Princeton Exchange Program

Cultural Exchange Pilot between The Imola Piano Academy and Princeton University Music Department: 2019–2020
Facilitated by Legacy Arts International

In its continuing efforts to facilitate cultural and institutional exchange, Legacy Arts International, a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, sees Princeton University’s music department and The Imola Piano Academy Foundation as sharing similar international standards of excellence. LAI wishes to raise awareness in the USA of the achievements and visionary approach of Franco Scala’s Imola Piano Academy by bringing their unique quality to Princeton and in turn by introducing Princeton University’s legacy of exceptional composition and musicology to the Imola Piano Academy.

Goals and Benefits
This is a pilot program, and one of its goals is to assess the feasibility of an ongoing cultural exchange.

Princeton University
1. Two PU faculty members or Ph.D candidates in composition or musicology will be in residence at IPA to give talks and master classes during Spring Break, March 2019.
2. Two PU undergraduate pianists will be selected for full scholarships to attend the IPA Summer Program in July 2019.

The Imola Piano Academy
1. Two IPA faculty members will visit Princeton for a concert and master classes in AY 2019-2020.

Legacy Arts International
1. Fulfills its mission of cultural exchange by conceiving, facilitating and provide partial funding for 2 traveling students from Princeton.
2. LAI Founder, Cristina Altamura, and Adam Sliwinski, authors of a forthcoming book about Franco Scala will introduce and discuss his pedagogical work and founding of the Imola Academy in an open session with the PU keyboard students.
3. LAI Founder, Cristina Altamura will introduce an example of Princeton innovation in composition and technology with a lecture/demonstration about the Bitklavier, an avant garde music software developed by PU composer, Dan Trueman

We will conduct a debriefing at the conclusion. Legacy, Princeton, and Imola will assess the possibility of going forward and evaluate the experience on both ends. This includes re-evaluating budget, funding sources and the role of the program director.

In March 2019, the Princeton University Department of Music and the Imola Piano Academy, brought together by the Princeton, NJ-based Legacy Arts International, launch a cultural exchange that unites one of the hubs of modern composition and research with one of Italy’s most innovative pedagogical institutions.
The cultural exchange, conceived and facilitated by Legacy Arts International’s founder and leader, Cristina Altamura, will immerse piano students from Princeton University in the rich and intense environment of the Imola Academy, while introducing pianists at the Imola Academy to the highest levels of composition and musicology at Princeton University.
The pilot launch for the cultural exchange begins in March 2019, when Wendy Heller, Princeton University Scheide Professor of Music History and Chair of the Department, and Juri Seo, Assistant Professor of Music Composition, travel to Imola to present lectures and seminars on their research and compositions. Later, in fall 2019, master teachers from the Academy, all acclaimed concert artists, will arrive on the Princeton campus to perform and lead master classes with Princeton students. The two institutions will pay for tuition and travel expenses for two undergraduate students at Princeton to attend Imola Academy’s renowned Summer Piano Program in July of 2019. Legacy Arts will cover their room and board.

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About The Princeton University Department of Music
Princeton University’s Department of Music is at the epicenter of a musical culture that is broad and deep, reaching from edge to edge of the campus, from the classroom to the concert hall, and from faculty-led groups to those run exclusively by students. Graduate students can earn a Ph.D. in composition or musicology, including opportunities to focus on theory or ethnomusicology. Undergraduate students can major in music, in a program with emphasis on writing music or writing about music. Undergraduates can also earn certificates in the Program in Music Performance. All students can take courses with world-renowned composers and music historians, take instrumental or voice lessons in the private studios of top professionals, and audition to perform with our many ensembles. In addition to student performances, world-renowned artists appear on the Princeton University Concerts series; leading performers of contemporary music showcase compositions by faculty and graduate composers through the Princeton Sound Kitchen; Sō Percussion, the Edward T. Cone Artists-in-Residence, perform and engage with the community. Frequent interdisciplinary collaborators with the music department have contributed to a rich and interconnected research/creative/academic experience which continually manifests in the arts world in artistic and forward-thinking ways, garnering achievements from Pulitzer Prizes to Guggenheim Fellowships to Grammy Awards.

About The Imola Piano Academy
The Imola Piano Academy is a school of advanced piano studies founded in 1989 by Maestro Franco Scala. A renowned pedagogical innovator, Scala built his academy on the idea of providing artists in their early careers with access to multiple mentors and visiting teachers. This teaching philosophy emphasizes the complex developmental needs of each artist for a sustainable career in music, reaching beyond the short-term goal of winning competitions. Students from the academy excel in performance, however, having won more than sixty first-place prizes in major international piano competitions.

About Legacy Arts International
Founded by pianist Cristina Altamura, Legacy Arts International (LAI) is a musical arts organization based in Princeton, N.J. that develops educational programs, hosts performances, and conceives cultural exchanges that build vibrant artistic communities. These projects develop out of the artistic legacies of living composers, scholars, and teachers. Recent Legacy projects include: gathering Cuban artists in New York City to celebrate Guido Lopez Gavilán, the composer and conductor of the Cuban National Orchestra; conducting a course on music technology for K-12 students using the innovative “bitKlavier” instrument developed by Princeton composer Dan Trueman; awarding travel grants for young American pianists to participate in Italy’s historic Nuova Coppa Pianisti Competition in Osimo, Italy; and recording and filming an oral history project about Franco Scala’s work at the Imola Piano Academy

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Quotes about the Exchange Program

"As a scholar who has studied on Italian music for most of my scholarly career, I am particularly thrilled with the prospect of this fruitful exchange between the Music Department and the Imola Academy. The birthplace both of opera and the piano, Italy has long been the spiritual home for musicians. Our exchange promises to give our student pianists an opportunity to widen their horizons, to work with superb piano pedagogues, and to immerse themselves in a new culture. We also look forward to welcoming members of the Imola faculty to Princeton next fall and watching a new musical dialogue emerge"

"It is with pride and satisfaction that we celebrate the thirtieth year of life of our Imola Piano Academy inaugurating an Exchange Program with such a prestigious institution as the Princeton University. The Imola Piano Academy lives on internationality as a bearer of the quality of the "Made in Italy". On the other hand, it has always been eager to open itself to research and musicological studies to offer to the students the best educational and cultural stimuli, in this case from one of the greatest universities in the world. I want to thank Cristina Altamura and her Legacy Arts International for the passion and commitment she worked with in order to make this collaboration possible"

"I’ve made the cultural exchange a central part of Legacy’s mission because it is a way for me to extend what I experienced as a Fulbright Scholar – a period of artistic growth, but also of personal and professional development. There are few educational experiences that powerfully expand a person’s ideas and understanding of the world as travel does. My hope is that the students come away with enriched, inspired music-making and a connection to a wider international community of musicians"


Visiting Professors

Juri Seo

Wendy Heller

Project Director
Cristina Altamura


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