Piano Festival & Competition | The Art of Teaching Beethoven

Saturday, April 4, 2020 *CANCELED*

Location: UWM Music Recital HallMusic Building Rm 175 (Google Maps)
Hours: Beethoven Competition 8 a.m. to noon; Festival 1–5:30 p.m.
Questions: Peggy Otwell, otwell@uwm.edu

Join UWM music faculty members as we celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday year with a festival and competition dedicated to his piano music! Acclaimed pianist and teacher, William Westney, will be our guest artist for the 2020 Piano Festival. Perhaps best known for his book The Perfect Wrong Note: Learning to Trust Your Musical Self, Westney is a regular presenter at international piano conferences and universities. The morning of the festival will consist of a student competition of Beethoven’s piano music for cash prizes and the opportunity to perform in the afternoon masterclass for William Westney. The afternoon will also feature an in-depth presentation on Beethoven’s piano music by UWM music history faculty member Timothy Noonan and a roundtable discussion with Westney and the UWM piano faculty.

Beethoven Competition – Deadline extended!

In honor of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, the annual UWM piano festival will host a Beethoven competition the morning of the festival. The winners of grade divisions 7-8, 9-10, and 11-12 will each receive a cash award and be invited to perform in the afternoon festival masterclass with guest pianist and author William Westney. All performances will be open to the public to enjoy this brilliant music, and each student will receive written comments from the judges and a certificate of participation.

Students must be currently in grades 7-12 and pay the registration fee of $25 by March 2, 2020. There is no fee or registration for audience members. Repertoire must be an original solo piano work(s) by Beethoven—no duets, transcriptions, or arrangements. For multi-movement works, you may play individual or multiple movements or two short solo pieces (e.g. two German Dances). Audition time is limited to ten minutes; longer pieces will be stopped but not disqualified.

General Registration

The UWM Piano Festival is free for all attendees – teachers, music students, and the general public – thanks to a generous grant from the Vilas Foundation.

Advance registration is recommended. Same-day registration is also possible, beginning at noon in the lobby of the Music Recital Hall, Rm. 175.


8 a.m. to noon Beethoven Competition (open to the public)
12 p.m. Awards Announced
12–1 p.m. Walk-in Registration/Lunch
1–2 p.m. Session 1: William Westney
2:15–3:45 p.m. William Westney Masterclass with competition winners
4–5 p.m. Session 2: Timothy Noonan
5–5:30 p.m. Roundtable Discussion and Q&A (presenters and attendees)