Frost School Partners with Chopin Foundation to Present Frost Chopin Academy and Festival

Frost School Partners with Chopin Foundation to Present Frost Chopin Academy and Festival

By UM News

Frost School Partners with Chopin Foundation to Present Frost Chopin Academy and Festival

By UM News
Frost Chopin Academy and Festival June 24 – 30, 2018

The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and the Chopin Foundation of the U.S. are pleased to announce the launch of the debut FROST CHOPIN FESTIVAL AND ACADEMY June 24 – 30, 2018.  The announcement was made jointly by the Festival’s artistic director Kevin Kenner, Frost piano professor and top prize winner of the 1990 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, and Jadwiga Gewert, executive director of the Chopin Foundation of the U. S.

Some of America’s top budding pianists, as well as applicants from all over the world from China to Poland, Switzerland to Peru and Japan to Egypt, applied to participate.   From this array of talent,  Frost invited the top 20 applicants to be a part of the inaugural program, which will include lessons with acclaimed guest artists (all of which are open to the public), take part in workshops and learn about the culture surrounding Chopin and his music by distinguished musicologists. The daily activities will culminate in the Festival’s evening performances, all at Gusman Hall and open to the public. 

The Frost Chopin Festival, allows concertgoers to enjoy a weeklong celebration of the music of Chopin and beyond featuring world-class artists from around the globe. This year’s festival features performances by pianists Dang Thai Son, Margarita Shevchenko, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydron, Kevin Kenner, jazz pianist Shelly Berg and a special appearance by legendary violinist Kyung-Wha Chung who comes to the Festival in conjunction with the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami. The Festival is also inviting Alan Walker, one of the world’s most sought-after musicologists, to lecture twice on topics related to Chopin and his life. Two additional concerts will also feature performances by the most promising students of the educational wing of the Festival, the Frost Chopin Academy, and the Festival concludes with performances by selected pianists performing the Chopin Piano Concertos with members of the Amernet String Quartet. Each concert will be moderated by renowned musicologist and Frost Research Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank Cooper.

All concerts will be held at Gusman Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146.

A Frost Chopin Festival Pass to all four concerts is $120 for adults and $80 for seniors.  Individual tickets are $35 for adults and $25 for seniors.  Two free events will take place on the last evening of the festival, Saturday, June 30.  For further information and to purchase tickets go to or call 305-284-2400. 

“It’s an exciting time at the Frost School of Music as final preparations are being made for the first edition of the Frost Chopin Festival & Academy,” said Kevin Kenner, of the Frost faculty and artistic director for the Frost Chopin Festival and Academy. “Since the launch of my career following my win at the International Chopin Competition in 1990, it has been one of my greatest pleasures to meet and make music with some of the world’s finest musicians.  It has long been my dream to bring together these artists in a forum in which lovers of Chopin’s music can immerse themselves in the beauty of Chopin, both in concert and in the creative work that goes on behind the scenes.”

“Collaborating with UM’s Frost School of Music on the Frost Chopin Academy & Festival is a natural extension of the Chopin Foundation’s mission: to help young American pianists become skilled at interpreting the music of Frederic Chopin.  For pianists to have this special opportunity to work directly with world-class Chopin authorities is simply invaluable. Through their participation in this program, we encourage young pianists to advance in their Chopin playing skills, and by extension prepare for our National Chopin Piano Competition which takes place in Miami in February of 2020 – with the first prize of $100,000!,” said Jadwiga Gewert, executive director, Chopin Foundation of the U.S.

“I am thrilled to present and perform in the inaugural Chopin Festival and Academy at the highly-acclaimed Frost School of Music”, said Dean Shelly Berg. “Professor Kevin Kenner is one of the foremost Chopin interpreters of our time, and he has attracted a stellar group of peers to inspire the next generation of pianists. I look forward to showcasing the unique approach of our school, as I demystify Chopin the improviser in a hands-on setting for the attendees.”


Frost Chopin Festival & Academy Schedule

Sunday, June 24, 2018

7:30 pm Opening Concert: Dang Thai Son (Dr. Frank Cooper, moderator)

Monday, June 25, 2018

9 am-1 pm Morning Lessons with Artists

3-4:30 pm Student Orientation and Introduction to the Frost School of Music

7:30 pm Gusman Concert Hall: Shelly Berg Jazz Piano Recital

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

9 am-1 pm Morning Lessons with Artists

3-4:30 pm Afternoon Workshop: Shelly Berg (Chopin Improvisation)

7:30 pm Gusman Concert Hall: Chopin Recital with Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń and Margarita Shevchenko

(Dr. Frank Cooper, moderator)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

9 am-1 pm Morning Lessons with Artists

3-9 pm Afternoon/

Evening Excursion to Miami

Thursday, June 28, 2018

9 am-1 pm Morning Lessons with Artists

3-5 pm Afternoon Concerto Auditions

7:30 pm Gusman Concert Hall: Kyung-Wha Chung, violin and Kevin Kenner, piano

 (Dr. Frank Cooper, moderator)

Friday, June 29, 2018

9 am-1 pm Morning Lessons with Artists

3 pm-4:30 pm Afternoon workshop with Kevin Kenner (topic TBA)

6:30 pm Gusman Concert Hall: Lecture by Alan Walker

7:30 Gusman Concert Hall: Stars of the Academy Concerto No. 1

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Free Morning

6 pm Gusman Concert Hall: Lecture by Alan Walker

7:30 pm Gusman Concert Hall: Stars of the Academy No. 2 (winners of Chopin Concerto Competition performing with members of the Amernet String Quartet)




Performing and teaching for this year’s Festival/Academy, Kevin Kenner, top prize winner of the 1990 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, serves as this year’s Artistic Director.  Since 2015 he has also been teaching full time at the Frost School of Music.  Previously, he taught for 11 years at the Royal College of Music in London and has served as Visiting Professor at the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland.


Offering the Chopin Festival its opening concert as well as daily lessons to the Academy’s students, Vietnamese pianist Dang Thai Son came to prominence in 1980 by winning First Prize and the special prizes for mazurkas, polonaise, and concerto at the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. He began learning piano with his mother in Hanoi and continued his studies with Vladimir Natanson and Dmitry Bashkirov at Moscow Conservatory. Since winning the Chopin Competition, his career has taken him to over forty countries


Performing in recital for this year’s Festival and teaching daily lessons to our students, internationally renowned Polish pianist Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń serves on juries of many international music competitions, including the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition, where she served as chair. Since 1980 she has forged a distinguished career as an instructor, teaching some of the world’s most promising young pianists, including Rafal Blechacz, the top winner of the 2005 International Chopin Competition. Ms. Popowa-Zydroń conducts master classes in Poland and throughout the world, including Germany, France, Bulgaria, Russia, Japan, and Korea.  She also holds seminars and teaches courses to enhance the skills of piano instructors.


Offering our Festival daily open lessons, Margarita Shevchenko, prizewinner in the 1990 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, has been described as a musician of "uncommon sensitivity and refinement," and is one of the leading young pianists on the international concert platform today. She has been the recipient of the "Special Chopin Prize" at five competitions in addition to seven top prizes she has won at major international piano competitions in Europe, Japan and the United States. The New York Times noted "...the delicacy of her scurrying pianissimo passage work was exemplary..." and Cleveland's music critic Donald Rosenberg called her "a musician to cherish" who has won the hearts of audiences, critics and competition judges around the world.


The Dean of the Frost School of Music and world-class jazz pianist, Shelton Berg joins our Academy this year in a special workshop dedicated to 19th-century improvisation, an art that was required of every pianist up until the 20th century. An award-winning educator with 39 years of leadership in higher education, Shelton (Shelly) Berg is also a five-time Grammy-nominated musician, arranger, orchestrator, and producer.  Recent projects include recording and/or performing with Tony Bennett, Seal, Lizz Wright, Andra Day, Clint Holmes, Renée Fleming, and Arturo Sandoval. He is also the host of a monthly radio show Generation Next on Sirius XM, music director of The Jazz Cruise, and artistic advisor for the Jazz Roots series at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.


Offering the Chopin Festival/Academy two presentations on the life and music of Chopin, Alan Walker is Professor Emeritus of Music at McMaster University, Canada. Before settling in North America he was on the staff of the Music Division of the British Broadcasting Corporation in London. He has broadcast for the BBC, for the CBC, and for CJRT - FM (Toronto), and gives regular public lectures on the music of the Romantic Era, a period in which he specializes. His thirteen published books include A Study in Musical AnalysisAn Anatomy of Musical Criticism, and symposia on Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt.


Joining this year’s Festival/Academy are members of the Amernet Quartet who will perform transcriptions (arr. Krzysztof Dombek/Kevin Kenner) of the Chopin Piano Concertos with winners of the Academy’s Concerto Audition.  Praised for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing by the New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered recognition as one of today’s exceptional string quartets and are Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami. Their sound has been called “complex” but with an “old world flavor.” Strad Magazine described the Amernet as “…a group of exceptional technical ability.”


This year, legendary violinist Kyung Wha Chung and pianist Kevin Kenner are featured in a special concert through the generous support of the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami.  Kyung Wha Chung is recognized throughout the world as one of the finest violinists of her generation. A prolific recording artist, her dazzling and probing artistry has made her a much-acclaimed performer throughout her forty-year career. Lauded for her passion, her musicality, and the intense excitement that she brings to her performances, Chung’s uniquely expressive interpretations of the violin literature have established her as an artist of the very highest stature.


Called by the Miami Herald “South Florida’s cultural maven” and “a Renaissance man, Frank Cooper will enlighten audiences with his rich knowledge of music at the opening of each of this year’s Festival concerts, He is known and admired for his ability to communicate the pleasures of any subject in the arts to his hearers.   As Research Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Miami. eighteen seasons of twice-yearly special courses in Musical Experiences for Adults have set a record for drawing repeat registrants in Miami.”


About the Frost School of Music of Miami

The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is one of the largest and highly acclaimed music schools located in a private university in the U.S., and one of the most comprehensive and relevant in all of higher education.  With over 700 students and 100 faculty members it a top choice for instrumental, keyboard and vocal performance as well as composition, music business, music education, music engineering technology, music therapy, songwriting, jazz, studio music, and more. It is one of two schools created in 1926 when the University of Miami was founded. The naming gift from Dr. Phillip and Patricia Frost in 2003 was a historic occasion.

The Frost School of Music seeks to transform lives through the study and performance of music, and to enhance music’s future as the result of the most innovative and relevant curricula in higher education. The Frost School of Music is devoted to excellence and a culture of collegiality, in which a diversity of people, musical styles, and careers are valued. The Frost School of Music is a community of musicians committed to advanced musicianship for all Frost students across a broad array of majors and programs. The Frost School of Music seeks to elevate the community through intensive, sustained outreach to underserved populations. The Frost School of music strives to enhance the cultural richness of the University of Miami, South Florida and throughout the world as the result of world-class performance, scholarship and research.


The Chopin Foundation of the U.S.

Founded in 1977 by Blanka A. Rosenstiel as a national non-profit organization headquartered in Miami, the Chopin Foundation aims to help young, talented American artists in their career development, and to make classical music accessible for all.

The Chopin Foundation’s flagship event is the National Chopin Piano Competition, which is open exclusively to American pianists and held in Miami every five years. The next Competition will be held in 2020. In addition to receiving substantial cash prizes, the top winners are sent, all expenses paid, to the prestigious International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland, the oldest music competition in the world. The winner also receives a national concert tour arranged by the Foundation.

The Foundation also offers performance opportunities, masterclasses, international exchange programs, an annual scholarship program and grants to young pianists. The Chopin Foundation’s mission is carried out nationally by Councils in San Francisco, Seattle, and Barboursville, Virginia.

The Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits’ Chopin For All FREE Concert Series is a unique program of free classical music concerts presented monthly in South Florida from November through May at two locations: the Broward County Main Library in Fort Lauderdale on Saturdays and the Granada Presbyterian Church in Coral Gables on Sundays.  More at