Chautauqua Piano 2020 will feature three outstanding alumni of the piano program:

AlvinAlvin Zhu 

July 29–30, Recitalist and competition judge
Alumni: 2013, 2014, 2015

Young Steinway Artist Alvin Zhu is recognized internationally for his insightful, engaging, and emotionally penetrative playing. He was the first American pianist to be inducted into the “Young Steinway Artists” roster, and was recently appointed as the youngest professor at the Tianjin Juilliard School, Juilliard's first branch campus.


RixiangRixiang Huang

August 6–7, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra soloist
Alumni: 2017

Rixiang was the first prize winner of 2019 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, and a top prizewinner in many other international competitions. New York Concert Review Inc. recently wrote of his Carnegie Hall solo recital that “He was, in a word, superb...”  He has degrees from CIM and the Juilliard School, and is pursuing a doctorate at USC.


ChengchengChengcheng Yao 

SAI Winner, 2019
Music School Festival Orchestra soloist
Alumni: 2019

Ms. Yao’s  first prize awards include the Elizabeth Parisot Prize at Yale University, the Peabody Harrison Winter Piano Competition, and the Steinway International Piano Competition. Ms. Yao completed her Bachelor of Music degree at the China Conservatory of Music, and two master’s degrees from The Juilliard School and Yale University; she is currently a doctoral student of Leon Fleischer at The Peabody Institute.


Chamber music is a vital component of the Chautauqua Music Festival and can be an integral part of the Chautauqua Piano experience. Piano students are welcome to be part of one of a variety of chamber ensembles that participate in formal recitals and additional informal performances in the Chautauqua Institution community. These professional and personal contacts broaden and enrich the experience of our students and begin musical partnerships that often endure well beyond the summer program.

Piano students who are interested in adding chamber music to their CHQ experience can indicate this request on their application form.


"Performing and teaching at CHQ was everything I'd heard about and more. It's truly a paradise, one where students can learn new things, and have new input, in a very open environment. Thanks to the supportive directors, and the high level of interest and talent among students, I was able to engage fully with their artistic and intellectual lives."


– Kathleen Supové, New York City

Student Handbook

Cost Estimates

Living Costs 
Residence Hall $650 
Security Deposit $100 (refundable)

Meal Plan
All meals (7 days) $900

Instructional Costs (includes full instruction costs, fitness center membership, registration fee, and gate ticket)

  • Piano Program $3,035

TOTAL: $4,585

Chautauqua Piano is TUITION FREE. 100% of our students receive a scholarship that covers tuition, with many others including room/board as well.


As one of only four official Steinway summer programs, the Chautauqua Summer Festival maintains a first-rate fleet of Steinway grand pianos for practice, lessons, and performance. Each piano student is assigned at least 5 dedicated hours daily on a Steinway grand.

Sherwood-Marsh Piano Studios are beautifully-renovated teaching and performing spaces within an historic structure at CHQ. Sherwood Recital Room is a 100-seat space with a pair of well-matched Steinway Ds, and is used for group classes, master classes, weekly performance classes, and some competitions. In addition to the

Recital Room, there are three teaching studios in Sherwood-Marsh with paired Steinway Bs and Os, and two rehearsal rooms, each with one grand piano. All pianos are in excellent condition and are maintained at a professional standard throughout the summer.

Other performance spaces on the grounds used by the piano program include Fletcher Hall (completed in 2008; capacity 250; Steinway D), Lenna Hall (state-of-the-art recital hall; capacity 500; two Steinway Ds), and McKnight Hall (renovated historic building in 2007; capacity 150; Steinway B). In short, our facilities are unmatched.



“CHQ is nourishment for the body, the mind and the heart. The spirit that inhabits every corner of the place encourages introspection and engagement. As a performer, one could not ask for a better setting or a better audience – cultured, curious, relaxed, engaged.”


– Frederic Chiu

Competition Repertoire *

Preliminary Round: 13-15 minutes; free choice of repertoire representing at least two clearly contrasting style periods.

Final Round: 25-30 minutes; free choice of repertoire representing at least two clearly contrasting style periods. Repertoire may be repeated from the Preliminary Round.

* Please note:

  • Solo piano music only; transcriptions are acceptable.
  • Excerpted complete movements from multi-movement works are acceptable.
  • All traditional repertoire must be performed from memory. Works written post-1960 may be performed with score at the discretion of the faculty.
  • Returning students may not use repertoire they have previously performed in this competition.
  • Previous first-place winners may not compete.


Competition Schedule

Preliminary Round | Monday, July 27 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at Sherwood-Marsh Studios

Final Round | Thursday, July 30 from 1–5 p.m. at Fletcher Music Hall

Winners Recital | Friday, July 31 at 4 p.m. at Fletcher Music Hall


Master class GavrylyukAlexander Gavrylyuk conducting a master class

The 2020 Chautauqua Piano Program will expose young musicians to a variety of approaches to music-making. Alexander Gavrylyuk, Nicola Melville, and John Milbauer will provide weekly lesson and class structure, while each week a featured guest faculty artist, available to all students, will bring fresh and diverse perspectives.

Performances: our guest and resident piano faculty are featured in a series of solo, chamber, and concerto performances throughout the six-week festival. 

Master classes: opportunities every week for pianists to perform for piano faculty, fellow students, and members of the public.

Piano recital classes: weekly classes that provide performance experience in a small, intimate setting.

Q&As: extended conversations on a wide range of topics with each of our guest faculty.

Private Lessons: All students will have regular lessons with our resident faculty, and guest faculty pianists will also be teaching private lessons during their residencies. Opportunities for lessons and classes with guests will be available to all students on a weekly basis.

In addition to these experiences in the Piano Department, there are solo and chamber music student recitals scheduled throughout the Chautauqua Music Festival by the School of Music. We are certain that all our piano students will be engaged and satisfied by the wealth and breadth of opportunities. There is no other program like Chautauqua Piano 2020.