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UIndy, American Pianists announce partnership

Winner of 2017 American Pianists Awards will serve as artist-in-residence

DeHaan Center will host 2017 American Pianists Awards new music recital

APA logoThe American Pianists Association and the University of Indianapolis announced today a partnership to launch an artist-in-residence program and create opportunities for college students and the broader community to experience world-class musical talent.

Under the agreement, the winner of the 2017 American Pianists Awards in classical music – one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions – will serve as artist-in-residence at UIndy during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 academic years. Residencies each semester will include guest lectures, master classes, public performances, private lessons for students and other activities. The artist also will rehearse and perform a concert with the UIndy Chamber Orchestra.


“Our collaboration with the University of Indianapolis is one of the most exciting developments to have come forth at American Pianists Association in recent years,” said APA President/CEO and Artistic Director Joel Harrison. “I have worked with UIndy in numerous ways since my earliest years at APA, and I am especially delighted to have this entrepreneurial program come to life in such a creative way, thanks to the support and vision of the UIndy administration and faculty at all levels.” He noted that the partnership complements APA’s ongoing Concerto Curriculum program, through which its competition winners and finalists work with high school students.

The UIndy Department of Music offers bachelor’s degrees in performance, music education and general music with concentrations in jazz studies, theory/composition, music business, church music and technology and recording. The APA partnership creates an unprecedented opportunity for students to observe and learn from musicians of the highest caliber, department Chair Brenda Clark said.


“The American Pianists Association is internationally recognized, and their fellows and laureates are among the top pianists in the world,” Clark said. “Just watching musicians of their stature perform is an education, but the close personal interaction we’ve built into this relationship will really provide our students with a window into how a professional musician approaches preparation, rehearsal and performance.”

The music department is housed in the university’s Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, which features the 500-seat Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, a classic Viennese-style concert hall with acoustics optimized for performing and recording. Under the agreement, these facilities will host a key part of the competition that will determine the next American Pianists Awards winner and university artist-in-residence. On April 3, 2017, the five finalists for the 2017 American Pianists Awards in classical music will perform the world premiere of a commissioned piece by composer Judith Zaimont. Other elements of the partnership agreement include radio broadcasts from APA events by UIndy public station WICR-88.7 FM/HD, central Indiana’s only jazz and classical music station.


UIndy President Robert Manuel said the American Pianists Association is exactly the type of organization the university seeks out as a partner.

“Our two organizations share a belief in the power of music and the arts to enrich lives, strengthen communities and make an impact in the wider world,” Manuel said. “With our combined resources, we can enhance the educational experience for UIndy students while also creating and supporting new cultural opportunities throughout the city and beyond.”

About the American Pianists Association
The mission of the American Pianists Association is to discover, promote and advance the careers of America’s top young pianists. The organization celebrates the beauty of music through America’s premier jazz and classical awards. The American Pianists Awards are held every two years to discover the best aspiring young American jazz or classical pianists. The unique and innovative competitions span 13 months and provide a platform to deeply engage musical artists in a variety of creative formats and settings. Winners receive cash and two years of career advancement and support valued at over $100,000, making this one of the most coveted prizes in the music world and the largest for American jazz pianists. The two most recent winners are Sullivan Fortner (2015, jazz) and Sean Chen (2013, classical). For more information on the American Pianists Association visit

About the University of Indianapolis
Since 1902, the University of Indianapolis has been committed to education for service. Today, 5,400 students are enrolled in respected undergraduate, masters and doctoral programs in the health sciences, arts, sciences, business, education and engineering, with an average class size of 17 providing a student-centric interdisciplinary and experiential learning environment. Located minutes from downtown, UIndy is a community anchor, elevating quality of life for all while connecting students with the culture, recreation, employment and community service opportunities available in a vibrant metropolitan atmosphere. The NCAA Division II athletics program includes 23 teams. The recently launched “UIndy Starts with You” campaign will create new opportunities for students, faculty and the future, advancing education as well as social mobility and the health of communities. More information is available at