Walled City Music welcomed over 30 pianists to Derry in July, for the 2023 edition of its International Piano Festival. Festival Director Derry-born Cathal Breslin, acclaimed concert pianist and professor at Arizona State University, were joined by an international faculty of tutors at Ulster University, Magee, as they lead 25 piano students through a packed schedule of masterclasses, workshops and concerts from July 10-17, 2023.
The Festival’s student body represents the world’s up and coming generation of young pianists, bringing talent together from nationalities including Ireland, UK, Europe, USA, Taiwan, China, Iran, the Philippines, New Zealand and Korea. Over the 8 days of the Festival, these young artists were provided with an immersive and inspiring environment in the Magee campus of Ulster University.
The international faculty, that delivered the Festival’s series of masterclasses, workshops and interviews, included Professors Thérèse Fahy (Royal Irish Academy of Music), Chu-Fang Huang (Ameri-China International Music Association), Chih-Long Hu (University of Tennessee), Svetozar Ivanov (University of South Florida), Pei-Chun Liao (University of Taipei) and Cahill Smith (Utah State University).
Throughout the week, exciting variety concerts by the faculty and students were open to the public, with multiple pianists performing solo piano works and works for 4, 6 and 8 hands, as well as two days of performances at the Festival’s International Competition.
Professor Cathal Breslin said,
“I am delighted to bring such an exciting international piano festival and competition to Derry for the 4th year. It is an amazing opportunity to welcome these talented young stars of the future to our city, from so many different countries, and to work and refine their musical skills with some of the greatest pianists in the world. The concerts are going to be a big highlight for me, as it is very rare to see multiple pianists on stage together performing. Come along and see the excitement for yourself!”
In addition to its core support from Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry and Strabane District Council, the 2023 Festival was sponsored by Yamaha and local taxi company City Cabs. The Festival took place in partnership with Ulster University, Contemporary Music Centre Ireland and Christ Church.