Phillip Kawin- The Hartt School-University of Hartford
Utility NavTop NavContentLeft NavSite SearchSite SearchSite Search

Phillip Kawin

Phillip Kawin Headshot

artist teacher

Phillip Kawin has received critical acclaim for his performances in venues throughout the world—from Sydney’s Angel Place Recital Hall to Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall—which have received critical acclaim: “… Kawin came out to play Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in B-flat, probably like no pianist, let alone the composer himself, has played it. A mesmerizing power, devoid of percussiveness and angularity associated with Prokofiev’s piano scores, emanates from Kawin’s moulding touch that evolves to diabolic mysterium.” (New Paltz, New York) As recitalist and soloist with orchestra, he has performed throughout Australia, China, Korea, Italy, Russia, Spain and the U.S. Phillip Kawin has an exclusive recording contract with the Master Performers Record Label. His debut album featuring works of Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt and Prokofiev was launched at Steinway Hall in New York in 2008, and received with critical acclaim. His all-Schubert CD recorded in June 2014, under the direction of renowned producer Steven Epstein, was released to critical acclaim in 2015: “Perhaps among recording artists today Maurizio Pollini (Deutsche Grammophon) or Mitsuko Uchida (Philips) can, and certainly in the recent past Paul Badura-Skoda and Clara Haskil could, but now there is a new recording to put alongside these venerable artists. Phillip Kawin gives us all the necessary elements that make the diminutive composer with a gigantic soul come to life.” (Fanfare Magazine)

Mr. Kawin has given master classes at the Moscow Conservatory, Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, Tel-Hai International Piano Masterclasses, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Seoul National University, Van Cliburn Piano Institute, among many others. Recently, his master classes have taken him to the Busan International and the DMZ festivals in South Korea; the Harvard Club in New York (the first class at that historic venue); Arizona State University; New England Piano Teachers Association; Summit Music Festival; and twice for the Sibelius Academy in Finland, through the Distance Learning at Manhattan School of Music Global Conservatory Videoconference Master Class Series.

Phillip Kawin has developed a highly individual pedagogical approach that has established him as a much sought after artist-teacher. His concepts evolved through an eclectic background of training that combines a variety of artistic and esthetic influences. He has created a teaching methodology that presents the principles of technique and musicianship in a detailed analytical approach—an approach that does not ignore the intuitive aspect of music-making. Mr. Kawin studied with Alfred Cortot‘s long-time associate Jules Gentil at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, in New York City with Howard Aibel (assistant  to Rosina Lhevinne), with John Perry, and with Dora Zaslavsky (who had studied with Wilhelm Backhaus and Harold Bauer) at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1989, Mr. Kawin was appointed to the college faculty of Manhattan School of Music, where he currently works with a select studio of advanced and highly gifted pupils from diverse corners of the globe.

Mr. Kawin’s students have won top honors in the Young Concert Artists Auditions, as well as in the Martha Argerich International, Jacob Flier International, World Piano, Kosciuszko, Thelonious Monk International (jazz piano), Melilla in Spain, Heida Hermanns, Soulima Stravinsky International, Josef Hofmann, Mieczyslaw Munz, Leschetizky, and the Long–Thibaud Crespin (France) International competitions. He is in constant demand at premier international conferences and festivals, having given his renowned lectures and insightful master classes in Russia, Hong Kong, Israel, China, Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., and throughout Australia. To quote from a review of one of his masterclasses: “During these moments, the highest art of piano playing came into view. An image of great pianism not as a demonstration of velocity, or accuracy, but great pianism as absolute control of sound. Phillip Kawin leads his students to reach for that sound, a sound that borders on the architectural and the orchestral. Once heard, that sound stays in the ear—hauntingly. When the master class was over, we were fatigued physically, but mentally stimulated. The sound, and those ideas would remain, they are all too rare. ” (Atlanta Music Teachers Association master class) For the past two decades, he has been in residence at the PianoSummer at SUNY New Paltz (New York), an International Institute/Festival, as well as appearing regularly at the Summit Music Festival (New York), the International Academy of Music in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana (Italy), and the Beijing International Music Festival & Academy (China). Phillip Kawin has been a guest adjudicator for such competitions as the Beethoven International Piano Competition Vienna, Bösendorfer USASU International Piano Competition (four times), Sydney International, and the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians (Suwon, Korea). He is featured on five DVDs (master classes and lectures) for Excellence in Music, Inc. These were recorded live at the annual World Piano Pedagogy Conference(s). 

Phillip Kawin is a Steinway Artist.