Program Coordinator & Contact

Dr. Michael Bunchman

Collaborate in piano duo partnerships with young vocal artists from the US and Europe in a true artistic exchange. Experience German culture while coaching with our international faculty artists and performing on concerts and master classes hosted by master clinicians. 


IPAI provides a positive and nurturing environment in which each student can learn and develop to their full potential.  The program focuses on repertoire preparation, text interpretation, diction, technical control, texture, musical flexibility, collaborative awareness of balance, and confidence in performance. Collaborative pianists attend all lessons and coachings with their Piano Duo partner and may participate in acting & movement classes, workshops, and master classes.  They also receive individual coachings with Dr. Michael Bunchman, guest clinicians, and guest coaches--teachers, vocal coaches, stage directors, and casting directors currently working in opera houses in the United States and Europe. IPAI Opera & Collaborative Piano Program alumni have been accepted into top tier masters programs in the US and in Germany, joined US and European young artist programs, and gone on to perform professionally with opera houses in Munich, Hamburg, Vienna, Salzburg, among others.



In an innovative approach to summer training programs, IPAI Collaborative Pianists are paired with vocal partners in a Piano Duo for the entirety of the three weeks. Together, Piano Dues will attend all lessons and coachings with the collaborative piano and voice faculty. Working as a team for the three weeks, singers and pianists develop a deeper musical awareness of one another and the challenges of collaboration: enlightening both parties on just how intertwined our rolls are and enhancing the overall collaborative experience. 



Under the guidance and coaching of Dr. Michael Bunchman and our guest collaborative artists, each collaborative pianist will lead the musical preparation of at least one opera scene. They are responsible for learning and rehearsing with vocalists with appropriate style and an musical interpretation that will culminate in 2 opera scene performances. 


Outstanding pianists may be offered merit scholarships or an honorarium upon acceptance into the program.


See a professional opera performance at a German Theater in Erl, Munich, or another nearby city as part of your IPAI experience! Transportation and tickets are included in the tuition. 


Each Piano Duot is featured on our Liederabend concert and will perform together in all Master classes. Other performance opportunities include: a "Broadway to Brass" Musikkapelle Concert, the IPAI Gala Concert, Cabaret Night, and the IPAI Vocal Competition. 



All pianists are invited to participate in weekly master classes that focus on style and interpretation, audition techniques, mind/body awareness, coping with stress and nervousness, the business of performing, career building and more! During the second and third week, all artists participate in intensive master classes with honored guest artists such as Jennifer Larmore, Barbara Bonney, Barabara Daniels, Kirstin Chavez, and Michael Sturm. 



Our faculty are fluent in German, French, and Italian. IPAI Artists learn and practice in daily German Language class and by living in a Bavarian village for three weeks. Instruction includes the basics of functional conversational German, an introduction to German culture and etiquette, learning to slate and answer basic audition questions in German,  as well as opportunities for more advanced speakers to refine their language skills. Our artists receive Musical Theatre and lyric diction coaching in German, French, Italian, English, and Czech integrated into their weekly lessons and coaching sessions. 


In addition to professional development & audition workshops, IPAI artists receive one-on-one feedback from each of our esteemed faculty throughout their IPAI residency.  Our three-week training program culminates in  a Next Steps Conference that offers an opportunity to connect on a deeper level with our faculty, strategic planning for the "next steps" of your artistic career, personal advice, and mentorship from our esteemed international faculty artists.


Tuition includes accommodations at Hotel zur Post in Kiefersfelden, a full traditional Bavarian breakfast each morning, and a catered hot lunch with salad bar each afternoon. Students are responsible for dinner each evening and the cost of flights and transportation to/from Kiefersfelden, Germany. 


Maria Rabbia

Ithaca College New York 

As a pianist that loves collaborating with singers, IPAI was an amazing experience because it gave me the opportunities to not only play for extremely talented performers, but also the chance to work with incredible coaches and clinicians. I feel so lucky to have been able to attend this program where I made lifelong connections and friends. I was surprised at just how much progress I had made within those short three weeks, and it gave me a new level of confidence that I was heading in the right direction in terms of my career as a collaborative pianist. 

Marc RiveT


University of Southern Mississippi

IPAI Germany 2019 vastly surpassed any expectations I had prior to the program. If I had to sum the experience into one takeaway, IPAI helped me understand what it means to live and love life as an artist. Too many times, myself included, we focus on the wrong aspects and experience burnout, isolation, and/or shame.


Did I struggle time to time as a pianist, music director, and human? Absolutely. But I still haven’t even gotten to the best part about IPAI, the amazing and loving people, staff and members alike. The ability to enjoy amazing experiences inside and outside the rehearsal/performance spaces with incredible people who share the same love and passion as you is an amazing gift that I will not take for granted again.

So thankful to have been able to be part of such a special program. 


Salt Lake, City

IPAI was the ideal musical utopia. It was immersive, constructive, and was all the while invigorating and fresh. The wildly talented faculty motivated us to take ownership of our musicianship but was also happy to provide more hands-on instruction when we needed it. Kiefersfelden was idyllic, its people warm and welcoming, the strawberries were UNBELIEVABLE, and the alps were stunning. I left feeling more motivated and knowledgeable about music, more confident in my performing abilities, and more self-aware. 

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