58! Yes - that would appear to be the total number of European countries. I have to admit to being slightly surprised by this, which unfortunately bears testament to my terrible geographical ignorance. In case you were worrying that the European Piano Challenge seemed ridiculously overwhelming I am allowing my students FIFTEEN free passes. Such generosity. As such they only have to play OR listen to music from 43 European countries. A significantly more achievable number I'm sure you'll agree.
The Worldwide Piano Challenge has no such free passes, beyond not requiring students to find music from Antarctica. As there are no permanent residents of Antarctica I felt this might prove a little unreasonable. As that leaves just six continents I have also required that the music they find be exclusively piano music, though students still have the freedom to listen to or play the music.
To record their endeavours I will provide students with Passports to record their findings. They can keep these in their piano folders (just ring binders that I issue to all of my students). To save you the trouble of making your own European Passport with 58 (!) countries or even the Worldwide Passport I am uploading them here for you all to use for free!
One new composer that would work brilliantly for this challenge (yes, you can all use him!) and that I have recently discovered (coincidentally by catching up on the December 2014 - January 2015 edition of Pianist magazine) is Ernesto Nazareth. He is a Brazilian composer and pianist who lived from 1863 to 1934. He wrote many small-scale pieces for the piano, often based on dance forms such as the Tango or the Waltz. Here is a link to a wonderfully spirited performance by Anh Nguyen of Nazareth's piece called Odeon for you to enjoy.
Please share some of your musical findings from working through this challenge. Comments or email work just as well.