Colorado Piano Festival
Colorado Piano Pedagogy Symposium

Due to a medical emergency, CPF Guest Artist Thomas Duis had to cancel his trip from Germany to Greeley. Mr. Duis’ Friday evening recital therefore will be canceled. UNC piano faculty has graciously agreed to teach the Saturday morning Masterclass at 10:00 am, which was originally scheduled for Mr. Duis. We are very sorry for this late notice and any inconvenience it may have caused! Hope to see you at other CPF and CPPS events.

November 20-22, 2015

The Colorado Piano Festival, hosted by the University of Northern Colorado, will be held Nov. 20-22, 2015 at Milne Auditorium in Kepner Hall on the UNC campus in Greeley, Colorado. With three days of concerts and masterclasses, there will be exciting opportunities for music-lovers, pianists and students of all ages and levels.

This year the CPF partners with the inaugural Colorado Piano Pedagogy Symposium to present an even broader array of events for the Colorado musical community. The CPPS adds an exciting series of workshops and lectures to the already spectacular line-up of CPF guest artists. Presentations will offer insights into the world of piano pedagogy from the fields of arts entrepreneurship, special needs education, and dance, promising a varied program with wide appeal.

Guest Artists


Festival Program

2015 Colorado Piano Festival

2015 Colorado Piano Festival Guest Artists

Thomas Duis

Thomas Duis

Thomas Duis, born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1958, began to play the piano at the age of five.

His teachers included personalities such as Kurt Gerecke, Fanny Waterman and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling.

Thomas Duis completed studies in Hannover (Germany) and Leeds ( Great Britain), received several scholarships from German government and was major prizewinner in numerous International Piano Competitions, such as ARD in Munich, Tomassoni in Cologne, Maria Callas in Athens, Greece, Vercelli and Senigallia in Italy, Leeds in GB, Sydney in Australia, Pretoria in South Africa, Gina Bachauer and William Kapell in the USA and the Arthur Rubinstein Master Competition in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Thomas Duis has performed in the United States of America, in Japan, China, South Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Germany, France, Greece, Cyprus, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands and Belgium.

He performs with renowned Orchestras including Israel Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Northern German Radio Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, and National Orchestra of Czechoslovakia.

In 1986 he made his first record with EMI/Electrola, later with MDG, Orfeo, Telos, Capriccio and Klavins Music.

His chamber music partners include musicians such as Maxim Vengerov, Sergej Krylov, Joshua Bell, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Reinhold Friedrich, Tokyo String Quartet and Auryn Quartet.

From 1994 until 1998 Thomas Duis was professor at the University of Music in Graz, Austria and since 1998 at the University of Music in Saarbrücken, Germany. Some of his students have won prizes at national and international piano competitions.

In 2007 he was awarded “Officier dans l`Ordre des Palmes Academiques” from French Government.

Pierre van der Westhuizen

Pierre van der Westhuizen

With performances described as showcasing the “utmost polish,” “impressive control” with a “broad stylistic spectrum” (Beeld, South Africa), South African pianist Pierre van der Westhuizen has established himself as an accomplished and versatile musician, with critically acclaimed and enthusiastically received performances across South Africa, the USA, and Europe. Mr. van der Westhuizen is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cleveland International Piano Competition,and he brings a multi-faceted experience and approach to his activities with this world-class organization.

Pierre is also part of the Westhuizen Piano Duo, with his wife Sophié. As duo, they have performed across the U.S. and South Africa, where they also teach master classes. Their interest in new music has led them to premiere numerous works by young South African and American composers. They were the first piano duo to receive fellowships as Young Artists at the prestigious PianoTexas International Academy and Festival (formerly the TCU/Cliburn Institute), as well as Shouse Artists at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, where they shared the stage with artists such as Ann Schein, Wu Han, Jeremy Denk and James Tocco. Their performances were heard on WGTE (Toledo), Radiosonder Grense and ClassicFM. They were featured as guest artists at the Volksblad Arts Festival, Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Northwest University (Potchefstroom) and the University of South AfricaUNISA Concert Series in South Africa, as well as OSU/Port Clinton Arts Festival in Ohio, the “Music at Covenant” series (Cincinnati), Firelands Concert Series, Lakeside Summer Music Festival, and St. Mary’s College in Indiana. They were featured on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, which was broadcast live on NPR and PBS, and have just finished recording the complete works for two pianos by Poulenc, which has been released by AMP Recordings.

Pierre also enjoys teaching, and has previously served as guest artist and faculty member at the Colorado International Piano Academy, Cleveland Institute of Music’s Summer Sonata, Chautauqua Institute, and served on the piano faculty of Heidelberg University prior to his appointment in Cleveland.

Pierre is the President and CEO of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

2015 Colorado Piano Pedagogy Symposium Guest Artists

Jonathan Kuuskoski

Jonathan Kuuskoski

Jonathan Kuuskoski joins the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater & Dance in Fall 2015 as Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship and Career Services, where he is responsible for co-developing and implementing the new EXCEL Program. From 2012-15 he served as Director of Entrepreneurship and Community Programs at the University of Missouri School of Music. While there he designed and implemented all aspects of their new Music Entrepreneurship program, including Undergraduate and Graduate Music Entrepreneurship Certificates. He also re-designed and directed Community Music @ Mizzou, an umbrella initiative overseeing multiple educational and performance programs that employ 60 students while reaching 2,500 community members. A frequent presenter of entrepreneurship workshops at national conferences and other universities, he also serves on the faculty for the UMass-Amherst Arts Extension Service, where he designed and teaches their online arts entrepreneurship course for theatre, dance, music, and visual artists.

A passionate supporter of new music, he is currently a member of the New Muse Piano Duo (with pianist Paola Savvidou), an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing works by living composers for piano four-hands and two pianos. Kuuskoski holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (MM Piano Performance and Pedagogy) and UNC-Greensboro (MBA and BA Music with Honors).

Melissa Martiros

Melissa Martiros

Melissa Martiros is Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator of Music at Martin Methodist College, where she runs an after school program for at-risk youth and children with special needs. She holds a DMA in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and a MS in Special Education from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Paola Savvidou

Paola Savvidou

Paola Savvidou serves as Assistant Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Missouri. She teaches applied piano, undergraduate and graduate courses in piano pedagogy and wellness, and coordinates both the Group Piano Program and Experiencing Piano; a community program offering group class and private lessons for beginning adults and children aged 6-9. A devoted advocate of contemporary music, Dr. Savvidou is a member of the New Muse Piano Duo with Jonathan Kuuskoski; an ensemble dedicated to commissioning and performing works by living composers. Their concert tours have included performances across the Mid-West, East Coast, Norway, Greece, and Cyprus.

Dr. Savvidou's research is focused on utilizing Laban Movement Analysis, Yoga, and creative movement to improve alignment while deepening expressivity in performance. She has presented her work at prominent conferences including the MTNA National Conference, the International Society for Music Education Conference, the European Association for Schools of Music Conference, College Music Society’s International Conference, and the European Piano Teachers Association. Her awards include 2015 Article of the Year by the American Music Teacher and the Purple Chalk Teaching Award by the MU College of Arts & Science. Dr. Savvidou holds an MM and a DMA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a BM from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

2015 Schedule

Friday, November 20, 2015

7:30pm - Piano Recital: Thomas Duis (CPF) Canceled
Reception sponsored by UNC’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter to follow.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

10:00-11:30am - Masterclass with Thomas Duis (CPF) Taught by UNC faculty
1-2:30pm - Presentation with Melissa Martiros (CPPS)
3-4pm - UNC Student Recital (CPF)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

10-10:50am - Presentation with Pierre van der Westhuizen (CPF)
11am-12pm - Masterclass with Pierre van der Westhuizen (CPF)
1-2pm - Workshop with Paola Savvidou (CPPS)
2:30-3:15pm - Workshop with Jonathan Kuuskoski (CPPS)


Milne Auditorium
Kepner Hall 2050
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639

All events are in Milne Auditorium unless indicated otherwise.
All events are free of charge.

Keyboard Area