YSU, UA collaborate for Keyboard Festival

Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music and the University of Akron will collaborate on the Northeast Ohio Keyboard Festival.

Featured guest artist this year is Michael Schneider, who has performed at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall and the Library of Congress. The former adjunct piano professor at YSU has become known for portraying composer Franz Liszt in his monodrama “Liszt and the Last Years,” which combines an original script based off of factual events with performances of works completed with a PowerPoint backdrop.

Schneider is the creator and artistic director of the San Angelo Piano Festival, a classical music festival in West Texas with an emphasis on the piano repertoire. He has performed recitals with violinists Frank Almond (concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony) and Jun Iwasaki (concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony), cellist Boris Andrianov (third prize winner of Tchaikovsky Competition) and many others. He has degrees from the University of North Texas, Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Texas at Austin.

The festival also will include performances by faculty artists, including Caroline Oltmanns, Cicilia Yudha, Diane Yazvac, Hakeem Bilal and Sean Baran from YSU and Mayumi Kikushi, Philip Thomson, Daniel Velasco and James Wilding from UA.

According to Oltmanns, the collaboration between the Youngstown and Akron universities is a reflection of the incredible depth and density of culture in northeast Ohio, and the festival is meant to bring together those communities to continue the vibrant music scene.

All events are free.

The schedule is:

l Sunday — Opening concert with Michael Schneider joined by James Wilding and Caroline Oltmanns at UA’s Guzzetta Recital Hall, 224 E. Buchtel Ave., Akron, at 3 p.m.

l Monday — Piano Monster Concert with Cicilia Yudha, James Wilding, Caroline Oltmanns, Diane Yazvac, Sean Baran and students from UA and YSU at Bliss Recital Hall, Youngstown, at 7:30 p.m.

l Tuesday — Master class with Michael Schneider at Bliss Recital Hall from 4 to 6 p.m. and Keyboard Festival faculty concert at Bliss Recital Hall at 7:30 p.m.

l Wednesday — Keyboard Festival student recital at Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, at 12:15 p.m.

For more information, call 330-941-2307.

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