Tarleton professor, student featured in international piano festival

Tarleton Media Relations
Michael Holbach.

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Tarleton State University professor of piano Leslie Spotz and junior piano major Michael Holbach will participate in the VII Encontro Internacional de Pianistas, July 23-29 on Facebook and YouTube.

The Encontro will feature more than 120 participants from four continents. It was originally scheduled to take place in Piracicaba, Brazil, with Holbach’s participation and travel funded by a scholarship.

Dr. Spotz, co-founder of the Encontro with Brazilian pianist Dr. João Casarotti, realized that even though COVID-19 caused the travel ban to Brazil, Holbach could still participate as the decision was made to make the event totally online.

Holbach, of Dublin, Texas, was accepted via video audition this spring and will perform Beethoven and Bach in online piano master classes and recitals that will be streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Spotz, well-known in the Tarleton community, is an internationally acclaimed pianist. She will perform an all-Beethoven recital at 6 p.m. Monday, July 27, that likewise will be broadcast via Facebook and YouTube.

Each evening of the seven-day festival a recital will feature a renowned faculty artist of the Encontro.

Interest in the festival has spread worldwide, with several thousand viewers expected. Lectures, online workshops and performances on all things piano related will be presented daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time to what has become an extraordinary cultural and musical community.

Links to the free events will be announced on Facebook. For more information contact Dr. Spotz at 254-968-9241.