The Southern Oregon University Music Department host its annual International Piano Institute Workshop that will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3 and run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 7. During this time participants will have opportunities to hone their playing skills under the tutelage of classical pianists Alexander Tutunov and Kristina Foltz, jazz pianists Martin Behnke and David Scoggin, and organist Margaret Evans.

The Southern Oregon University Music Department host its annual International Piano Institute Workshop that will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 3 and run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday, Aug. 7. During this time participants will have opportunities to hone their playing skills under the tutelage of classical pianists Alexander Tutunov and Kristina Foltz, jazz pianists Martin Behnke and David Scoggin, and organist Margaret Evans.

There will be an opening concert at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, at the Music Recital Hall, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland. Tutunov and Foltz will perform classical pieces and Behnke and Scoggin will perform jazz selections.

The classical portion of the program includes J.S. Bach's Organ Prelude and Fugue in A minor, virtuoso piano music of Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin, as well as Debussy's Petite Suite for four hands.

The Institute is open to performers of all ages and levels, and will take on a slightly different format from previous years. Each performer will have opportunities to study privately with Tutunov in a one-on-one, master and apprentice setting. Additionally, the students' days will be filled with numerous workshops ranging from sight-reading and jazz improvisation, to the mechanics of the grand piano.

On the last two days of the week, performers will have the opportunity to perform in a master class with Foltz, in preparation for the final student concert which takes place at 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, in the Music Recital Hall on the SOU campus.

This is the first year to include both organ and jazz music within the framework of the Institute. Tutunov, the Institute's director, said in a press release that he hopes this expansion "will help to embrace the musical needs and curiosities of more local pianists and teachers, whether their focus is jazz or classical, pedagogy or just avid appreciation."

Tutunov graduated magna cum laude from the Central Music School of the Moscow Conservatory and was awarded his doctoral diploma with honors in concert performance from the Belarusian State Conservatory.

Tutunov is widely recognized as one of the virtuosos of the former Soviet Union. He was the First Prize winner of the Belarusian National Piano Competition and winner of the Russian National Piano Competition. Soviet Culture, Moscow said that Tutunov's playing was "exhilarating and inspired, and which demonstrated a unique talent."

Tutunov maintains a busy performing schedule in Europe, China, Mexico, and the United States as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and on radio and television. Tutunov also is in demand as a judge for piano competitions.

Tutunov now lives in Ashland, where he is professor of piano and Artist in Residence at Southern Oregon University. Tutunov also is Artist in Residence at the University of Alaska Southeast, artistic director of the SOU International Piano Institute and associate director of the Chinese-American International Piano Institute in Chengdu, China.

Tutunov has taught at the Minsk College of Music, the University of North Texas and Illinois Wesleyan University.

Students who wish to audit the workshops can purchase a registration for the entire week for $140. Individual workshop admission is $15 for auditors, $25 for performers. For more information or to register, contact Colleen Graves at 552-6102, or see sou.edu/music/pianoinstitute.

Tickets for the opening concert are $12. Tickets for the student finale concert are $5. Tickets are available at the music box office one hour before the performance or by calling 552-6101.