I had promised myself not to write a lengthy epistle reflecting on the year past, and here I am, breaking this very promise!

The reason? Even a simple enumeration of what we accomplished in the past 12 months makes it long. I hope this brings satisfaction to those of you who have been steadfast in your support of Dranoff, and be an affirmation to those who just recently joined us.

January - The 12th Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition Committee met to finalize the Application Form and nominate the international jury.

February - Gold medal winners IM Piano Duo from Russia came to Coral Gables to perform a classical and jazz concert, "The Art of Two". Piano Slam 4 delivered professional development workshops for over 200 teachers from all over Miami Dade County.

March - The Competition Applications were distributed to over 1,400 conservatories and universities on 6 continents.

We announced the seven-member Semifinal and Final Competition Jury: Anthony Fogg (Artistic Administrator, Boston Symphony Orchestra); Bernd Goetzke (Professor, Keyboard Department, University of Hannover); Chloe Herteleer (Music Programming Director, De Singel Music Complex, Antwerp); Kate Monaghan (Associate Director of Programming, Lincoln Center); John Perry (American Pianist, Professor of Music, USC Thornton School); Volker Stenzl (Professor of Duo Pianism at the University of Rostock); Wu Ying (Dean, Keyboard Department, China Central University, Beijing).

April - Piano Slam In The Schools Month presented recitals by the Dranoff winners Chipak & Kushnir in 12 Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

May - Piano Slam 4 in the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts was a fantastic production featuring the student poetry competition winners together with Duo Van Veen, DJ Brimstone 127, the Thomas Armor Youth Ballet under the direction of Teo Castellanos.

Over 10,000 students between the ages of 12 and 18 participated in the Piano Slam 4 project.

September - By the Competition Application Deadline of September 25, artists from 14 countries had applied.

October - The First Selection Round for the Competition was held in New York.

December - For us, it was an especially busy month with events in four cities. First, three separate Competition Live Auditions events were held in Beijing, Hannover (Germany) and Chicago.

In Miami, "Point Counter Point", a concert co-presented with our partner, the Alejandra von Hartz Gallery in Wynwood, provided a prelude to Art Basel. Maarten Van Veen and Bobby Mitchell arrived from Europe to perform an exciting and eclectic program, including a duo piano orchestration of Mussorksy's "Pictures at an Exhibition". This concert was a complement to the gallery's exhibition mounted expressly for Art Basel week.

Finally, to greet the holidays, Dranoff co-presented a concert with the Coral Gables Museum in their recital space, featuring the Venezuelan Duo Ragazzoni.

We are delighted to welcome six new board members. Joining the Board of Directors is John Rooney (John H. Rooney Jr., PA). Our newest Trustee Board members are Jeff Feldman (Feldman & Gale, PA), Anne Green, (Del Monte), John de Leon (Chavez & De Leon, PA), Dr. Marc Lippman (University of Miami Health System), and Alexander Tecle (Fidelity Investments).

The Dranoff would like to thank all our sponsors for the support of the Foundation with particular thanks to The Betsy Hotel, Marketorum, the Miami Heat, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and Lufthansa.

The next few months will be even more frenetic as we get into full swing for Piano Slam 5 and the 12th Competition.

Will you join our board members and me personally in furthering this homegrown international music organization that is head-quartered here in Miami, and committed to present to the world our magical city as a destination for the highest quality of performing arts?

Warmest Holiday Wishes, and a healthy, joyful 2013!

Gabriele Fiorentino



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