Early Keyboard Institute

2/10/2021 – Important Update!
Due to university COVID-19 restrictions, the Early Keyboard Institute will be held online for the Summer of 2021.

The University of Michigan Early Keyboard Institute (UMEKI) is happy to announce its first online institute via Zoom: an intensive six-day experience focused on early keyboard performance, offering a distinguished faculty, daily lectures, participation in solo masterclasses, and performances by both faculty and students.

In addition to daily lectures and discussion sessions, this year’s institute will feature faculty discussion of video recordings submitted by participants in masterclasses. The final participant recital will feature repertoire from masterclasses, which we encourage the participants to re-record after receiving feedback in the masterclass sessions. We will send guidelines for creating and submitting these recordings, which may be done on piano, harpsichord, or fortepiano – access to a historical keyboard is not required for participation. Faculty recordings and demonstration videos will introduce the characteristics and repertoire of historical keyboards, and we hope many participants will be able to join us for future in-person workshops to experience these instruments first-hand.

UMEKI is open to all keyboard players regardless of their specific experience with early instruments. Primarily intended for collegiate-level musicians, we also welcome interested amateurs and offer excellent opportunities for young professionals to gain exposure to historically-informed performance. The University of Michigan, with its Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, has a substantial collection of harpsichords and fortepianos, which will be featured in faculty performances and recitals.

Session Dates: May 23–May 29, 2021
Tuition (Participants*): $300
Tuition (Auditors+): $200

Application Open: February 2021
Priority Application Deadline for Attendees: April 16, 2021
Priority Application Admissions Notification: April 23, 2021
Final Application Deadline for Participants and Auditors: May 9, 2021

*Participant level enrollment is limited to 18 students
+Auditor level enrollment does not have a enrollment limit

Associate Professor of Music
Harpsichordist Joseph Gascho joined the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s Department of Organ in September 2014 as an assistant professor. Gascho enjoys a multifaceted musical career as a solo and collaborative keyboardist, conductor, teacher, and recording producer. Featuring his own transcriptions of Bach, Handel, and Charpentier, his recent debut solo recording was praised in the American Record Guide for “bristling with sparkling articulation, subtle but highly effective rubato and other kinds of musical timing, and an enviable understanding of the various national styles of 17th and 18th century harpsichord music.”

Matt Bengtson looking off in distance in front of mountains.MATTHEW BENGSTON
Assistant Professor of Music
Critically acclaimed as a “musician’s pianist,” Matthew Bengtson has a unique combination of musical talents ranging from an extraordinary pianist, to a composer, analyst, and scholar of performance practice, and thus is in demand as both soloist and collaborator. An advocate of both contemporary and rarely performed music, he offers an unusually diverse repertoire, ranging from Byrd to Ligeti and numerous contemporary composers.

UMEKI 2021 Theme: Three Centuries of French Keyboard Repertoire

Participants should each submit two recorded performances to be discussed in masterclass sessions. As noted above, the final recital by workshop participants will feature repertoire re-recorded by them following masterclass feedback.

All times EST
A sample schedule for each day of the program. Details subject to change.
11:30 – 01:30 Solo Masterclass
03:00 – 04:00 Faculty lecture, with Q&A / discussion time for participants
07:30 – 09:30 Solo Masterclass

For priority consideration and notification, all application and audition materials must be received by the priority deadline. Applications may be accepted after the priority deadline for programs and/or instruments in which openings remain. Review, admission, and notification for late applications will be on a rolling basis. Space is limited.

To apply to the U-M Early Keyboard Institute you must complete the online application and pay the $50 non-refundable application fee. You must complete the application in one sitting, including the upload of your digital audition materials if applicable.

Digital Audition Upload Requirement for All Participants
Please provide a link via Dropbox or Google Drive to the following:

  • A statement about why you would like to attend U-M Early Keyboard Institute.
  • Your résumé or a description of your current related activities.
  • Your audition video.

*Audition videos may be recorded on any keyboard instrument, but should demonstrate repertoire appropriate to UMEKI. For example: a pair of contrasting Baroque dances or movements, a first movement of a classical sonata, or Romantic work of similar scope.

MPulse Summer Performing Arts Institutes
Office of Engagement & Outreach-Youth & Adult Programs
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance
Stearns Building │ 2005 Baits Drive │ Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: (734) 936-2660