Public Relations and Marketing Communications
By Kysa Anderson Daniels
CLARKSTON, Ga.–A few years ago, Dr. Vicente Della Tonia, assistant professor of music at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College, turned his passion for piano into a community celebration.
This month, Della Tonia, an award-winning pianist, and Perimeter’s Department of Fine Arts, will host the college’s 2nd PianoFest Sunday-Saturday, Nov. 13-19 at Georgia State’s Clarkston Campus, 3735 Memorial College Ave.
The weeklong event is themed “Music From the Americas” and will include international guest performances, recitals, master classes and lectures. The events and activities are free and open to the public and will include participation from Georgia State students and faculty, as well as pianists throughout metro Atlanta.
Della Tonia is especially excited about the festival’s Nov. 13 kickoff which will feature himself and international pianists Dr. Rosa Maria Tolon and Dr. Silvanio Reis for a joint performance at Perimeter’s Cole Auditorium. They will showcase unique compositions involving four and six hands at the piano simultaneously.
“The opening night is going to be very special,” Della Tonia said of the festival that he initially debuted in 2018.
“We’re going to do the world premiere of three, six-hands works written during the pandemic, especially for this year’s festival.”
Tolon, a Cuban/Brazilian pianist and pedagogue, has been featured as a soloist and in chamber groups throughout Cuba, Brazil, Russia, Bulgaria, Spain and the United States. She has taught students of all levels, from elementary to post-graduate and has served on the faculty of universities in Havana and Brazil.
Brazilian-born pianist Reis has performed in concert halls throughout the United States and Brazil, winning top prizes in several competitions in Brazil, including Concurso Nacional de Piano “Paulo Giovanini.” He currently is a faculty member at Temple University and maintains a schedule that includes music research, lectures and solo and chamber music performances. In addition to performing with Della Tonia and Tolon, Reis will perform solo and present a masterclass at the festival.
“PianoFest is a celebration of the art of piano playing,” Della Tonia said.
“What makes the festival distinctive is the collaboration and opportunity for our students and local community pianists to learn, perform, watch and interact with each other—and with international artists.”
In addition to serving as assistant professor of piano at Perimeter, Della Tonia is coordinator of keyboard studies at the college. He, too, has performed in concert halls throughout Europe, the United States and in his native Brazil. Della Tonia has received top prizes in numerous competitions, including the XXI Concurso Latino-Americano de Piano Rosa Mística. An active performer, the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series recently featured him as a guest artist, broadcasting his recitals on several national radio programs, including Atlanta’s WABE station.
Two other Georgia State music professors will participate in this year’s PianoFest.
Piano professor and Steinway artist Dr. Sergio Gallo will perform a solo recital and piano professor Dr. Geoffrey Haydon will present a lecture called “The Fine Art of Practicing.”
“The Fine Arts Department thrives on the connectedness of our college to the wider community,” said Dr. Sally Robertson, theatre professor and Fine Arts Department chair at Perimeter College.
“This is something Dr. Della Tonia knows well and uses to the great advantage of our students.
“His passion for helping students grow and succeed is a wonderful thing; and the department and college benefit greatly from the connection to all of these amazing international artists.”
PianoFest will culminate on Saturday, Nov. 19, with a public recital featuring Georgia State student and community participants. For a full list of the free PianoFest events, with times and exact locations—and for more information about the guest artists—visit the Perimeter College Fine Arts event hub.