2017 Summer Symposium at Princeton University



The Golandsky Institute Summer Symposium and International Piano Festival at Princeton University features lectures, master classes, concerts, technique clinics, and other presentations by Edna Golandsky and the Institute’s expert faculty, all of whom have undergone years of rigorous training to qualify as teachers of the Taubman Approach. The performers and pedagogues of the Golandsky Institute’s faculty work with pianists of all levels - professional, student, and amateur. This one-week Symposium includes:

View Full Symposium Program Here

View Full Festival Program Here

WATCH LIVE or ON DEMAND for a limited time.

  • 4 private lessons
  • 4 supervised practice times in addition to private lessons (first-time participants only)
  • 3 interactive technique clinics
  • For participants with previous exposure to the Taubman Approach, breakout groups are where you can experience specific keyboard passages that are being discussed in relation to applicable concepts of the Taubman Approach.
  • Master classes
  • Presentations and lectures by Edna Golandsky, John Bloomfield, Robert Durso, Mary Moran, and Sophie Till (strings program).
  • 5 evening concerts by world-class artists (International Piano Festival)

The Summer Symposium attracts participants from all over the world - Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Canada, South and Central America, and from two dozen U.S. states. First-time participants are made to feel at home right away by the extraodinarily warm and friendly atmosphere. Many participants come back to the Golandsky Institute Summer Symposium year after year to learn from the Institute's faculty how the Taubman Approach can be used to accurately diagnose problems and determine their solutions. 

Each participant who attends six full days of the Symposium receives a Certificate of Participation!


For resident participants, tuition includes four private half-hour lessons, interactive technique clinics, daily lectures, master classes, practice time, and admission to all Symposium presentations and all Festival concerts. Resident participants will enjoy air-conditioned rooms in Princeton University dormitories. Most rooms are private with a shared bathroom between every two rooms. Depending on room availability, some participants may be housed in suites of four private rooms that share a bathroom.

For commuting participants, tuition includes everything listed above except dormitory accommodations.

This year's arrival day is Sunday, July 9 and the first instructional day is Monday, July 10. The Symposium is a 6-day event this year and will end on Sunday, July 16.​

Arrival: Sunday, July 9, 2017. Participants register from 2:00 - 7:00 PM. There is an orientation meeting that evening.

Symposium starts: Monday morning, July 10, 2017.

Symposium ends: Saturday evening, July 15, 2017.

Departure: Participants will depart by noon on Sunday, July 16, 2017.

Program is subject to change without notice. 

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At registration you will be assigned a teacher, with whom you will have scheduled lessons. If you have had no prior experience with the Taubman Approach, a practice assistant will be assigned to help you apply during practice time what you learn at lessons.

8:00 AM Breakfast with friends and colleagues, practice time.
10:00 AM

A lecture appropriate to your level.


For participants who are new to the Taubman work, there will be a presentation of the basic elements of the technique with explanations and demonstrations about how each element works.


For participants who have had prior exposure to the Taubman Approach, the lectures will focus on how the elements of the basic technique are integrated in order to promote ease of execution for passagework.


For participants enrolled in the Professional Training Program, interactive presentations will deepen the understanding of complex technical and musical issues in specific passages from the repertoire.

Noon Lunch with friends and colleagues in Princeton University dining hall.
1:00 PM Most of the master classes, presentations, and panel discussions are scheduled between 1:00 PM and 5:30 PM.
5:30 PM Practice time, dinner with friends and colleagues.
8:00 PM Attend a concert at the Golandsky Institute International Piano Festival (every evening except Wednesday).
9:30 PM Reception following performance.
10:00 PM Practice time, relax with friends and colleagues.

The Golandsky Institute International Piano Festival features 5 Extraordinary Concerts by Internationally Acclaimed Artists in six days from Monday, July 10, 2017, through Saturday, July 15. 2017.  All concerts at 8pm in Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall , Princeton University. All ticket holders are invited to attend a reception with the artists following each concert. The Festival runs in conjunction with the Institute's Summer Symposium. 

The International Piano Festival is open to the public and features performances by a roster of brilliant musicians from around the world presented for the benefit of Symposium participants and the wider Princeton community.

  • The general public may purchase tickets online through the Princeton University Box Office beginning on June 1, 2017.
  • The Box Office opens one hour before each scheduled concert, in the lobby of Taplin Auditorium.  
  • Tickets: $35 for the general public, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. Seating is general admission.


Monday, July 10 8 PM



Internationally acclaimed Andalusian violinist Jesus Reina appears with his longtime duo partner, Josu de Solaun, piano, in an immersive program featuring evocative music of Enescu, Sarasate, Dvorak, and Janacek. 

Tuesday, July 11 8 PM



Master pianist Josu de Solaun returns to Princeton performing a program of beloved and little known masterworks highlighting the virtuosic range of the Golden Age of the Piano!

Thursday, July 13 8 PM

Father Sean Duggan

Featuring guest artists: Natasha Farny, cello and Antoine LeFebvre, violin


Beloved festival artist, Fr. Sean Duggan performs duos and trios of Bach, Beethoven and Mendelssohn with friends in an intimate evening of timeless music. 

Friday, July 14 8 PM

The Bill Charlap Trio


The Grammy award winning:  BILL CHARLAP TRIO!

Saturday, July 15 8 PM

Ilya Itin

Solo works of Schubert and Rachmaninov


Ilya Itin performs a program of two great sonatas by Schubert and Rachmaninov, bringing us his newest discoveries in the music of the old masters.


The Strings Program at the Summer Symposium is a week-long program for violinists and violists - professionals, students and amateurs. The daily technique lectures cover Taubman/Golandsky principles for first time and returning participants. Daily workshops provide hands-on practical help with problem passages and enable participants to experience the Taubman/Golandsky work in action. Master classes offer performance opportunities, both for solo and chamber music repertoire, and four private lessons enable every participant to address specific personal needs.


British violinist Sophie Till has been studying with Edna Golandsky for many years. The Taubman/Golandsky Approach for Strings has developed out of their collaboration. Ms Till presents this new approach annually in a week-long program at the Golandsky Institute Summer Symposium.

View free strings instructional videos on YouTube.

Ms. Till teaches internationally and gives seminars, workshops and master classes for string musicians.


"At the age of 35, despite world-class teachers and a successful career as a violinist, I found myself in a predicament; my playing felt limited and I was groping for answers I could not seem to find. The result was solutions more like a patchwork of guesses that were far from reliable. Many colleagues seemed to be in a similar spot or worse, were starting to feel pain and discomfort from previously reliable technique. By contrast, I had seen my duo partner who had suffered a severe piano injury, retrain to a stunning level of virtuosity and musicianship under the guidance of Edna Golandsky and the Taubman Approach. I went to a lesson with him and intrigued by what I saw, started having lessons with Edna Golandsky: Violin lessons from a pianist. I immediately realized that here was an approach that could identify and itemize each separate physical movement that goes into playing, how these movements interact and how the physical motions go directly into music making of the highest order. Furthermore, through the Golandsky Institute, here also was a pedagogy so immaculately developed, that there was a clarity of communication beyond anything I had ever experienced before. For the past seven years, Edna Golandsky and I have been developing this approach and its pedagogy for the violin. I now work with professionals and students from all over the world and have adapted it for my work with children."

- Sophie Till, violin

"An intense two days, this was a brilliant workshop, one of the most comprehensive and immediately useful presentations that I've seen. Sophie Till is a gifted pedagogue who shares a depth of understanding with generosity. Her wisdom germinates in efficient body use and grows through all manner of technique, blossoming into meaningful musical outcomes. It was inspiring to be touched by her dedication, intelligence and passion." 

- Natalie Sharp, Review for the Music Teachers’ Association Queensland, Australia

"I approached Sophie as I had been experiencing playing discomfort and was in need of quick solution. From our first skype lesson, I knew this was going to be ‘big’. She was able to logically and clearly explain the answers to my many questions about approaching violin playing in a healthy way. The depth of her knowledge is extraordinary.”

 - Rachel Smith, Freelance violinist and teacher in the UK and Australia: works with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Australian Chamber Orchestra. Former principal violin, Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Founder and Artistic Director of Stradbroke Chamber Music Festival.


Summer Symposium Fees

Resident participant: $1,575
Commuting participant: $1,175
Breakfast option: $75

Try our one-day pass for first-time attendees (valid for any single day): $75




Driving Directions to Princeton University

Map of Princeton University

Cancellation Policy


Symposium commuter participants who prefer to stay at the local hotel, Nassau Inn, may call the Reservation Department at 1-800 (862)-7728 or visit their website


By registering for the Symposium, participants grant permission to the Golandsky Institute to use any photograph or video containing their likeness. Such images may be used for promotional, news, research, or educational purposes.

Participants also agree not to record any part of the Summer Symposium (except for their private lessons) or International Piano Festival. Further, participants agree that any such recording will be used for personal reference only and may not be shared except with the written permission of the teacher.


Call toll-free in the US: 1-877-343-3434
Call or fax: 212-875-0034

Email: symposium@golandskyinstitute.org

Please submit items through the post by regular mail (not special delivery) to the address below:

The Golandsky Institute
Summer Symposium 2017
Park West Finance Station
P O Box 20726
New York, NY 10025


Explore the comprehensive lectures and presentations taking place this year at the 2017 Summer Symposium and International Piano Festival at Princeton University, July 9-16.


Showing the Path to Successfully Handling Wide Stretches and Large Leaps in Chopin's Scherzo No. 1 and Liszt's La Campanella
MONDAY, JULY 10, 2017 - 3:30 PM
TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2017 - 3:30 PM

How to successfully navigate large distances is an issue that every student and performer has to tackle on a daily basis. It's one of the main reasons for fatigue, tension and pain among pianists and other instrumentalists. It's a direct result of isolated, curled fingers, stretching exercises and more. It shows up in beginning, intermediate, and advanced repertoire. These particularly difficult pieces show how, with the correct positions and motions, the stress is taken out of the overused fingers and is distributed among other limb parts. It results in the ability to play symptom free, with great speed and accuracy, and control every sound.

Solving the Mystery of Double Thirds with Demonstrations from Tricky Passages in Chopin, Beethoven, and More
THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017 - 3:30 PM

Playing double thirds has been an enigma for centuries. There are those who play it with great ease while others, including famous pianists, shy away from it. This presentation solves this enigma by showing how it can be successfully played and taught.


Fingering in Focus: Avoiding Stretching with a Creative Strategy
TUESDAY, JULY 11, 2017 - 11:00 AM

Editorial fingerings often cause uncomfortable stretches purely for the sake of physical legato. This presentation will offer keen insight into a solution that can eliminate such awkwardness altogether, while promoting ease, speed, and security.

One of the great values of the Taubman Approach is that it enhances comfort at the instrument. When we are more comfortable physically, we are freer, we can manage the technical demands of the music more easily, we are not plagued by fatigue, and we can give our attention more fully to expressing the music. 

Intelligent fingering significantly facilitates the playing of any passage. Though editors sometimes have good suggestions, they just as often have inconvenient ones. Students and artists alike benefit from knowing how to evaluate and choose the most logical, efficient fingering for the music they play.

Many examples from the traditional repertoire will be used to highlight the dilemma pianists face when they wrestle with fingering choices. An often overlooked possibility is the repetition of the same finger on consecutive notes. Once this useful strategy becomes part of the pianist's arsenal, solutions for some thorny passages can appear as if by magic!


Two Hands Play Together! A Game of Chance or Skill? 
SATURDAY, JULY 15, 2017 - 11:00 AM

In this lecture, Robert Durso will explain and demonstrate the necessary skills of putting hands together. Called "The Interdependence of the Hands" in the Taubman Approach, these skills are innovative, pragmatic, and far reaching.


Beethoven Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 "Pathetique"
THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017 - 11:00 AM

This presentation is an overview of the three movements of this popular sonata with analysis of the main musical and technical highlights of each movement. The left hand figures (broken octaves, Alberti bass, and arpeggiated accompaniments) of each movement will be discussed in detail.

Beethoven's eighth piano sonata, Opus 13, was written and published in 1798-1799. In addition to a brief historical overview of the composer at this time, and a short analysis of the three movements, illustrating the motivic connections between them, this presentation will center on the musical and technical issues that one encounters when performing this work.  

The Grande Sonata Pathetique has always appealed to the young. This appeal continues in the present time as most pianists and teachers will have occasion to perform and/or teach this work. Certain technical requirements in the piece often present difficulties for the pianist and can hinder the freedom to express this rich emotional writing.  

With the Taubman Approach, technical demands such as tremolos, leaps, broken octaves, and staccato articulations will be analyzed and discussed. There will be an emphasis on diagnosing different aspects of problems that can occur and why. This knowledge will help students and teachers both to evaluate their playing and manage these situations. The result will be the ability to focus mainly on Beethoven's musical intentions and how best to express them.


Applying the Taubman Approach to Violin (one-week strings program)

Designed particularly for violinists and string players who are professionals, students, and amateurs, the daily technique lectures cover Taubman/Golandsky principles. Daily workshops provide hands-on practical help with problem passages and enable participants to experience the Taubman/Golandsky work in action. Master classes offer performance opportunities, both for solo and chamber music repertoire, and four private lessons enable every participant to address specific personal needs.


Dorothy Taubman: The Story of the Movie
THURSDAY, JULY 13, 2017 - 4:30 PM

Dr. Ernest Urvater, editor and producer of Choreography of the Hands: The Work of Dorothy Taubman, presents his fascinating 32-year-long relationship with Mrs. Taubman-a circuitous journey culminating in the film's production in 1986, as well as the production of the 10 Taubman Technique DVD's in the following year. During his talk, excerpts from Choreography of the Hands will be shown.


Taking the Road Less Traveled By: Schubert, Rachmaninoff, and Ilya Itin
FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2017 - 4:30 PM

Princeton University musicologist Scott Burnham addresses the challenges offered by pianist Ilya Itin's program of lesser-known gems by well-known piano composers, taking into account the performer's view of the pieces as well as his own impressions. The presentation includes an onstage discussion between Ilya Itin and Professor Burnham. 


Translating the Score: A Panel Discussion of Interpretation with Festival Artists: Ilya Itin, Josu de Solaun and Sean Duggan​
FRIDAY, JULY 14, 2017 - 4:30 PM

Festival Director, Adrienne Sirken, will moderate a discussion about how artists apply their personal philosophy, knowledge, and history to the close reading of the score when creating music of varying styles and historical epochs.  Audience questions will be welcomed. 

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