David D. Dubois Piano Festival and Competition

2020 David D. Dubois Piano Competition

Thursday, January 30 - Sunday, February 2, 2020

Boris Berman, Guest Artist


The artistry of Boris Berman is well known to the audiences of more than fifty countries on six continents. His highly acclaimed performances have included appearances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Gewandhaus Orchestra, The Philharmonia (London), the Toronto Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, and the Royal Scottish Orchestra. A frequent performer on major recital series, he has also appeared in important festivals, such as Marlboro, Bergen, Ravinia, Nohant, and Israel Festival, to name a few.

Born in Moscow, Boris Berman studied at Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with the distinguished pianist Lev Oborin and graduated with distinction as both pianist and harpsichordist. He performed extensively throughout the Soviet Union as a recitalist, and appeared as guest soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Moscow Philharmonic and the Moscow Chamber orchestras.

In 1973, Boris Berman left a flourishing career in the Soviet Union to immigrate to Israel. He quickly established himself as one of the most sought-after keyboard performers, as well as one of this country's more influential musical personalities. Presently, he resides in USA.

Boris Berman has been the Founding Director of the Music Spectrum concert series in Israel (1975-84) and of the Yale Music Spectrum series in the USA (1984-1997). These concert series were hailed by the critics for the inventiveness of their programming.

Mr. Berman is an active performer of chamber music. He had appeared in numerous concerts and festivals with such artists and groups as Misha Maisky, Heinz Holliger, Aurele Nicolet, Shlomo Mintz, Gyorgy Pauk, Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, Natalia Gutman, Tokyo Quartet, Vermeer Quartet, The Netherland Wind Ensemble and many others.

A dedicated teacher of international stature, Boris Berman has served on the faculties of the world's finest schools, such as Indiana (Bloomington), Boston, Brandeis and Tel-Aviv universities. Currently, he heads the Piano Department at Yale School of Music. He also conducts master classes throughout the world. In 2005, he was named a Honorary Professor of Shanghai Conservatory; and in 2013, a Honorary Professor of Royal Danish Conservatory in Copenhagen. In 2017, he was given an honorary title of "Specially-appointed Professor" by China Conservatory in Beijing.

Mr. Berman's ability to recognize, and commitment to nurture young talents are obvious reasons for him being invited to join panels of jurors of various national and international competitions, such as those in Leeds, Dublin, Shanghai, and the Artur Rubinstein Competition in Tel-Aviv. 

In the field of recordings, Mr. Berman's acclaimed releases on Philips, Deutsche Gramophon and Melodia labels were followed upon with 2 CDs of all piano sonatas by Alexander Scriabin for the Music and Arts label and a recital of Shostakovich piano works (Ottavo recordings), which received the Edison Classic Award in Holland, the Dutch equivalent of the Grammy. The recording of three Prokofiev Concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Neeme Jarvi conducting (Chandos), marked the beginning of an ambitious project of recording the complete Prokofiev solo piano works. The first pianist ever to undertake this task, Mr Berman has released it on nine Chandos CDs to great critical acclaim. In addition, Chandos has issued Mr. Berman's recitals of works by Debussy, Stravinsky and Schnittke, as well as chamber music of Janacek, and - together with Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under Neeme Jarvi - Concerto by Stravinsky.

Berman's most recent discography shows the breadth of his repertoire: a disc "Debussy for Children" (Ottavo); two releases of works for prepared piano by John Cage (Naxos), which was named the Top Recording by the BBC Music Magazine; the Grammy-nominated Piano Quintets of Shostakovich and Schnittke with Vermeer Quartet (Naxos); and, quite unexpectedly, a recording of Scott Joplin's Ragtimes (Ottavo).  In the Naxos collection of complete Sequenzas by Luciano Berio, Berman plays Sequenza IV for piano. For the recording of Brahms Sonatas with the cellist Clive Greensmith (Biddulph label), he used a 1867 Bechstein piano. Most recently, French label Le Palais des Degustateurs released Boris Berman's complete recording of Debussy Preludes, together with Estampes and other pieces.

In 2000, the prestigious Yale University Press has published Boris Berman's "Notes from the Pianist's Bench." In this book, Professor Berman draws on his vast experience as a performer and a teacher to explore issues of piano technique and music interpretation. The book has been translated to several languages. Mr. Berman is often invited to give lectures on these subjects in various universities and conferences around the world. In November, 2017 Yale University Press has published the newly revised version of the book electronically enhanced with audio and video components.

In the spring of 2008, Yale University Press published Boris Berman's new book "Prokofiev's Piano Sonatas: A Guide for the Listener and the Performer." This book complements, and is based on, his highly praised recordings of this repertoire.

In 2011, Shanghai Publishing House published a new bi-lingual edition of the scores of Prokofiev's piano sonatas, revised and edited by Mr. Berman. Based on manuscripts and first editions, this is the most authoritative edition of this repertoire available.

In 2018-19, Boris Berman is performing and teaching in Austria, China, France, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the USA.


Classically-trained pianists in grades 8-12 (age 18 or under at the time of the competition)


  • 1st Prize: $3,000
  • 2nd Prize: $2,000
  • 3rd Prize: $1,000

Additional scholarships may be awarded to seniors successfully completing the application process for undergraduate study in BGSU’s piano program. Judges’ decisions on all prizes and scholarships are final. 


Deadline for application, payment ($25) and uploaded video recording file is Wednesday, January 8, 2020.


Repertoire should include selections from at least three of the following style periods: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary. One movement from a Classical sonata must be included. All works must be memorized with the exception of those written after 1945. Students should aim for a program 20-30 minutes in length. The same repertoire will be used for both semi-final and final rounds.

Screening Recording

All entrants must submit a video screening recording of one piece from their competition repertoire on or before Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Recordings should be uploaded to YouTube, Youku, or a similar site. Email the link to meltonL@bgsu.edu.


All entrants will be notified of acceptance via email by Friday, January 10, 2020.


If you have any questions about the application or repertoire requirements, please contact Dr. Laura Melton at meltonL@bgsu.edu.

Dr. David D Dubois, an internationally recognized consultant, author and speaker had a love of music and a special passion for piano and organ performance. In 2008, after reviewing proposals from major music schools from around the nation, the David D. Dubois Trust established the David D. Dubois Piano Competition at Bowling Green State University to enhance the piano program in the College of Musical Arts.


The David D. Dubois Piano Competition supports student pianists at several levels. It provides a number of scholarship opportunities for high school students to attend BGSU, it encourages undergraduate piano students to develop innovative programming ideas for outreach projects and it supports current piano students to participate in music festivals around the world.

In his memory, the College of Musical Arts celebrates the life of Dr. David D. Dubois and his passion for music and gratefully acknowledges the David D. Dubois Foundation for making this exciting program possible.


Thursday, January 30:

Gala Concert
8:00 pm
Bryan Recital Hall

Liu, Melton, Satterlee, and Yontov perform works for 4, 6, and 8 hands
Special performance by 2019 Dubois Competition Winner, Natasha Wu
Donations accepted to benefit Piano Scholarship Fund

Lessons with BGSU Piano Faculty available Thursday & Friday, Jan. 30-31

Friday, January 31:

Guest Artist Master Class
2:30-4:30 pm
Bryan Recital Hall
Dubois Guest Artist, Boris Berman, Professor of Piano, Yale University

Saturday, February 1:

Competition Semifinal Round
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Kobacker Hall

Results announced – 5:30 pm

Guest Artist Recital
8:00 pm
Bryan Recital Hall

Dubois Guest Artist, Boris Berman, Professor of Piano, Yale University

Sunday, February 2:

Competition Final Round
9:00 am – 12:30 pm
Kobacker Hall

Results announced – 1:00 pm

The competition performances will be live streamed on the College of Musical Arts YouTube channel.

Winners of the 2020 David D. Dubois Piano Competition
2020 Winners
Photo by Bianca R Garza

1st Prize – Kasey Shao (Cincinnati, OH)

2nd Prize – Alena Lu (Potomac, MD)

3rd Prize – Tan Nguyen (Leesburg, VA) & Abhijit Devalapura (New Albany, OH)

Honorable Mention – Maxine Park (Hanover, NH)


Arun Kamath, Cincinnati, OH

Natalie Zhang, Weston, MA