2019 Conference Artists


Lecture Presentation and Advanced Master Class Artist


Rhythm: The canvas upon which the musician paints sound

Mr. Perry will give a lecture presentation on how to express music through Tempo, Rhythmic nuance, Rubato, and Pulse which result in artistic interpretations at every level.  

John Perry, distinguished artist and teacher, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Eastman School of Music where he was a student of Cecile Genhart. During those summers, he worked with the eminent Frank Mannheimer. Recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, he continued studies in Europe for four years where he worked with Wladyslav Kedra, Polish concert artist, and professor at the Akademie für Musik in Vienna, and Carlo Zecchi, renowned conductor, pianist, and head of the piano department at the Santa Cecilia Academy of Music in Rome.

Mr. Perry has won numerous awards including the highest prizes in both the Busoni and Viotti international piano competitions in Italy and special honors at the Marguerite Long International Competition in Paris. Since then he has performed extensively throughout Europe and North America to great critical acclaim. Also, a respected chamber musician, Mr. Perry has collaborated with some of the finest instrumentalists in the world.

He also enjoys an international reputation as a teacher, presenting master classes throughout the world. He often is a jury member at some of the most prestigious international piano competitions. His students have been prize winners in most major competitions and include two first-prize winners in the Rubinstein, four first-prize winners in the Music Teacher's National Association national competition, and first-prize winners in the Naumburg National Chopin Competition, the Cleveland Competition, Beethoven Foundation competition, the Federated Music Clubs, and the YKA, AMSC, and YMF competitions, and finalists in the Chopin International in Warsaw, the Van Cliburn, the Queen Elisabeth, Leeds, Dublin, Busoni, Viotti and the Three Rivers competitions.

Mr. Perry is a professor at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, professor of piano at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and Professor Emeritus of the USC Thornton School of Music. In addition, he recently founded a music school, John Perry Academy of Music in Los Angeles, where he serves as ArtisticDirector. DuringthesummerheisartistprofessorattheLakeComoInternationalPianoAcademy,theBanffCenter in Alberta, Canada, the Sarasota Music Festival in Florida, the Orford Music Festival in Quebec, the Morningside Music Bridge Program in Calgary, Alberta, the Internationaler Klaviersommer Cochem, Germany, the International Music Festival in Perugia, Italy, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, Montecito International Music Festival in Santa Barbara, and the John Perry Academy Summer Piano Festival in California. In January he is a main guest artist at the Sydney Piano Festival in Australia.

His recordings are available on the Telefunken, Musical Heritage Society, CBC, ACA, and Fox labels.


Intermediate Master Class and Lecture Presentation Artist

Helen Marlais

Sound, Physical Gesture, and Imagination

(Sponsored by FJH) 

Join Dr. Helen Marlais as she explores ways to look at students’ repertoire in three dimensions. She will discuss: phrasing and sound, correct physical gestures, and will discuss many ways to stimulate students’ imaginations so they feel and think about the music. In this way, we can guide our students to play with artistic personality. She will demonstrate the value of teaching touch releases to young students. She will draw this information on sound, physical gesture, and imagination together with step-by-step examples using repertoire for each age group.  Attendees will receive a detailed, follow-along handout and a generous gift packet from The FJH Music Company.   

Dr. Helen Marlais’ performance schedule includes concerts and pedagogical sessions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.  Her travels abroad have included performing and teaching in S. Korea, Taiwan, Italy, England, France, Spain, Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia, China, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Russia.  Marlais has recorded on Audite, Gasparo, Stargrass and Centaur record labels. She has had performances broadcast regionally, nationally, and internationally, on radio, television, and the Internet. Her most recent recording, Music for Clarinet and Piano, was nominated for the 2013 International Classical Music Awards, one of the most prestigious distinctions available to classical musicians today. FonoForum, a leading European classical music magazine, writes:” Seldom has one so clearly observed the bubbling substructure of the piano part of Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces Op. 73 and, thereby, seldom have the Schumann pieces been played so elegantly and delicately.”  They continue with: “…Marlais’ playing is always exact, elegant, without excess. The beauty of this genuinely joint playing is so engaging that it seems to lack for nothing.” 

Dr. Marlais dedication to pedagogy for the young is sincere and unwavering. One of the joys of her life has been creating materials to support piano teachers as they guide young musicians. Her series, Succeeding at the PianoR, Succeeding with the MastersR, The Festival CollectionR, In RecitalR, Sight Reading and RhythmR, Write, Play, and Hear Your TheoryR, and The FJH Contemporary Keyboard EditionsR, among others, are published by the FJH Music Company. Her books have been translated into Korean, Taiwanese, and Chinese.  She performs and gives workshops throughout the country, internationally, and at all of the national music teachers’ conventions.

Recipient of the DistinguishedContribution to a Discipline Award at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Helen teaches piano and directs the Piano Pedagogy Certificate program for undergraduate piano majors, current teachers, and those interested in teaching piano. She received her DM in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University and her MFA in piano performance from Carnegie Mellon University. She received her BM in piano performance from the University of Toledo and was their 2008 Outstanding Alumna in the Arts. 

Visit: www.helenmarlais.com and http://www.gvsu.edu/music/and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClMxZiYJOxUd9q6zKdkPLrw/videos?view_as=subscriber