Conero International Piano Festival

2024 Conero International Piano Festival

Dates: August 1st – August 10th , 2024
Location: B.Gigli School of Music, Recanati, Italy
Application deadline: June 1st, 2024 
Early Bird Application (10% discount): March 1st,  2024



Tentative Festival Schedule (Subject to Change)

2024 Conero Faculty

Lorenzo Di Bella ( Rossini Conservatory – Italy)
Enrico Elisi  ( Texas Christian University – USA )
Scott McBride Smith ( University of Kansas – USA)
Felix Tao Chang ( The Hongkong Academy for Performance Arts – China)
Hye-Jung Hong (Missouri State University – USA )
Wei-Han Su (Missouri State University – USA )
Mengyang Pan ( Royal College of Music – UK )
Sofya Gulyak ( Royal College of Music – UK, Indiana University- USA )
Ivy Lu Wang (University of Kansas- USA) 
Alejandro Avila (Barton College- USA) 
Rosy Ge ( Illumine Star Academy- Canada)

Festival Programs 

Intermediate level and early advanced piano students (Age from 8-16)
-Group activities every day with their age group: Theory/Improvisation/Ear training/Sight-reading
-Duo Coach lessons from the pedagogy fellows
-One private piano lesson with Conero Faculty
-Present in the Piano Duo Concerts
-Two Performance classes – Gain stage experience and confidence Be immersed with great musicians – free to observe all the professional level masterclasses and concerts happening in the festival
-Masterclass/private lesson opportunities with festival faculty (will be selected based on video audition)
-Performance opportunities in historical sites / outdoor concert/ Museum
-Festival Concert Pass
-August 1st -8th buffet style dinner and August 9th final dinner party.
-Half day cultural tour in Recanati City

Designed for advanced level pianists

-Piano lessons: four 50 mins private lessons with Conero faculty.
-Masterclass opportunity (must submit a video audition with the application).
-Performance opportunities in historical sites / outdoor concert/ Museum
-All Workshops designed for professional pianists.
-Festival Concert Pass.
-Full access to the Conero Piano Pedagogy Conference.
-August 1st -8th buffet style dinner and August 9th final dinner party.
-Half day cultural tour in Recanati City

-Video submission deadline: April 30th, 2024  (It is required to have the second piano with the recording). The pianists selected to play with the orchestra will be announced after May 20th.
-Selected pianists will be performing with IPPA Conero Orchestra during the festival period, present in the Concerto Concert. 
-Selected pianists will receive two piano coach lessons.
-Concerto repertoire list will be limited to Baroque and Classical repertoire. 
-Selected pianist will rehearsal with the orchestra in the afternoon, and present the concert at night. One might play first movement, or second and third movement of each concerto.
-August 1st -8th buffet style dinner and August 9th final dinner party.
-Full access to the Professional Pianist Program workshops, masterclasses and lectures.
-Half day cultural tour in Recanati City.

Conference Committee Chair: Dr. Scott McBride Smith
Pedagogy Fellows – TBA

-Access to all piano masterclasses.
-Participate in the 2024 Conero International Piano Pedagogy Symposium
-Access to all pedagogy presentations and workshops
-Conero Festival Concert Pass
-August 1st -8th buffet style dinner and August 9th final dinner party.
-Half day cultural tour in Recanati City.

In addition to attending events, conference-goers can optionally participate as a Pedagogy Presenter, or as a Pedagogy Fellow. If an applicant is passionate about teaching and wants to share their ideas, they can apply to be a Presenter. If selected, their lectures will be broadcast online to all festival attendees worldwide. Presenters will be promoted (posters, social media, etc.). Outstanding Presenters will be selected for honors by the conference committee after all the presentations.
Presenters can apply to be selected as Pedagogy Fellows.  Pedagogy Fellows will also be responsible for assisting with the Young Musicians Program.
Deadline for application to be a Pedagogy Presenter is June 1st, 2024.  Please include:
The title of the proposed paper; 200-300-word abstract;100-word biography; institutional affiliation or independent scholar status; and your contact information.
Email to:


To become a well-rounded musician, collaborating with other instruments is significant for professional pianists. The Chamber Music Workshop is available for Conero Festival participants. The Conero string faculty, in the true spirit of collaborative music-making, will take an active part in performance coaching, sharing their experiences, knowledge and insight in the process. Successful projects may be featured in public concerts.

If you intend to join the Chamber Music Workshop, please indicate so in the festival application, specifying one complete composition you wish to work on. The piano part should be ready for rehearsal from day one of the course. There will be three rehearsals with the faculty member, and perform a Chamber Concert. The desired repertoire should be sent to the committee one month before the festival. 

What else is going on at the festival other than exclusive programs and professional music activities?

Perfect vacation location: 16mins from Recanati to the beautiful Porto Recanati beach, 30 mins from the Ancona Airport. 

Immerse yourself in authentic Renaissance Culture: Recanati was founded around 1150 AD from three pre-existing castles. Walking through the ancient stone road in town, passing by all the incredible historical architecture, villas, churches and museums are very special experience. 

City of poetry: It is the hometown of the famous tenor Beniamino Gigli and the poet Giacomo Leopardi.
You will hear opera when you walk through the town-the rich culture is the biggest blessing. 

Wine Tour: Of course, how can we miss that!  Enjoy the beautiful view and take a break from the intense festival activities! Festival will schedule a wine tour for parents and adults. (optional with extra fee)

Women’s Topics Discussion: All women are welcome to join in this special event from the festival.  All topics are open to share, including friendship, marriage, family, women’s leadership, work-life balance and so on. It is a place to find support and courage from all women about your thoughts and ideas. We hope the festival can build a supportive and wise community for students, parents and teachers through those important topics in our life. 

Beach Day:  Even with our intense festival schedule, we have to take in some of the beautiful Italian scenery. We practice hard, and play hard!



More information about the festival that you need to know:  
I will need to apply for a visa to travel to Italy. Can you provide an invitation letter?

·       Yes. Let us know you need it and we will send you the official invitation letter once we receive your deposit. 

How will hotel accommodations work?

  • Every festival participant will be assigned to a two-bed double room. If you have any preferred roommate, or any special requests such as a family room (more than two people), please let us know as soon as you can. August is the highest vacation season in Italy, and hotel rooms are very limited.   
  • Festival tuition will include lodging at a local hotel. But another option is a four-star hotel (Gallery Hotel Recanati); it is one of the best hotels in town. In order to upgrade to the Gallery Hotel, $360 /person is required before June 30th.  

How will meals work?

  • Breakfast from the hotel is included. 
  • For lunch, you are on your own. Since we have very limited time during our busy festival schedule, in general people don’t have a big lunch. Feel free to explore local cafes, restaurants, or whatever you like. Please be aware that most places close late afternoon until 7 or 8pm.  
  • The festival will provide a buffet style dinner every night at “Ristorante Pizzeria La Torre Antica, one of the best restaurants in Recanati.  

What is the policy for underage participants?

  • Students who are under age 18, will be required to travel with a parent or guardian (an adult who is willing to assume responsibility for the student during the trip).  If you are coming with a parent or guardian, they will also need to submit the application form on the festival page with the Auditor/Guardian category. There is no application fee for parents and auditors.

What is the travel situation?

  • Flight tickets:  It is your own responsibly to book the travel tickets to Recanati. The two best options for flying in are Bologna and Ancona. We recommend flying to the nearest airport, which is Ancona (AOI).Munich is a good place to transfer the flights to Ancona. Ancona is about a 30 minute drive to Recanati, and you can get a taxi from there. 
  • Bologna is a bigger transport hub, so you can often find cheaper flights there. But you will need to take a three and a half hour train from there to Porto Recanati. Taking the train requires taking some regional lines which are sometimes not convenient and may be more of an adventure that you bargained for during holiday season, but if you are an experienced traveler it is doable.
  • Please let us know your flight arrival times so we can help arrange a shared taxi with other festival participants to reduce your cost.

    What time do we need to arrive?

  • Festival registration will be open August 1st from morning through 4:00pm. Opening meetings will be arranged after 3:30pm.  

When is the deposit due?

  • The $500 deposit should be paid within 7 days of your application being accepted. The deposit is non-refundable. The full tuition will be due by June 20th. 

Do I need travel insurance?

The festival requires everyone to have health insurance. If you aren’t covered by your own health insurance policy (or aren’t sure), we strongly recommend purchasing travel insurance. It’s extremely cheap (can be as inexpensive as $30, depending on what features you get). Please do your own research, but one company that is available is: (we have no affiliation). 

What do I need to sign?

You will be signing the following documents before the festival startsIPPA Conero Festival Assumption of Risk, Release of Liability, and Consent to Record Agreement. 

2024 Conero Festival Program Tuition

2022 Festival Memories