Blanco Performing Arts is pleased and honored to collaborate with the Texas State International Piano Festival in presenting their Betty Dickinson Award Winner Aaron Kurz in recital on March 9 at 7:30pm. Kurz is exceptionally talented and brings a powerful technique and sensitive interpretation to his playing. This new Young Artist concert will be a special presentation not included in the 5 concert season series. Reservations can be made at blancoperformingarts.com with payment at the door. Tickets are $10 for both adult and youth and will be available at the door.
Twenty-two-year-old Aaron Kurz became interested in playing piano at the age of two after watching classical music videos. At the age of three, Aaron began his piano studies with Ethel Fang at the Suzuki Institute of Dallas, Texas, and at the age of nine, he became a student of Dr. Carol Leone, Chair of the Keyboard Department at SMU. Over the years, Aaron has participated in many festivals, most notably the Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna in 2005, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York in 2011, the Valencia (Spain) International Piano Academy in 2012, the Aspen Music Festival in 2014, 2015, and 2016, and the Bowdoin International Music Festival in 2017. He has been instructed by and received masterclasses from many highly-recognized pianists and teachers, including Earl Wild, Veda Kaplinsky, Julian Martin, Boris Slutsky, Robert McDonald, Arie Vardi, Anton Nel, Paul Lewis, Yong Hi Moon, Rebecca Penneys, Nelita True, William Bolcom, Inon Barnatan, Jerome Rose, Alexander Braginsky, Alessio Bax, and Hans Boepple.
Aaron has been a prizewinner in many state, national, and international competitions. Some of his most notable awards include winning 1st prize in the Emilio del Rosario International Piano Concerto Competition, the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, the International Crescendo Music Awards Competition, and the University of Michigan Concerto Competition. He was also a prizewinner in the New York International Piano Competition, the Viardo International Piano Competition, and the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, where he won both 2nd prize and the jury discretionary award for Best Performance of a Classical Sonata. Other accomplishments include being a two-time National Finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Piano Competition and three consecutive 1st place State prizes.
Aaron's most exciting experiences include performing at Carnegie Hall after being named a 1st place winner of the Bradshaw and Buono Competition in New York, playing at Salle Cortot in Paris, France as a result of his Viardo International Piano Competition performance, playing live on a morning TV news show, and performing at the Pyramid of Peace and Harmony in Astana, Kazakhstan. Additionally, Aaron played "Rag Infernal" by William Bolcom for the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer himself as part of a recital for the Cliburn at the Modern Series held in Fort Worth, Texas. In the first four months of 2010, Aaron debuted with three different orchestras while also working as a guest pianist with the Van Cliburn Foundation in its "Cliburn in the Classroom" program, which introduces young students to classical music through a series of visits to regional elementary schools. Aaron once again worked with the Van Cliburn Foundation as a pianist in the program during the 2012 – 2013 school year. In November 2012 and 2013, respectively, Aaron was named a 2013 and 2014 National Young Arts Foundation Winner for his classical piano performances. These awards and recognitions were given to fewer than 700 students selected from over 10,000 nationwide applications covering a wide range of disciplines in the visual, literary, and performing arts.
In June 2015, Aaron won 1st prize in the Emilio del Rosario International Young Artist Piano Concerto Competition, in the process performing with the New Millennium Orchestra at Chicago's Orchestra Hall. The following January, he was a winner of the University of Michigan Concerto Competition – held across all instruments and voice – and as a result, he performed Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto with the University Philharmonia Orchestra a few months later. As well, Aaron was a finalist in the 2016 New York International Piano Competition, where he won 2nd in the ensemble portion of the competition. In April 2018, he will travel to the Xi'an Conservatory in China to give both solo and orchestra performances and teach students via masterclasses.
Aaron graduated with Highest Honors and a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan, where he studied with Dr. Logan Skelton. He is now pursuing a Master of Music at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Alexander Kobrin.
In addition to our patrons and audiences, Blanco Performing Arts' sponsors help make our excellent performances possible and bring these talented musicians to Blanco. Visit our sponsors and show them you support arts in the Hill Country.
The Uptown Blanco Ballroom is home to the Blanco Performing Arts concert series, located on the west side of the courthouse square in Blanco, Texas. Find directions and parking...
If you need a place to stay while you’re in our little burg, there are a number of options. We have hotels, numerous B&Bs, and beautiful riverside spots for those of you with RVs.
Blanco Performing Arts is incorporated as a non-profit entity, and is recognized as such under Section 501(3)(c) of the Internal Revenue Code.