22 students from countries such as Türkiye, Georgia, USA, England, Ireland, South Africa, Taiwan and China, immersed themselves in a full week of intensive piano tuition, student concerts and lectures. They all received 6 lessons from 6 different teachers who mentored and challenged them in order to reach higher goals and their full potential in their performances. There were 5 performance hours scheduled during the week, so students received sufficient opportunities to perform in public. Lectures and seminars were presented by Pavle Krstic and Liezl-Marét Jacobs who offered their insight and knowledge on interpretation, analyses, the importance of obtaining life skills, as well as improving one’s music reading skills.

Apart from the main church which hosted two grand pianos, lessons and practicing took place in 8 other locations dotted all over Castelnuovo. The room on the main street was quite popular under the locals as they could listen to some beautiful piano playing while enjoying their morning and afternoon coffee!

Thank you, once again, to the wonderful ArtePiano faculty for their commitment and outstanding teaching!

Our audiences experienced 6 world class performances by artists such as South African soprano Erica Eloff, French-Canadian clarinetist Myriam Carrier, Italian piano duo Giorgia Lulu Lulu Tomassi and Carlo Maria Griugoli, British jazz pianist Phil Merriman, and American pianist Ruochong Steven Cui. Opening night saw our faculty of six concert pianists playing works for 2 to 12-hands. They are fellow artists Yuki Negishi (Japan/UK) Roberto Russo (Italy), Mark Nixon(South Africa/UK), Liezl-Marét Jacobs (South Africa/Ireland) and Pavle Krstić (Serbia/Austria). 

One evening was dedicated to the musicians of Castelnuovo di Farfa during which the local choir performed (accompanied by pianist Tamar Tamuna Bardavelidze-Töre) and youth band played. The concert opened with a tribute/homage to the Italian composer Domenico Bartolucci who was a former director of the Sistine Chapel Choir at the Vatican. This commemoration, lead by Roberto Russo (who was a student in composition of Bartolucci) marked the 10 year anniversary of Bartolucci’s death in 2013. 

All concerts took place in the beautiful Chiesa San Nicola di Bari which is situated in the historic centre of Castelnuovo di Farfa.

A huge thank you to the mayor of Castelnuovo, Luca Zonetti and Lucia Alberti from Fondazione Varrone for the generous financial support which enabled us to stage such a fantastic concert series!

The final round of the 3rd International ArtePiano Competition 2023 took place on the 22nd of July during the last night of the International ArtePiano Festival .

Our 6 finalists arrived in town the day before in order to settle in, getting some practice done, and to try out the competition piano in the beautiful and spectacular Chiesa San Nicola di Bari which is situated in the centre of the medieval village with its 980 inhabitants. Each finalist presented a programme of 25 minutes during which they displayed their artistry, musicianship, technical skills, virtuosity and mental stamina. It was clear to the jury that they all deserved their place in the finals and that they are completely dedicated to their art and passion for their instrument. They were:

Teodor Pazov  (23) – Bulgaria

Lisa Schmäling (24) – Germany 

Nikita Lukinov (24) – Russia

Samuele Tacchini (24) – Italy 

Sayaka Yamashita 28) – Japan 

Irakli Gogiberidze  (20) – Georgia

After a long deliberation by the jury, the results were made public during the prize winners’ ceremony: The 1st prize went to Irakli Gogiberidze, and 2nd prize went to Sayaka Yamashita. The performances of the 6 finalists are available to watch here on the competition page of the ArtePiano website –

Thank you once again to our international jury for their professionalism, expertise, skills and feedback they offered to the finalists!

As you entered Castelnuovo di Farfa from the beginning until the end of July, you would have observed the charming little main street decorated with flags from around 30 different countries. The festival week brought together teachers, musicians, students, families, friends, music lovers and helpers from all around the world. They connected with each other, as well as with the locals, on so many different levels. As you might know, food makes out a big (probably the main) part of Italian culture, so everybody embraced this opportunity to sit at the lunchtime and dinner table to get to know their fellow festival goers. 

Lunches were prepared by local chef Remiggio and his son Valentino, while dinners were offered by various caterers. Apart from our traditional pizza evening, festival participants were also invited for dinner by a locals, and for a buffet dinner by the Salustri-Galli family at their private residence in the historic centre of Castelnuovo di Farfa. A big dinner party was hosted on the open air square where everybody got treated with a live-band performance.

It was great to see how new friendships and connections were formed during the week, and that through music as its driving force. In a time where we experience so much division and hostility in the world, the week created a feeling of unity, understanding, warmth and love.