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2019 Teachers and Amateurs Performers

Session I

Monique Arar
(Teacher)

 

Kristi Baker
(Teacher)

 

Wen Ling Chua
(Teacher)

 

Teresa Engelmann
(Teacher)

 

Robert Finley
(Amateur)

 

Minnie Ho
(Amateur)

 

Federicka King
(Teacher)

 

Georgina Lavery
(Amateur)

 

Darren Lee
(Amateur)

 

Daniel Lin
(Teacher)

 

Emilie Lin
(Teacher)

 

Geritt Pronske
(Amateur)

 

Trish Rawn
(Amateur)

 

Utako Tanigawa
(Amateur)

 

I-Wen Tseng
(Teacher)

 

Ka Lai Wan
(Teacher)

 

Darren Wirth
(Teacher)

 

Session II

Diane Austin
(Amateur)
 
Virginia Bigelow
(Teacher)
 
Michael Brounoff
(Amateur)
 
Frédéric Chen
(Teacher)
 
Eunice Chyu
(Teacher)
 
Jonathan Dandrow
(Amateur)
 
Yuezhi Dou
(Teacher)

 

Naoko Garrison
(Teacher)

 

Joel Goodman
(Amateur)

 

Susan Groves
(Teacher)

 

Daniel Hsiung
(Amateur)

 

Mari Ito
(Amateur)

 

John Nees
(Amateur)

 

Thomas Nixon
(Teacher)

 

Joann Oh
(Amateur)

 

Anne Russell
(Teacher)

 

Kazuko Taki
(Amateur)

 

Spencer Thompson
(Amateur)

Hkun Tun
(Amateur)

 

Clinton Velman
(Teacher)

 

Rebecca Wang
(Amateur)

 

Wei Ling Wang
(Amateur)

 

Zachary Weiner
(Amateur)

 

Soohyun Yun
(Teacher)

 


Monique Arar

Private Piano Teacher
Atlanta, Georgia
 
Concerto Repertoire
Grieg: Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (1. Allegro molto moderato)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: Pour le piano
Ravel: Scarbo from Gaspard de la nuit
Scriabin: Select Preludes from Op. 11
Brahms: Klavierstücke Op. 76 No. 1 Capriccio – No. 7 Intermezzio – No. 8 Capriccio
 
 

Dr. Monique Arar began playing piano at the age of three and learned to read music before words. She has studied piano, fortepiano and harpsichord in the United States, Canada, Russia, and Europe and currently performs as both a soloist and chamber musician. A Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Monique runs her own private studio (www.MusicWithMonique.com) and has previously taught at The University of Nevada Las Vegas, Clayton State University, The University of North Georgia, and the Georgia Academy of Music. She is a board member of the Atlanta Music Teachers Association and performs regularly with the Georgia Musicale Group, a nonprofit organization presenting free concerts throughout the state. Engaged in early music and pedagogy, she has presented research related to her thesis “Going Old School: Using Eighteenth Century Pedagogy Models to Foster Musical Skills and Creativity in Today’s Students” at conferences hosted by the Music Teachers National Association, the University of Oregon, and the Historical Keyboard Society of North America. In addition to a DMA, MM, and BM in Piano Performance, Monique has studied harp and violin and holds degrees in Nonprofit Management, Russian, and French. Outside of music, Monique’s hobbies include world travel, spending time outdoors, working out, exploring all forms of art, and being a plant-based foodie.

 
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Kristi Baker
 
Kristi Baker Piano Studio
Topeka, Kansas

 

Concerto Repertoire
Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (II. Andantino grazioso)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: "Mouvement" from Images, 1eme séries
Brahms: Intermezzo in E-flat, Op. 117, No. 1
Chabrier: Habanera (transcribed by the composer)
 


Kristi A. Baker holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance/Pedagogy from Kansas State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Kansas. Since taking on her first piano student in 1971, at the age of thirteen, she has produced many award winning pianists, and has had several students go on to successful music careers of their own. In addition to her private teaching, Dr. Baker served for five years as Adjunct Professor of Applied Piano at Ottawa (Kansas) University, and in 2011 she completed a successful thirty-two year career as a public school music educator. Dr. Baker has been an active member of the Music Teachers’ National Association and its state and local affiliates for most of her career. She has served in various capacities, including President of the Northeast Kansas Music Teachers’ Association, based in Topeka, Kansas, and Kansas Chair for the MTNA Foundation Fund. She is currently serving as President of the Kansas Music Teachers’ Association. In 2009, MTNA recognized Dr. Baker as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano, a distinction she still holds. Throughout her career, she has been in demand as a solo and collaborative artist, clinician and adjudicator. She continues to give workshops and master classes to teachers and students throughout the United States, including presentations at Washburn University in Topeka, Emporia State and Kansas State Universities, Shorter University in Rome, Georgia, and the Kansas Music Teachers’ Association Fall Conference. Dr. Baker has appeared throughout the United States and Europe as a singer, conductor, collaborative and solo pianist. Her most recent credits include appearances Kansas, Georgia, Virginia, and Texas, and multiple performances at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia. 

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Wen Ling Chua

Music Makers Learning Center

McKinney, Texas

 

Concerto Repertoire
Ravel: Concerto in G major (I – Allegramente)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: "Pagodes" and "La soirée dans Grenade" from Estampes

 

Wen Ling Chua was born in Malaysia. She received her D.M.A in Piano Pedagogy at Texas Tech University, M.M in Missouri State University and Bachelor Degree of Performing Arts (Music) in University of Malaya, Malaysia. She obtained both performance diplomas: Associate Diploma and Licentiate Diploma from Trinity College of Music (London) in Solo Piano Recital with Distinction in year 2006 and 2008 and she was awarded the Certificate of Excellence by Trinity College of Music, London. Her most influential teachers include Dr. Lora Deahl, Dr. Wei-Han Su, and Mr. Chong Lim Ng. Dr. Chua was a teaching assistant at TTU. She taught group piano for music and non-music major, applied piano lesson to non-piano major students. She also a dance musician for ballet and modern dances. While she was in MSU, she was a graduate assistant for the Dance Department at Missouri State University as a dance accompanist. She accompanied numerous students’ competitions, recitals, both instrumental and vocal since her undergraduate degree. Dr. Chua research include Memorization on Piano Music and Pedaling in Debussy’s Piano Music. She won a writing contest from Clavier Companion 2014 and her winning article: The Deeper Understanding of Memorization in Piano Music published on Clavier Companion Nov-Dec 2014.

 
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Teresa Engelmann
 
Teresa Engelmann Piano Studio
Wylie, Texas
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: "Prelude", "Forlane", "Menuet", "Rigaudon" from Le Tombeau de Couperin
Debussy: Children’s Corner
Brahms: Klavierstucke Op. 119, Nos. 1-3
 

Teresa Engelmann began taking piano lessons at the age of 10. She earned her B.A. Degree in Music from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Teresa taught private lessons throughout college as a means of supporting herself and paying tuition. Through those lessons, she developed a love for teaching. She returned to Minnesota, where she taught private lessons in her hometown for a few years. Feeling the need to venture further away from home, she picked up and moved to Dallas, Texas. She began working for State Farm in 1999. It was there she met her husband, Jeff Logue. Teresa continued to play piano in her spare time, playing for weekly services for church. In 2006, State Farm transferred the family to Bloomington, Illinois. After arriving in Bloomington, Teresa opened up a new piano studio. She cut back her hours at State Farm to part-time so she could spend more time teaching and playing. In 2010 she left State Farm and went back to school to obtain a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Illinois State University. She received a graduate assistantship, teaching group piano classes. She maintained her studio in Bloomington until State Farm transferred the family back to Dallas to their new office in Richardson. Teresa left State Farm in April 2017 to go back to teaching full time. She maintains a private studio within her home, teaching students ranging in age from preschool to adult. Teresa also serves as backup organist for Messiah Lutheran Church, playing for their Wednesday night services, and co-directs the youth choir and sanctuary orchestra. She also does extensive work as an accompanist for local high school and junior high band students for UIL and district solo festivals. Teresa is an active member in her local MTNA chapter and the DFW Amateur Piano Group. She recently was one of the teachers featured in a Teacher Recital at Steinway Hall-Dallas. In her spare time, Teresa enjoys working out at Orangetheory Fitness and spending time with her husband and 18-year old daughter, Samantha, who keeps her busy with band and choir activities.

 
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Robert Finley

Retired Electronics Engineer
Northborough, Massachusetts 
 
Concerto Repertoire
Tchaikovsky: Concerto No.1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23 (Movements II – Andantino semplice – Prestissimo – Tempo and III – Allegro con fuoco)
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: "Prélude", "Rigaudon", and "Toccata" from Le Tombeau de Couperin
Fauré: Nocturne No. 13 in B minor, Op. 119
Fauré: Barcarolle No. 1 in A minor, Op. 26
Fauré: Impromptu No. 3 in A-flat major, Op. 34
Debussy: "La fille aux cheveux de lin", from Préludes, Book 1
Debussy: "Golliwog's Cakewalk" from Children's Corner
Debussy: Arabesque No. 2

 

Robert Finley was born in Hull, England, and is a retired electronics engineer. He began to play the piano at the age of 7, studied at Trinity College of Music in London and with Norma Fisher, Albert Ferber and in the masterclasses of Jorge Bolet, Louis Kentner and Vlado Perlemuter. He studied electronic engineering at the University of Sussex and worked in the UK and USA in the field of telecommunications. He was awarded the ARCM diploma in piano performance with Honours from the Royal College of Music in 1976. He played recitals and concertos in the USA, UK, Russia, France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Argentina, Japan and Israel. He is the founder of the Boston Piano Amateurs Association that organizes international piano competitions every two years. He played in piano competitions in the USA and overseas and was a finalist in the 2009 Chopin Piano Amateur Competition in Warsaw Poland, and the joint grand prize winner of the 2012 Yamaha and Pianist Magazine amateur piano competition in Manchester, UK. In 2013 he was invited back to Manchester UK to give a recital at the Chethams School of Music and played the first movement of the Chopin 2nd Piano Concerto with the Manchester Camerata orchestra. In 2008 and 2010 he was a winner of the concerto competition during the Piano Texas Festival in Fort Worth and played the first movement of the Rachmaninoff 1st and 3rd concerti with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 he played the Liszt 1st Piano Concerto with the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 he gave a recital at the Gasteig auditorium in Munich Germany and also two recitals at the Earth Plaza Auditorium in Yokohama Japan. In 2016 he won the 2nd prize at the Piano Bridges Competition in St. Petersburg Russia and gave a recital at the State Academic Capella Auditorium. In 2018 he gave recitals in Bayreuth, Germany, on Liszt’s piano, and in Moscow, Russia, at the Alexander Goldenweiser Museum.

 
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Minnie Ho

Chip Architect
Los Altos Hills, California
 
Concerto Repertoire:
Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (I. Allegro affettuoso)
 
Solo Repertoire:
Ravel: Sonatine
Debussy: "Cathedrale Engloutie" from Préludes, Book I
 

 

While Minnie played piano competitively as a child, she took a break for more than 20 years. She started again in January 2017 at the California Concerto Weekend (CCW). She returned to the CCW in 2018 and again in 2019. In addition, she has played at Carnegie (Weill) Hall (June 2017), and she played in a master class for Yoheved Kaplinsky at PianoTexas in June 2018. Minnie is a Senior Principal (electrical) Engineer at Intel Corporation. She received her MS and Ph.D from Stanford University, and her BS from Princeton University. She won an Intel Achievement Award in 2018, an IEEE best journal paper award in 2013, and she has over 50 granted patents. She has a long-suffering husband, a noisy dog, and two enterprising teenage boys.

 
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Fredericka King

Emerson College - Senior Music Historian in Residence

Boston, Massachusetts 
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: "Ondine" from Gaspard de la nuit
Rachmaninoff: Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 36 (II. Non allegro and III. Allegro molto)
Chopin: Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60

Fredericka King, pianist, made her debut at Carnegie Recital Hall and has performed in the United States, Europe and South America. Recitals have been presented at historic Jordan Hall, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Gardner Museum, and in concert as soloist with several New England orchestras. She was the featured artist on television and public radio stations such as WGBH in Boston, WVPR in Vermont, and WGMS in the Washington, D.C. area. As soloist and collaborative artist, Fredericka has performed at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, the National Gallery of Art, and the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She appeared in numerous programs as soloist and accompanist with the National Spiritual Ensemble, touring throughout the United States, and was a founding member La Femme, La Femme, a group dedicated to the performance of chamber and solo works by women composers In 2017 Fredericka performed as soloist and with a piano trio at the Interharmony Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy. Ms. King’s recitals feature works of Classical composers and highlight the works of women, American, and AfricanAmerican composers, as on her CD A Born Pianist. Additional recordings include one of solo and vocal works by American women titled Hooray for the Ladies! with the group American Classics and a CD of chamber music by the African-English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor with the Coleridge Ensemble. She also designed, recorded, and produced the 3 CD set Piano Classics for Young Listeners. Fredericka has studied with Maria Donska, Katja Andy, Maria Clodes, Dr. Harold Martina, Jose Feghali, and performed in Master classes with Stanislav Oudenitch, Yoheved Kaplinsky, John Owings, Eric Tawastjerna, and Barry Douglas. Her academic background includes degrees from Boston Conservatory and New England Conservatory, and doctoral studies at Boston University. She studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and was awarded a Teaching Diploma by the Royal College of Music in London, England, and also She is Senior Music Historian-in-Residence at Emerson College and a member of the piano faculty at New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School. For the Conservatory’s Continuing Education Department, she teaches an adult piano class and Music History. Ms. King also maintains a private piano studio.

 
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Georgina Lavery
 
Church Music Director/Homemaker
Las Cruces, New Mexicol
 

 

Concerto Repertorie:
Mozart: Concerto No. 21 in C major, K. 467 (I. Allegro maestoso)
 
Solo Repertorie
Chopin: Fantasie in F minor, Op. 49 
Beethoven: Sonata No. 26 in E-flat major, Op. 81a. (I. Adagio-Allegro)
Debussy: "Reflets dans l’eau" from Images, 1ere série 

 

Born in Auckland, New Zealand, Ms. Lavery received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Otago in Dunedin where she studied with Professor Terence Dennis. Prior to moving to the United States, she completed a Master of Arts degree at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Science degree with the University of Maryland, European Division. Since moving to the United States Ms. Lavery completed her Master of Music degree at the University of New Mexico with Professor Falko Steinbach. She has participated in masterclasses with Tamás Ungár, Piers Lane, Ian Hominick, and Neal Larrabee and has also performed at the DTKV Music Festival in Heek-Nienborg, and the International Piano Festival in Lindlar, Germany. She is currently studying piano with Dr. Alexander Tentser in Tucson, Arizona and works part time as a Choir Director for Chapel One at Ft. Bliss, TX. Most recently she performed the third movement of the Grieg Concerto at the California Concerto Weekend in January this year. She has attended the Piano Texas International Academy and Festival in the summer of 2016 and 2017.

 

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Darren Lee

Certified Public Accountant
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 
Concerto Repertoire
Grieg: Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (I. Allegro molto moderato)

Solo Repertoire
Ravel: Jeux d’eau
Debussy:  L’isle joyeuse
Beethoven: Sonata No. 30 in E major, Op. 109
Chopin Ballades No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23
Chopin: Ballade in F major, Op. 38
Chopin: Ballade in A-flat major, Op. 47
Ravel: Ondine from Gaspard de la nuit
Rachmaninoff: Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5  

 

Darren is based in Toronto, Canada and his professional career as a CPA involves roles as an income tax and financial advisor as well as an accounting and finance instructor. He has been involved with the Piano Texas Amateurs Program for several years and performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in 2014. Exploring the chamber music repertoire is central to Darren’s musical activities and he is an annual participant in the Toronto Summer Music Community Academy in both chamber music and solo piano. Past performances have included the Mozart Piano Quartet in G minor and the Schumann Piano Quintet with an upcoming performance this summer of the Dvorak Piano Quintet in A major. In his remaining time, Darren travels the world as a highly competitive runner in search of the perfect race. Highlights of his marathon running exploits include those in Boston, Chicago, London, Paris, Berlin, Frankfurt, Rotterdam, and Fukuoka. In not restricting his travels only to running races, he recently went on a hiking adventure to Patagonia in southern Chile and Argentina.

 
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Daniel Lin

Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, Indiana

Concerto Repertoire
Saint-Saëns: Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 (I. Andante sostenuto - Molto animato)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: L'isle Joyeuse
Chopin: Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52

 

Taiwanese-Canadian pianist Daniel Lin currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music, and teaches class piano, piano pedagogy, piano ensemble, and applied piano at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana. Previously, he was a visiting faculty member at the University of Evansville. Dr. Lin’s performances have been featured in a variety of venues in Canada, USA, Holland, Italy, Spain, and Germany. He was a finalist in several international competitions, including the 2006 Pacific International Competition, as well as the 2008 Chinese International Piano Competition. Additional competition highlights include the Bosendorfer Concerto Competition and the Canadian Music Competition, both in 2007, where he won third and first prizes, respectively. He has also collaborated with members of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2015, he was a guest soloist in the Max Reger Festival hosted jointly by the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and the Max Reger Foundation of the Americas. His performance of the Variations and Fugue on a Theme of J.S. Bach, Op. 81 was favorably received in a recent issue of the American Guild of Organists. Dr. Lin has served as an adjudicator in many festivals in the Midwest, and his students are frequent recipients of scholarships and awards in local and national competitions. He is a member of the Indiana Music Teachers Association, and serves on the Board of Directors as the coordinator of Hoosier Auditions. With degrees from the University of Toronto, the Cologne Conservatory of Music and Dance, and Indiana University, Dr. Lin has worked with world-renowned pedagogues and pianists including David Louie, Leslie Kinton, Marietta Orlov, Nina Tichman, Jean-Louis Haguenauer, and most recently, Arnaldo Cohen. His doctoral project was on the piano works of late-Romantic German composer Max Reger.

 
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Emilie Lin

Emilie Lin Piano Studio
Ann Arbor, Michigan
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: Sonatine
Telemann: Aria in G Major
Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9 "Chopin" and "Marche des Davidsbündler contre les Philistins"



Majoring in psychology, Emilie Lin graduated with magna cum laude and distinction from Carleton College. As a musician, she frequently accompanied Carleton’s choirs, vocalists and instrumentalists, participated in recitals and chamber music ensembles, won the concerto competition during her senior year, and received an honors award in music performance. After earning her MA and PhD in Psychology (Cognitive Division) from the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign with a University Fellowship, Emilie went to the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow, but left the position to pursue professional training in music. She received her MA in piano performance from the University of Michigan with full scholarship, and won the concerto competition as a first year master’s student. Music teachers and professors who have positively shaped Emilie’s musical life in chronological order are: Shu-Wen Huang Tsai, Jen-Jen Hong, Jin-Ai Hong, JinLee Lee, Martha Carolyn Good, Jade Lin, Anne Mayer, Andrew De Grado, Lynne Bartholomew, Anton Nel, and Christopher Harding. Since 1996, Emilie has taught piano privately in her home studio to both children and adults, from beginners to advanced level. She is a member of the Ann Arbor Area Piano Teachers Guild, Michigan Music Teachers Association, and Music Teachers National Association. Integrating her knowledge and experience from several disciplines of psychology into her teaching, Emilie nurtures in each student a life-long love for music. Guiding her students to become more conscientious and self-aware during the learning process is also central to her teaching. As a published composer and arranger in pedagogical piano music for everyday students and for her publisher’s market needs, Emilie aims to create engaging pieces that make the process of learning and teaching music a joyful adventure. She is published by The FJH Music Company, Inc. Born in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Emilie moved to the US at age 14 under the guardianship of her great-uncle and great-aunt. She is a US citizen currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband. In her spare time, Emilie likes to read nonfiction materials and hiking, especially in national parks. She looks forward to perform more as her two sons approach adulthood.

 
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Gerrit Pronske
 
Attorney
Plano, Texas
 
Concerto Repertoire
Beethoven: Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (I. Allegro con brio)
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: "Ondine" from Gaspard de la Nuit
Xaver Scharwenka: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 56 (Second Movement)


Gerrit Pronske has lived in Texas most of his life. He went to high school in Plano, and college and law school at Texas Tech University. Gerrit has been a business bankruptcy attorney for 35 years in the Dallas area. He has participated in PianoTexas several times, and has played in a number of festivals in various locations.

 
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Trish Rawn

Pharmacist, Mount Sinai Hospital

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
 
Concerto Repertoire
Saint-Saëns: Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 (I. Andante sostenuto - Molto animato)
 
Solo Repertoire
Chopin: Ballade No. 4 in F minor, Op. 52
Denis Gougeon: Piano-Soleil
Chopin: Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31
Haydn: Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob XVI/52
 


Trish Rawn works in a hospital pharmacy and provides educational outreach services to local health professionals. She is also a certified health coach. Trish enjoys playing a wide variety of piano repertoire including recent works by Canadian composers. When not playing piano, Trish enjoys swimming, yoga, and playing with her two young daughters.

 
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Utako Tanigawa
 
IT Executive Advisor, Itec International, LLC
Dawsonville, Georgia

Concerto Repertoire
Mozart: Concerto No. 23 in A major K.488 (I. Allegro)
 
Solo Repertoire
Haydn: Sonata in A-flat major, Hob. XVI/46
Beethoven: Sonata No. 21 in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein” (I. Allegro con brio)
Chopin: Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31
Scarlatti: Sonata in D minor, Sonata L.422/K.141,
Scarlatti: Sonata in in B minor, L.449/K.27
Scarlatti: Sonata in D major, L.415/K.119

 

Utako Tanigawa, born in Osaka, Japan, started playing the piano at the age of three; however she gave up playing when she was thirteen years old. In Japan, she owned a private school and a restaurant. She later came to the U.S. and earned additional degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science, Software Engineering, Management Science and Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems. Dr. Tanigawa has been engaged in executive positions in global corporations including WalMart and American Express for more than three decades, while simultaneously serving as an academic lecturer and researcher at multiple universities such as Stanford, Boston, Chicago, and Colorado University. She is passionate about leadership development and has been a mentor and advisor to several dozens of talented people, facilitating their advancement into next generation leaders. Several years ago, her life had a dramatic turn due to a life threatening illness. Although it severely damaged her body, her love of music returned and provided a tangible lifeline. Today music continues to play a key soothing and healing role as her recovery continues. She has been a contestant at Van Cliburn Outstanding Amateur, Chopin Competition for Amateur Pianists in Warsaw, Poland, Washington DC International Piano Artist Competition, Dulwich Piano Festival in London, Piano Bridges in St. Petersburg, Russia and Seattle International Piano Competition. She is honored to be selected as a finalist and awarded best performer awards at three competitions in addition to be in the second round twice in Chopin Competition and WIPAC. After moving to Georgia, she founded a non- profit organization, Georgia Musicale Group in 2016 to share the joy of classical music with others. The members are from wide variety backgrounds such as scientists, medical doctors, teachers, and retired music lovers. Members are vocalists, and many instrument players including ensemble playing. Our mission is to increase appreciation of classical music through listening and performing opportunities. We are kindred spirits who support and encourage each other.

 
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I-Wen Tseng

Private Piano Teacher

Baltimore, Maryland
 
Concerto Repertoire
Chopin: Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11 (I. Allegro maestoso)
 
Solo Repertoire
Schumann: Abegg Variations, Op. 1

 


Originally from Taiwan, Ms. Tseng started playing piano at the age of 6. She moved to United Sates to further her piano studies at the age of 14. She holds a Bachelor and Master degree in Piano Performance from Manhattan School of Music, but shortly after she graduation she decided to redirect her career path to Interior Design and Architecture. After the completion of her degrees in design field she worked as an Interior/Architectural designer in New Jersey and New York areas for years. In 2013, Ms. Tseng had to stop working due to health reasons, which led her on a soul-searching journey. After months of contemplation, Ms. Tseng decided to explore the possibility of returning to piano playing. In fall of 2014, she came to discover the Taubman Approach through recommendation of a friend. Since then she has been working and mentor by Mr. Robert Durso-a board member and master teacher of Golandsky Institute, both in piano playing and pedagogy. Ms. Tseng currently maintains a small private studio in Baltimore area, dedicated to sharing the Taubman technique with injured pianists and teaching it as the basis to beginners. In 2017, Ms. Tseng participated Washington International Pianist Artists Competition, completed her first solo performance since 20 years ago, and was awarded with the Best Bach Performance award.

 
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Ka Lai Wan

Private Piano Teacher
Hong Kong
 
Concerto Repertoire
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (III. Rondo: Allegro molto)
 
Solo Repertoire
Beethoven: Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op.110, (I. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo)
Leoš Janáček: In the Mists (I. Andante)

Kelly, Wan Ka Lai is born in Hong Kong in 1988. She started to learn piano when she was 3 years old. But her piano lessons were on and off due to academic reasons. After the graduation of the bachelor degree in Chinese and Bilingual Studies in Hong Kong, she decided to devote much more time to studying music. She got the diplomas of LTCL and AMusTCL offered by London Trinity College. And she learnt to play violin and flute. She is now a private piano teacher and sometimes serves as an accompanist of choir or for soloists in Hong Kong.
 
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Darren Wirth
 
Darren Wirth Piano Studio
Aurora, Colorado
 
Concerto Repertoire
Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (I. Allegro affettuoso)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: "Pagodes" and "Jardins sous la pluie" from Estampes
Grieg: Folkelivsbilder (Scenes from Country Life), Op. 19, No. 1 Fjeldslåt (Mountain Tune)

Darren Wirth has degrees in music from Indiana University and the University of Denver. As a pianist, he was a semi-finalist in the International Piano Odyssiad Competition and a finalist in the Symphony in the Valley Concerto Competition, as well as a prizewinner in the United States International Duo Piano Competition, and Silver Medalist at the Seattle International Piano Competition Virtuoso Festival. As a composer, his works have been featured at the Pike's Peak Young Composers Competition concert, the Lamont School of Music's Student Concert Series at the University of Denver, and Vox Novus. Darren is the accompanist for Smoky Hill High School in Aurora, CO and maintains a private piano studio for children and adults.

 
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Diane Austin
 
Retired

Fort Worth, Texas

 
Concerto Repertoire
Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (I. Allegro affettuoso)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: "Prélude", "Sarabande", and "Toccata" from Pour le Piano,
Brahms: Klavierstücke Op. 118: No. 3 Ballade and No. 6 Intermezzo
Debussy: Petite Suite for Piano 4-hands, 1. En Bateau, 2. Cortege, 3. Menuet, 4. Ballet

 

Diane Austin retired in 2016 from a varied career that included piano teacher, biostatistician, and occupational therapist. She began piano studies at age 6 in Fort Worth where she grew up. She earned her degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, including a B.Mus. in Piano Performance in 1982, M.S. in Statistics in 1999, and M.S. in Occupational Therapy in 2010. She returned to piano study in 2013. Three years ago, she returned to Fort Worth to be closer to family. She currently studies piano with Harold Martina.

 
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Virginia Bigelow
 
Private Piano Teacher

Walnut Creek, California 

Concerto Repertoire
Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 (III. Allegro scherzando)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy:  L'Isle Joyeuse
Ravel: Jeux d'Eau
Debussy: Two Arabesques
Debussy: "Clair de Lune" from Suite Bergamasque
 

Virginia Bigelow (Ginny) received her bachelor's degree from Baylor University under William McKamie and master’s from the University of Houston, studying with Albert Hirsch -- both degrees in Piano Performance. She then moved to Southern California and continued piano lessons with Earle Voorhies. In addition to teaching piano, she explored many interesting jobs. She studied theology and counselling, was organist-choir director at the Latin American Methodist Church in Pasadena, did social work in east Los Angeles, did part-time secretarial work when her husband was in Vietnam. She had met and married the “other pianist” who was playing for singing at Hollywood Presbyterian Church singles group. After their move to Northern California, Ginny attended a conference that asked the attendees to consider a dream that they would like to experience. Aside from piano accompanying, and playing solos at the recitals of her private students, Ginny imagined playing solos with an orchestra. Thus she ultimately invited the local community college orchestra director to her home to listen to her recently learned concerto. He came and sat down, watching Ginny play. When she saw him conducting -- out of the corner of her eye -- she knew she was in. At least a dozen concerto performances later, Ginny notes that she has played with four local orchestras under six different conductors. Repertoire: Mozart concertos, the Brahms Bb, Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, Franck Symphonic Variations, and Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2. She even played with the Diablo Valley orchestra on the Queen Mary. Ginny’s solo playing has included local performances on various recital Series, benefit performances for Hospice, and other solo performances for local organizations. She is a performing member of the Berkeley Piano Club and the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society, and holds positions in each -- particularly in working with competitions and promoting young talent. It was exciting to find the daughter of one of her former students here at Piano Texas as a young artist. Ginny considers her own major musical growth to have come from Lillian Bauer Cox, with whom she studied after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, and from all the outstanding lessons she experienced and observed at International Workshops and at Piano Texas. Her hobbies have remained the same: gardening (until she moved to a condo in downtown Walnut Creek), playing golf, and playing fun card games with friends.

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Michael Brounoff

U. S. Administrative Law Judge
Plano, Texas 
 
Concerto Repertoire
Ravel: Concerto in G major (II. Adagio assai)
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: "Oiseaux Tristes" and "La Vallee des Cloches" from Miroirs
Debussy: "Soiree dans Grenade" from Estampes
Debussy: Petite Suite for Piano 4-hands, 1. En Bateau, 2. Cortege, 3. Menuet, 4. Ballet
 

Although he suspended formal piano study after high school, Michael continued to play for personal enjoyment, serving as musical director of the satirical review, “Assault and Flattery” while in law school. As a practicing attorney, he still found time to direct the music for local productions of Broadway musicals, including Brigadoon, The Fantasticks, Anything Goes, The Grass Harp, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, and Guys & Dolls. He resumed formal piano study at age 53 with Dr. Tamas Ungar of Texas Christian University and—after accepting an appointment as Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration in Syracuse, NY— with Dr. Fred Karpoff of Syracuse University. Transferring back to Dallas, he resumed study with Dr. Ungar. He has competed in the Van Cliburn Foundation’s, International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs four times, advancing to the semi-final round three times. He has attended Piano Texas Academy and Festival at TCU every year since 2000 except one, and won in competition the privilege of concerto performance with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra four times.

Michael lives in Plano, TX with his wife of 37 years, Martha Jane, their son, David Franklin, and Michael’s piano, a 9-foot Knabe named “Obiwan.”

 
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Frédéric Chen

Adjunct Piano Faculty, Hwa-Gang Junior High School

Taipei City, Taiwan

Concerto Repertoire
Chopin: Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21 (I. Maestoso)
 
Solo Repertoire
Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 29 in B-Flat major, Op. 106 “Hammerklavier" (I. Allegro)
Rachmaninoff: Piano Sonata No.2 in B-Flat minor, Op. 36 (I. Allegro agitato)
Chopin: Etudes, Op. 10, No. 1 in C major, No. 2 in A minor, No. 3 in E major, No. 4 in C-sharp minor, and
No. 5 in G-flat major

 

Pianist Frédéric Chen has cultivated a versatile career as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Praised for his expressive musicianship, brilliant virtuosity, and sophisticated interpretations, he has thrilled audiences in North America, Europe, and Asia with his wide-ranging repertoire, from Bach to Ligeti. He has appeared at major concert stages such as the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center, Palau de la Musica of Valencia, Spain, and the National Concert Hall in Taiwan. Mr. Chen has presented recitals in London, Paris, Baltimore and St. Louis. Important recital engagements include performing Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata in the Pianists of the World Series at St Martin-in-the-Fields and the complete Chopin Etudes in the National Recital Hall in Taiwan. Mr. Chen made his concerto debut with the National Taiwan Normal University Orchestra under the baton of Apo Hsu at Taipei's Novel Hall for Performing Arts in Taiwan and also performed Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Toruń Symphony Orchestra in Poland. The music festivals he has performed include the International Holland Music Sessions, MusicAlp Festival, Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy and Texas Christian University/Cliburn Piano Institute (Piano Texas International Academy & Festival). In addition to his solo music making, Chen is also an avid chamber musician. Most recently, he collaborated with the Taiwan Yale Ensemble and performed in the National Concert Hall of Taiwan. A native of Taiwan, Chen holds a Master of Music degree from Yale School Music, and also studied in the Accademia Pianistica Internazionale in Imola, Italy. Mr. Chen is the recipient of numerous awards and he won the Artist Presentation Society Auditions and the Taiwan National Piano Competition. Currently, he teaches in the pre-college music program at the Hwa-Gang Junior High School in Taiwan.

 
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Eunice Chyu

 

Assistant Professor, National Tsing-Hua University

Hsinchu, Taiwan

Concerto Repertoire:
Mozart: Concerto No. 23 in A major, K. 488 (I. Allegro)
 
Solo Repertoire:
Debussy: "Feux d'artifice" and "General Lavine—eccentric" from Préludes, Book 2
Chopin: Ballade No.1 in G minor, Op. 23
 

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Eunice Yawen Chyu graduated from Taipei First Girls High School and Fu-Jen Catholic University, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science.

One year after graduation from college, Chyu went to the Ohio State University for graduate study and received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. Her piano teachers include Dr. Rosemary Platt, Dr. Nelson Harper, and Prof. Steven Glaser.

Since 1995, Chyu has been expanding her technical, pedagogical, and physical knowledge at the piano through the Taubman approach at the Taubman Institute and the Golandsky Institute, as well as ongoing studies with Nina Scolnik. Chyu wrote two books: “The Pace Piano Approach and Improvisational Application” (2013), and “Martin Luther’s Theological Thoughts on Worship and Appreciation of His Hymns” (2017). Both were published in Taiwan. Chyu teaches part-time at National Tsing-Hua University in Hsin-chu, Taiwan, lectures at seminaries and churches on Hymns and Liturgy, and plays organ and piano for church services.

 
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Jonathan Dandrow
 
CEO of Radenso Radar

Independence, Kentucky

Concerto Repertoire
Brahms: Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op.83 (II. Allegro Appassionato)
 
Solo Repertoire
Bach-Busoni: Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004
Bach: Prelude and Fugue in C Minor, BWV 871
 
 

The piano is something that suddenly and surprisingly altered the trajectory of Jonathan Dandrow’s life. Only briefly taking piano lessons as a child, it was at age 16 when Jonathan fell in love with the instrument - asking for a piano for his birthday after hearing Bernstein’s performance of Rhapsody in Blue on the radio. After two years of intense study under Irina Zayaruzny (Cheshire, CT) Jonathan was accepted into the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, auditioning with the first Prelude and Fugue, Chopin Etude, and Beethoven Sonata he had ever learned. Jonathan finished his degree at Xavier University under Dr. Polina Bespalko, where he experienced his dream of performing Rhapsody in Blue with the Xavier University Symphonic Orchestra. During a high-stress period while founding and growing a consumer electronics business where he is currently CEO, Jonathan was forced to step away from the piano due to time constraints and health issues. Now with health issues behind him and an executive team in place to help run the business, Jonathan is thankful to return to the place where he finds the most peace – a seat at the piano – and is looking forward to a lifetime of music making.  

 

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Yuezhi Dou
 

University of Central Arkansas

Conway, Arkansas

Concerto Repertoire
Mozart: Concerto No. 20 in D minor, K. 466 (I. Allegro)

Solo Repertoire
Schubert: Piano Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960
Debussy: "Hommage a Rameau" and "Poissons d’or" from Images, 2ème  série
Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 9, S.244

 

 

Jack Yuezhi Dou is seving as Adjunt Instructor- staff accompanist at the University of Central Arkansas. Born in Xuzhou, China, Mr. Dou began studying piano at age six and made his first debut two years later. In 2009, Mr. Dou came to the United States and became a student of award-winning pianist Neil Rutman at the University of Central Arkansas. Since 2013, he has studied toward his Master’s and later Doctoral degree at the Peabody Institute of Music under the tutelage of Ellen Mack, a pupil of Moriz Rosenthal. Mr. Dou won multiple awards in national and international competitions and frequently performed on various occasions in both the United States and China in several notable concert halls. He has also performed in public masterclasses, for legendary pianists such as Leon Fleisher, Richard Goode, Dmitri Alexeev, and Anton Kuerti. In addition to his distinctive performance as a soloist, Mr. Dou collaborates extensively with instrumentalists and vocalists. He has held the Graduate Assistantship in accompanying upon entry into the Peabody Conservatory and was honored with the “Clara Ascherfeld Award” in Accompanying in 2016. As a committed educator, Mr. Dou has been offering piano lessons to students of various ages for nearly ten years. Mr. Dou is also actively involved in community work such as a recently established project of an unprecedented after school arts program at the Thomas Johnson Elementary Middle School in Baltimore city, offering free private piano lessons to beginners. Beside music, Mr. Dou is a big soccer fan and has been supporting the Italian national team since 16 years old. Mr. Dou is also a passionate cook in various cuisines, especially Intalian cuisine. Influenced by Gennaro Contaldo, Mr. Dou often makes his own pizza and falls in love with real Italian pastas. Currently, Mr. Dou is a Doctor of Musical Arts student in Piano Performance at Peabody Institute of Music, John Hopkins University.

 
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Naoko Garrison

Piano Faculty at Xavier College Preparator

Phoenix, Arizona

Solo Repertoire
Debussy: Pour le piano
Mozart: Fantasy in C minor, K. 396
 

 

A native of Japan, Naoko Garrison started her piano study at age three. She received her Bachelor of Education degree with emphasis on Piano Performance from Ehime University in Japan studying with Shin Moriyama and continued her studies under Robert Hamilton at Arizona State University where she was a scholarship recipient and received a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance. She has participated in master classes and performed in PianoSummer at New Paltz in New Paltz, NY, International Summer Piano Courses of the Prague Conservatoire in Prague, and most recently Oh My Ears New Music Festival in Phoenix, AZ and PianoTexas International Festival & Academy in Fort Worth, TX. Naoko is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Arizona State Music Teachers Association (ASMTA) and the Phoenix Music Teachers Association (PMTA), and currently serves on the piano faculty at Xavier College Preparatory, Rio Salado College and Rosie's House: A Music Academy for Children. Besides her busy teaching/performance schedule, she enjoys yoga and listening to vinyl records.

 
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Joel Goodman

Cell Biologist / Professor, UT Southwestern Medical School
Carrollton, Texas

 

Concerto Repertoire:
Prokofiev: Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16 (I. Andantino)
 
Solo Repertoire:
Fauré: Theme and Variations, Op 73
Debussy: "Le vent dans la plaine", "Les sons et les parfums tournent dans l”air du soir" and "Les collines d’Anacapri"
from Préludes, Book I
Strauss-Schultz-Evler: Concert Arabesques on The Blue Danube
 


Joel Goodman has played the piano since childhood – in New York City as a young boy, in Southern California during his school years, and in Dallas since 1982. He took private lessons through his mid 20s, and then started up again in 1999, studying with Adam Wodnicki at University of North Texas.  Goodman has played in Van Cliburn  Amateur Competitions as well as the firstBerlin Amateur Competition. He has performed with the Ft. Worth Symphony three times at Piano Texas.  Goodman received both his doctoral training in pharmacology and post­doctoral work in  cell and molecular biology in Los Angeles. Since 1982 he has been on the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical  School in Dallas, where he directs a research program in fat storage mechanisms.  He also teaches medical and  doctoral students, and directs the science outreach office (Science Teacher Access to Resources at Southwestern).  Besides piano, Joel also enjoys his bicycle and train commute to work, West Coast Swing, Renaissance Weekend,  and wasting way too much time surfing the internet.  

 
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Susan Groves

Susan Groves Piano Studio

Austin, Texas

Concerto Repertoire
Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 (III. Allegro scherzando)
 
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentales
Bach: French Suite in G major, BWV 816
 

 

An active pianist and private piano teacher in Austin, Texas, Susan Groves comes from a long line of professional pianists, including her late father, University of Texas piano professor William Race, and her mother Katherine Race, who continues to teach and perform at age 91. Susan was a prizewinner in several national competitions as well as soloist with several orchestras, including the Austin Symphony at age 12. Principal teachers include Anton Kuerti, Danielle Martin, William Race and Nancy Garrett. Following the completion of her doctorate at UT, Susan and her father formed the Race-Groves Duo, performing concerts throughout the US and China until his death in 1999. Since then, she has given numerous performances in Austin and around Texas, both as a soloist and as chamber musician. A devoted participant in Piano Texas since 2011, Susan was chosen to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto #24 with the Ft. Worth Symphony during PianoTexas 2014. Susan Groves has maintained a large, award-winning private studio in Austin for 35 years and was twice voted Pre-Collegiate Teacher of the Year by the Austin District Music Teachers Association. Her students have won many important competitions, including 1st place in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Corpus Christi, been featured on NPR’s From the Top, attended the Aspen Summer Institute, and received piano degrees from Juilliard, among other institutions.

 
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Daniel Hsiung
Attorney
Forest Hills, New York
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: "La Puerta del Vino", Préludes, Book 2
Chopin: Waltz C-sharp minor, Op. 64, No. 2

 

Daniel K. Hsiung (“Shone”) is a legal services attorney and a life-long aficionado of the piano. He has spent his entire legal career as a staff attorney with The Legal Aid Society of New York City. He is currently a member of the Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, and represents individuals before the IRS and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. Dan also co-founded the Tax Law Field Clinic at Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University, where he continues to teach as an adjunct professor. Dan has litigated numerous leading cases in the New York appellate courts. He also has served on the adjunct faculty of New York Law School.
Dan received his law degree from the New York University School of Law, where he was Editor-in-Chief of Annual Survey of American Law. He received his undergraduate degree from Oregon State University and the Alice Carey Dilworth Award as the outstanding graduating senior in Music. Dan’s most influential teachers include the late Robert DeGaetano and Victor Lin (jazz). He currently works with pianist and composer Inessa Zaretsky of the Mannes School of Music. In his spare time, Dan has performed in local gigs, at New York City’s Broadway Comedy Club, and as the resident pianist at a senior home. He is particularly interested in how legal skills can be enhanced through an understanding of music theory principles.

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Mari Ito

Project Manager, Stonehill & Taylor Architects
New York, New York

Concerto Repertoire:
Beethoven: Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, Op. 19 (II. Adagio)
 
Solo Repertoire:
Debussy: "Reflets dans l'eau" and "Homage a Rameau" from Image 1st serie
 
 

Japanese native, Mari Ito obtained BA and MA in architecture and holds first class license in Japan. She practiced architectural design in her own firm for years in Sapporo, Japan and currently works as project manager at Stonehill Taylor Architects in NYC for high-end hotel design and construction administration. Works include Peninsula NY, Intercontinental Barclay, Hilton Atlanta Downtown and the Carlyle. Inspired by the high cultural environment of NYC, she resumed piano playing in 2010, enrolling in Juilliard School evening division. She has participated in Cliburn Amateur Piano Competition 2011, Chicago Amateur Piano Competition 2016. Since 2012, she enjoys studying and performing at PianoTexas.

 
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John Nees

Plastic Surgeon

Delray Beach, Florida

Concerto Repertoire
Beethoven: Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37 (II. Largo)
 
Solo Repertoire
Prokofiev: from Romeo & Juliet, Op. 64 "The Montagues and Capulets" & "Romeo Bids Juliet Farewell"
Debussy: Arabesque No. 1 and Rêverie

Messiaen: Plainte calme and a Prelude

 

John E. Nees, M.D., began organ studies at age 10 with Ken Wayne Klaiss, a silent movie organist in Pittsburgh, PA. He studied popular music and show tunes. At age 13, he began classical piano and organ studies with Edward M. Harris, a Julliard professor and composer in Johnstown, PA. He joined the American Guild of Organists and played in organ recitals, weddings, and religious services. During college and medical school at Cornell University, he delayed his music interests to advance his career in medicine. While at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, he studied twentieth century opera with Donald Grout. He completed his medical education at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, University of Texas Southwestern Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas (internship), Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance (general surgery), and University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami (plastic surgery). In 1982, Dr. Nees started his practice of plastic surgery in Seattle and Bellevue, WA. He bought a Steinway piano and renewed his music studies with Justin Root, a Peabody Conservatory graduate. Two years later, he continued piano studies with Victoria Bogdashevskaya, a Moscow Conservatory graduate and Seattle Symphony pianist under Gerard Schwartz. He performed in the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside (PAFE) in Bellevue from 1987 to 2000, winning first prize six times. In 2001, Dr. Nees moved to Boca Raton, FL, to be nearer to his wife’s family in Lima, Peru. He has continued his piano studies with Roberta Rust and Yang Shen at Lynn University, and also has performed regularly at various events, including Piano Texas International Academy & Festival and California Concerto Weekend.

 
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Thomas Nixon
 
Stephen F. Austin State University

Nacogdoches, Texas

 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: La Valse
Scriabin: Sonata No. 5, Op. 53
Mozart: Rondo in D major, K. 485
Chopin: Barcarolle in F-sharp major, Op. 60
Albéniz: from Iberia Book 1 "Evocacion" and Book 2 "Triana"

 

Thomas Nixon received his doctorate in collaborative piano from Arizona State University as a student of Russell Ryan and Robert Hamilton. He holds additional performance degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he was a pupil of Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff. Dr. Nixon is a prizewinner of numerous competitions including the Jacob Flier International Piano Competition, ASU Concert of Soloists Concerto Competition, and the Nashville Symphony Curb Records Competition. He has performed with the Carmel Bach Festival, Phoenix Symphony, Arizona Opera, Ballet Arizona, Phoenix Boys Choir, Lyric Opera Theatre, Arizona State University Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony, and Knoxville Choral Society. He has participated in master classes with Phillip Kawin, Vladimir Feltsman, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, and Denyce Graves. In high demand as a collaborative pianist, Dr. Nixon has worked with many important artists, including Maestro Charles Bruffy, conductor of the Grammy Award winning Phoenix Chorale, as well as several stars from Broadway and television including Megan Hilty and Alfie Boe. Dr. Nixon joined the music faculty of Stephen F. Austin State University in 2018 where he serves as staff accompanist.

 
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Joann Oh

Office Manager

Irvine, California

Concerto Repertoire
Grieg: Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 (I. Allegro molto moderato)
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: À la manière de Borodine, valse pour piano
Beethoven: Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110
Chopin: Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 31
 
 
 

Born in Los Angeles, Joann Oh earned degrees in German studies and pre-med at Pomona College (Claremont, California) and Wesleyan University (Middletown, Connecticut). She is the winner of the Elizabeth Tishler Prize in piano and a grant recipient of the Yale-Griffith Scholarship to study music and language in Vienna and Munich; in Vienna, she studied piano with Rosario Marciano. In California, Ms. Oh is studying piano from Steven Vanhauwaert, and also studied with Anna Gliadkovskaya. Most recently, in January 2019, Ms. Oh was chosen to perform with California Concerto Orchestra in San Jose, CA. In Summer of 2018, Ms. Oh participated in the 3rd International Hans von Buelow Piano Competition in Meiningen, Germany, and also Piano Texas Festival in Fort Worth, TX. In 2017, Ms. Oh participated in a Music Festival in Basel, Switzerland, and also performed in Piano Texas Festival in Fort Worth, TX. In June 2016, Ms. Oh was chosen to perform in the Cliburn International Amateur competition in Fort Worth, TX. Also, during the summer of 2015-2018, Ms. Oh performed in recitals and masterclasses at Piano Texas, also held in Fort Worth,TX. Previously in 2015, Ms. Oh performed with orchestra in San Jose, CA with California Concerto Orchestra. In addition to these honors, Ms. Oh was awarded a scholarship from the Korean-American Foundation for academic excellence, and in high school, Ms. Oh was a nationally ranked synchronized swimmer. Currently, Ms. Oh resides in Orange County, CA

 
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Anne Russell

acr Piano Studio

Walnut Creek, California

Concerto Repertoire
Mozart: Concerto No. 20 in D minor K. 466 (II. Romance)
 
Solo Repertoire
Debussy: "Les collines d'Anacapri" and "La serenade interrompue" from Préludes, Book I
Debussy: "La Puerta del Vino" and "General Lavine – eccentric" from Préludes, Book II
Debussy: "La Soirée dans Grenade" from Estampes
Liszt: Sonetto 104 del Petrarca, and Sonetto 123 del Petrarca from Années de Pèlerinage II (Italy), S.161.
 
 


Anne Cunnyngham Russell, pianist, singer and teacher, earned B.Mus. and M.A. degrees in Piano Performance from San Francisco State University under the guidance of Carlo Bussotti. She is a Performing Member of the Berkeley Piano Club and Master Artist Performer with the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society. For several years, she was accepted by audition into the Teachers Performers group for the Piano Texas International Academy and Festival at Texas Christian University. Her international performances have included concerts as solo pianist with The International Workshops in France, Australia and Austria and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and as chamber music recitalist in Siena, Italy with Hartt in Europe through the University of Hartford. Locally, as pianist and singer, she has given solo and collaborative recitals at the Regional Center for the Arts Lesher Theatre of Walnut Creek, CA, The Steinway Piano Gallery in Walnut Creek, CA and the Amador Theatre in Pleasanton, CA. The most recent solo piano recital Anne presented, ROMANTIC IMPRESSIONS: WORKS OF BRAHMS AND CHOPIN, was given on May, 21, 2017 at the Steinway Piano Gallery in Walnut Creek. Anne performed as pianist in Master Classes given by Ruth Harte, Sylvia Jenkins, Gwendolyn Koldofsky (collaborative piano), Fernando Laires, Elizabeth Pridonoff, Nelita True and participated as auditor of classes given by Guido Agosti at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy. Additional private studies have been with Sylvia Jenkins, Fernando Laires and Nelita True. As a singer (soloist and chorister), she performed several seasons with the Peninsula Women’s Chorus in the United States, Central Europe and Great Britain. She performed in a vocal master class given by Lucine Amara of the Metropolitan Opera. Her principal teacher for vocal studies is Dewey Camp, Professor Emeritus from San Francisco State University. Anne is an active member of M.T.A.C., C.A.P.M.T., and M.T.N.A. as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Permanent Professional Certified Teacher of Music in Piano, (NCTM). Inspired by early studies with her first teachers, Thomas Frederick Freeman, pupil of Godowsky and Tanya Zunser Ury, pupil of Fischer, she began the journey as a teacher at the age of thirteen, forming her first piano studio for children and adults. During undergraduate years, she taught classes for Yamaha International in San Francisco. She served on the Materials Advisory Committee to develop new textbooks, was instructor for the Junior Original Composition Course and was invited to study and teach in Tokyo, Japan. Videos of her Model Classes were used as instructional material for teacher training seminars. Over the years, her private students have won scholarships from the CCMTAC, played in MTAC State Conventions, Honors Recitals, and Northern California Festivals through CAPMT. Currently, she maintains a large private studio in Walnut Creek, CA consisting of children and adults from beginning to advanced levels. In her spare time, Anne is a watercolorist, enjoys maintaining her extensive garden and reading scientific journals.

 
 
 
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Kazuko Taki
 
Japan International Cooperation Agency

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Concerto Repertoire
Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (I. Allegro affettuoso)
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: Sonatine
Mendelssohn: Variations Sérieuses in D minor, Op. 54
Chopin: Ballade No.1 in G minor, Op. 23
Chopin: Fantasy in F minor, Op. 49

 

 

Kazuko Taki from Japan is an ex-school teacher of music, an ex-soprano singer and currently an expert of vocalization. She started taking piano lessons when she was six years old. In the middle school she joined the school choir that led her to the life of music. She graduated from Toho Gakuen School of Music and received a Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance, then launched her career as an opera singer, and almost left the piano behind. In 2008, after over twenty-year of silence she returned to the piano. Since then, she has participated in several international amateur piano competitions in Europe and the United States. She was a semi-finalist at the WIPAC piano competition in Washington D. C. in 2013, 2014 and again 2018. Since 2017, she temporary moved to the Dominican Republic as a member of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a singing coach to offer vocalization technique at the Escuela Nacional de Arte Dramático and the Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo (UASD). Although under so poor piano environment, she still pursues her skills with Prof. Larisa Jouk, prominent Russian piano professor and the director of the school of music of the UASD. She really enjoys her daily life in this small tropical island and is absorbed to take pics of sunrise from the horizon of Caribbean Sea.

 
 
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Spencer Thompson

Physician, Stephenson Cancer Center/OU Physicians

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Concerto Repertoire
Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 (I. Moderato)
 
Solo Repertoire
Ravel: "Noctuelles" and "Un Barque sur le Oceon" from Miroirs
Scriabin: Etudes, Op. 42, No. 4 in F-sharp major and No. 5 in C-sharp minor
Rachmaninoff: Liebeslied
 

 

Born in Bountiful, Utah, J. Spencer Thompson studied piano with Lennox Larson and Gladys Gladstone Rosenberg at the University of Utah and received a bachelor’s degree in Music, Zoology and Spanish from Brigham Young University in 1985. After attending the University of Utah School of Medicine, he completed his residency in radiation oncology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Currently, he is an associate professor in the department of radiation and oncology at the University of Oklahoma Stephenson Cancer Center in Oklahoma City. He currently studies with Sergio Monteiro at Oklahoma City University. He competed in the Cliburn Amateur competition in 2011 and 2016 and he enjoys cooking, skiing, traveling, reading, and rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder and OU Sooners.

 
 
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Hkun Tun

Physician

Grand Prairie, Texas

Concerto Repertoire
Mozart: Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major, K. 271 (I. Allegro)
 
Solo Repertoire
Alabiev/Liszt: Le Rossignol
Rimsky-Korsakov/Rachmaninoff: The Flight of the Bumblebee
Debussy: "La Cathédrale engloutie" and "Voiles" from Prélude, Book 1
Bach: Italian Concerto, BWV 971
Chopin: Études Op. 10, No. 5 in G-flat major and Op. 10, No. 12 in C minor
 
 

Hkun Tun was born in Myanmar (formerly known as Burma). He is an Internal Medicine physician, loves reading and travel but his main passion is playing piano which he found out accidentally as a teenager. He was a junior swimming champion but was unable to swim for a year when the Military Government killed thousands of protesters and shut down schools, and even swimming pools in 1988. He started to learn piano with Andrew Kong and learned classical music off and on for about 2 ½ years. But it was quite difficult to improve classical piano playing due to lack of resources. He decided to go to Medical School instead. After buying a piano a few years ago, he started to play again. First, he tried to learn himself by watching archives of great pianists on Youtube. He has attended Piano Texas Festival in 2017 as a performer and participated in masterclasses/lessons with professors Harold Martina, John Owings and Tamas Ungar. It was a great opportunity to improve his piano education. He also had opportunity to meet fellow piano enthusiasts during the festival and he is learning with his current piano teacher Adam Wodnicki at his friend’s house.

 
 
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Clinton Velman


Private Piano Teacher
Chicago, Illinois

Concerto Repertoire
Mendelssohn: Concerto No.1 in G minor, Op, 22 (I. Molto allegro con fuoco and II. Andante)
 
Solo Repertoire
Beethoven: Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata" (I.Allegro assai)

 

Clinton began his formal piano studies with Harriet Serr, a former disciple and assistant of Isabelle Vengerova and continued his studies with composer and pianist Carlos Duarte. He also studied counterpoint and composition with world-renowned composer Antonio Lauro. He pursued further studies with Monique Duphil from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

He won First Prize at the Pittsburgh Concert Society Auditions, Second Prize at the American Protégé Concerto Competition in NYC and received the Victor Vega Foundation Award for outstanding academic achievement from the University of Wisconsin. In the year 2013 he received an honorable mention in the second edition of Il Premio Respighi per Compositori e Solisti, First Prize at the Granquist Music Competition, third prize in Chamber Music at the Duxbury Music Festival and an honorable mention at the 2017 Baltimore Piano International Festival Competition. He won the position of Associate Pianist in the orchestral training program of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His performances have taken him to the Palacio de Festivales in Santander, Spain, Carnegie Hall in NYC, the Teresa Carreño Cultural complex (Ríos Reyna Hall and José Félix Ribas Hall) in Caracas, Venezuela and the IVAI in Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Clinton was the recipient of a Scholarship from the Venezuelan Council for the Arts.

He has attended several summer courses with Dmitri Bashkirov at the Queen Sofía School of Music in Santander, Spain and the Vienna Conservatory of Music, with Márta Gulyás from the Franz Liszt Academy, Paul Badura-Skoda at the Eutherpe Foundation in Spain and privately in Oberlin, Boris Berman at the Universidad Alcalá de Henares in Spain, Nelita True and Monique Duphil at the Duxbury Music Festival and Susan Starr at the Sarasota Music Festival.

He received private coaching and attended master classes and workshops with the late Alicia de Larrocha in the United States, Italy and Spain.

He was selected to play for Murray Perahia at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh. He participated in master classes with Maria João Pires at the Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex in Venezuela. Other master classes appearances include Cristina Ortiz at the Curtis Institute of Music and in Columbus, Ohio, Blanca Uribe at Vassar College, NY, Lilya Zilberstein at PianoTexas and in San Antonio, TX, José Feghali in Washington DC, Jerome Lowenthal in Baltimore and in NYC and Harold Martina. Clinton has been selected to play in master classes of the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 As a collaborative pianist Clinton has assisted master classes for cellist Yo-Yo Ma at Symphony Center in Chicago, clarinetist Richard Stoltzman at the University of Wisconsin, trombonist Christian Lindberg at Symphony Center, mezzo-soprano Mignon Dunn, tenor Nico Castel and Joan Dornemann (Metropolitan Opera Assistant Conductor) at the Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Dalton Baldwin and Miguel Zanetti (collaborative pianist of Montserrat Caballé) coached Clinton in the role of vocal collaborative pianist at the Saint Louis University in Granada, Spain.

Clinton has performed with the Venezuelan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Táchira Symphony Orchestra, the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under the batons of Carlos Piantini, Miguel Harth-Bedoya and Carl St. Clair to name just a few. He has performed with members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at the Piano Arts National Concerto Competition. He received coaching in chamber music with the Fine Arts Quartet for two years.

As a much sought after chamber musician he has performed in the Young International Artist Series from the Mozarteum Foundation Venezuela with cellist Yegor Dyachkov and with tenor Virgilius Noreika.

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Rebecca Wang

Actuary

Tokyo, Japan

 
Concerto Repertoire:
Beethoven: Concerto No.1 in C major, Op. 15 (II. – Largo & III. Rondo: Allegro scherzando)
Solo Repertoire:
Debussy: "Les collines d'Anacapri" and " Des pas sur la neige" from Prélude, Book 1
Bartók: Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm from Mikrokosmos, Book VI
Poulenc: Three Novelettes

 

Rebecca Kao Wang was born in Hong Kong and currently lives in Tokyo, but she grew up in the Boston area, studying music under Jade Lin in Newton, Massachusetts, Beatrice Erdely in Concord, Massachusetts, and now Kaoru Fukuda in Tokyo, Japan . She has also taken lessons with Tamara Poddubnaya and Mari Asakawa. Ms. Wang minored in music and majored in computer science engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduated in 1990. During her college years, she had given many personal and chamber music recitals. In the ensuing 25 years, Ms. Wang worked in the corporate world and became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries. Asia beckoned again for Ms. Wang in 2007, so the family moved in 2007 for her husband’s job. She has been taking some time off from work during recent years to stay home. As her two now-teenage sons become more independent, Ms. Wang has found herself with more time to devote to things she enjoys doing, such as piano, painting and exercising. She was a competitor at the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition in 2016, and a participant of Piano Texas in 2016 and 2018.

 

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Wei Ling Wang

Computer Network Engineer, Verizon

Plano, Texas

Solo Repertoire
Mompou: Paisajes: El Lago (The Lake)                                                       
Chopin: Mazurka in A Minor Op. 17 No. 4                                                
Chopin: Mazurka in F Major Op. 68 No. 3                                                    
Chopin: Polonaise in G Flat Major Op. Posthumous                                       
Scarlatti: Sonata in D Minor K. 213 (no repeats)                                    
Chopin: Ballade No. 3 in A-flat Major Op. 47                                                   
Rachmaninoff: "Elegie". Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3, No. 1                                    
Rachmaninoff: "Polichinelle", Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3, No. 4                  

 

Since graduating from Rice University with a degree in computer science, Wei Ling has been developing advanced computer networks in the telecommunication industry. She currently builds cloud computer networks to transport voice and data for consumers and global companies. Wei Ling participated in several amateur piano competitions in Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C. She is also an active supporter of music schools and non-profit music organizations in the city of Dallas and Fort Worth.

 
 
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Zachary Weiner

Software Engineer, Google
Mountain View, California

Concerto Repertoire
Brahms: Concerto No.1 in D minor, Op. 15 (III. Rondo: Allegro non troppo)
 
Solo Repertoire
Schubert: Sonata in B-flat major, D. 960, I. Molto moderato
Debussy: "Cathedrale engloutie" and "Feux d'artifice" from Préludes, Book 2
Debussy: Arabesque No. 1
 

 

Zachary Weiner is the recipient of numerous awards as a pianist, most recently including top prizes, press favorite, and audience favorite awards at international amateur piano competitions in San Diego and Paris. He has performed at the Arnold Schoenberg Center in Vienna and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie in New York City. Zach now works as a software engineer at Google. Inspired by Douglas Hofstadter’s 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach, Zachary decided to pursue a degree in Symbolic Systems at Stanford University, a unique combination of Philosophy, Linguistics, and Computer Science. This book had been recommended to him by his neighbor, the pianist Frederic Chiu, whose Deeper Piano Studies course Zach recently completed (and highly recommends!). During his time at Stanford, he developed a penchant for the music of the 20th and 21st centuries and has become an advocate for music by living composers, programming works by Sofia Gubaidulina, Lera Auerbach, and Steve Reich. Zach currently studies with John McCarthy in San Francisco. He was a long-time student of Natalie Maynard, herself a disciple of Olga Samaroff and Sacha Gorodnitszki. During his time at Stanford, he was a student of Thomas Schultz. While attending the Aspen Music Festival and ARIA Music Academy, he had lessons and performed in masterclasses for Gabriel Chodos, Alan Chow, and Robert Shannon. In addition to his love for music and computers, Zach is an avid skier.

 
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Soohyun Yun

Charleston Southern University
Charleston, South Carolina

Concerto Repertoire
Schumann: Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (I. Allegro affettuoso)

Solo Repertoire
Ravel: "Ondine" from Gaspard la nuit
Kapustin: Concert Etude Op. 40, No. 8
 
 

Pianist, Soohyun Yun, born in Korea, has explored solo and chamber music from baroque to contemporary and performed in venues throughout Asia, Europe, and the US. Recently, she won first prize at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and was invited to perform at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in New York in 2016. It was her third performance at the same hall; her first performance was after winning the Artist International’s Special Presentation Award in 2008, and her second performance was after winning first prize in the American Protégé International Competition in 2009. In addition, she was awarded the Most Distinguished Musician Award and the Kapustin Award at the 2016 IBLA International Music Competition in Italy. Yun has collaborated with various renowned artists including members of the Atlanta Symphony in small- and large-ensemble settings. She has performed vocal, instrumental, and choir accompanying, as well as chamber music in venues such as the University of Illinois New Music Ensemble, Youth Opera Preparation and Education and Radford Singers. In addition, Yun is a founding member of piano ensemble, the Pianissimo, whose active membership has expanded to include more than 100 pianists in Korea. Along with covering standard piano concert repertoire, she has explored repertoire for the organ, harpsichord, and fortepiano, and she has performed in a variety of contemporary settings. In particular, her enthusiasm for contemporary music led her to play a solo, Cloches d’adieu, et un sourire. in memoriam Olivier Messiaen, by Tristan Murail, in the composer’s presence. Over the last several years, Yun has been invited to be a solo artist at venues that have included the Summer Season of Music of Nations in Rome, Italy; the Montpelier Art Center Recital Series in Maryland; McCall’s Free Community Recital Series in Idaho; and the Jewish Educational Alliance Speakers Series in Savannah, GA. She also has performed solo and chamber programs in such prestigious halls as Gewandhaus Concert Hall in Leipzig Germany; Sejong Art Center, Kumho Art Hall, Yonsei-Kumho Hall, Youngsan Art Hall, and Youngsan-Yangjae Art Hall in Seoul, Korea; Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in New York; and Spivey Hall in GA. As an active presenter, clinician, writer, and adjudicator, Yun has appeared in local, state, national, and international venues, including the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia; Korean piano pedagogy conferences; and MTNA national conferences. Yun received DMA and MM in Piano Performance under Ian Hobson and MM in Piano Pedagogy under Reid Alexander from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and BM from Yonsei University, Korea. Yun extended her summer studies at International Keyboard Festival and Institution, NY, Piano Texas International Academy and Festival, and at Hochschule “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” in Leipzig, Germany. She has been coached by world-renowned artists including Olga Kern, Pascal Rogé and Joaquin Achucarro among numerous others. Yun has taught at Radford University in VA, Kennesaw State University in GA, University of Idaho at Moscow, Millikin University, and coordinated Piano Laboratory Program at University of Illinois. Currently, she teaches studio and group piano at Charleston Southern University, SC and serves as Director of Piano Studies.

 
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