Welcome to the Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program

Program

The Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program is a division of the Frost School of Music Preparatory Program at the University of Miami. Designed as an exclusive program for piano students who are ready for more intensive and immersive studies, this program prepares them for a career in the music world and for the best universities in the country and abroad.

The Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program was created by Dr. Luca Cubisino in 2019 thanks to the support of Frost Prep Director Dr. Megan Walsh and Frost School of Music Dean Shelton Berg as well as the Frost Department of Keyboard Performance Faculty. Soon after the first few months of activity, the program faced the pandemic disruption and the enormous hardship it generated in the arts industry. Nevertheless, the program has been experiencing an increase in number of students and achievements, foreseeing an exponential growth in the upcoming years. Its geographic position, Miami’s extraordinary cultural turn of the past years, and the fact that it is a leading reality in the Southeast of the United States, make this program unique and strategic. 

Students of the program have been winning top prizes in more than forty piano competitions, awarded scholarships for the Coral Gables Jr. Music Club, Florida Federation of Music Clubs, Miami Music Teachers Foundation, Chopin Foundation of the United States, etc., and playing with major orchestras of South Florida, including the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, Orchestra Miami, and the New World Symphony Side-by-Side Orchestra. Moreover, our students have been admitted into the undergraduate programs of major universities (some with full scholarship) such as the Frost School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, New York University, Royal College and Royal Academy of Music in London, and so forth.

Since its establishment and with a minimal budget, the Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program has been able to invite some of the most celebrated pianists and pedagogues of today’s musical scene for masterclasses and events. This list includes names such as Angela Hewitt, one of the world’s leading concert pianists; Michelle Cann, Professor and Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano at the Curtis Institute of Music; Zlata Chochieva, whose complete Chopin Études have been listed by Gramophone among the 10 greatest Chopin recordings; and Victor Rosenbaum, New England Conservatory Faculty for 55 consecutive years.

The Advanced Piano Program also creates learning opportunities not only for its students but also for members of the Miami community who cultivate an interest in music. Our students come from all over South Florida bringing to Coral Gables cultural enrichment and endless talent because they decide to stay and follow their musical inspirations studying in our program, rather than leaving for other pre-college programs, such as Juilliard’s or New England Conservatory's.

Curriculum

The Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program is the result of years of observations, studies, and consultations at some of the most authoritative schools in Europe and the United States, following a ten-year-long curriculum based on the old traditions of the classical Conservatory. Rigorous in the admission selection as well as in nurturing talents, the program offers a comprehensive curriculum that allows students to develop technical and artistic abilities at the highest level. As such, students’ commitment is essential for their standing in the program.

Classes and private lessons are offered to elementary through high school students from August through May, with the possibility to extend them during the summer. Besides regular piano lessons with Dr. Luca Cubisino and Dr. Ana Ivanchenko, and courses that broaden their knowledge of music history and piano performance idioms, students are encouraged to participate in masterclasses, competitions, scholarship auditions, recitals, and lessons (by teacher request) with the Frost School of Music Faculty of the Department of Keyboard Performance. 

Students must enroll in Piano Lessons for the entire duration of the program and choose among other courses, such as Music Theory/Ear Training, Piano Literature, and Chamber Music. The curriculum is divided into 4 main levels: Beginner (years 1-3), Intermediate (years 4-6), Early Advanced (years 7-8), and Advanced (years 9-10). To obtain a certificate of level completion, students must pass all the courses. Piano yearly requirements for enrolled students include repertoire completion (list provided upon acceptance), midterm and final juries, monthly studio classes as well as Fall and Spring recitals.

Piano Faculty

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  • Luca Cubisino

    Luca Cubisino is a polyhedral and versatile artist, whose path is paved with performance, teaching, research, and organizational activity. Prize winner in more than twenty national and international piano competitions, he has played at prestigious venues in some of the major cities throughout Europe and the U.S. (Wiener Saal in Salzburg, Doelen in Rotterdam, Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Teatro Bonci in Cesena, as well as Rome, Bologna, Leipzig, New York, Miami, Austin, Atlanta, etc.).


    During his formative years, Dr. Cubisino has worked with dozens of teachers: Antonella Scuderi, Flavio Meniconi, Franco Scala, Aquiles Delle Vigne, François-Joël Thiollier, Antonio Ballista, Choong-Mo Kang, Gerald Fauth, Bruno Canino, Enrico Pace, Anton Nel, Jason Kwak, Boris Slutsky, Marina Lomazov, Tian Ying, Naoko Takao, Kevin Kenner, among others. Always eager to learn new teaching methods, Dr. Cubisino has been focusing for years on the pedagogical approach of Vincenzo Scaramuzza, who taught the very young Martha Argerich. Thanks to Franco Scala, Dr. Cubisino was able to closely understand the peculiarities of this method, which he now applies to his students.
    Besides his solo career, Dr. Cubisino’s love for chamber music has brought him to collaborate with incredible artists such as Dario Russo, a rising-star voice with whom he has been touring across the U.S. in 2018, performing Winterreise by Franz Schubert. In 2020, he was invited to be a guest artist of the Italian Ensemble for a series of concerts that were supposed to take place in different cities in Italy and the U.S., including the Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Because of the pandemic caused by COVID-19 the concert tour has been postponed to a later date.


    Dr. Cubisino has been collaborating with the San Giacomo Festival in Bologna for nearly a decade, helping with the organization of almost two hundred concerts every year, whose income supports the Daily Meal of the Poor at the Augustinian Fathers of Bologna (sangiacomofestival.it). He has been also on the Board of Directors of Kaleidoscope MusArt, a non-profit organization that focuses its activity mostly on contemporary classical music (kaleidoscopemusart.com). He has recently accepted the invitation to join the Miami Music Teachers Association Executive Board as Vice President/Programming (miamimta.org).


    Dr. Cubisino is the Artistic Director of AmiCa, a Sicilian cultural organization for which he organizes AmiCaFest (amicafest.com), a 2-week piano festival in Southern Italy that embraces, besides regular activities (lessons and masterclasses), extra events such as exhibitions, book presentations, cultural classes, etc. Dr. Cubisino and AmiCaFest’s staff work with no compensation and for the good of the community and its cultural enrichment.
    Besides being regularly invited to adjudicate local, national and international competitions, in 2020 Dr. Cubisino envisioned the #StayHome International Piano Competition (stayhomecompetition.com), the first of its kind thought for the Internet audiences during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

    Participants prepared and performed from home and jury members evaluated each round live by joining a videoconference, while the performances were streamed online. This competition reached more than 70,000 live views and got the attention of the founder of the Alink-Argerich Foundation, Gustav Alink, who wrote about it on The World of Piano Competitions magazine.


    Dr. Cubisino owns a Bachelor’s Degree from the Conservatory of Music “Vincenzo Bellini” in Catania (Italy); a Master’s Degree from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Rotterdam (The Netherlands); a second Master’s Degree from the Conservatory of Music “Bruno Maderna” in Cesena; a third Master’s Degree from Texas State University-San Marcos (U.S.), where he was awarded the 2014 “Piano Achievement Award”; and a Doctoral of Musical Arts’ Degree from the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, where he studied under the guidance of Professors Tian Ying and Kevin Kenner, earning a keyboard pedagogy’s cognate with Dr. Naoko Takao. At the University of Miami, he served as a Teaching Assistant and was awarded the 2016 recipient of the Presser Award for his project of publishing and recording Ottorino Respighi’s early piano works.


    Dr. Cubisino currently teaches at the Preparatory Program of the Frost School of Music, where he is also the Coordinator of a program he has developed specifically for advanced piano students (Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program). The program offers a comprehensive curriculum that allows students to develop technical and artistic abilities at the highest level. Dr. Cubisino’s students have been playing for eminent pianists, winning top prizes in more than 40 piano competitions, awarded scholarships, playing with major orchestras of South Florida, and accepted into the undergraduate programs of prestigious universities in the U.S. and Europe.

  • Ana Ivanchenko

    Moldovan-born pianist, Ana Ivanchenko, has garnered critical acclaim for her performances in prestigious concert halls throughout North America, Hungary, Spain, Romania, Ukraine, Byelorussia, and Moldova. Her orchestral appearances include the National Philharmonic, Chamber, Tele-Radio Orchestras of Moldova, West Chester Symphony Orchestra, Rowan University Symphony Orchestra, and the Frost Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, she has given solo concerts at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage (Washington DC), Taplin Auditorium (Princeton University, NJ), the Great Hall of the Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest, Hungary), the Transcarpathian Philharmonic, (Uzhhorod, Ukraine), the Organ Hall and the National Philharmonic Hall (Chisinau, Moldova), among others.  

    Dr. Ivanchenko has won top prizes in numerous national and international competitions throughout the US and Europe including the “Carl Filtsch” International Piano Competition (Sibiu, Romania), Princeton International Piano Competition (Princeton, NJ), the International Young Artist Competition (Washington DC), the MTNA National Piano Competition (Denver, CO), and the International Chopin Competition (Hartford, CT). As a winner of the Frost School of Music Concerto Competition, she has performed Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with the Frost Symphony Orchestra under the baton of esteemed conductor James Judd.

    Dr. Ivanchenko began her formal musical training at the age of six at the Music Lyceum named after Ciprian Porumbescu in Moldova as a piano scholar of Larisa Jar. In 2006, she was accepted into Rowan University, NJ, as a full scholarship undergraduate pupil of Veda Zuponcic. Upon her graduation (summa cum laude), she was awarded the Ethel F. Brannan World Education Award and the Jacobs Music Steinway Award for her outstanding academic and artistic achievements. After earning her master’s degree from Rowan University in May 2012, Dr. Ivanchenko received a full scholarship and a teaching assistantship at the Frost School of Music, where she pursued her DMA studies in piano performance and pedagogy under the guidance of Santiago Rodriguez and Dr. Naoko Takao.  

    In addition to performing, Dr. Ivanchenko is pursuing an active teaching career. Since 2014, she has served as adjunct faculty at the Frost School of Music in the departments of Music Theory and Composition (2014-2016), Musicology (2016-present), and Keyboard Performance (2021-present). During the academic year 2022-2023, she was full-time piano faculty in the Department of Keyboard Performance with co-appointment in Musicology at Frost. Along with maintaining a diverse private piano studio, Dr. Ivanchenko is currently piano faculty of the Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program.

Admissions & Tuition

To apply for the 2024/2025 academic school year and be considered for a free live audition, applicants must submit an Application Form by August 3, 2024. A short biography and 2 links to video recordings will also be requested along with the application. An early audition is also offered to students attending our Summer Intensive (please read below).

APPLY HERE

Please read the following information on the application process before submitting your material.

Eligibility

Although there is no minimum age requirement, the program only accepts applicants who display a high level of pianistic abilities. However, the ten-year-long syllabus is designed to reflect the age range from 8 to 18 years old, which will also be taken into consideration in the student’s placement in case of acceptance. The audition process is comprised of two phases: a pre-screening video recording and a live audition:

Pre-screening Material and Repertoire

To be considered for a free audition, applicants must submit the following:

  • Application Form for Admission.
  • Current resume/bio.
  • Video recording of two pieces of different styles (from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern/Contemporary periods). The works recorded must be performed from memory.

If selected, the applicant will be invited for a live audition, for which the repertoire can differ from the one submitted for pre-screening.

Live Audition Repertoire
All works prepared for the live audition must be performed from memory, unless otherwise agreed with the audition committee. Such cases may be considered only for some repertoire composed during the 20th or 21st century. 

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  • Students of ages 11 and under

    1. A work by J.S. Bach
    2. The first movement of a sonata or a sonatina by a Classical composer
    3. A free program between 3 and 5 minutes

  • Students of ages 12 through 15

    1. A work by J.S. Bach, excluding the Little Preludes
    2. The first movement of a sonata by a Classical composer
    3. A free program between 5 and 10 minutes

  • Students of ages 16 and over

    1. A work by J.S. Bach, excluding the Little Preludes
    2. The first movement of a sonata by a Classical composer
    3. A free program between 10 and 15 minutes

Student Acceptance, Trial, and Placement

Upon completion of the necessary requirements and a successful audition, students will be placed into the corresponding level depending on their age and proficiency.In cases when the applicant is recognized as talented and promising, but lacks important and required items (such as repertoire, technique, etc.), the student may be offered a one-year “trial” period, pending admission into the program. If not selected for the Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program, the applicant may still apply for the regular Preparatory Program at the Frost School of Music, which offers great performing opportunities and a chance to study with some of the most successful musicians and teachers based in South Florida.

 Timeline for 2024

April 14

Application deadline for Early Auditions (only for students attending the Summer Intensive — please read below).

August 3

Application and pre-screening videos due.

August 5

Pre-screening results announced.

August 10

Live auditions.

August 11

Audition results posted.

 Tuition

The tuition reflects the selection of courses for the 2024/2025 academic school year, which the student will discuss with the assigned piano teacher upon admission or, for continuing students, after passing the Final Jury. It includes piano lessons, studio classes, midterm and final juries, recitals, and a required class among Music Theory/Ear Training, Piano Literature, and Chamber Music.

Donations, Sponsors, and Partners

The Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program highly values music education and strongly believes that the right for its pursuit cannot be compromised by students’ means. Please, consider contributing with a donation and taking an active part in transforming our vision into an opportunity. This will make a difference in the artistic careers of these young talents.

DONATE HERE

All our Donors, Sponsors, and Partners’ generosity is recognized by mentioning them in every digital and printed material we use to promote our activities, including our social media, newsletters, posters, recital/masterclass programs, digital displays, etc. They will also be verbally acknowledged in all our events open to the public.

 We are thankful to the individuals and institutions who have addressed their generosity toward our students, including a “Platinum” Anonymous Donor and the Coral Gables Community Foundation. We also treasure our partnership with the Steinway Piano Gallery in Coral Gables, which brings an additional value to our endeavors.

Summer Intensive Sessions

The Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program offers a series of intensive sessions during the summer (usually in May/June), which function as a continuation of the program for current students, but also as a way to experience the program’s faculty and activities for external students who would like to know more about it. More info and application can be found at this link.

Contact

Dr. Luca Cubisino, DMA Piano Performance
Frost Prep Advanced Piano Program | Coordinator
Frost School of Music, University of Miami

advancedpiano@miami.edu

lucacubisino@miami.edu

(+1) 512-738-3527

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