Professor of Piano
Artist-in-Residence, St Petersburg College, FL
President, Rebecca Penneys Friends of Piano Incorporated
Founder and Artistic Director, Rebecca Penneys Piano Tuition Free Festival and Festival Competition
- (585) 274-1526
Steinway Artist Rebecca Penneys is a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, educator, and adjudicator. For six decades she has been hailed as a pianist of prodigious talent.
Rebecca has played throughout the USA, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Western and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Canada. She possesses a daredevil technique, a charismatic stage presence, and a rare gift for interpretation. She is a popular guest artist, keynote speaker, and pedagogue nationally and internationally. Her current and former students include prizewinners in international competitions and hold important teaching posts on every continent. Combining a busy concert schedule with seminars and master classes worldwide, she teaches a class of international students at Eastman School of Music and at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, which had its successful inaugural season in 2013. Rebecca has been full-time Professor of Piano at Eastman since 1980 and Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg College, a position created for her in 2001. She is founder-pianist 1997, of the Salon Chamber Music Series, a five-concert series and she is also founder and artistic director 2009, of a very popular young artist series called Eastman Piano Series at the Summit.
Rebecca Penneys Piano Friends of Piano, a non-profit 501c3, and Rebecca Penneys Tuition-Free Piano Festival and Competition created in 2013 are the sequels to her summer professional activities at Chautauqua. The University of South Florida in Tampa hosts the festival and competition in its new all-Steinway facility. The festival is entirely donor supported and events are open to the public. Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival (RPPF) is a tuition-free summer piano festival for pianists between the ages of 18-30. Rebecca Penneys Festival Piano Competition prizewinners must be use awards for educational and career advancement. This 2013 inaugural season of the festival had 83 applicants from 17 countries. RPPF moves the core educational values and the artistic vision of her popular and successful Chautauqua program to Florida. Rebecca devoted thirty-four consecutive summers to teaching, performing and building the piano and chamber music areas at the Chautauqua Festival. The New Arts Trio was Trio-in-Residence there from 1978-2012, and Rebecca was piano chair from 1985-2012. Rebecca began as resident artist at Chautauqua 1978, when she launched Chautauqua’s chamber music program. The endowed Penneys Garden 2008, in honor of her parents, along with Piano Lovers Patio stand as part of her rich legacy and many gifts to the institution. Rebecca celebrated her 34th consecutive and final season at Chautauqua in 2012.
Rebecca made her recital debut at age 9 and performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when she was 11. At 17, after winning many young artist competitions in the USA, she was awarded the unprecedented Special Critics’ Prize at the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, an award created in her honor. Additionally, she won the Most Outstanding Musician Prize at the Fifth Vianna Da Motta International Piano Competition (Portugal) 1970 and was top prizewinner in the Second Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition (Spain) 1975. She made her New York Debut in Alice Tully Hall in 1972. In 1974, she founded the acclaimed New Arts Trio, which twice won the prestigious Naumburg Award for Chamber Music (New York) 1980 and 1982. The Trio made two USIS Cultural State Department tours of Europe 1983, 1986. Rebecca made a solo USIS State Department tour of Japan in 1980. Between 1974 and 2009 she annually made a minimum of two month-long trips abroad performing and teaching in major cities of the world. Her artistry and insight have won her a large and loyal following.
Rebecca has also held appointments on the piano faculty of the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC, from 1972-1974 and on the faculty (and chair) at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, WI from 1974-1980.
Rebecca’s teachers include Aube Tzerko, Leonard Stein, Rosina Lhevinne, Artur Rubinstein, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, and Iannis Xenakis. She has been recognized for her ability to teach a natural keyboard technique (Motion & Emotion) that allows pianists to achieve performance goals and handle stress without physical strain or injury. At the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival the sequel to her popular Chautauqua program, teaching continues to combines traditional and innovative classes unique in the world of piano instruction. Rebecca has also taught and performed in such summer festivals as Sitka, Marlboro, Woodstock, Eastern, Aspen, Vermont Mozart, Montreal, Tel Hai Israel, Tibor Varga, Birch Creek, International Music, Shawnigan Johannesen, Peninsula, Roycroft, Mammoth Lakes, Eastern, and Music Mountain.
Her latest CD recorded in 2011 is a solo bicentennial tribute to Chopin and Schumann. Rebecca has more than a dozen current CDs on Fleur De Son Classics and Centaur Records. Please visit rebeccapenneys.com & rebeccapenneyspianofestival.org
Currently, Rebecca divides her time between New York and Florida.