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PianoFest in de Bijlmer: a piano event for the amateur

PianoFest in de Bijlmer

Bijlmer Parktheater - 23 June 2021

Together with the Bijlmer Parktheater we are offering about 20 amateur pianists a unique experience. On 23 June2021 you may perform your favourite music piece during 5 minutes in the main concert hall of the Bijlmer Parktheater! And that is not all: we also offer a workshop by singer, conductor and pianist Elvis Ediagbonya.

It is yet unclear if the theater can allow audience, but we will make sure to catch your 5 minutes of fame on camera, so you can share it with whomever you want after the event. Straight after your performance you will receive feedback on stage from either David Kuyken or Maartje Meijer. So you better start studying!

5 minutes of fame

The first half of the day is for the pianists who play classical music. In the morning principle teacher of piano at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and coordinator of the Sweelinck Academy, David Kuyken will give feedback. The afternoons are for jazz, minimal music, improv and your own compositions. You will get feedback from Maartje Meijer, singer, composer and pianist and coordinator of the Junior Jazz Department of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.

Workshop Improv with Elvis Ediagbonya

We offer an improvisation workshop with Elvis Ediagbonya. Elvis was born and raised in Benin City, Nigeria, where he learned to play the piano in church. He taught himself to play by listening to casette tapes, so he learned everything by ear and not through sheet music. And was thrown in the deep end during church service. This did wonders for his improvisation skills!

He Moved to the Netherlands (2004) and launched his own production company Ediasproduction.  In doing so it has enabled him to produce and be a part of numerous projects and live concerts.  Projects that span from musicals, tours, churches and charity benefits. He has composed and arranged music for well-known artists in The Netherlands. Elvis is a great vocal coach and a mass choir director.


The registration opens on 1 May on this website.


A ticket for the workshop is €25,- and for the mini-masterclass €60,-.

Past Events

PianoFest aan 't IJ

Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ - 4 & 10 July 2020

The corona crisis is hitting the cultural sector hard. Also for PianoFest there are a lot of uncertainties in terms of financial resources, availability of the building and of course the measurements of 1,5 meter distance, which makes it impossible to organise a public event with 1300 visitors. Therefore PianoFest decided to cancel the third festival edition on December 19 & 20, 2020.

But we have come up with an alternative in this crazy time: PianoFest aan ´t IJ! Together with the Muziekgebouw aan ´t IJ in Amsterdam we are offering 50 amateur pianists a unique experience. On 4th and 10th of July 2020 you may perform your favourite music piece during 5 minutes on the biggest stage of the Muziekgebouw! Not with an audience this time, but we will make sure to catch your 5 minutes of fame on camera, so you can share it with whomever you want after the event. Straight after your performance you will receive feedback on stage from pianist, David Kuyken, principle teacher of piano at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and coordinator of the Sweelinck Academy. So you better start studying already!

Registration will open 3 of June on the website. If you want a notification on when it opens, please subscribe to our newsletter.

Terms & Conditions

  • Participants should be amateur. Students currently enrolled in or graduated of vocational training at the conservatory, including preparatory education (from 15 years) and professional pianists, are excluded from participation;
  • There will be 25 places available on July 4 and 25 places on July 10, 2020;
  • Every amateur from 5 years old can participate in PianoFest;
  • Any level is allowed, beginners as well as more advanced level;
  • Participants can only register for a solo performance;
  • All music styles are allowed: light, classical, jazz, contemporary music as well as an own compositions;
  • Each participant is given 10 minutes of playing time prior to the performance;
  • Each participant can play for a maximum of five minutes;
  • Straight after the performance, the participant receives short oral feedback from David Kuyken on stage. The feedback is also recorded and sent separately to the participant;
  • A maximum of 8 performances (4 each day) are selected based on musical interpretation, music style, age, level, etc. The selected performances receive a voucher from Broekmans & van Poppel and PianoFest will broadcast the recordings via its own social media channels. In addition, PianoFest tries to distribute the recordings through other media programs;
  • Guidance behind the stages is only allowed for children up to the age of 12 by one person;
  • If the RIVM guidelines allow, each participant may bring a maximum of 2 persons as an audience.
  • Registration closes the 1st of July 2020 (if full, registration closes earlier) through www.pianofest.nl.
  • The registration will only be confirmed after payment has been made (payment link can be found at the end of the registration form). Please state the name of the participant in the payment.
  • When registering, participants state their 5-minute repertoire. Pay attention! This should not be longer than 5 minutes. Changes can be made by email to maarten@pianofest.nl before 26 June 2020.
  • The 2020 ticket fee is € 50 per 5-minute play session. A participant may participate once.
  • PianoFest determines the final program of the festival and reserves the right to make changes;
  • The registration fee is not refundable in case of cancellation. In case of cancellation, an email must be sent to info@pianofest.nl. If a participant is younger than 18, it is assumed that the parents or guardian agree to the registration and the conditions.
  • When registering, the participant automatically agrees with publication of name, age and repertoire in the program book and possibly the publication of image and sound material recorded during the festival. PianoFest retains the (broadcasting) rights of the video recordings made of the performances. If you object to this, please contact the PianoFest team.

Bio David Kuyken

Principal Teacher of Piano at the conservatories in Amsterdam and The Hague and Artistic Advisor to the Stichting PianoFest. David Kuyken is a frequently asked juror and regularly gives master classes at home and abroad. David Kuyken is a very versatile pianist and has played with various orchestras under conductors such as Comissiona, Montgomery, Haenchen, Lazariev, Ros Marbá, Vedernikov, Vonk, Östmann, Brüggen and Spanjaard. Besides recitals, David Kuyken also gave numerous chamber music concerts alongside violinists, Janine Jansen, Candida Thompson and Ilya Grubert.

Festival Location

The festival takes place at the Muziekgebouw aan ´t IJ, Piet Heinkade 1, Amsterdam. For directions check https://www.muziekgebouw.nl/pQ5eCw/adres-en-route.


Parking is available under the Muziekgebouw. Please check the website of the parking: https://www.amsterdam.nl/parkeren-verkeer/parkeergarages/overzicht/piet-heingarage

Help PianoFest to take place every year!

PianoFest needs your help to be able to offer you a festival every year. With your contribution we can pay all the professionals that contribute to the programme. You can do a donation here.

If you have a question, do not hesitate to contact us at info@pianofest.nl.

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About Us

The Board - foundation PianoFest Lizzy Beekman (chairman / business coordinator), Christiaan Schakel (treasurer), Susan Arendsman (secretary / production and design). The board receives artistic advice from David Kuyken of the Conservatory of Amsterdam.


The PianoFest Foundation is gives amateurs a professional platform to perform and creates at the same time audiences for professional performing arts.


Encouraging active participation and involvement in practicing piano music by contributing to:

  • the development of the talent of amateur musicians, possibly, but not necessarily as a stepping-stone to a professional practice;
  • the social embedding of music by showing that practicing music is accessible to everyone and not just for a small elite;
  • the cultivation of audiences for (among others, classical, jazz, contemporary, etc.) music and other performing arts.

Cultural ANBI Status

Foundation PianoFest has had a cultural ANBI (Public Benefit Organization) status since December 2017. RSIN: 858218562 Chamber of Commerce: 70256624

Sponsors & Partners

The festival is made possible in part by the support of: Bol Piano´s & Vleugels, the Conservatory of Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw aan ´t IJ, and the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds. There is still room for more donors!

Contact us for any question through info@pianofest.nl

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