The Italian- Egyptian pianist Francesca Khalifa was the winner of the Ferrara International Piano Festival in 2014, awarded by Paul Badura-Skoda. She was also a finalist at the Alink- Argerich Foundation Piano Competition “Citta’ di Schio” in 2007. Recent performances include solo recitals and chamber music concerts at the “Claudio Abbado” Theatre (Ferrara), “Piccolo Coccia” Theatre (Novara), Eglise de Saint Merry (Paris), Kapelzaal (Leiden), Saklad Auditorium and Greenfield Hall (New York), and Concert Hall and Barness Recital Hall (Tampa). Upcoming engagements include solo recitals in Israel and Italy (Ibla Festival) as well as a chamber concerts in New York City Spectrum and at the University of Central Florida in collaboration with violinist Nicole Paglialonga (Virginia Tech Faculty) and Elizabeth Crone (Yamaha artist and Virginia Tech Faculty). Francesca has collaborated with the “G. d’Arezzo” Symphony Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto KV 414 and Schumann’s Piano Concerto Op. 54); the Utrecht Conservatory String Orchestra, performing Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.1; and the Hoorn Osterkerk Kammerorkestra (Saint- Saens “Carnival of the Animals”). Also active as a chamber musician, Francesca was the pianist and a founder of the van Eyck Piano Trio, featured at many chamber music festivals throughout The Netherlands (Zaltbommel Schumann Festival and Hoorn Osterkerk Kammer Musik Festival) and France. Her clarinet and piano duo with Giulia Zannin won Third Prize at the “Asti International Chamber Music Competition” in Italy. She has also worked as collaborative pianist for the studios of clarinettist Milan Rericha (Lugano, Switzerland) and violists Katie Aagard and J.T. Posadas (Tampa). Francesca Khalifa is a graduate of the Utrecht Conservatory of Music (master of music) and Konservatorium Wien (Chamber Music) . Awarded the President’s Piano Trio Fellowship of the University of South Florida in Tampa in 2012, Francesca moved to the United States and pursued a second master’s degree at USF while also serving as Teaching Assistant. During the summer of 2015, she joined the Faculty of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in Jerusalem as a professor of piano and she was a guest artist for masterclasses and performances for the Conservatory’s branches in Bethlehem and Ramallah. Recently Francesca earned an Advanced Certificate Diploma from NYU, where she has joined the studio of Professor Jeffrey Swann and has been awarded the Steinhardt Talent Scholarship. While pursuing the Advanced degree, Francesca has been teaching as Adjunct Faculty at NYU as well as maintaining her own private studio. Francesca was mentored by German Diez, a former pupil and assistant of Claudio Arrau. To honour him Francesca is currently documenting his education and background and her research has recently brought her to Cuba to conduct interviews and further deepen her studies.