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2022 Des Moines Area Piano Festival Recap

Updated: Mar 1

Thank you to the dozens of piano students from 17 area piano studios who participated in the third annual Des Moines Area Piano Festival on Sunday, February 27. The event was held at the Salisbury House & Gardens in Des Moines and presented by Mobile Music Lessons, with support from the Museum of Danish America, the Salisbury House & Gardens and West Music Piano Gallery.


The afternoon consisted of adjudication auditions followed by a master class from Dr. Huang and a lecture seminar on technique by Dr. Lecuona.



Takeaways from Dr. Huang's master class (Festival participant Aidan Makeeff played the first movement of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata) included:

  • Be sure to think of the audience's experience

  • If we think of the wrong note but not the piece's character, we end up losing in the long-run.

  • Sound quality and projection are very important -- project your sound to the last row in the audience.

  • When playing Beethoven, sometimes if feels like we're not ready, and yet we have to be ready.

  • Think about both how you approach and release the notes.

  • A Beethovenian crescendo will oftentimes start with a subito piano/decrescendo to build the crescendo.


Takeaways from Dr. Lecuona's seminar included the following levers of motion,

and how they can help us technically and musically as we play through the various genres of music:

  • One-note drop

  • Two-note drop

  • Multiple-note drop

  • Lateral motion

  • Forearm rotation

Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Victor Borge Legacy Award, held in conjunction with the Festival, and adjudicated by Dr. Lecuona.


Sarah Eichstedt is the first place winner of the 2022 Victor Borge Legacy Award and receives a $1,000 prize. She played Chopin's Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20 and is a student of Cyndie Caruth:



Raychie Chen is the second place winner of the 2022 Victor Borge Legacy Award and receives a $500 prize. He played Menotti's Recercare and Toccata on a theme from "The Old Main and the Thief" and is a student of Dr. Mei-Hsuan Huang:



We congratulate all of the participants, their families and teachers, and we look forward to the 2023 Festival! Follow #DSMPianoFestival on social media, the Festival Facebook and Instagram accounts and our blog posts to stay tuned for next year's event.

View photos from the event below!





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