Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

February 1, 2007

Contact: Contact: Mike Emery
713.743.8186 (office)
713.415.6551 (pager)


When expert fingers grace the ivories, they often create music that’s both memorable and magical. Audiences soon will experience such enchanting sounds when three of the world’s foremost piano masters are spotlighted during the University of Houston’s International Piano Festival (IPF) Feb. 9 – 11.

For more than 20 years, this event has entertained music enthusiasts with performances and master classes. This year’s festival will continue this tradition by featuring pianists Olga Kern, Enrique Graf and festival founder Abbey Simon.

“Each year about this time, a colleague at another major music school tells me how wonderful this festival is,” said David White, director of the Moores School of Music. “He says it’s a rarity for a university to offer such a stimulating weekend devoted to outstanding artists, superb recitals and informative master classes.”

A pianist since the age of five, the Russian-born Kern belongs to a musical family with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. A member of Russia’s International Academy of Arts, she has toured internationally and recently embarked on a trek across the United States with the National Philharmonic of Russia. In 2001, she became the first woman in 30 years to receive the Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn Competition.

Graf’s international performances and recordings have garnered much praise from the international press. He has earned top honors in the National Ensemble Two Piano Competition, the William Kapell International Piano Competition and the East and West International Competition in New York City.

Simon, UH’ s Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor of Music, is one of the most recorded classical artists of all time and has been honored with numerous awards including, the National Orchestral Award. He has performed with symphonies worldwide and has served as a UH faculty member since 1977. He founded the festival in 1984.

IPF events will be held in the Moores Opera House and Dudley Recital Hall. For an events schedule and ticket information, visit

WHAT: 2007 International Piano Festival
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 9 – Sunday, Feb. 11
WHERE: Moores School of Music
University of Houston – Entrance 16
Houston, TX 77204
WHO: University of Houston/Moores School of Music

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at