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Sean Kennard

Assistant Professor of Piano

Pianist Sean Kennard has won top prizes in the Queen Elisabeth Competition (Belgium), the International Music Competition of Vina del Mar (Chile), the Vendome International Piano Competition (Portugal), the Sendai International Music Competition (Japan), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition (USA), the National Chopin Competition, the Iowa Piano Competition, the American Pianists Association, and the International Chopin Competition of the Pacific.

The Washington Post praised Kennard's "powerful and involved music making," describing him as "a strong luminous pianist." His 2011 debut album received a rave review in American Record Guide, which pronounced it "a hidden gem," attesting to its "perfect blend of lyricism and romantic passion," "huge romantic sound, and bold melodic vision." It proclaimed that he "plays the dickens out of the Stravinsky [Three Movements from Petrushka]" and "plays Chopin's Preludes with more poise and vision than most pianists who have recorded them." Fanfare affirmed the enthusiastic reception, naming the album "a very desirable disc" and citing "Kennard's mastery of Chopin's idiom," its "impression of complete effortlessness" and "emotional responsiveness." The review characterized his playing as "full of life and sparkle," summing up: "while I wouldn't necessarily say that Kennard outclasses Ashkenazy, Rubinstein, Moravec, this repertoire, he surely equals them." His most recent disc featuring sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti was released by Naxos in 2017, and he is scheduled to record a new album for Delos in 2018, featuring works by 20th century American composers.

Kennard has appeared as soloist with the Prague Radio Symphony, NHK Chamber Orchestra (Japan), Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Symphony Orchestra, Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic, Kyushu Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre Royal de Chambre (Belgium), Chamber Orchestra of Frankfurt (Germany), Orchestre Philharmonique du Maroc (Morocco), Orquesta Sinfonica de Chile, Orquesta Filarmo'nica de Montevideo (Uruguay), Orquesta Sinfonica Regional (Uruguay), Sinfonia Perugina (Italy), Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional (Dominican Republic), New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and the orchestras of Charleston, Hawaii, Sioux City, Hilton Head, and Honolulu.

He has appeared in recital and chamber music in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, Salle Cortot (Paris), Palais des Beaux-arts (Brussels), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), Chopin Society (Warsaw), Teatro Caio Melisso (Spoleto), Sala dei Notari (Perugia), Tokyo Opera City Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Hong Kong City Hall, Mohamed V Theater (Morocco), Teatro del Lago (Chile), and many more.

Recent and upcoming engagements include: solo appearances with the Montevideo Philharmonic (Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini), Stetson University Symphony Orchestra (Prokofieff Concerto No. 1), Hawaii Symphony (Liszt Concerto in E-flat major), and recitals and master classes in Australia, Japan, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and throughout the United States. He was invited to be a guest artist and faculty member at the 2018 Costa Rica Piano Festival and Competition, and to adjudicate the 2018 Steinway and Sons Piano Competition. He is the artistic director of the Great Pianists at Stetson recital series and the Stetson Piano Scholars festival.

Sean's first teacher was Ellen Masaki. He received a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in 2004. In his final year at Curtis he won the institute's Sergei Rachmaninoff Award, given to one graduating pianist each year. After subsequent work with pianist Enrique Graf he received a Master of Music from the Juilliard School (studios of Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald) and spent the following two years in the studio of Richard Goode. In 2016 he completed the residential portion of the Doctor of Musical Arts degree program at Yale University working with Boris Berman and joined the faculty at Stetson University as Assistant Professor and Piano Area Coordinator in 2017.


  • Doctor of Musical Arts (anticipated 2020), Yale University School of Music
  • Master of Music, Juilliard School
  • Professional Studies Diploma, Mannes College (The New School)
  • Bachelor of Music, Curtis Institute of Music

Course Topics

  • Piano Performance
  • Piano Literature
  • Keyboard Pedagogy

Select Publications

  • Domenico Scarlatti, Complete Keyboard Sonatas Vol. 17 (Naxos, 2017). CD.
  • Sean Kennard: Chopin, Scarlatti, Stravinsky (Cougar Classics, 2011). CD.
  • Obras de Eduardo Gilardoni (Perro Andaluz Ediciones, 2010). CD.


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