International pianists look forward to festival in Bethel
Posted July 1-Young pianists from around the world will study and perform at Gould Academy from July 2 to July 21 as part of “Music Without Borders,” an international piano festival now in its fourth year.
The young musicians look forward to coming to Gould and Bethel, according to the festival director, acclaimed Georgian-Russian pianist and teacher Dr. Tamara Poddubnaya.
Speaking through Don Christie, a Gould alumnus and trustee who helps coordinate the festival, Poddubnaya said they enjoy the experience “because of the place — the excellent pianos available at Gould for the students to use for practice and public performances — as well as the village setting and the people of the Bethel community, including summer visitors, who give us such a warm welcome and have become such faithful ‘fans’ of our festival.”
She went on to say “how important it was for students to be able to learn in such a beautiful and peaceful place, far removed from the noise and hectic pace of their usual big city conservatory environment.
“Several ‘veterans’ of the first three summer festivals have been able to return to perform Steinway Series recitals at Gould during the regular school year. They always tell me that they can hardly wait to get back to Bethel. They like it in the winter, too!”
Free public performances will take place throughout the festival at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening in Trustees Auditorium in the McLaughlin Science Center or Bingham Auditorium, both on the Gould campus. The first recital will take place on Friday, July 2, in Trustees Auditorium. There is no charge. Seating is limited.
Returning students include:
Robert Poortinga, 19, of Damwoude, the Netherlands participated in the 2007 and 2009 festivals and has just completed his second year at the Prince Claus Conservatory in Groningen, the Netherlands.
Evgeny Genchev, 21, of Plovdiv, Bulgaria, recently completed his second year of study at London’s Royal Academy of Music and is another alumnus of the 2007 and 2009 festivals. He has returned to Bethel during the school year to play Steinway Series recitals at Gould, and earlier this month, performed in the Small Hall of the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Having participated in the first three festivals, Marlene McCarthy from Hallowell returns to Bethel after completing her first year at the Mannes College of Music in New York City.
Joining her during the festival’s third week are veterans Liza Iselborn, of Portland and William Bergesch, a graduate of Yarmouth High School and now a student at Fordham University.
Festival veteran Dimitar Dimitrov, 21, of Bulgaria returned to Gould as recently as this past April, with Dr. Poddubnaya for a Steinway Series recital.
Joining him is Veselin Ninov, 18, also of Bulgaria who studied in Bethel last summer and just completed his secondary education at the Panayot Pipkov National School of the Arts in Pleven, Bulgaria. This fall, he will attend the Mannes School of Music in New York.
First-time participants: Elen and Natali Snorrason, 16, from Varna, Bulgaria are newcomers to Music Without Borders and will participate during the first week of the festival.
Farshad Tahvildar-Zadeh, 17, from Princeton, New Jersey, will arrive after the first week.
He will be joined by Kevin Chen, 10, and Tong Xu, 14, from Nashua, N.H.