Master-Class
Jean-François Antonioli donne des Master-Classes au Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles (1998), à la Faculté de Musique de l'Université de Timisoara, sur l'Ile San Giulio du Lac d'Orta en Italie (1986-2003), à l'Académie de Musique de Sion (Festival Tibor Varga 1991-94), ainsi qu'à l'European Piano Teachers Association Summer School à Dubrovnik dès 1999, à la Schola Cantorum de Paris (2003 et 2004), à l'Institut de Ribaupierre à Lausanne de 2004 à 2012), à l'EAMA (European Amercican Musical Alliance) de New-York (2003-2004), à l'Académie de Musique de Belgrade (2006) et à l'Ecole Normale de Paris-Alfred Cortot pour Paris Piano dès 2006, à l'Académie de Musique de Transsylvanie (Roumanie, mars 2011), au Forum Internacional de Musica de Orihuela (Espagne, dès avril 2011) , au Forum Torrelodones (Espagne, juillet 2011), au Castello di Maenza (Italie, août 2011), au Conservatorio di Torino (Italia, mars 2012) et aux Encuentros Internacionales de Musica Alcobendas/ Madrid (Espagne, juillet 2012), à l'Académie Musicalta de Rouffach (Alsace, France) dès 2015, au Conservatorio di Pesaro (Italie, 2016), à l'Académie Internationale Enharmonia (Rimini, Italie) dès 2016, à Shiodome Hall (Tokyo, Japon, 2016).
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A propos du programme "Paris Piano" de l'Ecole Normale de Paris-Alfred Cortot
Paris, Ecole Normale Music Festival:
July 30 – August 13, 2006



"Classics Abroad – Paris Piano Program" is a new festival for pianists. The artistic director of this festival, Dr. J.Y. Song, is a professor currently on the piano faculty and Artistic Advisor for Chamber Music at Mannes College of Music in New York.

The festival took place in the 17th district at the Ecole Normale, in Paris. There were master classes and lectures every day in the morning hours, and private lessons in the afternoon. Since everyone was required to have lessons with different faculty, schedules here were intense. During the weekends, there were optional tours organized for the participants to see where Chopin had lived, and to hear concerts, for instance, at the Château de Sceaux.

Most of the students resided at the 'Foyer', a dormitory in front of the Luxembourg Gardens. This is a perfect location. The lessons and master-classes were rich and substantial. One that left me with a great impression was given by professor Jean-François Antonioli, from the Lausanne Conservatoire. Focusing on Mozart piano concertos, the master-class was held at the Salle Cortot, the main concert hall of the Ecole Normale. The public was allowed to listen in. Professor Antonioli's words had persuasive power; his interpretations came from a profound knowledge of the repertoire, and his memorization of every part of every Mozart piano concerto. It was almost as if experiencing an opera or a play. He made the point that every passage and every phrase was written with a clear purpose by the composer, and through that purpose, performers would be able to touch audiences' hearts. He taught with such passion and earnestness that though class time would spill over, the participants would not leave the hall. This gave me a very positive feeling about the program.

I asked Dr. Song for her main ideas on this music festival: "The cultural importance of Paris, and limiting the number of participants so that we can give each one attention and comfort. Paris is a cultural center that has attracted many musicians over the centuries, not only French musicians – for instance, Mozart and Chopin. To be able to take lessons and perform in the same classroom where Cortot and Lipatti have performed is inspiring and meaningful. Their spirit and history live on, and are passed on to current generations. It is an extraordinary experience for students from other places, such as Asia and the United States, to witness this history first-hand."

The Ecole Normale closes at 6 p.m. during the summer season. All practicing must finish by that time. Most students who attended master classes and lessons did not have much time left to practice, but everyone remained in good sprits. "Since we have come to Paris, it would be more important for my artistic experience to see Water lilies by Monet than to practice two more hours," says Alexandra Gorlin-Crenshaw, a piano performance major at Indiana University, Bloomington. "To be able to take lessons with Professor Antonioli on Mozart in this historic Salle Cortot was something of a treasure for me. One of the main attractions I think is that all the participants are able to take lessons with all the professors here at this festival," says Chih–long Hu, from Taiwan, who was the fifth prizewinner at the Matsumoto International Piano Competition.

It is also particularly original to have an amateur program at this festival. Amateurs must be able to play, and must submit an audition tape for admission. "When I performed at the concert, I was so moved because I could feel the audience of Paris concentrating on my sound," says Yoko Taruki from the amateur program. During the year, she is a teacher at a kindergarten school.

The last two days of the festival were dedicated to public concerts at the Salle Cortot; and then the festival came to an end. It was moving for me to see how the participants stood in front of the Ecole Normale entrance, their backs to the sunset, giving hugs to each other saying "Let's meet here again next summer!" It was a very satisfying two weeks, benefiting from top quality lessons while being able to enjoy the beautiful and quiet evenings of Paris.

The festival will run again next year, so if you are interested, why don't you contact Classics Abroad?

Masami Ito 
Chopin Magazine. October 2006, p. 60. English translation.