duo526 Sonata Seminar @ IU

Academy Faculty

Known for her verve and sensitivity, pianist Futaba Niekawa pushes the boundaries of her artistry as a soloist and collaborative pianist across genres and disciplines. In demand as a collaborative pianist, she has been engaged at the Banff Centre, New England Conservatory, and IU’s String Academy. Niekawa is a Lecturer in Music (Chamber and Collaborative Music) at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

Award-winning violinist, Kerry DuWors has been Associate Professor, Chair of Graduate Studies in Music, and Head of Chamber Music at Canada’s Brandon University since 2003. Hailed for her “soaring cantilena” (Gramophone Magazine), DuWors has performed across four continents and champions collaboration across an array of ensembles from her duo work to leading chamber orchestras.


Erika Burns is a violinist and certified Franklin Method™ Educator based in Washington State. She received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma, where her research explored incorporating movement education principles from somatic disciplines and sports into the violin studio. Dr. Burns is a past Emerging Artist Fellow at Garth Newel Music Center and duo526 Sonata Seminar alumnus. 

Franklin Method Description: The Franklin Method™ is an evidence-based somatic movement education method that uses imagery, embodied anatomy, and targeted exercises to improve movement and overall physical and mental well-being. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Futaba Niekawa at fniekawa@indiana.edu.

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Audition requirements

Regardless of your duo partner's plans (pre-formed or not), all intereted applicants should individually submit an applciation with the required audition materials:

Personal statement: Please write about your collaborative experience in a personal statement of approximately 500-words; include answers to the following questions:

  • What are your long-term artistic goals?
  • What do you hope to get out of duo526 Sonata Seminar @ IU?
  • What has been your past experience in collaborative playing?
  • Why do you value duo playing?

Recordings: Please provide recording links to two contrasting movements or works from the standard repertoire.

Repertoire list: Provide a list of sonata repertoire studied and performed.

Please send audition requirements to Dr. Futaba Niekawa at fniekawa@indiana.edu.

Fees and deadlines


  • Non-Refundable Registration Fee - $70
  • Early-bird registration - $800
  • Full tuition - $850


  • Application and registration fee due - March 27, 2023
  • Acceptance notification - April 1, 2023
  • Early-bird tuition payment due - April 1, 2023
  • Full tuition payment due - May 1, 2023

How to apply

  1. Eligibility: Accepting serious applicants, 18-years and older.
  2. Enrollment limit: 10 participants (5 violin/piano duos).
  3. Application process: To apply, please complete the online registration form
  4. Audition requirements: All audition materials should be sent to Dr. Futaba Niekawa at fniekawa@indiana.edu
  5. Housing information: Participants will be responsible for their own housing arrangements.

Register for 2023

Once you have completed the previous steps, please submit the Participant Agreement Form