Phillip Kawin

Phillip Kawin has received critical acclaim for his performances in venues throughout the world—from Sydney’s Angel Place Recital Hall to Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall—which have received critical acclaim: “… Kawin came out to play Prokofiev Sonata No. 7 in B-flat, probably like no pianist, let alone the composer himself, has played it. A mesmerizing power, devoid of percussiveness and angularity associated with Prokofiev’s piano scores, emanates from Kawin’s moulding touch that evolves to diabolic mysterium.” (New Paltz, New York) As recitalist and soloist with orchestra, he has performed throughout Australia, China, Korea, Italy, Russia, Spain and the U.S. Phillip Kawin has an exclusive recording contract with the Master Performers Record Label. His debut album featuring works of Beethoven, Schumann, Liszt and Prokofiev was launched at Steinway Hall in New York in 2008, and received with critical acclaim. His all-Schubert CD recorded in June 2014, under the direction of renowned producer Steven Epstein, was released to critical acclaim in 2015: “Perhaps among recording artists today Maurizio Pollini (Deutsche Grammophon) or Mitsuko Uchida (Philips) can, and certainly in the recent past Paul Badura-Skoda and Clara Haskil could, but now there is a new recording to put alongside these venerable artists. Phillip Kawin gives us all the necessary elements that make the diminutive composer with a gigantic soul come to life.” (Fanfare Magazine)

Mr. Kawin has given master classes at the Moscow Conservatory, Saint Petersburg State Conservatory, Tel-Hai International Piano Masterclasses, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Seoul National University, Van Cliburn Piano Institute, among many others. Recently, his master classes have taken him to the Busan International and the DMZ festivals in South Korea; the Harvard Club in New York (the first class at that historic venue); Arizona State University; New England Piano Teachers Association; Summit Music Festival; and twice for the Sibelius Academy in Finland, through the Distance Learning at Manhattan School of Music Global Conservatory Videoconference Master Class Series.

Phillip Kawin has developed a highly individual pedagogical approach that has established him as a much sought after artist-teacher. His concepts evolved through an eclectic background of training that combines a variety of artistic and esthetic influences. He has created a teaching methodology that presents the principles of technique and musicianship in a detailed analytical approach—an approach that does not ignore the intuitive aspect of music-making. Mr. Kawin studied with Alfred Cortot‘s long-time associate Jules Gentil at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, in New York City with Howard Aibel (assistant to Rosina Lhevinne), with John Perry, and with Dora Zaslavsky (who had studied with Wilhelm Backhaus and Harold Bauer) at the Manhattan School of Music. In 1989, Mr. Kawin was appointed to the college faculty of Manhattan School of Music, where he currently works with a select studio of advanced and highly gifted pupils from diverse corners of the globe.

Mr. Kawin’s students have won top honors in the Young Concert Artists Auditions, as well as in the Martha Argerich International, Jacob Flier International, World Piano, Kosciuszko, Thelonious Monk International (jazz piano), Melilla in Spain, Heida Hermanns, Soulima Stravinsky International, Josef Hofmann, Mieczyslaw Munz, Leschetizky, and the Long–Thibaud Crespin (France) International competitions. He is in constant demand at premier international conferences and festivals, having given his renowned lectures and insightful master classes in Russia, Hong Kong, Israel, China, Korea, Taiwan, the U.S., and throughout Australia. To quote from a review of one of his masterclasses: “During these moments, the highest art of piano playing came into view. An image of great pianism not as a demonstration of velocity, or accuracy, but great pianism as absolute control of sound. Phillip Kawin leads his students to reach for that sound, a sound that borders on the architectural and the orchestral. Once heard, that sound stays in the ear—hauntingly. When the master class was over, we were fatigued physically, but mentally stimulated. The sound, and those ideas would remain, they are all too rare. ” (Atlanta Music Teachers Association master class) For the past two decades, he has been in residence at the PianoSummer at SUNY New Paltz (New York), an International Institute/Festival, as well as appearing regularly at the Summit Music Festival (New York), the International Academy of Music in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana (Italy), and the Beijing International Music Festival & Academy (China). Phillip Kawin has been a guest adjudicator for such competitions as the Beethoven International Piano Competition Vienna, Bösendorfer USASU International Piano Competition (four times), Sydney International, and the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians (Suwon, Korea). He is featured on five DVDs (master classes and lectures) for Excellence in Music, Inc. These were recorded live at the annual World Piano Pedagogy Conference(s).

Phillip Kawin is a Steinway Artist.

Jia Shi

Chinese Pianist Jia Shi is acknowledged as one of today’s evocative young artists in the Unites States as well as in China. Ms. Shi is raised in a musical family in Guangzhou, China, was strongly influenced by her grandfather,
Mingxin Shi, a renowned conductor. Ms. Shi was a winner of many competitions including the Sendai Piano Competition in Japan, the Kaiserburg Competition in China, the Horowitz Piano competition in Kiev, Ukraine, and the National Haiziman Piano Competition in China in 2005, where she won First Prize and an award for Best Performance. Ms.Shi was awarded several Scholarships for both her undergraduate and graduate studies.

Her well-rounded performing arts backgrounds includes six years of piano study under world renowned professor Zhihong Guo for her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In addition, Ms. Shi furthered her studies with World Pianist Alexander Korsantia, earned her second Master’s Degree in Piano Performance at New England Conservatory.

For the past over ten years, Ms. Shi has worked as a freelance piano coach for numerous musical establishments. Alongside other projects, Ms. Shi continues to coach students of all and stages to develop their confidence and
artistry. Many of her students go on to study at the major music conservatories and pursue their musical goals. Ms. Shi teaches at several Boston schools and at the New England Conservatory as well, as teaching assistant to Mr. Korsantia, her students are undergraduates and non-piano majors. She recently performed publicly with him at one of a concert series on Cape Cod featuring New England Conservatory performers. Ms. Shi is involved with aspects of concert production with the Boston Modern Orchestra. Ms. Shi is the Director of Global Outstanding Artists Association.

As the youngest judge, she participates in various competitions in China. Most recently she joins the faculty of the Concord Conservatory of Music, Summit festival in New York and the Board of the New England Piano Teacher’s Association, the Chair of Hamlet Davidson piano competition.

Adam Kent

Adam Kent has performed in recital,as soloist with orchestra, and in chamber music throughout the United States, Spain, Switzerland, and South America. A winner of the American Pianists Association Fellowship and Simone Belsky Music Awards, Mr.Kent also received top prizes in the Thomas Richner, the Julliard Concerto, and the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competitions and is a recipient of the Arthur Rubenstein Prize and the Harold Bauer Award. Mr. Kent made his New York recital debut at Weill Hall in 1989 and has been featured on radio stations WQXR, WNYC, and WFUV.Chamber music has been an important part of Mr.Kent ’s concert life, most recently with the Damocles Trio which he co-founded in 1996 with violinist Airi Yoshioka and cellist Sibylle Johner.

Pei Sun

Pei Sun is an Associate Professor of China Conservatory, Beijing. He started his piano education at age six. At the age of twelve, He was admitted to the Middle School Attached to the Central Conservatory in Beijing where he studied with Jianqin Fan and Yiming Pan. After he moved to New York, Mr. Sun received his Bachelor of Music Degree from Queen’s College, CUNY under the tutelage of Morey Ritt and Master of Music Degree from Manhattan School of Music where he studied with Constance Keene and Solomon Mikowsky. He also studied with other eminent artists such as Arkady Aronov, Lydia Bugosluvsky and George Pappastavorro. Winner of numerous awards at competitions held in China and U.S, he has appeared in many concerts as a soloist and chamber musician both in the U.S. and China concert halls including Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Beijing Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing Concert Hall, Guangzhou People’s Theater and Shandong Theater. Mr. Sun holds many master classes in Shandong, Guangdong and Zhejiang in China, and his students win top honors at many national and international competitions. Besides teaching at China Conservatory, Mr. Sun also served as a frequent adjudicator in international competitions such as “The First Asia-Pacific International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition” in Korea, “The Fourth Steinway National Youth Piano Competition” in China and “The Third Goodway International Youth Piano Competition” in China. Since 2008, Mr. Sun has been faculty of Summit Music Festival, New York where he teaches both piano and chamber music. Mr. Sun is also a cofounder and Chief Inspector of Goodway National Piano Competition in Hangzhou, China.

Albert Lotto

Albert Lotto, cited by music critic Robert Sherman as “one of our best pianists,” is active internationally as a solo concert performer, orchestral soloist, and ensemble musician. Since winning First Prize in the Montreal International Piano Competition, and the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition, he has toured frequently and extensively on four continents. Albert Lotto was chosen by the Juilliard School to represent the United States Department of State as a cultural ambassador to Japan, Taiwan, the Republic of China, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru. He simultaneously worked with the Peace Corps as a representative artist and teacher in Honduras.

Mr. Lotto is a frequent performer in Japan. In addition to solo recitals throughout the country, he records for the National Broadcasting Corporation of Japan (NHK), Columbia Records of Japan, and he has performed with Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Orchestra of Tokyo and virtually every major orchestra in Japan. This last summer, Mr. Lotto appeared together with two of Japan’s foremost composers, Yoshinao Nakada and Teizo Matsumura in performances of their major works for solo piano and chamber music ensembles.

Based in New York, he frequently appears in major halls in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Montreal. He is artistic director for a concert series presented at the Tenri Cultural Institute which is located in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York. This series promotes the careers of young artists from Asia as well as those from all other countries. Educated at the Juilliard School of Music, he received his doctorate while a student of Sascha Gorodnitzki.

Peter Vinograde

An outstanding interpreter of J.S. Bach and contemporary composers, pianist Peter Vinograde regularly tours the U.S., Canada, and Asia. This past season featured the world premiere in New York City of Michael Matthews’ De Reflejo a Fulgar for piano and digital sound (2007-14), and Peter Mennin’s rarely performed, powerful Piano Sonata (1963). Other engagements included Santa Fe, San Francisco, Singapore, Xiamen, and all-Bach recital at ;Washington, D.C.’s National Gallery featuring English Suites 4-6.

Recent concerto performances include the Mozart K. 271 in Winnipeg, Beethoven #2 in Santa Fe, and Utah composer Hal Campbell’s Piano Concerto with the BYU Orchestra, a work dedicated to Dr. Vinograde. The 2011-2012 season included his solo recital debut in Beijing.

As a chamber musician, Peter Vinograde has appeared at the Bard, Bargemusic, Caramoor, and Wolftrap Festivals. As a collaborative artist, he toured throughout Asia with violinist Midori, including her Singapore debut, also performing with her at the Cape Cod and Mostly Mozart Festivals.

Other recent highlights include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue at an outdoor concert in Zion National Park, and Mark Zuckerman’s On the Edges at Symphony Space, part of the ACA festival.

In conjunction with his Bach for Pianists class at the Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Vinograde presents the Goldberg Variations, English Suites, and Partitas in lecture/recital form at conservatories and universities, including Juilliard, Oberlin, and the Mannes International Keyboard Festival.

World premiere performances have included Nicolas Flagello’s Concerto #3 (1962) with Nicholas Palmer and the Owensboro (KY) Symphony. Dr. Vinograde’s numerous distinctions began with first prize in the 1971 J.S. Bach International Competition, followed by his New York debut at Carnegie Recital Hall and an N.E.A.-sponsored Lincoln Center recital at Alice Tully Hall. He has been featured on NPR’s Performance Today and CBC-TV’s the Journal. CDs include releases on Albany, CBC, Linfair (Decca) and Phoenix.

Peter Vinograde teaches at the Manhattan School of Music, where he was a student of Zenon Fishbein, and at Lehman College (CUNY).

Fang Luo

Born in Wuhan, China, Fang Luo began her piano studies at the age of six. She made her official debut to the general acclaim of the press at nine. At the age of eleven, she was selected by the Middle School Attached to the Central Conservatory in Beijing where she studied under the studios of Shao, Dan and Zhao, Pingguo. After she moved to New York, Ms. Luo studied with Morey Ritt and Arkady Aronov. She holds Bachelor of Music degree from Queen’s College, CUNY and Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music. Additional studies were with George Pappastavorro and Lydia Boguslavsky in US. Fang Luo is the winner of Anna Bernstein Memorial Award of 1996, she has appeared in concerts in US and China, solo recitals, as well as a soloist in chamber music and orchestra events. Ms. Luo has been an adjudicator in piano national competitions in China and an examiner in piano examinations organized by Chinese Musicians Association. Her students are winners of international and national competitions including the second place winner of The 14th Hong Kong-Asian Piano Open Competition Youth Category II and the gold medalist of The 20th Australian International Music Festival, Sydney 2009. Ms. Luo is a cofounder and Secretary General of Goodway National Piano Competition, Hangzhou 2007 in China. In 2002, Ms. Luo was invited to teach at Shandong University, Weihai and became one of the youngest Professors in China. Ms. Luo was an Associate Professor of piano at the China Conservatory in Beijing from 2004 to 2013. In 2010, Ms. Luo represented China Conservatory to teach a course at Queens College, CUNY. She is the first music guest teacher of China to teach at the college in US. Ms. Luo has teaching as an Associate Professor at Queens College, CUNY since 2010.

Oxana Yablonskaya

“…Yablonskaya’s musicality never gives way to merely exploiting the music for its own glory.  If tastefulness and stylistic insight mean anything to you, you will thoroughly enjoy listening to Oxana Yablonskaya”

“An orchestra is superfluous for ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ when there is a pianist of Yablonskaya’s powers to paint them in such indelible colors.   A thoroughly excited audience lingered for four encores.” — Los Angeles Times

“…Yablonskaya is a mixture of passion, power and poetry, and in the course of one concert, put herself, her piano and the audience through everything that could be expected of a piano recital.” — Toronto Star

“…An imposing figure at the piano, Yablonskaya goes for the large gesture rather than for subtle detail, and thus we had heard hard driving, percussive performances, which developed an enormous amount of visceral excitement and left no doubt that Yablonskaya is in complete command of the total resources of the keyboard.” — Monterey County Symphony

“…A large audience welcomed her back to Chicago, and her program revealed a technique as impressive as ever, as well as a temperament equally at home in the simple elegance of a Mozart rondo and the thundering chords of a Scriabin etude.  Being perfectly able to manipulate the keyboard however she wants, Yablonskaya knows when to take risks and when to pull back and let the music speak for itself.

In the two major pieces, the Beethoven Sonata in D Minor, Op.31, both dramatic, emotional works – Yablonskaya’s bold originality surfaced.  She took full liberty with the experiments in contrasting rhythm and dynamics in the first movement of the Beethoven.  She lingered over the slow introductory bars whenever they returned, letting each rising tone build and echo before plunging into the short, answering flurry of notes.

In the famous Marche Funebre of the Chopin sonata, she emphasized the bass melody’s relentless nature rather than its overpowering volume.  In the Sonata’s opening movement, she gave this almost chaotic music coherence by highlighting the return of early motifs.  She made sure we heard a rumble of octaves under a singing melody and the harmonic twists that helped reinforce the shape of this hectic, headlong movement.

Yablonskaya’s sheer technical prowess was on the most vivid display in six Scriabin etudes from Op. 8, exercisers composed in imitation of Chopin’s etudes.  But as the Mozart Rondo K.511 and the Chopin Noturne Op. 9, No. 1 and Scherzo Op. 31, No. 2 revealed, she also can weave a lyrically meditative melody.” — Chicago Sun-Times

 

Oxana Yablonskaya’s charismatic piano playing and profound interpretations have brought her acclaim for over thirty years.  Known for her powerhouse virtuosity, exquisite sensitivity, and deep emotional drive, Ms. Yablonskaya has enchanted audiences world-wide.

Oxana Yablonskaya was born in Moscow.  As an adolescent she attended The Moscow Central School for the Gifted under the tutelage of great Anaida Sumbatyan,  with whom she worked with until the age of 16.  She later studied at the Conservatory of Moscow with the legendary Aleksandre Goldenweiser.  At 22, she began a professional relationship with Tatiana Nikolayeva in the Doctorate Program, later acting as her assistant at the Moscow Conservatory.  Following graduation with high honors, she was introduced to the Western World in Paris at the Jacques Long-Thibaud Competition in 1963, the Rio de Janeiro Competition in 1965, and the Vienna Beethoven Competition in 1969.  She won top prizes in all three competitions, and received numerous invitations for return engagements, but because of the Cold War, was not allowed to do so.

While still in the USSR, Ms. Yablonskaya performed Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto #1 with the Moscow Philharmonic under conductor Yury Simonov at the Composers Jubilee Concert in the Kremlin.  She was the first performer to play Rodion Shchedrin’s “Basso Ostinato,” which became her signature piece.  Her status as a consummate professional was heightened by many prominent Soviet and foreign composers dedicating their music to her.

Despite the reputation she had earned within the Soviet Union and  being a prize winner of three international competitions, she was never permitted to play outside the Eastern Bloc.  .  Yet, she recorded for the Melodya label and had earned the prestigious title of Soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic.  The title put her in the company of elite artists such as Gilels, Richter, Rostropovich, Oistrakh and Kogan. Outstanding solo performances with the Bolshoi Orchestra, the Moscow Stars series, and the Shostakovich 65th Birthday Celebration Concert were confirmations of her remarkable talent.

In 1975, distressed over constant restraints on her personal and artistic freedom, she applied for a U.S. visa. Her actions resulted in a loss of her position as a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. She inherently was deprived of all concert engagements.  She waited more than two years for a visa and finally, she was allowed to leave the country with her father and young son due to the diligence and petitioning by Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rodgers, Katherine Hepburn, Bar Ilan, and over 45 famous writers, musicians, senators, and actors.

Ms. Yablonskaya arrived in New York in 1977, unknown, unheralded, and not having touched a piano in more than two years. She made her first New York appearance in a recital at the Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center only four months later, and received laudatory acclaim from the press.  Her Carnegie Hall debut recital the following October was attended by a capacity crowd, and she has since taken her place among the major pianists of the world.

Once considered ‘The best kept secret of the Soviet Union,’ Ms. Yablonskaya has now performed in more than 40 countries.

Following her triumph at her London recital debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 1982, the Daily Telegraph wrote: “Yablonskaya is the sort of pianist who accomplishes with ease and naturalness what others struggle for a lifetime to achieve.”  In 1986, following her Canadian performance with the National Symphony under conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, a music critic of the Toronto Star wrote, “She played Rachmaninoff’s 3rd as if it was written for her.”

Ms. Yablonskaya has emerged as one of the most compelling talents of her generation.  She has performed with many of the finest symphony orchestras in the world and with many of the leading conductors of our time.  An extraordinary recitalist, she is equally renowned for solo performances. In addition to Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, she has performed in the Royal Albert Hall and Wigmore Hall in London, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Royal Concergebouw in Amsterdam, Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, Great Hall of St. Petersburgh Philharmonic, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Sheldonyan Theatre and Holywell Music Room in Oxford, England, Magador Theatre and Champs Elysees Hall in Paris ,Opera House in Sidney,Municipal Theatre in Rio De Janeiro,Seoul Arts Center,Shanghai Arts Center, Royal Thompson Hall in Toronto,92 street Y in New York,Osaka Arts Center and many more.

Ms. Yablonskaya has collaborated in performances with such celebrated conductors as:

Alexander Dmitriev, Alexander Anissimov, Yury Aronovitch, Rudolf Barshai, Herbert Bloomstaadt, Boris Brott, Abraham Chavez, Sergiu Comissiona, Franz Paul Decker, Lawrence Foster, Youosh Forst, Pierro Gamba, Fedor Gluschenko, Inbal, Arnold Katz, Anton Kersies, Dmitry Kitaenko, Eric Klaas, Kirill Kondrashin,Uri Maier, Fuat Mansurov, Nathan Rakhlin, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Stanislaw Skrowachevsky, Pavel Sorokin, Yevgeny Svetlanov, Yuly Turowsky, Victor Yampolsky and many others.

In 1990, after a 13 year absence, Ms. Yablonskaya returned to Russia for a sold-out concert, master classes and recitals at the Moscow Conservatory.  Since then she has returned on a regular basis and is once more recognized as an elite piano virtuoso in Russia.

In recent years, Ms. Yablonskaya has collaborated with her son, renowned cellist/conductor,2007 Grammy Award Nomineee Dmitry Yablonsky. Their concerts have enjoyed vast public and critical acclaim.  The New York Times called their Carnegie Hall debut, “A vibrant dialog.”  Their recordings together include duo performances for cello and piano as well as Khachaturian and Glasunov piano concertos recorded with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofieff, Brahms , Liszt 1st concertos and Chopin 1st and 2nd Concertos with Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition to her success as a concert pianist and recording artist, Ms. Yablonskaya has held the position of Professor of Piano at The Julliard School in New York City.  She has lectured numerous master classes at many distinguished music schools, academies, conservatories and festivals throughout the world such as Newport  and Bowdin in USA, Flaine and Tours in France, Lago Maggiore in Switzerland, Oxford Philomusica in England. Dr.Yablonskaya is a Co- Founder  of Puigcerda Musica Clasica International Festival in Spain since 1998, Gabala International Music Festival in Azerbaijan.

Ms. Yablonskaya made numerous editions of piano music by Cimarosa, Tchaikovsky, Lyadov, Balakirev, Gluck, Glinka and others for International Music Company and currently continues her collaboration with this prestigious music publishing company.

Ms. Yablonskaya also serves on the jury of many international piano competitions such as Leeds in England, Franz Liszt in the Netherlands, Prokofiev in St.Petersburg, Russia, Hamamatsu in Japan, competitions in Taiwan, Andorra, at the Seiler International Piano Competition and Vladimir Horowitz International Piano Competition, Piano E-Competition in Minneapolis, Minn.  Jose Iturbi in Valencia, Parnassos in Monterrey, Mexico as well as  Sendai Competition in Japan and Beethoven Competition in Bonn,Jose Iturbi in Los Angeles, Lev Vlassenko in Brisbane,Grieg in Oslo and Bergen, Shanghai Competition among others.

Among her numerous recordings, Ms.Yablonskaya’s Liszt/Schubert CD won the Grand Prix du Disque from the International Liszt Society in Budapest.  In the December 1995 review of her Tchaikovsky CD, the American Record Guide wrote, “Oxana Yablonskaya is an artist who deserves to be heard and in any repertory she chooses.”

In March of 2006 Ms. Yablonskaya performed inaugural “Sold Out” recital in Carnegie Zankel Hall in New York marking the Founding of Chopin Society of New York of which she was appointed Vice -President and Music Director.

The 6 concert tour of France with a “Sold Out” concert in Paris’s historical Magador Theatre followed immediately after, where Oxana Yablonskaya performed Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto with Orchestre National D’Ille de France .

After magnificent performance at Magador Theatre French critic Cyril Brun called Yablonskaya “Grand Tsarina of Russian piano who in an instant opened for us the whole Imperial Russia.”

On December 15th of 2006 another “Sold Out “ “Oxana Yablonskaya and Friends “ event took place at Carnegie Zankel Hall , where Oxana and Dmitry Yablonsky performed Chopin’s Cello Sonata and Grand Polonaise and received standing ovations. Composer Lowell Liberman wrote after attending this concert:” Profound performance of this Sonata will stay in my memory for a long time”.

During this concert surprise ceremony took place – Oxana Yablonskaya was presented with a title of Honorary Academician of International Academy of the Arts at the United Nations, International Academy of the Arts in San Francisco and International Independent Academy of Liberal Arts in Moscow, Diplomas and Einstein Gold Medal for extraordinary achievements in the Arts. In October of 2008 Oxana Yablonskaya Piano Institute opened it’s doors in Castelnuovo di Garfagnana in Tuscany, Italy.The 2008 was marked by a 70th Birthday Jubilee Celebration of Oxana and all year she has been performing starting in Italy with New Years Day recital in Catania, then in Israel  she performed Tchaikovsky 1st concerto four times, Grieg concerto in Turkey, solo recital in Tuscany and Master Classes in Hamamatsu Academy, Japan, judging  Liszt Competition in Utrecht, Jose Iturbi in Los Angeles,E-Piano Competition in Minneapolis, teaching in Spain, solo recital at MTNA in Los Angeles, Master Classes and chamber music concert in Nice, recording of Tchaikovsky “Seasons” and”Album for the Young”. Two concerts on

November 29th and December 1st were televised on National TV in Taiwan –Oxana performed Shostakovich 1st Concerto with National Symphony Orchestra in Taipei and Taichung.  The Grand conclusion of year long celebration took place on December 11th with the  Jubilee “Sold Out” Concert at Carnegie Zankel Hall in New York where Oxana Yablonskaya performed Beethoven 4th,Chopin 2nd and Shostakovich 1st concerti and received standing ovation.

In 2009 ,2011,2013,2016 Mme. Yablonskaya Presided at the  International Piano Competitions in Qabala, Azerbaijan and performed  with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Beethoven “Emperor” concerto#5.

IN 2014 Professor Oxana Yablonskaya and her husband piano builder/technician Alexander Volchonok made a very significant move in their life – made alia to Israel.

From October 2016 Dr. Yablonskaya has been invited to teach at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance.

Mme. Yablonskaya will judge Sendai International Piano Competition in 2019.

Oxana Yablonskaya is a Yamaha Artist and Artistic Advisor for Yamaha Master Classes in New York City.

Massimiliano Mainolfi, Program Director

Born in Italy, Massimiliano Mainolfi graduated from the “Conservatorio S.Pietro a Majella”. As a young pianist, he was very early brought to public attention as a 1st Prize Winner of several national and international piano competitions. In 1992 he moved to United States where he was admitted to the graduate program of the Julliard School. In New York he studied with the internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Oxana Yablonskaya and worked on the chamber music repertoire with the legendary Austrian violinist Felix Galimir. He graduated from the Juilliard School in 1996 and a few months later he made his New York Recital Debut at the Carnegie Recital Hall as winner of the “Young Concert Artist International Auditions”

After his graduation he moved to London where he has worked for several years with one of the greatest pupil of Arthur Schnabel, Maria Curcio.

From 1996 to 2000 Mr. Mainolfi attended Masterclasses with several great pianist such as Alexander Lonquich at the Florence Academy, Ferenc Rados, Andràs Schiff at the International Musicians Seminars in Cornwall, England and Piernarciso Masi at the prestigious “Accademia Pianistica” in Imola.

As a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician Mr. Mainolfi has performed throughout Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, England, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Denmark, South Africa and the United States. He was invited to perform at the Montreux Festival, the Festival “da Bach a Bartok” in Imola, the Festival de Lascours in France, the “Young European Soloists” in Brussels, the IMS in Cornwall and the Davos Festival in Switzerland.

Mr. Mainolfi appeared as soloist, with several orchestras throughout Europe and his recent performances include recitals in the most important venues in Geneva (Salle Ansermet), Bern (Radio Auditorium), Munich (Residenz) , Stuttgart (Wilhelma Theater), Berlin (Philharmonie). He performed in many european cities such as Hamburg, Kiel, Milan, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo, Brussels, Stockholm, Cologne.

Mr. Mainolfi is a devoted chamber musician .In April 2003 he made his Berlin Philharmonie Debut in duo with cellist Mattia Zappa which was broadcast live in several European countries. With his Duo he was prize winner at the “Vittorio Gui International Competition” in Firenze, the “G.B. Viotti International Competition” in Vercelli and the “Trio di Trieste International Competition”.

He records for the label Ducale, Lyra Classica, Claves Records and for Deutschland Radio, DRS, Rai 3, Radio Espace 2. He is regularly invited to join the jury of national and international music competitions.

He is Director of the International Academy of Music and the Summit Music Festival.

He is currently Professor at the Trento Conservatory – University of Music in Italy and at the Hochschule für Musik in Nürnberg , Germany.

Susan Merdinger

Steinway Artist, Susan Merdinger has been internationally acclaimed in prestigious newspa- pers and journals for her stunning performances. Critics around the globe have described her playing as “eloquent”, “exquisite” and “spellbinding” and “virtuosic”. With a riveting stage pres- ence, she regularly commands standing ovations from her emotionally charged and spiritually uplifting performances. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung described her recital as a “daring, enormously joyous presentation which captured and transfixed the audience”. Fanfare Maga- zine declared that her “Carnival” CD was “exquisitely detailed and full of life”. Indeed, perfor- mances by Ms. Merdinger are a celebration of a life passionately immersed in classical music performance.

Among her many honors, Merdinger is a First Prize Winner of the 2012 and 2017 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in Professional and Duo Piano Categories, the 2013 In- ternational Music Competition of France, Winner of the Dewar’s Young Artists Award in Music, the Artists International Young Musicians Competition, the Artists International Alumni Winners Prize, and the Masterplayers Prize. She was honored to represent the U.S.A. in the prestigious Harveys Leeds International (UK), Montreal International Concours de Musique (CA), William Kappell International and Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competitions (USA). Ms. Merdinger is a Gold Medalist in the Global Music Awards for her CD French Fantasy (Merdinger-Greene Piano Duo), along with Silver Medals for her CDs Carnival (Solo), Soirée (Solo) and Four Centuries (Duo with Violinist David Yonan) and Pianissimo!- The Chicago Debut Concert. All of her recordings have received glowing reviews in publications such as American Record Guide, Classical Sentinel, Audiophile Audition, Fanfare Magazine, The Whole Note, The Hyde Park Herald, Classical Candor, and the Audio-Video Club of Atlanta.

Performing her sold-out solo recital debut in Carnegie Recital Hall at age twenty-five, as a Win- ner of Artists International, Merdinger has continued to grace the stages of some of the world’s best concert halls including Merkin Concert Hall, Diligentia Hall in the Hague, Henry Wood Con- cert Hall in Scotland’s National Orchestra Center, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Ravinia’s Ben- nett Gordon Hall, the Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, Fullerton Hall at the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall. Merdinger was presented in her International Debut Recital Tour at the age of 24, under the sponsorship of the In- ternational Concert Administration. Merdinger’s live performances and recordings have been broadcast on WQXR, WFMT, WDAV, CKWR (Canada), BRT-3 (Belgian National Radio), and BBC Television (United Kingdom). She been a featured guest artist on WQXR’s “The Listening Room” hosted by Robert Sherman, and on WFMT’s “Impromptu” program hosted by George Preston, Live from WFMT with Kerry Frumkin, and the “Pianoforte Salon Series”, hosted by David Schwann, as well as the Cable TV show “Bravura”. Susan was also featured solo recital- ist for the Chicago Latino Music Festival and considers the music of Spain and South America one of her specialities. She has also performed for prominent dignitaries and celebrities includ- ing John F. Kennedy, Jr., the Governors of Connecticut and New York for many charitable fundraising events. Her summer music festival performances include recitals and concerts at the Chautauqua, Norfolk, Summit, Fine Arts Music Society and Fontainebleau Music Festivals.

Merdinger enjoys a active schedule performing as a concerto soloist, recitalist, duo pianist, and as a chamber musician. She has collaborated with distinguished principal members of the New York Philharmonic, the New Jersey Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera

Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra. Ms Merdinger is a Founding member of “The Five Greenes”, and Pianissimo!-Chicago’s Premiere Piano Ensemble. She has been a regular Visit- ing Artist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Music Series, garnering standing ova- tions for each of her performances with the Tononi Ensemble at The Art Institute and at Sym- phony Center. In recent seasons she has made solo orchestral debuts with The Chicago Phil- harmonic and with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico. With over thirty solo and duo piano concerti in her repertoire, Merdinger has soloed under many distinguished conductors in- cluding Gabriela Diaz Alatriste, Mattia Rondelli, Francesco Milioto, Glenn Cortese, Sandra Dackow, Ari Rudiakov, Marvin von Deck, and Francis Akos, with numerous orchestras including the State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, Chicago Philharmonic, Highland Park Strings, Rock- land Symphony, Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Tahoe Symphony Orchestra, Lake Forest Civic Orchestra, Yonkers Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Orchestra of New Jersey, and many others. A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Merdinger has championed works by composers such as Morton Gould, Augusta Read Thomas, Ilya Levinson, Margarita Zelenaia, Jeremy Beck, James Stone, Elbio Barilari, Sandro Fazzolari, Aaron Copland, Leroy Anderson, and Aaron Jay Kernis.

Highlights of her 2017-2018 season include a concert performance on the CSO Chamber Music All-Access Series with Principal Woodwinds and Violist of the CSO, collaborative concerts with international prize-winning violinist Michaela Paetsch, National Symphony Orchestra cellist- Steven Honigberg, Juilliard-trained cellist Steven Sigurdson, Lincoln Center Stage violist Sarah Greene, Pianssimo! concerts, a performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the North Shore Chamber Orchestra and solo recitals featuring works from her forthcoming CD, Four Centuries II.

Highlights of the 2016-2017 season included Merdinger in performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No.1 with the Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, performances of Bach-Vival- di’s Concerto for Four Pianos and Poulenc’s Concerto for Two Pianos. chamber music concerts for the Waukegan Chamber Music Society with Sheridan Solisti, Northbrook Two Piano Festival with Pianissimo!, and the continuation of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas for Piano/Violin and Piano/Cello Series for WFMT with National Symphony Orchestra cellist, Steven Honigberg and internationally acclaimed violinist, Ilya Kaler. In November 2016, Merdinger recorded solo piano repertoire by Chopin, Mendelssohn, Copland and Beethoven for Steinway Spirio- released by Steinway in April 2017. Spring/Summer 2017 also featured Merdinger in collaboration with Ital- ian Tenor, Gianni Coletta, and a concert tour in June performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 with James Rawie and the Tahoe Symphony Orchestra.

Conservatory and Ivy-league educated at Yale University, the Yale School of Music, the Manhat- tan School of Music, and the Ecole Normale de Musique in Fontainebleau, France, Merdinger studied with renowned pianists Claude Frank, Constance Keene and Gaby Casadesus, Sey- mour Lipkin and Ward Davenny.

Merdinger is a Piano Faculty member of Concordia University Chicago and the Summit Music Festival in New York. She is Artistic Director of Sheridan Music Studio Presents, a fiscally spon- sored charitable arts organization and project of Fractured Atlas. She is represented by Price Rubin and Partners. www.susanmerdingerpianist.com

July 2017

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