Now celebrating 28 years of success, the Young Artist World Piano Festival is a ten-day, highly motivating experience for pre-college age pianists from across the globe - sharing their passion for the piano with each other in an exceptionally charged educational environment.


JULY 11 - 21, 2018 Bethel University, Minnesota

*Thursday, July 12 is the start date for those students not entering competitions

  • Total Tuition amounts:

    •  $1699 for students entering competitions and arriving on July 11, 2018 due by June 15, 2018.

    • $1649 for students not entering competitions and arriving on July 12, 2018 due by June 15, 2018.  

  • Registration and Tuition Deadline:  $100 Non-Refundable Deposit by June 1, 2018

  • Scholarship/Grant Application for students in need

  • Enrollment: Limited to 80 students, ages 10-19 (ages 7-9 with special arrangements)

  • Preparation: Two or more memorized pieces from the classical piano repertoire

  • Featured Composers: Beethoven and Schubert

  • Location: Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota

  • Contact: Olivia Young, Executive Director, at or (651) 472-7888


In the spring of 1990, Dr. Paul Wirth, Artistic Director of the Wirth Center for the Performing Arts, and Sister Cecelia Schmitt, Director of the St. Francis Music Center in Little Falls, MN collaborated on the birthing of a new summer camp in Minnesota.  Its goal was to provide an environment for precollege aged classical pianists in Minnesota to learn more about their art and bond through their shared passion.  Little did they know how powerful the camp would become in its impact upon the “classical piano scene” in Minnesota.  The seventeen young artists that first year found in the camp not only a valuable week-long experience, but a year-after-year inspiration - a basis for their “piano community” which continues to this day.

With the growth of the internet in the twenty-first century, piano campers quickly used the “web” to stay connected throughout the year, and a support community for these young artists soon evolved.  Standards of performance in the state were elevated as students motivated each other, and attendance at piano competitions increased exponentially as these young people cheered each other’s accomplishments.  Attendance at the St. Francis Piano Camp blossomed through the 90’s increasing to as many as 42, necessitating the addition of more faculty, staff, and space. 

In the summer of 2003, with the good wishes of the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls who nurtured and helped build the camp for 12 years, the St. Frances Piano Camp was moved to the University of Minnesota Duluth and renamed the Young Artist Piano Camp.  By partnering with UMD, whole new vistas opened up for the camp with the rise in student numbers to 71 and the employment of an Artistic Director, Executive Director, 6 Artist Faculty, an internationally known Guest Artist and a staff of 5 counselors.  Programs also were expanded to include a Concerto Competition in partnership with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra and new ensemble opportunities for each student were incorporated.  Dr. Jeanne Doty, UMD faculty, served as a camp clinician for one year, and as Executive Director for two years, streamlining the camp into an updated computer mode of administration. Pursuant to the institution of the Sieur Du Luth Summer Arts Festival (SDL SAF) in 2006, the Young Artist Piano Camp 2007 partnered with this new festival, offering a Chamber Music Competition, and an Honors Recital, given by select students of the camp to honor the SDL SAF donors and sponsor. Campers often attended SDL SAF events in the evenings depending on what events occurred during the week of camp.

In 2010, the Young Artist World Piano Festival made its debut at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Events included a concert with the Festival Orchestra featuring André Watts, one of the premier pianists in the world.  Now in its 29th year, we will welcome Spencer Myer as our special guest artist who will judge our Concerto Competition as well as give a masterclass as part of the events of the Festival.  Seymour Bernstein will be our guest artist faculty and will conduct two masterclasses during the festival.