NAU invites the community to experience Flagstaff Piano Festival 

Close-up photo shot of a someone playing the piano. Hands piano and sheet music visible.

The Flagstaff community is invited to celebrate the sounds of summer with the Flagstaff Piano Festival (FPF), a weeklong immersive experience that brings young pianists, dedicated educators, celebrated artists and enthusiastic music lovers together for daily concerts, masterclasses, competitive performances and a Piano Immersion Day. 

Daily concerts and masterclasses include first-tier featured pianists who have performed to rave reviews around the world, bringing a cosmopolitan week of award-winning piano to Northern Arizona University’s Mountain Campus. Tickets to the performances, which includes a Sunday matinee with Jeffrey Swann and evening performances by Joyce Yang, The Lomazov-Rackers Piano Duo, Ann Schein and John O’Conor, can be purchased online 

  • General Public: $30 
  • Senior (65+)/NAU Employee: $25 
  • NAU or CCC Student/ Children 17 and younger: Free 
  • Three-packs of FPF concert tickets can be purchased at a 20 percent discount 

The following daily masterclasses, public competitions, Piano Immersion Day and Young Artist Concerts are free and open to the public. 

  • 10 a.m. June 25-30: Daily masterclasses, which provide students the opportunity to work with worldclass musicians in a public setting, will feature pianists Joyce Yang, Jeffrey Swann, Joseph Rackers, Marina Lomazov, Ann Schein and John O’Conor. Come and learn vicariously while witnessing excellent piano!  
  • June 30: Piano Immersion Day, perfect for music instructors in the community, will highlight best practices shared by many piano teachers who have students in the academy while also featuring piano performances by instructors.1-5 p.m. June 30: Members of the academy will compete for NAU scholarships and cash prizes by performing one-to-three adjudicated solo pieces.7 p.m. June 30: Awards will be given and award winners featured at the Young Artist Concert I. 
  • 11 a.m. July 1: The closing ceremony and Young Artist Concert II 

Read more about our featured pianists: 

Jeffrey Swann: Swann enjoys an international performing career that has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. He won first prize in the Dino Ciani Competition sponsored by La Scala in Milan, a gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, a bronze medal at the Cliburn Competition and top honors at the Warsaw Chopin, Vianna da Motta and Montreal Competitions, as well as the Young Concert Artists auditions in New York City. His extensive and varied repertoire includes more than 60 concertos and solo works ranging from Bach to Boulez. In addition to presenting lectures and recitals worldwide, Swann also is an internationally renowned Wagner scholar. He lectures throughout the United States, illustrating from the piano and is a frequent guest of the Bayreuth Festival. He has written extensively on Wagner, most recently an article on Wagner and Proust, published by Oxford University Press. 

Joyce Yang: Yang received her first piano lesson from her aunt at age four. She quickly took to the instrument, which she received as a birthday present. By the age of ten, she had entered the School of Music at the Korea National University of Arts and made several concerto and recital appearances in Seoul and Daejeon. Yang moved to the United States to begin studies at the pre-college division of the Juilliard School and during her first year, Yang won the pre-college division Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Haydn’s Keyboard Concerto in D with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. After winning the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, she performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with that orchestra at twelve. She graduated from Juilliard with special honor as the recipient of the school’s 2010 Arthur Rubinstein Prize.  

Lomazov-Rackers Piano Duo: Praised for “demon precision and complete dedication” (Audio Society), the Lomazov-Rackers Piano Duo garnered wide attention as the Second Prize Winners of the Sixth Biennial Ellis Duo Piano Competition, the only national competition for the piano duo in the United States at that time.  Since then, they have performed as recitalists and in concert with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. The Lomazov-Rackers duo has premiered numerous works across the United States, including several works written specifically for them. Their broad repertoire ranges from important works by Bach, Brahms, Mozart and Schubert to wide-ranging performances of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring and Petrushka, leading one critic to write that the duo “really lit up the audience…demonstrated that nearly 100 years after it was written, this modernist touchstone can still sound modern” (Columbia Free Times). 

Ann Schein: From her first recordings with Kapp Records and her highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall recital debut as an artist on the Sol Hurok roster, Schein’s career has earned her praise in major American and European cities and more than 50 countries around the world. Since her debut in Mexico City in 1957, when she performed both the Rachmaninoff 3rd Concerto and the Tchaikovsky B-flat Concerto, she has performed thousands of concerts on every continent. In 2022, Schein returned to the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where she had previously taught and had come to study at a very young age and was honored with its Distinguished Alumni Award. From 1984 to 2016, Schein was an artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School appearing in more than 90 performances of solo, chamber works and concertos, teaching hundreds of students.  

John O’Conor: “A pianist of unbounding sensitivity” (Gramophone); “He represents a vanishing tradition that favors inner expression and atmosphere over showmanship and bravura” (Chicago Tribune); “Impeccable technique and musicality … it would be hard to imagine better performances” (Sunday Times-London); “Exquisite playing” (New York Times). 

O’Conor has gathered wonderful reviews for his masterly playing for more than forty years. Having studied in his native Dublin, in Vienna with Dieter Weber and being tutored by the legendary Wilhelm Kempff, his unanimous 1st Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973 opened the door to a career that has brought him all around the world. In the past two years, he has released three new CDs on the Steinway label. He has also been featured on with videos on teaching and discussing Beethoven and Haydn Sonatas. 

NAU Communications