Applications are now open for the Professor Jiri Hlinka Piano Academy Spring masterclasses which take place in Bergen from 22-26 May, culminating in student concerts at both Barony Rosendal (24 May) and the Bergen Festival (26 May).

Joining Leif Ove Andsnes are guest tutors Jan Jiracek von Arnim and Richard Goode, who will also be giving a solo recital at this year's Bergen Festival (25 May) including selected Beethoven's Piano Sonatas.

Applications for the Spring Masterclasses close on 10 April, following which the Academy will begin preparations for the Autumn Masterclasses (3-10 September) with tutors Leif Ove Andsnes and Christian Ihle Hadland.Aged 15 Leif Ove Andsnes started making the long journey by boat to Bergen from his home on the west coast island of Karmøy, for piano lessons with Jiri Hlinka. He moved permanently to Bergen the following year to continue his studies more intensely and has never forgotten the "Slavic bomb of a Czech who taught me that life and death is to be found in every single note!”

Jiri Hlinka was born in Prague in 1944 and had a blossoming career before contracting a chronic medical condition in his arms which prevented him from performing publicly. He turned to teaching and took up a post at the Bergen Conservatoire in 1972 where he dedicated himself to nurturing the next generation of young talent. In 2008 he founded the Jiri Hlinka Piano Academy giving masterclasses to promising students and, following his retirement, Leif Ove Andsnes, Christian Ihle Hadland and Håvard Gimse offered to continue the legacy of their former mentor as Artistic Advisers to the Academy of which Jiri Hlinka remains Senior Adviser.

The Bergen based Professor Jiri Hlinka Piano Academy provides training for highly qualified students though three annual masterclasses for piano and / or chamber music, each hosted by one of the Academy's Artistic Advisers and invited guest teachers. A maximum of 10 participants are chosen for each masterclass which takes place over a period of 5-8 days and includes individual classes and public concerts. All students are offered on-site accommodation and access to rehearsal space, aimed to maximize on both the working experience and personal contact. Participants are chosen by application and, to date, have included young musicians from across all five continents.

The Piano Academy is made possible through the Academy's main sponsor, Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Foundation, which also supports the Academy's three-year Talent Program together with Talent Norway, the City of Bergen and Hordaland County. This additional program offers coaching to particularly talented young Norwegian pianists, recruited through a combination of applications and regular contact with teachers, presenters and organisers throughout the country.


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