Music without Borders International Piano Festival returns to the Gould Academy campus in Bethel, July 1-29, 2017.  Artistic Director Tamara Poddubnaya will again welcome young pianists from the U.S. and Europe for this period of intensive piano study and frequent public performances.

Free public recitals are held every Tuesday and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, beginning on Tuesday, July 4, continuing through the closing program on Saturday, July 29.  The opening recital begins at 7 p.m.  All others will begin at 7:30 p.m.  Additional special programs – guest artist recitals and chamber performances – will be announced during the regular evening programs and on-line at  Unless otherwise announced, all recitals will be held in air-conditioned Trustees Auditorium of the McLaughlin Science Center on the Gould campus.  Reservations are not necessary, but seating is limited.

Artistic Director Tamara Poddubnaya and Her Festival

Festival Artistic Director Tamara Poddubnaya is a distinguished graduate of the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in St. Petersburg and has performed to great acclaim in Europe and the United States.  Much sought after as a teacher, as well as juror at international piano competitions, she keeps a busy schedule, teaching and performing in Europe and the United States, where she is Professor and Head of the Piano Department at the Long Island Conservatory, Albertson, N.Y.

Upon paying a visit to Bethel in the spring of 2007, Prof. Poddubnaya at once saw the advantages of bringing students together for their intensive work on the Gould campus, where they enjoy the exceptional practice and performance facilities offered at this All-Steinway School, in a friendly community nestled in the mountains of western Maine.

Festival Participants

Festival participants represent a truly international group.  This season, they range in age from 10 to 27 and hail from Russia, Turkey, Cyprus, Sweden and the United States.  Many of them are destined for careers as concert artists and teachers and all have studied piano since childhood.  Several participants are Prof. Poddubnaya’s students, while others have met her at master classes and competitions in the U.S. and in Europe, or have been recommended to her by their own teachers.  They look forward to performing for an audience – growing every year – of admiring area residents and summer visitors.  Over the years, these students have developed strong friendships with each other and with the year-round and summer residents of the Bethel area.


A unique feature of Music without Borders is that all students have a daily lesson with Prof. Poddubnaya and a personal practice piano at which they spend many hours each day.  They perform several times each week during the public concerts, and advanced students present a solo recital.  At the end of their time in Bethel, students will perform from memory repertoire which they will have begun to study only after arriving on campus.

For a list of past seasons’ participants, facts about the Festival’s history and the venue, and the latest news, including occasional changes in recital locations and times, go to the website

Gould Academy – An All-Steinway School

Gould is on the distinguished list of “All-Steinway Schools,” an honor shared by educational institutions such as Oberlin College Conservatory, Yale School of Music, The Juilliard School, Wheaton College, and Vassar College.  This distinction denotes that Steinway and Steinway-designed pianos are exclusively used in the school’s performance and practice spaces.




What: Recitals during the 11th Music without Borders International Piano Festival 

Where: McLaughlin Science Center Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel, Maine

When: Special opening recital at 7 p.m. on July 4; thereafter, at

7:30 p.m., every Tues & Wed, Fri & Sat, beginning July 5 through July 29, 2017

Admission: Open to the general public at no charge.  Unreserved seating.

Go to for more information and the latest Festival news.

Learn more about Gould Academy at


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