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Nikita Fitenko
Douglas Humpherys
Ivo Kaltchev
Hae-Young Kim
Kevin Robert Orr
Atsuko Okada
Xun Pan
Ralitza Patcheva

Nikita Fitenko

Nikita FitenkoInternationally acclaimed pianist and Yamaha Artist Nikita Fitenko has performed recitals and with orchestras in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Asia, and South and North America. He has appeared as a soloist with such orchestras as St. Petersburg Capella Symphony, Russian Chamber Philharmonic, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow, St. Petersburg State Conservatory Orchestra, State Hermitage Orchestra, Slovak National Philharmonic, Corvallis Symphony Orchestra, Lewisville Symphony, Rapides Symphony, Northeast Texas Symphony, and Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. His future engagements this year besides the concerts in the US will bring him to England, Sweden, Malta, China, South Korea, and Japan.
While performing a wide and diverse repertoire, Nikita Fitenko is an acknowledged master of Russian piano music. His CDs for Altarus Records of complete piano works by leading contemporary Russian composers Georgy Sviridov and Sergei Slonimsky have garnered rave reviews from the international music press. Fanfare Music Review wrote, "Fitenko plays magnificently!" Slonimsky himself described Fitenko's interpretation of his piano music as "outstanding." He also added, "It is very vivid, imaginative, virtuosic, fascinating, and pianistically brilliant." Mr. Fitenko's recording of Scriabin's Piano Concerto with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow was released internationally on Classical Records label. His latest recording of works by Bach, Beethoven, Mussorgsky, and Rachmaninov for Classical Records will be released this fall.
In addition to solo recitals, Nikita Fitenko performs extensively in piano duo with Katerina Zaitseva. Hailed by critics for their "superlative sound, superlative interpretation, and superlative pianism…", the duo has performed worldwide with most recent appearances at the Moscow State Conservatory Hall (Russia), Madeira Music Festival (Portugal), Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage (Washington, D.C.), Yamaha Hall (NYC), Piano Duo Series (Tokyo, Japan), Nancyphonies Music Festival (France), University of Florida Young Pianists Festival, and Berkeley University (California, USA). Their critically acclaimed CD featuring works for piano four hands by Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms has been released internationally by the Classical Records label and is available through Amazon.
Native of St. Petersburg, Russia, Nikita Fitenko graduated from the St. Petersburg State Conservatory with a citation for excellence given to only five other graduates in the last fifty years. After receiving the Anton Rubinstein Memorial Award he came to study to the US pursuing his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of North Texas. His principal teachers included Roman Lebedev, Igor Lebedev, and Joseph Banowetz.
Dr. Fitenko has been invited to serve on many international piano competition juries, including 2012 Nordic International Piano Competition (Malmo, Sweden), 2011 Chopin International Piano Competition (Hartford, CT), 2010 Scriabin International Piano Competition (Grosetto, Italy), 2009 American Pianists Association's Classical Fellowship Awards (Indianapolis, IN), 2008 Rachmaninov International Piano Competition (Moscow, Russia), and 2003 World International Piano Competition (Cincinnati, OH) among others. He has presented master classes at the Verdi Conservatory of Music (Turin, Italy), Hochschule fur Musik (Saarbruken, Germany), Estonian Academy of Music (Tallinn, Estonia), Korean National, Yeonsei, Hanyang, Sejong, ChungAng Universities (South Korea), Sichuan Conservatory, Xinghai Conservatory, Jinan University, Hangzhou University (China), as well as at the 2010 Convention of the Maryland State Music Teachers Association, 2009 Chinese-American International Piano Institute (Chengdu, China), and 2009 University of Florida Young Pianists Festival (Gainesville, FL). Among his students are winners of national and international competitions including National MTNA Competition.
Currently, Dr. Fitenko holds a position of Associate Professor of Piano at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and co-directs the Washington International Piano Festival. Prior to that he was Associate Professor and Coordinator of Keyboard Area at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. He is also the founder of Louisiana International and Florida International Piano Competitions.

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Douglas Humpherys

Since winning the gold medal at the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Douglas Humpherys' concert career has spanned more than three decades across four continents. During recent years, he has concertized in many of the major cities of Asia. A frequent guest artist in Beijing, he has performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts, the Beijing Concert Hall, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall. In addition to concerts in the cities of Hong Kong and Chongqing, he has presented concerts and lecture-recitals throughout the Chinese conservatory and university system, including the Central Conservatory, the China Conservatory, the conservatories of Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Cheng-Du, Xian, Dalian, Xiamen, the Shenzhen School of the Arts, Peking University, and Renmin University. In 2002 he made his Korean debut in Seoul at the Kumho Art Hall, and during a 2007 tour of Taiwan, he performed in the cities of Taipei, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.

In Europe, Mr. Humpherys has presented solo concerts in the cities of Moscow, Novgorod, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Venice, and Dublin, with additional concert engagements in Germany, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Serbia. He has performed throughout the United States and Canada at numerous universities and festivals, and is frequently a guest artist at conferences of the Music Teachers National Association. He has recorded for the Gina Bachauer Piano Foundation, American Public Radio, and has been featured in live performances on affiliates of NPR and PBS. During the summer of 2012, he returned the second time to Buenos Aires to teach and perform with Teachers del Norte-Pianists del Sur, a project sponsored by the United States Embassy in Argentina. He is currently listed on the artists' roster of Steinway and Sons.

Mr. Humpherys completed graduate degrees at the Juilliard School (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (DMA), where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Piano Department.
During his student days he studied with Nelita True, Martin Canin, and Robert Smith. In high demand as a teacher, he has been appointed to visiting residencies or professorships at the Middle School of the Central Conservatory in Beijing, Yonsei University in Seoul, and the University of Michigan. His students have won numerous honors in competitions, including prizes at the Honens, Cleveland, Hilton Head, and Poulenc International Piano Competitions, the Osaka, Pacific, Seattle, and Wideman Competitions, as well as two recent national first-prize winners of the MTNA/Steinway Young Artists Competition.

He has taught literally hundreds of master classes at universities and conservatories including the Central Music School of the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, most of the major conservatories in China, the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, the Korean National University of the Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Northwestern University, the Oberlin School of Music, and Mount Royal Conservatory in Calgary. He has taught on the faculty of many summer festivals such as the 2012 Shanghai International Piano Festival and Institute, the 2010 Beijing International Festival and Academy, the 2007 Chinese-American International Piano Institute at the Sichuan Conservatory in Cheng-Du, the South Bohemia Music Festival in Prague, the Eastern Music Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, and the New Orleans International Piano Festival.

Before his recent appointment as Artistic Director of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Mr. Humpherys served on the jury of the Bachauer Competition numerous times, and has also adjudicated the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Rachmaninoff International Young Artists' Piano Competition in Novgorod, Russia, the Ricardo Viñes International Piano Competition in Spain, the 1st Korea International Competition for Young Artists, the PTNA National Piano Competition in Tokyo, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition. His experience in this regard led him to create and direct the Eastman Young Artists' International Piano Competition, which is held biennially in Rochester, New York.

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Ivo Kaltchev

Prizewinner of international piano competitions and a Bösendorfer Concert Artist, pianist Ivo Kaltchev has enjoyed a successful performing career as recitalist, soloist with orchestras, chamber musician and recording artist. "Formidable technique" (Piano Journal, England), "possesses the genius of rubato" (Diapason, France), "distinctive and original" (Soviet Culture, Russia), "impressive" (Frankfurter Neue Presse, Germany), "most beautifully and idiomatically played" (International Record Review, England), "glittering," " big technique" (The Washington Post, USA), "a master of the whole range of pianistic attacks and coloristic effects" (The Star Ledger, USA) - these are some of the words which music critics have used to describe Mr. Kaltchev's artistry.

Mr. Kaltchev has performed in musical centers throughout the world, including Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Malii and Rachmaninov Halls, St. Petersburg State Philharmonic Hall, Warsaw National Philharmonic Hall, Salle Moliere (Lyon, France), Tel Aviv Museum Recanati Auditorium, Mendelssohn Hochschule für Musik Hall (Leipzig, Germany), Princeton University's Richardson Auditorium, and the Bulgaria Great Hall. He has been a guest artist at music festivals in Austria, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, France, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal, Finland, Ukraine, Korea, China, Singapore, Thailand and the U.S. Some of the highlights of recent seasons include both a solo recital and a concerto performance with the EOS Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, a concert tour in Asia as well as performances of the complete solo piano works of Claude Debussy. A respected chamber musician, Mr. Kaltchev has collaborated with members of the New York Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as Essex Quartet, pianists Ilana Vered and Milena Mollova, and French actress Marie Christine Barrault.

Mr. Kaltchev's critically acclaimed commercial recordings for the Bulgarian "Gega New" label include an all-Charles Griffes CD (hailed by the French magazine Diapason as "the most accomplished interpretation known until now"), a CD with the world premieres of solo piano works by the French composer Florent Schmitt as well as a recently released CD with works of Debussy.
Dr. Kaltchev holds degrees and diplomas from Yale and Rutgers Universities, Sofia Academy of Music and the Liszt Hochschule für Musik (Weimar). He is recipient of piano pedagogy awards for teaching excellence and has presented lectures, workshops and master classes in Europe, China, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, the Virgin Islands and the US. Dr. Kaltchev's students are prizewinners of more than 20 piano competitions and have performed with numerous orchestras including I Solisti di Perugia (Italy). Dr. Kaltchev is an active adjudicator and has judged international piano competitions in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S.

Currently, Dr. Kaltchev is Associate Professor of Piano and Head of the Piano Division at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. He is co-Director and co-Founder of the Washington International Piano Festival (www.washingtonpianofest.com) as well as Artistic Director of the Bulgarian Music Society Concert Series at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington DC. He has taught as a Visiting Piano Professor at the Beijing China Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music.

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Hae-Young Kim

Professor Hae-Young Kim is a graduate of Kyunggi Girl's High School (Korea), Seoul National University (Korea), Musik Hochschule fur Musik (Vienna, Austria), Musikwissenschaft and Musikalische Frueh-erziehung (Germany). She has performed in Korea, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, the US and Finland as a solo pianist, chamber music player and a soloist with national and international philharmonic orchestras. Every summer she presents lectures and master classes as well as serves on the jury of the piano competition in the Forum Barcelona Festival (Barcelona, Spain). Prof. Kim is a champion of contemporary music and has premiered numerous 20th century works including pieces of Jeno Takas, Jukka Linkola, and Edmon Tapio in Korea and other countries. Her most recent performances include "Apollo" by Jukka Linkolla at the Contemporary Music Festrival in Terrassa (Spain), Sonata for 2 pianos & percussion by Bartok, and a lecture recital of Piazzolla's "Le Grand Tango" for cello and piano.

Professor Kim has been in demand for master classes throughout South Korea and in many European countries. She regularly serves as a jury member of national and international competitions. Most recently she was a competition judge on the panels of the Vladigerov International Competition in Shumen, Bulgaria and the Young Pianist International Competition in Sofia, Bulgaria. She serves as an international adviser and a faculty member of the Asian International Piano Academy, Festival and Competition in Korea.

Prof. Kim is the Vice-President of the Piano Society in Korea as well as a former Dean of Academic Affairs and Head of Graduate School at Chugye University for the Arts in Seoul, Korea. Currently she is a Piano Professor and Head of the Piano Department at Chugye University for the Arts as well as a member of the Development Committee at the Ministry of Education of South Korea.

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Kevin Robert Orr

Concert pianist Kevin Robert Orrpursuesan dynamic agenda as performer, professor, masterclass clinician, lecturer and adjudicator, that has taken him to major music institutions across the North America, Europe, China, South Korea and Australia.

A University of Florida Research Foundation Professor, Orr's live performances and CD recordings have earned critical acclaim across the globe. In particular, his recordings of the complete Johannes Brahms Solo Piano Sonatas and Balladeshave been universally praised in the major music publications of North America and Europe.
A strong advocate of the music of living composers, Orr has premiered and recorded solo and ensemble works by composers Jennifer Margaret Barker, Paul Basler, Houston Dunleavy, Paul Richards, Robert Rollin, and John Weinsweig, Orr's performances of both new and standard classical repertoire have been heard on Public Radio throughout the United States and on BBC London.

Committed to the broad growth and enrichment of music education, Orr is Founding Director of The University of Florida International Piano Festival (www.arts.ufl.edu/pianofestival), assembling gifted young pianists with distinguished pedagogues from around the world. Additionally, Dr. Orrhas taught at the Val Tidone International Festival Summer Camp, Piacenza, Italy and is a faculty member of the MasterclassesArsHaliaeti, held each summer in Koper-Isola, Slovenia.

While focusing primarily upon the performance and teaching of classical music, Orr also pursues interests in other musical styles, including improvisation, in which his course, "Improvisational Keyboard Skills and Related Technology," exposes students to practical keyboard skills outside the classical realm.

Dr. Orr studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music at Case Western Reserve University, and at The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University. He was the recipient of the William Kurzban Prize in Piano from the Cleveland Institute, and the Aurora Ragiani Martin Piano Award from The Dana School. His teachers have included Paul Schenly, Robert Elliot Hopkins, Caroline Oltmanns, MelvaHuebert, and Doris Arnold-Cunningham. With graduate degrees in performance, Dr. Orr also holds an undergraduate degree in Music Education.

A Steinway Artist, Kevin Robert Orr records for Meyer Media, LLC. His CDs are available via the internet at www.kevinrobertorr.com, and at iTunes, Amazon and Rhapsody.

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Atsuko Okada

Atsuko Okada was born in Tokyo in 1954. After graduating from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music (Currently - Tokyo University of the Arts) in 1976, she advanced to further graduate studies at the university and earned the Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Western music on the recognition of the recital and thesis on Scriabin. Ever since, she has built a career to become a widely respected pianist and music critic.
Dr. Okada is an internationally acclaimed Japan's premier interpreter of Scriabin's legacy. She has been invited to various festivals and conferences, including the music festival on Scriabin's 125th birth anniversary (Moscow, 1997) and the 2nd International Congress commemorating Chopin's 150th death anniversary (Warsaw, 1999), during which she held recitals and delivered lectures. Dr. Okada's portfolio as a researcher/writer/editor includes such desired items as 'Scriabin, the Complete Works for Piano' (Shunju-sha, Tokyo) and "A moment is of itself eternity" - pianism at the end of the century" (Sakuhin-sha, Tokyo), a collection of own critical essays.
At present, Dr. Okada is a professor at Tokyo College of Music, a part-time professor at Tokyo University of the Arts, and a councilor of the Japan Piano Teachers Association. Previously, she was a research fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and an associate professor at Kyoto City University of Art. Dr Okada is very much in demand as a regular guest faculty at various master classes (France, Korea, Japan: from Hokkaido to Okinawa) and as a juror at international competitions, including the 2007 Ciurlionis International Piano Competition (Vilnius).

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Xun Pan

Chinese-American pianist Xun Pan received his early musical training from his grandmother and pianists-parents, Pan Yiming and Ying Shizhen. He continued his studies at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Syracuse University in New York, and earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Mr. Pan has won many international piano competitions and awards, beginning with first prize in the 1986 China National Piano Competition in Beijing, and the "Dr. Luis Sigall" International Piano Competition in Chile in 1987, the International Festival Piano Competition in Korea in 1990, the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition in New York in 1992, and the Artists International Competition in New York in 1993. A student of Theodore Lettvin, Mr. Pan has performed solo recitals worldwide from Carnegie Weill Hall to the Beijing National Center for Performing Arts. He has performed in Moscow, Santiago, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai, Pyong-Yang, London, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Taipei, Budapest, New York, Vina Del Mar, Lisbon, Toronto, Boston, and many other cities in the world. He "…excites his audience with extraordinary power and masterful technique" (Intelligencer Journal).
A noted chamber musician, Mr. Pan is the pianist of the Newstead Trio and Trio Clavino, two of the most distinguished piano trios in North America. Their work has been broadcast live on radio and television, and they have released several highly acclaimed recordings. Mr. Pan is a visiting professor at China Conservatory of Music, China Northwest University for Nationalities, Fuzhou University, Yantai University, Shandong University, Qinghai Normal University, and at Wenzhou University.

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Ralitza Patcheva

Pianist Ralitza Patcheva has been called a “phenomenon” (The Washington Post) and praised for her “elegant pianistic technique”, “courageous, innovative interpretation” (Dolomiten, Italy) and “crystal tone; amalgamation of witty virtuosity, powerful expression and profound sensitivity” (Thuringer Landeszeitung, Germany). She is a prizewinner at the 51st International Competition Busoni in Italy, the Washington International Piano Competition and the National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloists competitions. She also won second prize at the International Chamber Music Competition “Accademia di Citta di Pinerolo” in Italy together with cellist Vasily Popov.

Ralitza Patcheva has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington DC, the Jena Philharmonic (Germany), the Haydn Orchestra (Italy), the Arlington Symphony, the Alexandria Symphony and the Williamsburg Symphonia. She has appeared in recitals at the Kennedy Center, the Phillips Collection, the Embassy Series, as well as major international concert venues the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Gasteig and Villa Musica Mainz and Jubilee Hall in Aldeburgh.

In 2005 Ralitza Patcheva recorded a double CD with works dedicated to famous pianists of the turn of the 20th century. A copy of this album, titled "Dedicated to A Friend" is kept at the International Piano Archives of the University of Maryland. In 2007 she performed the piano version of the Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar at the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. In 2009 she performed the Goldberg Variations of J.S.Bach in Washington DC. In 2013 Ralitza commenced a recital project called "A Room With a Symphony", the first part of which is performing the solo piano arrangements by Otto Singer II of the symphonies of Johannes Brahms.

Ralitza Patcheva has more than twenty concertos in her repertoire and a number of recital programs, encompassing major works of Schumann, Brahms, Liszt, Stravinsky, Bach, Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Ravel as well as rarely performed compositions by F. Martin, K. Szymanowski, R. Hahn, P. Pabst etc. She is known for daring programming, like performing a harpsichord/piano recital at the Phillips Collection or premiering newly composed works. In 2001 Ralitza performed the world premiere of "Glasshouse", a piece for piano and electronic soundscape dedicated to her by the German composer Marco Hertenstein. In recent years she has enjoyed collaborations with composers Frances McKay, Stanislava Stoytcheva, Jessica Krash, Jonathan Bingham and Samuel Post.

At present Ralitza Patcheva is an associate chair of the chamber music program at Levine Music and adjunct faculty at Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at the Catholic University of America. She keeps and active performing schedule and has a private piano studio in Washington DC. She is the associate artistic director of the Bulgarian Music Society in Washington DC.

Ralitza Patcheva holds advanced degrees in piano performance and vocal accompaniment from the University of Maryland, the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich and Peabody Conservatory. Her early training took place at the Levine School of Music in Washington DC and the State Music School in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has studied with Andre Watts, Eliso Virsaladze, Santiago Rodriguez, Helmut Deutsch, Julian Martin, Irena Orlov and Nina Aladshem. She has also studied harpsichord with Webb Wiggins and Lois Narvey and organ with Harvey van Buren.

Dr. Patcheva has been a lecturer at the University of Maryland-College Park and adjunct faculty at the Hochschule fur Musik in Munich, Germany and the Georgetown University in Washington. From 2001 to 2003 she was a Young Artist at the “Villa Musica” foundation in Mainz, Germany.

Since 2002 she co-directs the Brown Bag Music Series at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington DC with cellist Vasily Popov. The series offer free noontime concerts on the first Thursday of every month.

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