Long Bio

 

Steinway Artist Rebecca Penneys is a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, educator, and adjudicator. For over six decades she has been hailed as a pianist of prodigious talent.

 

Rebecca has played throughout the USA, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Canada. She possesses a daredevil technique, a charismatic stage presence, and a rare gift for interpretation. She is a popular guest artist, keynote speaker, and pedagogue nationally and internationally. Her current and former students include prizewinners in international competitions, and hold important teaching posts on every continent. Combining a busy concert schedule with seminars and master classes worldwide, she teaches a class of international students at Eastman School of Music and at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, which had its successful inaugural season in 2013. Rebecca has been Professor of Piano at Eastman since 1980, Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg College since 2001, a position created for her, and Steinway-Artist-in-Residence, courtesy position, at the University of South Florida since 2015.  She is founder-pianist 1999, of the 5-concert Salon Chamber Music Series in Rochester, New York, founder and artistic director 2009, of a very popular young artist series there called Eastman Piano Series at the Summit, and since 2007 continues as director of the St Petersburg Piano Series in Florida.

 

Rebecca Penneys Piano Friends of Piano, a non-profit 501(c)(3), and Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival are the sequels to her professional summer activities in New York. The University of South Florida in Tampa hosts the festival in its new all-Steinway facility. RPPF is a tuition-free summer piano festival for pianists between the ages of 18-30. The festival is entirely donor supported and most events are admission-free. The RPPF Ambassador Performance Series promotes festival students in concert nationwide during the summer and academic year. The 2016 season had 102 applicants and is hosted 37 students from 19 countries. RPPF expands the core educational values and the artistic vision of her popular and successful New York program. Rebecca celebrated her final season at Chautauqua in 2012. She devoted thirty-four consecutive summers there teaching, performing and building the piano and chamber music areas. Rebecca began artist residency at Chautauqua 1978, when she launched their chamber music program. The New Arts Trio was Trio-in-Residence from 1978-2012, and Rebecca was piano chair from 1985-2012. The endowed Penneys Garden 2008, in honor of her parents, along with Piano Lovers Patio are part of her rich legacy and many gifts to that institution.

 

Rebecca made her recital debut at age 9 and performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when she was 11. At 17, after winning many young artist competitions in the USA, she was awarded the unprecedented Special Critics’ Prize at the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, an award created in her honor. Additionally, she won the Most Outstanding Musician Prize at the Fifth Vianna Da Motta International Piano Competition (Portugal) 1970 and was top prizewinner in the Second Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition (Spain) 1975. She made her New York Debut in Alice Tully Hall in 1972. In 1974, she founded the acclaimed New Arts Trio, which twice won the prestigious Naumburg Award for Chamber Music 1980 and 1982. The Trio made two USIS Cultural State Department tours of Europe 1983, 1986.  Rebecca made a solo USIS State Department tour of Japan in 1980. Between 1974 and 2009 she annually made a minimum of two month-long trips abroad performing and teaching in major cities of the world. Her artistry and insight have won her a large and loyal following.

 

Rebecca has also held appointments on the piano faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC, from 1972-1974 and at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, WI from 1974-1980 as piano Chair. Rebecca’s teachers include Aube Tzerko, Leonard Stein, Rosina Lhevinne, Artur Rubinstein, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, and Iannis Xenakis. She has been recognized for her ability to teach a natural keyboard technique (Motion & Emotion) that allows pianists to achieve performance goals and handle stress without physical strain or injury. Aside from her summer seasons in New York State and her current non-profit festival in Florida, she has also taught and performed in such summer festivals as Sitka, Marlboro, Woodstock, Eastern, Aspen, Vermont Mozart, Montreal, Tel Hai Israel, Tibor Varga, Birch Creek, International Music, Shawnigan Johannesen, Peninsula, Roycroft, Mammoth Lakes, and Music Mountain.

 

Her latest CD recorded in 2011 is a solo bicentennial tribute to Chopin and Schumann. Rebecca has more than a dozen current CDs on Fleur De Son Classics and Centaur Records. Two DVD's for NAXOS will be released in 2017, one with the music of Brahms, Debussy and De Falla, and the other a celebration of Chopin. In 2014 she made a long teaching and perform trip to South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Thailand. In 2016 she performed and taught in South America and Asia. Rebecca divides her time between New York and Florida. Please visit rebeccapenneys.com  & rebeccapenneyspianofestival.org

 

Concise Bio

 

Pianist Rebecca Penneys is a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, educator and adjudicator. For over six decades she has been hailed as a pianist of prodigious talent. Rebecca has played throughout the USA, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Europe, Middle East and Canada. She is a popular guest artist, keynote speaker and teacher nationally and internationally. She is an exclusive Steinway Artist and has given many concerts for Steinway & Sons. Combining a busy concert schedule with seminars and master classes worldwide, she has taught international students at Eastman School of Music for thirty-six years and at the Chautauqua Music Festival for thirty-four years. Her current and former students include prizewinners in international competitions, and hold important teaching posts on every continent.

 

Rebecca made her recital debut at age 9, and performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when she was 11. At 17, after winning many young artist competitions in the USA she was awarded the unprecedented Special Critics’ Prize at the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, an award created in her honor. Additionally, she won the Most Outstanding Musician Prize at the Fifth Vianna Da Motta International Piano Competition (Portugal) and was top prizewinner in the Second Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition (Spain). She made her New York Debut in Alice Tully Hall in 1972. In 1974, she founded the acclaimed New Arts Trio, which twice won the prestigious Naumburg Award for Chamber Music (New York City). The New Arts Trio has made two USIS Cultural State Department tours of Europe; Rebecca made a solo USIS State Department tour of Japan in 1980. Between 1974 and 2009 she made a minimum of two month-long trips abroad annually, performing and teaching in major cities of the world.

 

Currently, Rebecca divides her time between New York and Florida. She is professor of piano at Eastman (since 1980) and was chairwoman of the Chautauqua Institution Piano Department (1985-2012). The New Arts Trio was Trio-in-Residence there from 1978-2012 and started the chamber music program at Chautauqua. Rebecca is currently Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg College, a position created for her in 2001. In the fall of 2015, Rebecca was given a courtesy position as Steinway-Artist-in-Residence at the University of South Florida. She has been director of the St Petersburg Piano Series in Florida since 2007. In 1999 she became founder-pianist of the Salon Chamber Music Series at the Rochester Academy of Medicine. In 2009 she founded and became director of a very popular young artist series called Eastman Piano Series at the Summit. Rebecca launched the Rebecca Penneys Friends of Piano (non-profit 501c3) and the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival as a sequel to her well-known Chautauqua piano program in 2013. The University of South Florida in Tampa hosts the festival every summer in its new all-Steinway facility. RPPF is tuition-free for all students. Now kin its 4th season it has already become the festival of choice for outstanding young pianists worldwide. 

 

Rebecca’s teachers include Aube Tzerko, Leonard Stein, Rosina Lhevinne, Artur Rubinstein, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, and Iannis Xenakis. She has taught and performed in such summer festivals as Sitka, Marlboro, Eastern, Aspen, Vermont Mozart, Montreal, Tel Hai Israel, Shawnigan Johannesen, Peninsula, Roycroft, Mammoth Lakes, Eastern, and Music Mountain. 2012 was Rebecca’s 34th consecutive and final season at Chautauqua. Her last CD recorded in September 2011 is a solo bicentennial tribute to Chopin and Schumann. Rebecca has more than a dozen current CDs on Fleur De Son Classics and Centaur Records. Her 1st DVD will be released in March 2017 with music of Brahms, Debussy and De Falla. Her 2nd DVD celebrates the music of Chopin. In 2014 she made a long teaching and perform trip to South Korea, China, Hong Kong and Thailand. In 2016 she performed and taught in South America and Asia. Visit her on-line at www.rebeccapenneys.com and www.rebeccapenneyspianofestival.org

 

"Penneys offers an extraordinary collection of performances displaying an astonishing control over piano sound. It is absolutely gorgeous and full of unimaginable colors. She sings through the instrument, seemingly without effort. Her playing is simply revelatory."  -- American Record Guide

 


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