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CollabFest 2020 - The State of the Collaborative Arts

October 15-17

e-conference for Collaborative Pianists

register at

Collaborative pianists partner with all types of musicians and with a vast expressive reach. This gives collaborators a unique opportunity to change the world, one phrase at a time, by nurturing connection and belonging through self-awareness, preparation and generosity in our partnerships. Through providing an opportunity for collaborative pianists to gather together for an enriching and stimulating symposium, CollabFest, now in its fifth year, is committed to empowering a collaborative culture in our world by fostering the collaborative ideals of partnership, participation and presence.

CollabFest 2020 explores the “State of the Collaborative Arts” is a three day e-conference. What does the profession look like now? What training and skills are needed? Where have we come from and where are we headed? How can use our collaborative superpowers to draw forth the greatest good in our world, in those we work with and in ourselves?

CollabFest 2020 also kicks off the inaugural year of the International Keyboard Collaborative Arts Society (IKCAS), a collaborative piano professional association. Registration for this year’s CollabFest includes charter membership in IKCAS.

2020 has brought many challenges to our world. CollabFest is dedicated to supporting the collaborative pianist’s well-being and development particularly during this challenging time of Physically Distanced Collaboration. This fully virtual conference is designed to support a humanizing connection throughout our profession for mutual support, encouragement and growth.

CollabFest 2020 will feature:

  • Aria and Song masterclasses with Warren Jones
  • Beethoven duo repertoire masterclasses with Kevin Fitz-Gerald
  • Panel discussion with legendary leaders and pedagogues Jean Barr, Anne Epperson, Margo Garrett, Warren Jones and Alan Smith
  • Hands-on skills development sessions
  • Mentoring opportunities for collaborative pianists at all stages in training and career

Notable presenters include Arlene Shrut, Rena Sharon, Kathy Kelly, Russell Miller, Ana Maria Otamendi, and Ben Harris. We will consider the profession comprehensively through a wide range of session formats, including masterclasses, panel discussions, skill development practicums, and direct mentoring. Topics will include:

  • Tackling technology
  • Staff pianists in academia
  • Inclusivity and opportunities for action from the collaborative community
  • The legacy of the great Gwendolyn Koldofsky
  • Monetizing, particularly for distanced collaboration….

Performances include a showcase recital of collaborative pianists at all stages in the profession as well as a program dedicated to the music of BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color) composers.

CollabFest is for students of piano and collaborative piano, professional pianists, collaboration educators, and
musicians interested in the collaborative arts.

There are also opportunities for you to participate actively in CollabFest: pre-collegiate, collegiate and professional pianists may apply to perform for masterclasses and the showcase recitals; graduate and professional pianists may apply to present. (See below.)

Register for the conference at

At the heart of the matter, the collaborative arts are about teamwork, community building, generous sharing of self, and the sheer joy of making music intimately with another human being, the importance of which the current pandemic has really clarified for us all. CollabFest celebrates this, particularly now, as we keenly feel just how important being together is for us and for our world.
We hope you will join us for this exciting 5th annual event this October, and be with us as we inaugurate the International Keyboard Collaborative Arts Society!

Collaboratively yours,
Elvia Puccinelli, Artistic Director

For information about applying to present, please email

Apply to perform:

CollabFest is thrilled to offer performance opportunities for pianists at the pre-collegiate, collegiate and professional levels. Pianist-partner teams are invited to submit videos (in YouTube link or similar format) to be considered for the following:

  • a showcase recital
  • recital of collaborative music by BIPOC composers
  • masterclasses with Warren Jones (aria, art song)
  • masterclasses with Kevin Fitz-Gerald (Beethoven violin sonatas, cello sonatas/variations)
  • vocal coaching masterclass with Arlene Shrut (singer/pianist)
  • and in other masterclass and skills sessions

Vocal selections will be six minutes or less, and instrumental selections, twelve minutes or less.

Performers wishing to participate in sessions or the recital of music by BIPOC composers, but without specific repertoire should submit two contrasting recordings and a complete repertoire list no later than September 1.

Please submit all materials in electronic format by emailing with your name and “apply to perform” in the subject line. In your email, please include: the names of all performers; any school affiliation of any member of the team; any teacher/coach who has prepared the performance; bios and headshots for all performers; and links to the performance(s) to be considered. The repertoire submitted will be the repertoire considered for the recitals or masterclasses.

For full consideration, please submit videos by September 10, but videos may be considered up until September 24 as space is available.