3. Juilliard School – New York, NY
Notable Faculty: Julian Martin, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Emmanuel Ax, Hung-Kuan Chen
Acceptance to the Juilliard School piano program is an honor few musicians could ever rightfully boast. Juilliard students have consistently been placed into the top orchestral positions in the entire world, including the piano principals of the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony, and regularly win prizes at competitions such as the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. One of the students most favorite teachers at the college, Yoheved “Veda” Kaplinsky regularly produces students who garner international acclaim winning numerous keyboard concerti competitions. Additionally led by virtuoso presence Emmanuel Ax and highly esteemed pedagogue Julian Martin, the Juilliard School has long been the ideal destination for the most serious, talented, and confident stage performers of the piano. Alumni include only many of the most well-known names in piano today, including Garrick Ohlsson, Conrad Tao, Emmanuel Ax, and Simone Dinnerstein.
Listen to the Faculty: The piano faculty at Juilliard is high-profile, to say the least. Emmanuel Ax is one of the world’s most celebrated pianists – my choice for a recording of his would be the Mendelssohn Piano Trios
2. Peabody Institute – Baltimore, MD
Notable Faculty: Leon Fleisher, Seth Knopp, Brian Ganz
Few pianists would ever turn down the opportunity to study at the Peabody Institute as a pianist, particularly with faculty member Leon Fleisher. One of the most distinguished professors at the entire Peabody Institute, Leon Fleisher consistently produces students who have performed as soloists with the top symphonic orchestras in the entire world, as well as teachers who have passed along his brilliance to the next generation. Other piano faculty artists, including Seth Knopp and Brian Ganz, have achieved international acclaim as soloists and chamber musicians.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out Leon Fleisher’s 2004 recording of courageous pianism, Leon Fleisher: Two Hands
1. Curtis Institute of Music – Philadelphia, PA
Notable Faculty: Gary Graffman, Jonathan Biss, Seymour Lipkin, Robert McDonald
One of the historically most storied piano performance departments in the entire world lies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, PA. Few other artists at any department at any music school have achieved the hearts of international audiences like the Curtis faculty have, which includes Gary Graffman. The gifted instructors have taught some of the foremost piano soloists of the present, including household name virtuoso Lang Lang as well as the supremely gifted pianist Yuja Wang. One of the most competitive departments at one of the most competitive schools in the entire world, consider application only if you have achieved an exceedingly high degree of accomplishment as a pianist.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out both classic recordings and never-before-heard albums of piano music as well with Gary Graffman’s Complete Album Collection