It was the collective dream shared by Allan Haley, Pawel Skrzypek, and me that helped to create the Gold Country Piano Institute in 1999. Polish concert pianist Skrzypek had first come to Nevada County in 1990 to perform for Twin Concert Cities Association (now InConcert Sierra); it was then that we three began a wonderful musical friendship. After several years of Pawel returning to concertize and teach, he invited me to attend his Warsaw Piano Workshop in Poland, which I found to be an amazingly challenging and positive experience.
I was so excited by the format of the workshop that I suggested to Pawel that we create the same kind of workshop back here in Nevada City where he could invite other master teachers to teach alongside him and offer their expertise to students who might not consider going abroad to study, but who could receive world-class instruction here in the States.
After a short 5-day experiment in the autumn of 1999, we were able to launch our 10-day Master Course in Interpretation at the Miners Foundry in June 2000. Over the next 9 years, Nevada County families opened their homes and hearts to over 100 students from 5 continents and 10 master teachers from Poland, England, Singapore, Canada and the U.S. And our audiences were mesmerized by the talented young pianists who performed in the Stone Hall.
Now, after a 5-year hiatus, Julie Cobden, the Miners Foundry and I are so pleased to welcome back our alumni as part of GCPI: The Alumni Series. We are thrilled to be able to present some of the students who have grown up before our eyes, and who are creating their own exciting professional careers.
Here’s to many years of presenting our delightful and talented GCPI Alumni!