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Office of Vice President and
Chief of Staff
Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd S.
Fort Myers, FL. 33965-6565

Phone: (239) 590-1006
Fax:     (239) 590-1066

Press Release


Students in FGCU's Bower School of Music Win State, International Accolades

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A rising piano virtuoso at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) added another international title to her resume this summer, while fellow students in the Bower School of Music brought home statewide awards.

Priscila Navarro, the 19-year-old senior piano major from Peru who made her Carnegie Hall debut in March, won first place at the 15th Biennial International Beethoven Sonata Competition. She was the youngest of 12 semifinalists invited to take part in this worldwide contest in Memphis, Tenn., for musicians up to age 36. Most competitors were graduate or doctoral students representing schools such as Juilliard, the Peabody Institute, Cleveland Institute of Music, and foreign institutions.

It was Navarro's third recent win at the international level. In October, she will compete as a semifinalist in the Liszt International Competition in Baltimore.

Dr. Michael Baron, FGCU music professor and head of keyboard studies, discovered Navarro at the National Conservatory of Peru when she was 15. She attends FGCU with support from the Steinway Piano Society as well as the Myra N. and Van Zandt Williams Jr. Scholarship Fund and the Eva Sugden Gomez Scholarship.

"We are all very proud of Priscila," Baron said. "She is an extraordinary talent and an excellent representation of the quality we hear every day at the Bower School of Music."

Three other piano majors in the school recently earned accolades from the Florida Music Teachers Association. Freshman Jason Gomez, who hails from El Salvador, won the association's Gray Perry Piano Competition, earning the title of best freshman or sophomore piano student in the state. Incoming sophomores Manuel Molina and Pedro Che, both from Peru, won the Byrd Memorial Piano Duo Competition as best piano duo in the state.

For more information, contact Dr. Michael Baron at (239) 590-7209 or

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