The 2nd IFPS Conference 2014 was held in Tokyo!

The 2nd IFPS Conference 2014 was held in Tokyo!

On August 23rd, the 2nd meeting of IFPS (International Federation of Piano Societies) was held in Tokyo, having 13 attendees representing 6 piano societies and institutions, and 2 guests. This network was launched last November, after the preliminary meeting in Hong Kong, to exchange information for the advancement of piano teaching in each country.

At the beginning of the 2nd meeting, Mr. Seikoh Fukuda (CEO of PTNA) gave a greeting speech, and brief self-introductions of each member followed.

-Japan, Tokyo

Mr.Seikoh Fukuda, CEO of PTNA, explained about the organization and PTNA Piano Competition. This 2nd IFPS meeting was held in conjunction with the final round & awarding ceremony of 38th PTNA Piano Competition, and IFPS attendees were interested in every detail of the competition, as well as the efficient administration of the organization itself. Here are some questions from attendees; the membership services, administration of office and members, competition (fees and discount services for memberships, grades, required repertoires, judge system, teachers’ award, the pass rate, etc). If you would like to know about PTNA membership and activities, please see here.

-China, Shanghai
Dr. Tang Zhe from Shanghai (Associate Dean of Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Chair of Shanghai Professional Pianists Society, Artistic Director of the Shanghai International Piano Festival & Institute) reports that the “International Shanghai Piano Festival and Institution” was successfully finished in July, having 12 renowned guest professors and artists including Prof. Ewa Poblocka and the former teacher of pianist Lang Lang. They used a school at the center of Shanghai equipped with kitchen and dormitory, and installed Steinway pianos for concerts and practice by the sponsorship of Steinway China. (Next edition will be held in 2016).

He also introduced the “e-competition” on youku, Chinese version of youtube. After the online preliminary and the semi-final rounds (the most-viewed video reached 1,290,000pv!), finalists played live at the Shanghai Spring Festival. The winner was his students, who was also awarded 2nd prize at the Ettlingen Piano Competition in Germany this year. He also conducted the music examination in Shanghai in August, in which 70,000 people participated in 10 different levels. In this way, he tries to provide educational opportunities for top level pianists as well as all the piano lovers in the society. He hopes to share music resources among countries in Asian and Pacific area in the future.

-       Hong Kong / Japan
Ms.Takako Shinohara(Japan/HK) gave presentation about the “instrumental structure and sound making”, that followed the previous presentation "piano teaching and learning reform" in which she discussed good posture, character building, and whole personal development. She addressed that piano teachers must study further about the structure of piano instrument, how it was improved in the past 50-60 years, and above all, how slight speed changes of key descent bring large difference in volume and quality of sounds. She also distributed a handout with the visual description of the structure of grand piano.

Prof. Sharavtseren Tserenjigmed (head of the piano program at the State College of Music and Dance of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar) introduced the curriculum of the piano department in details in the previous meeting. This time he accompanied Prof. Tungalag Chadraabal, his former teacher and current colleague, to Japan.
Prof. Chadraabal is among the first generation of young talented pianists who were dispatched to Yerevan (Armenia, former Soviet Union) to study music intensively. Back in Mongolia, she has been teaching piano for 35 years. According to her, music education is quite active in Mongolia in spite that the history is rather short. One of them is International Chopin Piano Competition ”Frederik Chopin and Mongolia in the 21st Century”, and the 2nd edition was held last February at the University.
She hopes to communicate with teachers among Asian countries, to collaborate each other, and to improve the music education in each country.

Ms. Julie Tan from Singapore (President, The Singapore Music Teachers' Association) addressed the importance of raising piano teachers' skills and awareness in the private sector, while the government supports major orchestras, concert halls, universities, etc. She also shared the current issue, that is, how to keep children to continue studying music even after they complete grade exams. The Singapore Music Teachers' Association tries to connect teachers of all levels and organizes Performers Festival every two years.

They have successfully finished 5th edition in June. In the festival, participants can play in public, obtain hand-written comments from jury, DVD recordings, certificates, and gold-silver-platinum medals.

Ms. Ang Hwie Lie from Indonesia (Pertemuan Musik Surabaya) introduces DVD of the live performance of contemporary music written by Indonesian composer. The work is for Piano and Gamelan, and played by French pianist at the 150th birth anniversary of Debussy.
She came together with Ms. Dessy Valentina Pranowo this time, who graduated from Kansas University in US, and now serves as a private music studio teacher as well as studying studio management. She talked about the current situation in Indonesia, and stated her wish to connect piano teachers to invigorate the music culture in Surabaya.


IFPS welcome 2 guests from InternationalChopin Piano Competition in ASIA (Japan).

Prof.Reiko Kikuchi, Senior Board member of Executive Committee, explained about the initial purpose of establishing the competition; a wide discrepancy between Polish and Japanese jury members regarding to the interpretation of Polonaise. She introduced an episode that two Polish jurors showed how to dance Polonaise.
Ms.Akiko Tani, the chief of Agent & Education department, explained the system and application procedure of the competition. The required repertoires are all Chopin, instead of the lower grades. For those grades, they require Bach, Mozart etc. in preparation for Chopin, and also publish Polish music for children as well as commission special concerto pieces to Japanese composers. They will hold Delegate Competition this year that corresponds to the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw next year. (Applicants of Delegate competition must also apply to the preliminary round of Chopin Competition in Warsaw).

-Next meeting

International Federation of Piano Societies (IFPS) will be held annually in each member's country by turns. Next meeting will be held in in Tianjin (2015) in conjunction with Amateur Piano Competition. Ms. Jin Kaihua (Vice President, Tianjin Piano Professional Council) will be the host.