About this Festival

About the Festival


Why do we attend public performances? Why, indeed, when staying at home is far easier? Why, then do we do it? 

The answer lies with each of us, our interests and curiosity. We are not satisfied with the endless repetition recordings to provide, not with the quality of media programming nor with the smaller-than-life sounds and images of videos and television. Particularly, we miss the time-honored, ultimate test of an artist – the solo recital in our space and before our eyes – with its demands of repertoire, interpretation, personality, and presentation. To us, the sound of a concert grand piano, well played in the room with us, is a thrill in itself. The music heard at the instant of performance, provides other excitement – moving our emotions, stirring our minds. Then there is the artist, who has come to reveal both knowledge of the chosen program and a perspective behind the rendering of phrases, dynamics, textures, and pacing.

The individuality of approach always attracts, sometimes fascinates and, occasionally, puzzles us. Each artist has chosen the “what” and the “how” of the time we spend together. As audience members, we can follow – second-by-second – every inflection, every nuance of the performance, feeling and judging simultaneously so that, by the end, our approval can be registered through applause, even cheers. To this succession of moments, we bring our lifetime accumulation of musical experiences. The response is instantaneous. We know how we wish to react the moment a piece is concluded. Whether there is a new face behind the performance or one we know, whether the music is new or familiar matters less than the uniqueness of what we hear and see. Whether it proves forgettable or the stuff of which memories are made, we want to be there when it happens. We participate.


Franz Liszt wrote to Wilhelm von Lenz on December 2, 1852:

In the realm of the Beautiful, genius alone is the authority. Dualism disappears, and the concepts of authority and liberty are restored to their original identity.  Manzoni, in expressing genius as ‘a greater borrowing from God,’ has eloquently expressed this truth.”

Liszt’s words speak directly to central issues affecting the understanding of the idea behind the conception of interpretation – issues of such magnitude that most of us cannot bear to consider them.  We find ourselves challenged discomfitingly by comparisons of earthly genius with the celestial Ultimate. Practical musicians, as well as listeners, shy away from discussing authority and freedom in such contexts.  Paralysis of a kind sets in to stymie our thoughts about such matters.

Natural to musicians in Liszt’s day, this sort of thought has become so contrary and so pervasive in our time that musical perception at large has changed.  How ironic! Our search for truth in music via so-called urtexts, our academic focus on serialism and our acceptance of the artificial perfection of heavily edited recordings – all have led us into the realms of the quantifiable objective and away from those of the expressively qualitative with the resulting confusion that we have come to believe that the former automatically includes the latter.

This trap has caught composers, teachers, performers, critics, even ordinary listeners.  Our loss of touch with the idea of transcendence has cost us mightily.  Works of music became artifacts for exhibition, carefully prepared, artificially lighted, sterile.  Public performances could be likened to detached museological experiences with the minutiae of scores occupying the attention more than the feelings.  Attendance at live concerts and recitals has resulted in unmoving, unmemorable experiences of what ought to have been extraordinary and indelible. Little wonder that we find it rewarding to remain piously comfortable at home in the company of our sound systems, secure in our isolation from others and reassured by the predictable sameness of recordings made piecemeal in studios.  For a while, the impersonal has triumphed.  But collaborative efforts by large record companies, concert managements, international music competitions and presenting organizations to manufacture careers for the market have contributed to the growing ills of depersonalized sameness and interchangeability.  Music schools contributed, too, with the production of stamped-out, blind replicas – people whose training made it impossible for them to see beyond the notes and into people’s souls. Just so many commodities.

The vital connection between music and emotions has been weakened by misdirected composers, performers and a manipulative industry. If we do not re-establish contact with the former spirit of authoritative music making, we risk losing a life-deepening, vast heritage.

“Dry ink on a white page,” writes Kenneth Drake in his The Beethoven Sonatas and the Creative Experience,” is the only trace of the ideas that swept through the composer’s mind.”  He compares looking at a score to “reading the road signs beside dry creek beds in the American Southwest that warn of swollen streams.”  The player must know what the signs mean.  Perception of intent is crucial to interpretation – not just of Beethoven’s works but of all music, especially by great composers.  If the player’s search reveals the idea which the ink symbolizes, then “the result is a oneness with the music that confers upon the player a new, spiritual identity.” Having grasped a composer’s thought and passed it through such fantasy as is his, the interpreter becomes the medium through which works of musical art reach us as experiences of the spirit – particularly when heard in public under the hands of appropriately equipped artists.

The performers presented in this Festival are, we believe, standard bearers to the cause of revealed music making, artists of spontaneity and power whose recitals propose alternatives to the usual, the ordinary, the humdrum, the interchangeable.  We stand behind their right to treat the dry ink of scores to imaginative re-creations – colored by their personal grasp of inner meanings and projected by an intense desire to communicate with us beyond the footlights.  May you find the experience of hearing them as exciting as we have in discovering them for the public.


Established in 1998, the Miami International Piano Festival of Discovery is the offspring of Patrons of Exceptional Artists. It is dedicated to the discovery, promotion, nurture, and support of extraordinary artists and the long term goal of ensuring continuity with the great traditions of the past.

Recognized as one of the most exciting recital series in the world today, the Festival presents artists, both emerging and established, who have distinct voices, who challenge convention by demonstrating that there are important things still to be said in both mainstream and rare repertoire, and who clearly deserve extensive careers.

Now reaching two decades, the Festival has earned a reputation for high musical standards and has become a potent force in the musical world.   Each year, the Artistic Advisory Committee made up of pianists, music critics and scholars on two continents seek to identify extraordinary talents capable of impacting listeners and of leading us into the next “Golden Age” of piano playing.  This not a matter of competition but rather of selection based upon criteria of notable excellence.

The Festival is making an indelible mark in the musical world.  Since 1998, it has discovered and presented dozens of innovative talents and assisted their introduction to recording companies, concert managements, and promoters in this country and abroad. Two of our pianists have received the prestigious Gilmore Artists Award – Piotr Anderszewski and Ingrid Fliter.

As complements to the annual Festivals, lectures, panel discussions, and master classes by seasoned professionals in music and related have stimulated our performers and audiences.

British author/critic Norman Lebrecht has praised our work:

The need for such a festival is incontrovertible. To have a showcase festival specially dedicated to new artists is not just an act of faith but a beacon of hope for the next generation that renewal has not been ruled out. In the context of the United States, the significance of such a festival is multiplied many times over. The value of an independent festival introducing the cream of the world’s new pianists to the United States cannot, therefore, be overestimated.

Message from our Director

Message from the Director


As we celebrate the 22th anniversary of the Miami International Piano Festival (Festival), we are grateful to have reached a landmark in an inspiring journey that continues to uphold the founding mission of the Festival. Over these years, the Festival has introduced an outstanding array of musicians to the South Florida community, each with recognized talent, an authentic voice, and great promise.

Our 2017-2018 Season was filled with unforgettable performances and important collaborations.  We were thrilled to offer the fourth annual Miami International Piano Festival Academy (Academy) this summer in partnership with Nova Southeastern University, a great institution that generously opened its doors to us.

The creation of the Piano Academy is the result of my own personal journey of discovery.  I strongly feel that if pianists can be nurtured in this kind of an environment we will not only fulfill our original mission “to discover & support the extraordinary pianists we identify each year,” but we will nurture a whole generation of emerging pianists and give them guidance, support and special opportunities as they begin to walk through this difficult path.

The Festival, through the Piano Academy, offers a new concept in the education of pianists deserving of such careers as their natural potentials may allow, giving them the opportunity to study with established artists.  During the four previous programs every student had daily access to every member of the faculty for master classes and private lessons. As the Academy was in action, we witnessed brilliant exchanges of ideas, heard performances that demonstrated swift achievement, and subsequently read dozens and dozens of comments by those who had been present.  The participants found the experience life-changing and highly motivating.

Our Festival has become the canvas where these artists display their creativity and musicianship, and the recently established Academy is the vehicle to share their knowledge and performing experience with the next generation of pianists.

The 2018-2019 Festival season promises to celebrate the mastery of the great pianists that graced our stage over the years in an extraordinary array of performances and through the “Discovery Series” will include the debut of three great artists.  This season we are proud to announce the addition of a new and exciting piano series in Key Biscayne in collaboration with the Key Biscayne Foundation adding 6 performances to our calendar.  The Festival has reached a milestone and will be presenting a total of 26 piano recitals this season.

We invite you to browse through our Festival website (www.miamipianofest.com)  to learn about our 22th anniversary offerings and join us at several of the performances in; The Aventura Arts and Cultural Center, Aventura, (Classical Sundays at Five), the Crossbridge Church, Key Biscayne, (Key Biscayne Piano Concert Series) and  the  Colony Theater, Miami Beach (Discovery Series).

 We thank you for your most generous and continued support, and invite you to include the Festival among your favorite charities, so we can continue to accomplish our mission for many years to come:


Thank you for making these 21 years so rewarding for our artists, emerging pianists, and the community.

With warmest regards,

Giselle Brodsky
Artistic Director and Co-Founder
Miami International Piano Festival

Patrons of Exceptional Artists

Patrons of Exceptional Artists

Patrons of Exceptional Artists was established in 1997 as a 501 (c)(3) publicly supported Foundation, dedicated to developing the careers of future great performing artists.

Recognizing that the “Arts Patron” has historically played a vital role in the successful development of great artists, the organization makes easier the often-daunting effort of connecting incredibly gifted artists with patrons who share mutual interests and artistic vision.

Throughout history, generous patrons, artistic mentors and interested professionals have propelled the careers of exceptional artists. The challenge in today’s fast-paced, global and digital society is to bring patrons, artist-mentors, and resources together in meaningful ways for the exceptional artist.

The Foundation therefore strives to eliminate the challenges most exceptional artists face securing the assistance of sincere patrons and appropriate guidance.

While funding is commonly available to young artists for educational purposes, little to no aid is readily available for the artist who is ready to launch a career. After years of study, preparation, and even brilliant debuts, the artist is left to navigate a labyrinth of career twists and turns. There are many unknowns for the artist:

  •  How to get important auditions?
  •  How to organize major recitals?
  •  How to gain recognition from critics?
  •  How to develop a strong public relations program?
  •  How to get top-notch professional management?
  •  How to continue growing artistically while also keeping up with career demands?
  • The Foundation provides its exceptional artists with a dynamic process for formulating and implementing career-building strategies. These strategies facilitate the artist’s progression from an undiscovered talent to a renowned international performer.

The Miami International Piano Festival was launched as the main public outreach vehicle for the Foundation and serves to provide the exceptional artists with world class performance opportunities and recording projects.

The Foundation also provides artistic resources and enrichment programs to its patron-members to help them identify truly gifted performing artists on the brink of a major career.

Patrons of Exceptional Artists’ mission is to ensure that patron-aid is applied in a meaningful and appropriate way.

Click to view our Board of Directors

Many of the exceptional artists, who have successfully launched their career with support from the organization, are now Foundation Alumni and are eager to serve as artistic advisors and role models for newly emerging artists. Additionally, the grateful exceptional artists often perform at fundraising events that benefit the Foundation and future exceptional artists.

Many opportunities are available to make a difference in the career development of an exceptional artist. Your thoughtful contributions will be gratefully and personally acknowledged by the organization and the artists.



FRANK COOPER, known and admired for his ability to communicate the pleasures of any subject in the arts to his hearers, is Research Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Miami. Eighteen seasons of twice-yearly special courses in Musical Experiences for Adults have set a record for drawing repeat registrants in Miami. The Frost School of Music’s new building contains two teaching studios named in his honor. A fund has been established to be known as “The Frank Cooper Distinguished Musicology Lecture Series.” In his honor, the Weeks Music Library at UM has created “The Frank Cooper Facsimile Music Collection” which now includes hundreds of scores in manuscript replica from Medieval to Modern times.

He is lecturer-in-residence for the Miami International Piano Festival. For more than a decade, his concert introductions for the Coral Gables Mainly Mozart Festival were annual occurrences, as were his lectures for the Von Liebig Art Centre in Naples (23 seasons) and Naples Philharmonic (5 seasons). Other South Florida venues which have featured Prof. Cooper include the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Dade County Center for the Fine Arts (now the Miami Art Museum), Bass Museum of Art, Lowe Art Museum, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (Cleveland Orchestra in Miami) and the New World Symphony.

Called by the Miami Herald “South Florida’s cultural maven” and “a Renaissance man,” Prof. Cooper has lectured in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, Indiana University, MacMaster University (Ontario), SUNY Purchase, and the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), and appeared on National Public Radio, the CBC (Toronto), the BBC (London) and Radio Nederlands (Hilversum). Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Van Cliburn Foundation, Ford Centre (Toronto), Rialto Centre (Atlanta), TIME/LIFE, Arabesque Records, RCA Victor, Audiofon Records and the International Piano Archives have commissioned annotations from Prof. Cooper, who is the author of more than seventy published articles about music. He is the recipient of honors from the State of Gelderland (Netherlands), the Hungarian Ministry of Culture, and the National Federation of Music Clubs.

Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Jack Brodsky – President and CEO / Chairman

Steven Grant – Treasurer

Giselle Brodsky – Artistic Director & Founder

Edith Sorin – Director & Founding Member

Steven Robinson – Director

Jayne Kaplan – Director

Howard Rosen – Director

Arleen Shabel – Director

Hildegard Leschhorn – Director

Andrea Dougherty O’Naghten – Director

Mark Patrick – Director

Honorary Board Members

David Horvitz

James William Hipp

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

The Miami International Festival has earned an enviable reputation as an important, annual international music festival known for presenting an outstanding group of world-class artists who have received great exposure and career boosts through their Festival performances.

The Festival takes great care to create a special atmosphere for its artists, lecturers and staff that is warm, stimulating, and filled with mutual respect and cooperation. The Festival’s commitment to developing and promoting the careers of the next generation of great pianists would not be possible without the collaboration of many outstanding professionals in the field of music. We invite you to meet the passionate group of people that work behind the scenes to make the Festival’s dreams a reality.

Giselle Brodsky, Artistic Director and co-founder.
– Learn more about Giselle Brodsky’s inspiring story.

Frank Cooper
Harpsichordist, music historian and research Professor of music at the University of Miami School of Music, Frank Cooper is the senior artistic advisor and annotator of the Miami International Piano Festival. Professor Cooper offers the artists a special opportunity to discuss and develop creative ideas for programming. This truly renaissance scholar is a great source of knowledge and inspiration to the artists and a riveting lecturer .

Peter McGrath
An independent, highly respected sound engineer and one of the most sought-after experts on piano recordings, McGrath offers the utmost quality in reproducing and recreating the experience of the live recitals. For many years, McGrath recorded the Florida Philharmonic under James Judd and now travels to the great stages around the world capturing the magic of great performances to be enjoyed by millions.

The Festival Team

Barbara Muze – Marketing & Administrative Consultant

Andrea Dougherty O’Naghten – Lead Grant Writer

Howard RosenVideographer – Digital Archivist

Amanda Lund – Program Coordinator of the Piano Academy

Javier Herrera – Producer of Special Performances

Oscar Diaz – Graphic Designer

Carlos Valle – Website Designer

Mery Rosendorn Gross – Editor Consultant

Giselle Brodsky

giselle2011Giselle Brodsky

Co-Founder and Artistic Director

Giselle Brodsky is the Co-Founder, Director and chief artistic adviser of Patrons of Exceptional Artists, Inc. a non-profit foundation dedicated to the support of exceptionally gifted performing artists. In 1997 she co-founded the Miami International Piano Festival and has been the Artistic Director ever since.
Giselle Brodsky


Giselle Brodsky’s vision is to present, support and document the best new talent emerging on the classical piano scene today, occasionally identifying outstanding performers on other instruments as well. Nineteen years ago she envisioned an organization designed to discover, present and support exceptional talent and offer fresh and exciting programs to South Florida audiences. In the Winter 2008 edition of Piano Today Magazine, Stuart Isacoff writes: “Brodsky is an astonishing figure in the music world …. She seems to have a knack for discovering great talent…Ingrid Fliter and Piotr Aderszewski before they each won the Gilmore Award – and taking rare risks to present them to Florida audiences.” Brodsky looks for exceptional artists who, regardless of age or nationality, are profound musicians with both charisma and breadth of musicianship, who have their own distinct voices, who are not only capable of challenging convention but who are able to demonstrate that there are important interpretive ideas still to be expressed both in mainstream and rare repertoire – artists who clearly deserve international careers.


Because of her successful track record for finding and presenting exceptional artists, Giselle Brodsky receives approximately 30 requests per month plus scores of CDs and DVDs from artists around the globe who want to participate in the Festival. These artists understand that presentation at The Festival is much more that a concert engagement. In the past few years she has been interviewed and featured in several articles that have appeared in the New York Times, Piano Today, International Piano Magazine, the Miami Herald, and Steinway Magazine.


The relationship doesn’t end when the curtain goes down. Artists know that Brodsky is different from other presenters and that if they are selected to appear at the Festival, they will be provided with world-class performance opportunities and valuable support for their artistic careers over the long haul. They truly become members of the Miami International Piano Festival family. Knowing this, the organizers of some of the most important piano competitions in the world also submit information to Mrs. Brodsky or ask for referrals, as do prominent agents and critics. The continued success of the selected artists who are debuted at the Festival – through management contracts, prestigious engagements, etc. – shows that Brodsky’s selection criteria supports the organization’s mission.


Giselle Brodsky was born in La Paz, Bolivia where she got her early musical training with renowned Bolivian composer Gustavo Navarre. She received her Bachelor and Masters Degree in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Having trained extensively in the Taubman Approach to piano technique since 1972, Mrs. Brodsky has been a member of the faculty of the Golandsky Institute since 1987. She pioneered the “Prodigies and Masters of Tomorrow” series as part of the Festival and was invited to participate in the production of a three part documentary that was aired on Channel 4 in Great Britain and P.B.S. television. Her collaboration with Rod Williams, the brilliant producer of “The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies” documentary will hopefully result in the co- production with the BBC of a new documentary, “The Ivory & the Ecstasy”.

In addition to foundation activities, Mrs. Brodsky is a much sought after piano teacher who has developed new insights into the art of piano playing based on the Taubman Approach. Several of her gifted students have been accepted to study at prestigious conservatories such as Julliard and Curtis, yet have chosen to stay in Miami to be guided by Brodsky. She encourages her students to learn from the artists she has discovered and promoted over the years –such as Kemal Gekic, Jorge Luis Prats, Ilya Itin, Misha Dacic, Francesco Libetta , Claudio Martinez- Mehner, Walter Ponce to just name a few. They are not only deep musical thinkers and impressive pianists but also gifted teachers.

Mrs. Brodsky is a member of the Miami-Dade and Broward County Music Teachers Association and has organized several workshops on the Taubman approach in schools across South Florida. She has offered workshops on piano technique all over the world and has participated in the jury of several important competitions. In 2003, Mrs. Brodsky took the Miami International Piano Festival to a truly international level by presenting the Festival in Lecce, Italy. This event began a tradition of sharing the unique Festival experience in other countries. In 2007, Mrs. Brodsky initiated collaborations with other music festivals which have as a result featured performances by Patrons supported pianists.


The Miami International Piano Festival Academy is a natural extension of the Festival and was formed in order to create a legacy of knowledge, inspiration, and a real love for music for aspiring pianists in this generation. The two two-week or single four-week sessions will offer instruction and mentoring appropriate for artists pursuing concert careers. Intensive seminars will provide an opportunity for participants to study with four different performing artists and pedagogues to enrich their artistic vision. Through a specially designed curriculum the courses will communicate and share each artist’s unique vision.