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Choose A Program:

 
Grand Piano

MFA in Piano Performance, Recording and Contemporary Career Development

The Ultimate One-Year Practical Experience for Modern Pianists

Now Enrolling for 2022:

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Dr. Svetlana Smolina

Program Director

Acclaimed Russian solo and concert pianist, Director of Piano at the Philadelphia International Music Festival

Interested in more information? Submit the form:

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Students from the United States can request information about Financial Aid at info@eafa.iamu.edu
  • The world does not need yet another common-practice piano degree. The Piano Conservatory at the European Academy of Fine Arts has designed an innovative new programme with a tutorial staff of world-renowned classical pianists, contemporary jazz pianists, conductors, recording & mix engineers, music producers and visionaries.
     

  • A core objective of this Master of Fine Arts degree programme is to address the contemporary needs of the performing and recording artist in our digital age. Students will master the art of recording, editing, mixing and mastering the audio and video components of their rehearsals and performances, hone their self-management skills and discover the potential for exploitation of their unique musical identity to the global marketplace.
     

  • Students will study under principal piano professors in Sofia and with guest artists from surrounding European capital cities such as Vienna, Berlin, Paris, or London.  
     

  • The final Masters project culminates with a live performance of a piano concerto with symphony orchestra. These performances, together with the student's final solo recital, are professionally recorded [multi-track multi-cam HD audio and video], mixed and mastered for inclusion in the student's professional portfolio. 

Can't move to Sofia for a year? Check out our unique Low-Residency option for this degree programme.

9 Module Catalogue

Piano Keys

Module 1: Solo Piano

(6 credits)

Svetlana Smolina, Module Leader

Study piano at the  Conservatory with our prominent piano artists who visit from throughout Europe.

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Module 2: Teaching Pedagogy
(6 credits)

Svetlana Smolina, Module Leader

Learn integral components of effective piano teaching pedagogy from all of our faculty. To teach is to learn is to grow.

Piano Player

Module 3: Comping and
Cross-Style Versatility (6 credits)

Mike Lang, Module Leader

Equip yourself to handle any gig, including comping & accompanying  contemporary singers / instrumentalists.

Film Scoring Masters, Piano Masters, Composition Competition

Record Selection

Module 4: Career Development, Promotion and Programming
(6 credits)

Module Leader TBA

Getting the gig: learn modern strategies of marketing, effective self-promotion and online presence.

Recording Studio

Module 5: Piano Recording, Mixing and Videography
(3 credits)

Debbie Smith, Module Leader

In this age of technology, it's not enough to just play. Master how to mic, record, mix, and edit your audio and video footage.

String Quartet

Module 6: Chamber Ensemble Performance & Advanced Listening Techniques (3 credits)

Module Leader TBA

Discover a higher level of musical awareness, communication & sight reading skills through immersion and practice. 

Opera singer

Module 7: The Art of Operatic Accompaniment

(3 credits)

Module Leader TBA

Refine the subtle intricacies of accompanying vocalists, instrumentalists and ensembles. 

Piano Performance

Module 8: Solo Recital
Performance
(3 credits)

Svetlana Smolina, Module Leader

Perform a solo piano recital. (Programming agreed upon in conjunction with our faculty.)

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Module 9: Major Project,

Concerto Performance
(18 credits)

Svetlana Smolina, Module Leader

A unique opportunity: perform the concerto of your choice with a professional symphony orchestra.

Total Credits: 54

6 SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Six merit-based scholarships offered to qualifying students as determined by the Admissions Board. No additional scholarship applications. All accepted students are automatically considered for scholarships.

Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff Scholarship

The Admissions Board will grant the "Sergei Rachmaninoff Scholarship" to an accepted student in Spring 2021. Submit the program deposit before January 1st, 2021 to qualify.

Amount:

€3,000

Schumann

Clara Schumann Scholarship

The Admissions Board will grant the "Clara Schumann Scholarship" to an accepted student in Spring 2021. Submit the program deposit before February 1st, 2021 to qualify.

Amount:

€3,000

Grieg

Edvard Grieg Scholarship

The Admissions Board will grant the "Edvard Grieg Scholarship" to an accepted student in Spring 2021. Submit the program deposit before March 1st, 2021 to qualify.

Amount:

€3,000

Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven
Scholarship

The Admissions Board will name an annual "Ludwig van Beethoven Scholarship" recipient in Spring 2021.

Amount:

€3,000

Mozart

W. A. Mozart
Scholarship

The Admissions Board will name an annual "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Scholarship" recipient in Spring 2021.

Amount:

€3,000

Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Scholarship

The Admissions Board will name an annual "Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Scholarship" recipient in Spring 2021.

Amount:

€3,000

OUR PIANO FACULTY IN ACTION

ADDITIONAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

Tuition & Fees


Total Course Tuition: €30,450 Payment Schedule Program Deposit: €2,000 (Due to enroll) Tuition Downpayment: €4,000 (Due June 1, 2022) Payment 1: €8,450 (Due September 1, 2022) Payment 2: €8,000 (Due December 1, 2022) Payment 3: €8,000 (Due March 1, 2023) Be sure to check out the "Costs of Living in Sofia" dropdown to see how much more affordable Sofia is compared to other major European and American cities. Financial Aid Programs: USA: FAFSA - https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/fafsa Norway: Lanekassen - https://www.lanekassen.no/ Colombia: Colfuturo - https://www.colfuturo.org/




Academic Calendar


Two semesters of course work with a third semester dedicated to the Major Project. SEMESTER 1 -- Full-time, presence in Sofia required Sept. 5, 2022 -- Semester 1 commences Nov. 24 -- Thanksgiving Holiday Dec. 9 -- Final day of classes Dec. 10 -- Winter break SEMESTER 2 -- Full-time, presence in Sofia required Jan. 19, 2023 -- Semester 2 commences Mar. 17 -- St. Patrick's Day Holiday May 12 -- Final day of classes May 26 -- Semester 2 ends SEMESTER 3 - Presence in Sofia Optional May 27, 2023 -- Semester 3 commences Aug. 31 -- Semester 3 ends




Costs of Living in Sofia


Costs of living in Sofia are extremely low in comparison to other major European and American cities. Exponentially cheaper than LA, NYC, London, Valencia, or Boston, while maintaining an extremely comfortable standard of living. Sofia, Bulgaria compared to other cities that house Conducting Masters degrees: 73% lower than New York City 65% lower than London 64% lower than Los Angeles 66% lower than Boston 30% lower than Valencia For more information on comparing prices between cities, visit www.numbeo.com The Piano Conservatory will have a team ready to help students find accommodation in the city centre. MFA Students who wish to live together will be able to find shared accommodation for as low as €150 - €200 per month. MFA Students wo wish to live alone will be able to find accommodation for as low as €350 - €400 per month.




Visa Requirements


Accepted students from the EU do not need a Visa. Accepted students from outside the EU will require a Type-D Student Visa. It is advisable that accepted students from outside the EU prepare the Student Visa requirements on the Bulgarian Embassy website in their country. Our Visa Officer will assist enrolled students with their visa procedures.




Application Requirements


Submitting your application for The Piano Conservatory's full-time MFA Program is simple; please click here. Application Requirements:

  • video examples of you playing or performing three (3) different pieces of contrasting styles (these need to be uploaded to a video streaming service such as YouTube or Vimeo so that you can insert links into your application for the Admissions Board to view)
  • 1-page Letter of Interest, detailing why you are a viable candidate to be considered by the Admissions Board for the MFA Program
  • copies (Image or PDF) of any music degrees / certifications you have earned
  • CV / Resume (PDF format)




About the Low-Residency Option


The Low-Residency Option is designed to provide students with the exact same course curriculum content as in the full-time MFA programme, with the difference being that the students can elect to have their one-on-one private lessons with a teacher in the city of their residence, or they can elect to do a combination of one-on-one lessons with a teacher in the city of their residence, combined with synchronous and asynchronous online lessons with other faculty members of The Piano Conservatory. Students will be required to visit to Bulgaria for their Major Project Concerto Experience during the summer months (June, July and August), where they will also avail of masterclasses and intensive modules that will be delivered live. The remainder of the programme's modules will be delivered via asynchronous and synchronous online classes. This Low-Residency Option will allow students to complete an MFA without having to interrupt their lives for a year. This option is particularly advantageous to those students who may be in a teaching (or other) position but require a higher degree for their career advancement, and for those that cannot, for one reason or another, take a year out of their lives for full-time MFA study. DO I NEED A VISA FOR THE LOW RESIDENCY OPTION? For most students, the answer to this question will be No. Students will be required to be present in Sofia for the summer months (June, July, August) but will not stay past the 90-day tourist vist limit. Students who are passport holders from countries that are permitted to travel to Bulgaria without a visa will not need to apply for any sort of visa. They can simply travel via their passport. Students who are passport holders from countries that are not permitted to travel to Bulgaria without a visa will be required to acquire a visa that will cover their required time in the country.