Bax (recital and master class only)
Pianist Alessio Bax is praised for creating "a ravishing listening experience" with his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations, and dazzling facility. First Prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions - and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient - he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the Dallas and Houston symphonies, the NHK Symphony in Japan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle.
During the 2013-14 season, Bax returns to the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden at Bravo! Vail and in Dallas, and to the UK's Southbank Sinfonia, with whom he recorded a pair of Mozart piano concertos. He also appears with conductor Hannu Lintu in Finland, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Hans Graf, the Berkeley Symphony, the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and as concerto soloist at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago. Recipient of Lincoln Center's 2013 Martin E. Segal Award and the 2013 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, he tours South America with violinist Joshua Bell, and returns to Lincoln Center for Chamber Music Society concerts, a Great Performers duo recital with pianist Lucille Chung, and a solo recital in a new Chamber Music Society series - in addition to solo recitals in Dallas and Tokyo. Bax and Chung also perform together in Washington, DC, and in Hong Kong, Toronto, and on tour in Canada.
Fall marks the release of a dance-themed duo disc with Chung, presenting Stravinsky's original four-hand version of the ballet Petrouchka along with Brahms waltzes and Piazzolla tangos. His acclaimed discography for Signum Classics includes Alessio Bax plays Mozart (Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595), Alessio Bax plays Brahms (Gramophone "Critic's Choice"), Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies (American Record Guide "Critics' Choice 2011"), and Bach Transcribed; and for Warner Classics, Baroque Reflections (Gramophone "Editor's Choice"). He performed Beethoven's "Hammerklavier" Sonata for maestro Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available as a DVD box set on the EMI label.
International festival appearances have encompassed London's International Piano Series (Queen Elizabeth Hall), Verbier in Switzerland, England's Aldeburgh and Bath festivals, and the Ruhr Klavier-Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, and Schloss Elmau in Germany. He has performed recitals in major music halls around the world, in such cities as Rome, Madrid, Mexico City, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, and New York.
At age 14, Bax graduated with top honors from the conservatory of his hometown, Bari, Italy, and after further studies in Europe moved to the United States in 1994. A Steinway artist, he resides in New York City with his wife, pianist Lucille Chung.
acclaimed Russian pianist Yuri Didenko has performed recitals and with
orchestras in the best concert halls of Moscow, including Great Hall of
Moscow Conservatory and Moscow International House of Music, cities of
the former Soviet Union and abroad: USA, Japan, Great Britain, Germany,
Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Greece, Malta, Chile, China, countries
of Western Africa, Turkey, Cyprus, South Korea.
studied piano at the Central Music School affiliated with the Moscow Conservatory
with Alexander Mndoyants and then at the Moscow Conservatory with Professor
Merzhanov. Since 1994, he has been on the piano faculty of the Moscow
Conservatory. Mr. Didenko is a prizewinner of numerous competitions in
Italy, USA, Belgium; he is the winner of the International Concert Artists
Competition in Royal Tunbridge Wells (Great Britain). In 2003, Mr. Didenko
received the Russian Federation Ministry of Culture Award "For Special
Achievements in Culture".
Mr. Didenko is in demand for master classes in many cities of Russia, Ukraine, Greece, Malta, Germany, Poland, as well as USA, South Korea, and China. He has also served on piano juries of several international piano competitions (as a member and as a chairman of the jury) in Russia, Poland, USA, Greece, Kazakhstan, Ukraine. From 1996 to 2002, Mr. Didenko was an active member and secretary of the Rachmaninov Society of Russia. He is also member of the Presidium of the Scriabin Foundation.
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.
Brian Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. A laureate of the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud and the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, Mr. Ganz has appeared as soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony, the National Philharmonic, the National Symphony and the City of London Sinfonia, and has performed with such conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich and Piotr Gajewski.
The Washington Post has written: "One comes away from a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth." For many years Mr. Ganz has made it his mission to join vivid music making with warmth and intimacy onstage to produce a new kind of listening experience, in which the classics of composers from Chopin to Shostakovich come to life with authentic emotional power. As one of Belgium's leading newspapers, La Libre Belgique, once put it, "We don't have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy."
In January of 2011 Mr. Ganz began a multi-year project in partnership with the National Philharmonic in which he will perform the complete works of Chopin at the Music Center at Strathmore outside of Washington D.C.. After the inaugural recital, The Washington Post wrote: "Brian Ganz was masterly in his first installment of the complete works." The next recital in the series, scheduled for February 22, 2014, will feature the theme "Chopin the Storyteller." Two weeks later, on March 8 and 9, Ganz and the National Philharmonic will join forces for the first time in the project with Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11.
Mr. Ganz is on the piano faculty of St. Mary's College of Maryland, where is artist-in-residence, and is a member of the piano faculty of the Peabody Conservatory. He is the artist-editor of the Schirmer Performance Edition of Chopin's Preludes ( 2005).
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.
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 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.
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.
Scott McBride Smith
Scott McBride Smith is a recognized leader in world-wide music education. As the Cordelia Brown Murphy Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Kansas, he focuses on national issues of teacher training and piano pedagogy. As President and CEO of the International Institute for Young Musicians, he leads a summer program offering specialized training for gifted young performers from around the world. And as co-author of the groundbreaking new series American Popular Piano, he has helped create a course of study for today's student - providing tools that inspire the necessary hard work while playing music they love.
The growing interest in his philosophical and cognitive approach to music teaching has resulted in appearances across the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America, including workshops and showcases at every Music Teachers National Association Conference since 1999. But he has never lost the ability to see humor in the profession and laugh.
A long-time teacher of prize-winning students in Irvine, California, Dr. Smith's students were the California State Champions in the years 1988, 1990, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009. Former students have been First Prize winners in the Naftsger Competition, Tchaikovsky Competition and in competitions of the Music Teachers National Association. His former student Alan Woo won the Julliard School Concerto Competition in 2010, at the age of 19. His student Chaeyoung Park (whom he co-teaches with his colleague, Dr. Jack Winerock) was the Kansas and West Central Divison champion in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 MTNA Junior Competitions, won First Place in the 2012 IIYM International Competition and was the youngest contestant and finalist in the 2012 Eastman Competition. The Wakarusa Trio (Puyin Bai, clarinet; Shokhrukh Sadikov, viola; and Kai Yin Crystal Lam, piano), whom he coaches, is the 2013 National Champion, winning First Place in the MTNA Chamber Music (Strings) national competition in Anaheim in March, 2013.
Dr. Smith is co-author of the college text The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher and associate editor of the magazine Clavier Companion. He is co-author of Christopher Norton's Guide to Microjazz.
Dr. Smith has served as Visiting Professor at the Bela Bartok Conservatory in Lima, Peru; at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts; in China, at the Sichaun Conservatory of Music and at the Shenzhen Arts School; and in Taiwan, sponsored by the International Piano Teaching Foundation.
Smith received his doctorate from the University of Southern California,
where he was co-winner of the Outstanding Graduate in Piano award. A former
member of the Music Teachers National Association National Board, he is
also a member of the European Piano Teachers Association and a Level One
Certified member the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. He
is Immediate past President of the California Association of Professional
Music Teachers and a former president of the Southwest Division of the
Music Teachers National Association.
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.
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.
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