University of South Florida

School of Music

USF College of The Arts

Rebecca Penneys

Phone: (585) 330-0259


American pianist Rebecca Penneys is a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, educator and adjudicator. For over six decades her passionate and insightful performances have held audiences spellbound. Hailed as a pianist of prodigious talent, she possesses a daredevil technique, the sort charismatic stage presence that demands attention, and an interpretive gift that make her performances into musical revelations.

Rebecca has concertized throughout all the continents north of Antarctica and she has
represented the United States on United States Information Service State Department
Cultural tours. Rebecca’s playing leaves an indelible impression. Her current CD’s and
DVD’s on Naxos, Fleur De Son Classics and Centaur Records have received worldwide acclaim and are eloquent testimonies of a major artist of intelligence, originality, massive technique and bravura temperament. American Record Guide says: “Penneys offers an extraordinary collection of performances displaying an astonishing control over piano sound. It is absolutely gorgeous and full of unimaginable colors. She sings through the instrument, seemingly without effort. Her playing is simply revelatory”.

Born in Los Angeles, Rebecca made her recital debut at the age of nine and performed as
soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when she was eleven. At seventeen,
after winning several young artist competitions in the United States, she was awarded the
unprecedented Special Critics' Prize, created in her honor, at the Seventh International
Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland. Critics there said: "A sensational effect
was created by the playing of Rebecca Penneys. She is a genius of the piano.”
Subsequently, she won the Most Outstanding Musician Prize at the Fifth Vianna Da
Motta International Piano Competition (Portugal) and was Top Prizewinner in the Second
Paloma O'Shea International Piano Competition (Spain). She made her New York Debut
in Alice Tully Hall in 1972, and in 1974 she founded the acclaimed New Arts Trio, which
won the prestigious Naumburg Award for Chamber Music in New York City on two
separate occasions. The Trio was Trio-in-Residence at the Chautauqua Institution from

A renowned Steinway Artist, Rebecca is a popular guest artist, keynote speaker and
celebrated teacher. She has received extensive recognition for her ability to teach
keyboard technique (Motion and Emotion) that allows pianists to achieve individual
performance goals without physical strain or injury. In 2013, Rebecca launched the non-profit Rebecca Penneys Friends of Piano to support the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival
and RPPF-Mini. Both events, held at USF, are for collegiate pianists and are tuition free.
Rebecca is currently Professor Emerita of Piano at Eastman School of Music. She is
Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg College where she directs the St Petersburg College
Piano Series. She also holds a courtesy position as Steinway-Artist-in-Residence at the
University of South Florida, Tampa. The Rochester Democrat & Chronicle notes, “In an
age of pianistic sameness, Penneys shines as a true original.” Rebecca’s teachers
included Aube Tzerko, Leonard Stein, Rosina Lhevinne, Artur Rubinstein, Menahem
Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, and Iannis Xenakis. Learn more at &