FACULTY & GUEST ARTISTS
Jerome Lowenthal (USA)
The Juilliard School
Jerome Lowenthal, born in 1932, continues to fascinate audiences, who find in his playing a youthful intensity and an eloquence born of life-experience. He is a virtuoso of the fingers and the emotions.
Mr. Lowenthal studied in his native Philadelphia with Olga Samaroff-Stokowski, in New York with William Kapell and Edward Steuermann, and in Paris with Alfred Cortot, meanwhile traveling annually to Los Angeles for coachings with Artur Rubinstein. After winning prizes in three international competitions (Bolzano, Darmstadt, and Brussels), he moved to Jerusalem where, for three years, he played, taught and lectured.
Returning to America, he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic playing Bartok's Concerto no. 2 in 1963. Since then, he has performed more-or-less everywhere, from the Aleutians to Zagreb. Conductors with whom he has appeared as soloist include Barenboim, Ozawa, Tilson Thomas, Temirkanov, and Slatkin, as well as such giants of the past as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Pierre Monteux and Leopold Stokowski. He has played sonatas with Itzhak Perlman, piano duos with Ronit Amir (his late wife), Carmel Lowenthal (his daughter), and Ursula Oppens, as well as quintets with the Lark, Avalon and Shanghai Quartets. He has recently recorded the complete Annees de Pelerinage of Liszt. His other recordings include concerti by Tschaikovsky and Liszt, solo works by Sinding and Bartok, opera paraphrases by Liszt and Busoni, and chamber-music by Arensky and Taneyev.
Teaching, too, is an important part of Mr. Lowenthal's musical life. For twentythree years at the Juilliard School and for forty-five summers at the Music Academy of the West, he has worked with an extraordinary number of gifted pianists, whom he encourages to understand the music they play in a wide aesthetic and cultural perspective and to project it with the freedom which that perspective allows.
Ralf Nattkemper (Germany)
Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg
Born in West Germany Ralf Nattkemper starts studying piano at the age of 5 with a pupil of Claudio Arrau then studied under Max Martin Stein, Yara Bernette, Fausto Zadra and Wilhelm Kempff.
Concerts in many countries of Europe, South America and Asia.
He has also performed at music festivals such as Hamburg, Venice, Verona, Lausanne, Assisi, Caracas. Concerts with the Orchestras of Lausanne, Hamburg, Bulgaria, Romania. Recitals and concerts are broadcasted on television and radio. CDs for Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann.
He is a jury at international competitions around the world including Brussels, Jaen, Sofia, Rome, Tokyo. Many of his disciples studied under him have won major international competitions like the Queen Elizabeth International Competition. Masterclasses at major conservatories in Paris, Madrid, Sofia, Lisbon, Rotterdam as well as Venice and regularly Pianale and Yamaha Master Class.
At the age of 31, he became the youngest professor at the Hamburg University of Music and then headed the piano department. Visiting professor in Japan.
Michael Chertock (USA) University of CincinnatiCollege - Conservatory of Music
Michael Chertock received bachelor and master of music degrees from CCM where he studied piano with Clifford Herzer, Robert Weirich, Frank Weinstock and James Tocco. As an orchestral soloist, he has worked with James Conlon, Jaime Laredo, Keith Lockhart, Erich Kunzel and Andrew Litton. Solo performances include the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Pops, l'Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal, Toronto Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, Utah Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and the Dayton Philharmonic. He has presented recitals and made chamber appearances at the Linton Chamber Music Series, Mayor's 801 Plum Series, Steans Institute of the Ravinia Festival and Grand Tetons Music Festival. For radio and TV, he has given recitals with Mark Oswald, Alyssa Park, Larry Combs, Eddie Daniels and Ricardo Morales-Matos. His recordings include Cinematic Piano, Chamber Music of Frank Proto, Palace of the Winds, Christmas at the Movies, Love at the Movies and CSO's Festival Prelude for Organ and Orchestra, on which he was the organ soloist.
In 2005 Chertock gave the world premiere fo Tod Machover's Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the Boston Pops, which he repeated at the Boston Music Awards, at MIT and in Portugal. In 1991 he was awarded the silver medal at the World Piano Competition of the American Music Scholarship Association. Other awards include the 1989 Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition prize, 1993 St. Charles International Piano Competition grand prize, the 1988 and '90 winner of the CCM Concerto Competition and first prize in the 1990 Rildia Bee O'Bryan Cliburn Competition. Before coming to CCM, he was a visiting professor at Miami University.
Frank Weinstock (USA)
University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music
American Frank Weinstock has had a distinguished career as a performer, teacher, and adjudicator. His appearances as recitalist, soloist, and chamber musician have taken him throughout the United States, as well as to South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. As concerto soloist, Mr. Weinstock has appeared with such conductors as Jesús López-Cobos, Erich Kunzel, Keith Lockhart, Jorge Mester, Gunther Schuller, Markand Thakar, and Luthero Rodrigues. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Weinstock has performed with the Tokyo and American String Quartets, Leonard Rose, Larry Combs, Glen Dicterow, the Percussion Group Cincinnati, and with members of the Guarneri, LaSalle, Manhattan, and Berkshire Quartets.
Frank Weinstock is Professor Emeritus of Piano at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he taught for thirty-one years until his retirement in 2011; towards the end of that time, he also served as that school’s associate dean and interim dean. He is featured in Benjamin Saver's book, The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA. His current and former students hail from six continents, and are themselves prominent performers, competition winners, recording artists, and professors at universities around the world. Mr. Weinstock has been a member of the performing faculties at the Aspen and Eastern Music Festivals, the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing, and the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca (Italy), and has been a juror for many competitions, including the Gina Bachauer, Cleveland, Hilton Head, and Virginia Waring International Piano Competitions, as well as the Canadian Music Competition and the American Pianists Association Competition.
A native of Oberlin, Ohio, Mr. Weinstock received performance degrees from the Oberlin and New England Conservatories of Music, studying with Emil Danenberg, Victor Rosenbaum, Claude Frank, Lilian Kallir, and Edith Oppens. Not limiting his interests to performing and teaching, he has also enjoyed success as a music-software engineer; his work Home Concert Xtreme was awarded the 2010 Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award as the outstanding keyboard-pedagogy publication of the year.
He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Janell Weinstock, retired Vice President and General Manager of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Lei Weng (China)
University of Northern Colorado
Steinway Artist, Dr. Lei Weng enjoys a successful international career as an accomplished pianist, a dedicated teacher, and a sought-after adjudicator and clinician. Hailed as “a colorist of exemplary control” by the New York Concert Review for his sold-out Carnegie Hall debut, he has performed at many prestigious venues around the world, and has performed and taught at such music festivals as Tanglewood Music Festival, Messiaen Festival, TCU Cliburn Institute, MusicFest Perugia (Italy), Pianoforte-Fest Meissen (Germany), Sarasota Festival, Vianden Festival (Luxemburg), Rocky Ridge Music Center, Breckenridge Music Festival and Colorado International Piano Academy.
As a frequent concerto soloist, he has appeared with such conductors as Gerhardt Zimmerman, Steven Smith, Uri Segal, Robert Olson, Geoffrey Simon, Lingfen Wu, Yang Yang, Glen Cortese, Wes Kenney, and with more than thirty orchestras in the U.S., Europe and Asia, including the Symphony Orchestras of Fort Worth, Fort Collins, Beijing, Tianjin, Gimhae (Korea), Kaohsiung (Taiwan), Alicante (Spain), as well as China National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and Breckinridge Music Festival Orchestra.
As an avid chamber music performer, he has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Associate Concertmaster Stephanie Jeong, Dallas Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Nathan Olson and the Naumburg International Cello Competition First Prize Winner David Requiro.
As a frequent jury member of major national and international competitions, Dr. Weng has been invited to serve in jury panels of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, International Rachmaninoff Piano Competition in Moscow, Hong Kong International Music Competition, “Nuova Coppa Pianisti” International Piano Competition in Italy, China National Piano Competition, “Parnassus” Piano Competition in Mexico, “Concurso Internacional de María Clara Cullell” in Costa Rica, and MTNA Competitions. He has been serving as the Chairman of Mu Phi Epsilon Foundation Keyboard Scholarships in the U.S. since 2012.
A dedicated educator, Dr. Weng is the Keyboard Area Head at the University of Northern Colorado, where he was the recipient of the “2015 College of Performing and Visual Arts Scholar of the Year”. He has been frequently invited as guest professor by major conservatories around the world, including Royal College of Music (UK), China Central Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, Singapore National University, University of Saarbrücken, Taiwan National Normal University, and major universities in the U.S. His students have won top prizes in numerous national and international competitions, and have been admitted into such top music schools as Julliard, Eastman, Peabody, Cleveland, New England Conservatory, University of Cincinnati, Oberlin Conservatory, and Manhattan School of Music. Dr. Weng is the Founder and Director of the Colorado International Piano Academy and Colorado Piano Festival, two intensive summer piano programs that take place annually at UNC.
Dr. Weng holds BM, MM and DMA degrees from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His primary teachers have included Frank Weinstock, William Black, Claude Frank, Jerome Lowenthal, Zhou Guangren, Guo Zhihong, Xie Yuan.
Eastman School of Music
Praised by critics as “a diva of the piano” (The Salt Lake City Tribune), “a mesmerizing risk-taker” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), and “simply spectacular” (Chicago International Music Foundation) Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov has established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today. Following prizes in the Cleveland International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Ms. Lomazov has given performances throughout North America, South America, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Japan and in nearly all of the fifty states in the U.S.
Marina Lomazov has given major debuts in New York (Weill-Carnegie Hall) Boston (Symphony Hall), Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Concert Series), Los Angeles (Museum of Art), Shanghai (City Theater) and Kiev (Kiev International Music Festival). She has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Eastman Philharmonia, Chernigov Philharmonic (Ukraine), KUG Orchester Graz (Austria), Bollington Festival Orchestra (England), Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra and South Carolina Philharmonic, to name a few. New York Times chief music critic Anthony Tommasini describes a recent New York performance as “dazzling” and Talk Magazine Shanghai describes her performances as “a dramatic blend of boldness and wit”.
In recent seasons, Lomazov has performed extensively in China, including concerts in Shenyang, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Qingdao and Yingkou. She is a frequent guest at music festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including Perugia Music Fest (Italy), Hamamatsu (Japan), Chautauqua, Brevard, Eastman, Burgos (Spain), Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany) and Varna (Bulgaria), among others. She has recorded for the Albany, Centaur and Innova labels and American Record Guide praised her recent recording of piano works by Rodion Shchedrin for its “breathtaking virtuosity”. She has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, the “Bravo” cable channel and WNYC’s “Young Artist Showcase” and her recordings have been broadcast more than 100 times by WNYC and WQXR in New York, WFMT in Chicago and WBGH in Boston.
Before immigrating to the United States in 1990, Marina studied at the Kiev Conservatory where she became the youngest First Prize Winner at the all-Kiev Piano Competition. Ms. Lomazov holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, the latter bestowing upon her the highly coveted Artist’s Certificate – an honor the institution had not given a pianist for nearly two decades. Her principal teachers include Natalya Antonova, Jerome Lowenthal and Barry Snyder. Also active as a chamber musician, Lomazov has performed widely as a member of the Lomazov/Rackers Piano Duo. The duo garnered significant attention as Second Prize winners at the Sixth Biennial Ellis Competition for Duo Pianists (2005), the only national duo piano competition in the United States at that time. As advocates of modern repertoire for duo piano, they have given premieres of numerous works across the United States, including several works written specifically for them.
Ms. Lomazov is a Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music. She has served as jury member for the Cleveland International Piano Competition (Young Artists), Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Eastman International Piano Competition, Minnesota International Piano e-Competition, National Federation Biennial Young Artist Auditions and is currently serving as a chair for National Classical Music Panel for YoungArts, the only organization in the US that nominates U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. For 17 years, she served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Music, where she held the chair of Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts Music and is currently holds a Guest Artist Residency. Together with her husband and piano duo partner Joseph Rackers, she co-founded and serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, SC.
Ms. Lomazov is a Steinway Artist.
Joseph Rackers (USA)
Eastman School of Music
Hailed as an “American Virtuoso” (Audiophile Audition), “enormous power and intelligent, instinctive interpretation” (Spoleto Today), and “simply dazzling” (The State), pianist Joseph Rackers has performed for enthusiastic audiences in New York, Boston, Chicago, Kiev, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Rome, Shanghai, Seoul and Washington D.C., at venues across Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Spain, Bulgaria, Ukraine and extensively throughout the United States. His performances around the world include the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series, Shanghai and Sichuan Conservatories of Music and Yantai International Music Festival, Kiev International Music Festival, Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, Seoul International Piano Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, Indiana University Piano Festival, American Liszt Society Festival, Varna International Piano Festival and Society of Composers International Conference, to name a few. Gramophone writes “the results are consistently compelling…as if Rackers response were primarily to his relationship with the composer as some sort of kindred spirit.”
Joseph Rackers is an International Steinway Artist and serves on the artist faculty of the Perugia International Music Festival in Italy, Burgos International Music Festival in Spain, Texas State International Piano Festival and Southeastern Piano Festival in the United States. His recordings as soloist, collaborative pianist and producer are available on the MSR Classics, Navona, Centaur, Equilibrium and Beauport Classics labels and his performances have been broadcast on radio and television across the United States and Europe. His recent solo release with MSR Classics was widely recognized by the press; “unflappable virtuosity…highly expressive…committed to letting the composer’s voice — as he hears it — come through” (American Record Guide), “compelling power, rhythmic persuasiveness…consummate style…complete mastery” (Audio Society).
Rackers is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees and was awarded the Performer’s Certificate. His principal teachers were Natalya Antonova and Raymond Herbert with additional study or masterclasses with Julian Martin, Misha Dichter and Blanca Uribe, among others. Rackers has been honored as an lllustrious Alumni of the University of Missouri School of Music for the one-hundredth anniversary of the school and has been recognized by the South Carolina House of Representatives and South Carolina State Senate for his personal contribution to the arts in South Carolina and leadership of the Southeastern Piano Festival.
Also active as a chamber musician, Rackers has performed widely as a member of the Lomazov/Rackers Piano Duo. Praised for “demon precision and complete dedication” (Audio Society), the duo garnered significant attention as the Second Prize Winners of the Sixth Ellis Competition for Duo Pianists, the only national duo piano competition in the United States at that time. Gramophone praises the duo for “assured and centered pianism” and American Record Guide writes “the ensemble between Lomazov and Rackers is dead on”.
A devoted teacher, Rackers has taught at the Eastman School of Music and was awarded the school’s annual prize for Excellence in Teaching. He has given masterclasses at Indiana University, University of Michigan, Boston University, Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, UCLA, Sichuan Conservatory and University of Colorado among others. His students have been prizewinners numerous national and international piano competitions. Rackers is Professor of Piano and Coordinator of the Piano Department at the University of South Carolina School of Music where he teaches an international class of pianists and serves as Co-Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival, one of the premiere venues in the United States for the training of young pianists and presentation of distinguished artists in concert. He is in demand as a jury member for national and international piano competitions, including the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, National Federation Biennial Young Artist Awards, Pepsico National Concerto Competition and Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition.
Aviram Reichert (Israel)
Aviram Reichert (Israel)
Seoul National University
Aviram Reichert - acclaimed for his deeply intelligent interpretations, phenomenal technique and ravishing tone – won the Bronze Medal at the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1997, after having won several major competitions in the Far East, France and Germany. Today, Reichert is a frequent soloist with the leading orchestras in his native country, Israel, including the Israel Philharmonic, Haifa Symphony, Israel Chamber Orchestra and the Jerusalem Symphony. His prize-winning participation in competitions in Japan and Korea brought him numerous concert engagements in the Far East where he has been earning immense applause for 15 years, performing with the Tokyo Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the NHK Symphony, the Korean Symphony orchestra, and the Daegu Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed with the National Symphony of the Dominican Republic, the major orchestras in South Africa, and numerous orchestras in the United States. Conductors he has worked with include the late Sergiu Commissiona, James Conlon, Peter Bay, James De Priest, Leslie Dunner, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, David Lockington, Ken-ichiro Kobayashi, Emmanuel Krivine, Meir Minsky, Leon Botstein, Kevin Rhodes, Barry Wordsworth, Guillermo Figueroa, Michele Carulli, and Kim Daejim.
Aviram’s past season includes performances of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the Traverse Symphony Orchestra, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the Tacoma Symphony, and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini with the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra. After a performance of Manuel de Falla’s evocative Nights in the Gardens of Spain with the Grand Rapids Symphony under the baton of David Lockington, Reichert was described as “a big player with all the tension of a coiled spring suddenly unsprung….he has heft and he has poetry.” He also performed recently as guest pianist with New York’s renowned Sejong Soloists, toured with the celebrated Korean cellist,Young Hoon Song, playing the two Brahms Cello Sonatas, and was the soloist in Beethoven’s Concerto No.3 and the Gershwin Concerto in F at the prestigious Seoul Arts Center. In July 2011, Aviram once again took part in the chamber music program at Durango’s Music in the Mountains festival, where he was resident pianist for eight years, and played Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra. In October 2011, Aviram was a guest artist of the Mizel Arts and Culture Center’s JAAMM Festival (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music) in a recital at Denver’s Newman Center performing Beethoven Sonatas and the Brahms Piano Quintet with the Colorado Chamber Players.
In recital, Reichert has performed throughout the United States, Israel, South Africa, the Far East and in Europe, where an appearance at the Herkules-Saal in Munich elicited an enthusiastic ovation and high critical praise. Festival performances include the Ruhr and Epinal Music Festivals, Tokyo Summer Festival, Bear Valley, CA, Durango and Steamboat Springs, CO, Ravinia Festival, the Fontana and the Gilmore Keyboard Festivals. A fine chamber musician, he has collaborated with artists such as Anne Akiko Meyers, Maya Beiser, Guy Braunstein, Yuri Gandelsman, Vadim Gluzman, Dylana Jenson, Bill Purcell and Philippe Quint.
Reichert can be heard on a Harmonia Mundi CD featuring highlights of his prize-winning solo performance at the Van Cliburn Competition, a Jerusalem Music Center label (JMC) featuring two Schubert Sonatas, and Mozart concerti with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra under the baton of Mischa Semanitzky. He has recorded Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Brass quintet with the Spectrum Brass Quintet, released on CD in 2009.
In addition to his busy performing career, Reichert is a sought-after teacher who is frequently invited to conduct master-classes in Japan, Korea, South Africa, Israel and the United States. From 2001-2008 he held the positions of Associate Professor of Piano and Artist-in-Residence at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI. He is currently Associate Professor of Piano at Seoul National University, College of Music.
Aviram Reichert, a Steinway artist, studied at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv with Professor Arie Vardi.
Hyesoo Jeon (South Korea)
Sookmyung Women's University
Hyesoo Juan, a pianist representing the next generation of Korean musician, has performed as a soloist internationally in Asia and Europe. She is recognized as ‘a performer who has powerful skill and high concentration’ as well as ‘a performer with the warmth of Russian pianism.’
As a soloist, Dr. Juan has performed extensively throughout the world with numerous orchestras including the St. Petersburg National Academic Philharmonic (Russia), Khabarovsk National Symphony (Russia), Stuttgart Pegasos String Quartet (Germany), Alicante Symphony Orchestra (Italy), Filarmonica Pitesti Orchestra (Romania), Daegu Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea), and Prime Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea). She is invited to perform at the various concert series sponsored by Iwon Culture Center, Korea Beethoven Association, International Piano Music Association, and Korea Music Professors Association.
Dr. Juan is a top prizewinner of prestigious piano competitions, including Samik Music Competition (Korea), Dobrich-Albena International Competition (Bulgaria) and IBLA International Competition (Italy).
As a frequent jury member of major national and international competitions, Dr. Juan has been invited to serve in jury panels of the 4th Young Musician Performance International Competition (Russia), 7th Серебряқова International Competition (Russia), New York Piano Society International Piano Competition (Korea), and the International College of Arts Festival and Competition (Vietnam).
A dedicated educator, Dr. Juan serves as Professor of Piano at the Sookmyung Women’s University and served as a department chair in 2018. She has performed and taught at such festivals and institutions as Music Fest Perugia (Italy), Opava International Music Festival (Czech Republic), the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe (Germany), and the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg (Germany).
Her students have won top prizes in numerous national and international competitions, and have been admitted into such top music schools as Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Ecole normal de Musique in Paris, Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover.
Dr. Juan has several published recordings on CD by Classic Mutation Company; her performances are broadcast on radio and television in Korea and Russia.
Dr. Juan holds BM, MM and DMA degrees from the Sookmyung Women’s University in Korea and Saint Petersburg State Conservatory in Russia
Guan Changxin (China)
China Conservatory of Music
As one of the laureates of the 1992 National Piano Competition of China under the instruction of Prof. Yang Jun, Guan Chang-xin was invited to give performances representing China in the 1993 Tokyo International Young Artist Festival. His success led to a nation-wide concert tour, including appearances with orchestra and multi-disciplinary collaborations.
Born into a musical family in Guangzhou , Guan Chang-xin began studying piano, ear training, and music theory from his mother. His early teachers also included Chen Hua-yi, Zhao Bi-shan, Wu Zheng-wen, Pan Xing-hua, and Ying Shi-zhen. Mr. Guan studied at the Guangzhou Xing-hai Conservatory of Music, and later was selected to study in Beijing at the Central Conservatory of Music where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees of Art in piano performance under the instruction of Prof. Li Hui-li and Prof. Yang Jun.
Moving to the United States for further study, Mr. Guan entered the Music School of Texas Christian University with scholarship and served as Departmental Artistic Assistant. He studied with Dr. Tamás Ungár, a renowned professor and the Executive Director of PianoTexas International Academy & Festival where Mr. Guan served as Staff Accompanist of the Concerto Competition. After winning the 8th Martin Memorial Piano Competition, Mr. Guan earned another master's degree in piano performance.
Not only is Mr. Guan a gifted soloist, he is also an enthusiastic chamber musician. As an experienced instructor, Mr. Guan has been invited to teach and perform at different music institutions and give master classes and lectures both in China and the U.S. Mr. Guan is currently a piano lecturer and Foreign Exchange Coordinator at the China Conservatory of Music in Beijing
Jia Lliu (China/Singapore)
National University of Singapore
A full-time Lecturer of Collaborative piano and Accompaniment faculty in the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music NUS, an official pianist of Singapore International Violin Festival, Qingdao International Cello festival, Shenzhen Orchestra International Clarinet Week and the 1st Singapore International Violin Competition, Liu Jia collaborates extensively with local and international
renowned musicians in concerts and class; performed as soloist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra as well as major orchestras in China, including the China Film Symphony and Beijing Symphony Orchestra. Liu Jia has worked as a collaborative pianist with Singapore Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and Singapore Lyric Opera, among others. Active in the chamber music scene, Liu performs regularly in the Singapore Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series.
A graduate of China’s Central Conservatory of Music, she was born in Beijing, into a family of
Xiao Hu (China)
Luther College in Iowa
Since her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall Weill Recital Hall in 2000, Dr. Xiao Hu has enjoyed an active performing and teaching career. She is currently an Associate Professor of Piano at Luther College in Iowa, U.S.A., and also holds a guest professorship at Wuhan Conservatory of Music in China. Recent professional activities have taken her across the U.S., and to Austria, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Dr. Hu performs regularly with her husband, pianist Du Huang, as the Unison Piano Duo. The Duo’s performances have been featured on Iowa Public Television and Minnesota Public Radio, they have recorded on the American labels of Innova and MSR Classics, as well as Chinese label Yangzi River Record. Dr. Hu has served as an adjudicator for many piano competitions, including Music Teacher Association in the states of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, and Shanghai International Piano Institute and Festival.
Jinha Park (South Korea)
Kirov Academy of Washington DC
Jinha Park stands today on the verge of a significant career as a concert pianist, having engaged in numerous demanding and broadening preparatory steps in the last 20 years. Her studies have taken her from Seoul to Texas to Baltimore to Paris; her competition experience has provided her with a keen sense of challenge and accomplishment, and her life experiences teaching, performing and even volunteering have given her a humanity and heart that clearly shows in her playing.
Dr. Park began her piano studies at the age of six and gave her public debut at fourteen. Her education has been arts-based, beginning with the Seoul National University in her native country and ending at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Conservatory in the U.S. Her teachers have included such names as Marian Hahn, Marina Lomazov, Philippe Entremont, Elisenda Fabregas, HyungBae Kim, and Kook-In Son. She has also studied under Yong-Hi Moon, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Ann Schein, John Perry and Leon Fleisher.
Jinha Park has won major piano competitions including the Burgos International Music Competition, the Vienna Allegro Vivo International Chamber Music Competition, TMTA (Texas Music Teachers Association) solo and concerto competitions, the Etude and Baltimore Music Club competitions, the University of Texas at San Antonio Concerto & Aria Competition and several others. She has been a prize winner in yet other competitions such as the Chosun Newspaper’s competition, the Choon-Chu National Piano Competition in Korea.
Dr. Park a long track record as a performer in Korea, Europe, and America. She has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at the most prestigious halls including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Kumho Art Hall (Seoul), and other performances at St. Petersburg (Russia), Perugia (Italy), Barcelona (Spain), and Union City (U.S.). Since 2014, she has been a soloist with the following orchestras including Virtuoso Brunesis Orchestra (Italy), Vienna CMS Chamber Orchestra, Festival Philharmonic Orchestra (Korea), Romanian Oltenia Symphony Orchestra, Alicante Symphony Orchestra (Spain), and Romanian Timisoara Symphony Orchestra.
In 2014-2018, Dr. Park was invited to be a jury member at the International Youth Competition ‘A Step Towards Mastery’ in Saint Petersburg, Russia, as well as at the New York Musicians Club in Seoul International Piano Competition, Sunhwa National Piano Competition in Seoul, and at OMTA (Oregon Music Teachers Association) Classical Music Competition in Portland, U.S.A.
Jinha Park has been a faculty member at the Music Fest Perugia, Italy, the Costa Rica International Piano Festival, Piano Super Saturday at Lone Star College, Texas, and the Colorado International Piano Academy. She is the Deputy Artistic Director at Kirov International Music Festival, and Associate Director at Colorado International Piano Academy.
Dr. Park served as a lecturer at Sookmyung Women’s University, Chungnam National University, Baekseok Music Conservatory, Sunhwa Arts Performing Arts Midlle and High School, and Kyunggi Arts High School in Korea, and an adjunct faculty at the University of Maryland University College in Asia. She is currently a piano department chair at Kirov Academy of Washington D.C.
DieYi Piano Duo (China)
Li Shiwei & Dong Haizhu
(Shanghai Conservatory of Music)
The "DieYi" piano duo was founded by two vice professors of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, pianists Li Shiwei and Dong Haizhu.
As early as 2009, the two performers began the initial performance cooperation. They kept their efforts to promote and spread the piano duo art in addition to teaching work. They have already held special concerts in many colleges and univercities in China, as well as lectures and master classes, and the influence is gradually expanding.
In 2013-15, “DieYi” held series concerts in Beijing, Tianjin, Hangzhou and other places.
In 2016, in the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of "Piano Art” ( the most important magazine of piano music in China ), "DieYi" to hold a special concert of Chinese piano duo works;
In 2017, "DieYi" held a tour in several major music colleges in Harbin with concerts and lectures, and , also an important debut at the world's first EU Qingdao Youth Music Festival in Qingdao, and won the "Best Classical Music Promotion" award. From 2018 to 19, the "DieYi" held commemorative series piano duo concerts for Brahms in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai.
Therefore, it also won the praise of the mainstream music media. The Beijing Music Weekly also interviewed them and published an exclusive interview.
Westhuizen Duo (USA)
Pierre & Sophié van der Westhuizen
The Westhuizen Duo’s performances have been described as “...music-making that rewards you seventy times seven.” They have been hailed by audiences and critics alike for their “...excellent sensitivity for each other,” combined with playing that is “...charming, lyrical, and brilliant...” (Volksblad, South Africa).
Their performances have been heard on WCLV (Cleveland), ClassicFm (South Africa), Radio Sonder Grense (SA), WGTE (Toledo), WYSU, and WFMT (Chicago). Their interest in new music has led to premiere performances of works written for the duo by young composers, and they enjoy taking part in new music festivals. Highlights include performances and guest teaching at major South African festivals, as well as others in the USA such as Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago (broadcast live on NPR and PBS Television), Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory’s Bach Festival, Cleveland Institute of Music’s Summer Sonata Festival, Gilmore Keysfest, College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, Colorado International Piano Festival, Chautauqua Piano Institute, Kent State University Keyboard Series, and Cleveland Art Song Festival, among others. They also made their New York debut at Steinway Hall in 2017.
Pierre has served as juror for several international competitions, including the Cleveland, Scriabin (Italy), MozArte (Germany), and UNISA (South Africa), and serves on the boards of the Yun Foundation (Philadelphia) and Magistera Soloists (Canada), as well as the Honorary Committee for Astral Artists (Philadelphia) and the Advisory Board for the Avery Fisher Career Grants in New York.
The Westhuizen Duo resides in Kalamazoo, MI, where Pierre is the newly appointed Director of the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and Award. Prior to this, he served as President of the Cleveland International Piano Competition (CIPC). Sophié joined the faculty of Kalamazoo College, and maintains a private teaching studio. She was Director of ArtsConnect, the community outreach program for the CIPC, and also taught at Cleveland State University and the Cleveland Music Settlement. They both previously served on the faculty of Heidelberg University as Assistant Professors of Piano and Co-coordinators of the Keyboard Division.
The Westhuizen Duo are Steinway Artists.
The Piano Collective (USA/China)
Cao Hui (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing) & Michelle Yip (Western Academy of Beijing)
Pianists Professor Cao Hui (Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing) and Dr. Michelle Yip (Western Academy of Beijing) began their musical journey as a piano duo in 2010 at the National Centre of Performing Arts in Beijing (NCPA). Together they have performed repertoire spanning from contemporary music to the classics as well as interdisciplinary performance collaborations. Most recently, they performed at the NCPA successfully combining Hip-Hop dance, Animation, and Actors to classical music.
Professor Cao Hui, one youngest and prestigious professors at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing is an active collaborative pianist and chamber musician internationally and locally. Professor Cao, an active musician and academic, has been an invited as guest faculty to the Yale School of Music as well as other institutions in Europe and is a demanding judge for major competitions held in Asia.
Dr. Michelle Yip is a vivacious collaborator of standard and contemporary chamber music globally and locally is currently based in Beijing. Dr. Yip completed her studies at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (MM) and University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music (DMA) and was a Fulbright Scholar at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (CCOM) and co-founder of the Beijing New Music Ensemble (BNME), the only independent music ensemble dedicated to new music in China.