform in at least one public recital.  Faculty will determine students who will play in each recital.
  • Concerto with Orchestra Competition (see below)

Applications and Fees

To apply please use our on-line application *CLICK HERE* or send us your name, CV/Resume including education, teachers, public concert appearances, competitions entered, workshops and master classes attended etc., and an audition cassette, CD or video to the address below. If you are a student of, or were referred by one of the faculty no audition material is necessary.

Limited Enrollment

The fee for the 2005 VARNA Piano Master Class is $935 USD - this includes shared accommodation in the Hotel Cherno More (Hotel Black Sea) located 4 minutes walk from the  Music School/practice facilities, breakfast and lunch daily.  (add $120 for a single room) 

Accommodation: Cherno More Hotel (seen here) is located in the centre of Varna, close to the Sea Garden, the Black Sea beaches and the main pedestrian/shopping area of the city.






Concerto with Orchestra Competition

The Concerto Competition is open only to the participants in the International Master Class. Interested participants will rehearse and perform a movement from a piano concerto or piano work with orchestra (see the Concerto List below) with the Varna Philharmonic Orchestra as part of the "Concerto Competition."  Up to 6 participants will be selected by the faculty to perform at a public concert. 

In 2001 the winners of the Concerto with Orchestra Competition were (in alphabetic order) Camille Fu,  Hooshik Hwang (S.  Korea), Taekigi Kim (S.  Korea), Ashan Peiris (Sri Lanka), Izabella Pietrukaniec (Poland), Eunjin Shin (S.  Korea) and Ai Yuki (Japan). 

In 2002 the performing winners of the Concerto with Orchestra Competition were: Yun Jung Choi (First Prize) and Eugene Joubert (First Prize); Do Young Kim;  Marta Kucbora; Anne Marshall and Eun Jun Oh. These students played with the Kroméríz Festival Orchestra in the Assembly Hall of the Bishops Palace as part of the Kromeriz International Music Festival in the Czech Republic.

In 2003 the Concerto with Orchestra Competition took place in Hradec Kralove with the Hradec Kralove Philharmonic. The First Prize winners in 2003  were Ai Yuki, (Japan ) and YunJung Choi (South Korea). Other winners were Johan Botes (South Africa); Sonia Hwang (Korea/South Africa); Myung Sun Oh (South Korea) and Yoshiko Shamoto (Japan). These students played with the Hradec Kralove Philharmonic in Podrbrady in the Czech Republic.

Competition Fee: Those interested in the "Concerto with  Orchestra Competition" add $175. 

Competition Repertoire:

  • Beethoven Concertos Nos. 1, 2, 3
  • Chopin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, and Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise
  • Grieg Concerto in A Minor
  • Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
  • Liszt Concerto No. 1
  • Mendelssohn Concerto No. 1
  • Mozart Concertos K. 466 in D Minor, K. 467 in C Major, K. 488 in A Major
  • Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 in D-Flat Major
  • Schumann Concerto in A Minor
  • Saint-Saëns Concerto No. 2 in G minor
  • Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1

For more information please contact Patricia Hitchcock info@symphonicworkshops.com


How do I  get to Varna!?

This is good question and one that EVERYONE asks. Please don't bother with your local travel agent you will probably get a quote which will turn your hair gray. We are presently working out an arrangement for discounted charter airfares from Frankfurt to Varna and will have more information soon. Bulgaria is now one of the major tourist destinations for Europeans, in North America however, you will not find much travel information. Meanwhile please investigate flights to Frankfurt and remember - July/August is the peak travel season to any part of Europe. If you need help or have any questions please contact us.



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