"A pianist of unbounding sensitivity" (Gramophone) ; "He represents a vanishing tradition that favors inner expression and atmosphere over showmanship and bravura" (Chicago Tribune) ; "Impeccable technique and musicality … it would be hard to imagine better performances" (Sunday Times – London) ; "This artist has the kind of flawless touch that makes an audience gasp" (Washington Post) ; "Exquisite playing" (New York Times). The Irish pianist John O’Conor has been gathering wonderful reviews for his masterly playing for over forty years. Having studied in his native Dublin and in Vienna with Dieter Weber and been tutored by the legendary Wilhelm Kempff his unanimous 1st Prize at the Beethoven International Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973 opened the door to a career that has taken him all around the world. He has performed in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand and has appeared with such orchestras as the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, l'Orchestre National de France, the Scottish and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, the Israel Camerata, the NHK, Yomiuri, Kyushu, Kyoto and Sapporo Symphonies in Japan, the KBS Symphony in Korea, the Shanghai Sinfonietta, the Singapore Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony and the orchestras of Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, Seattle, Montreal, Toronto, Tampa and Washington DC in North America. He has given concerts in many of the world's most famous halls including Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, the Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre in London, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Dvorak Hall in Prague and the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo. He also enjoys collaborating in Lieder Recitals and performing chamber music with many instrumentalists and ensembles such as the Cleveland, Tokyo, Vanbrugh, Vermeer, Takacs, Vogler, Ying, Audubon and Navarra Quartets. Mr. O'Conor also continues to make significant contributions to the arts in his native country and has championed the works of Ireland's leading 19th century composer, John Field. He became a key figure in the development of young artists through his role as Director of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and was a co-‐founder of the Dublin International Piano Competition of which he is Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury. John O'Conor first gained widespread attention in the United States in 1986 with the release of his first volume of Beethoven Sonatas on the Telarc label. He went on to record the complete sonatas and these were issued as a box set in 1994. CD Review described Mr. O'Conor's performances of these sonatas as "recordings of the highest calibre and Beethoven playing at its best" and went on to say "This Beethoven series should become the complete set of choice". Mr. O'Conor has made more than 20 recordings for the Telarc label including the complete Beethoven Bagatelles, cited by the New York Times as the best recording of these works; four volumes of Mozart Piano Concertos with Sir Charles Mackerras and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra; numerous works of Schubert including the late A major Sonata, the complete Impromptus and Moments Musicaux, some Waltzes and the Trout Quintet with the Cleveland Quartet; and two volumes of short piano pieces entitled "Piano Classics" and "Autumn Songs". He has recorded most of the major works of John Field including the complete Concertos, Sonatas and Nocturnes. His recording of Field's Nocturnes featured on Billboard's classical charts for many weeks. He has also made a recording of his favourite Irish Airs with the Irish Chamber Orchestra entitled "Irish Classics". In 2007 and 2008 he recorded the complete Piano Concertos of Beethoven with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andreas Delfs and these recordings have been greeted with great acclaim. John O'Conor is deeply committed to the development of young pianists in Ireland and in other countries. He gives masterclasses and lectures in many of the places he performs as well as in many of the major music institutions including the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York, the Peabody Institute, Harvard, Yale, Temple, Rutgers, Indiana, Texas and Seattle Universities and those in Vancouver, Kansas City and Tampa, the Ravinia Festival, the Aspen Music Festival and School, the Adamant Music School in Vermont, Piano Texas at TCU, the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, the Hamamatsu Piano Academy in Japan, Seoul National University and the National University of the Arts in Korea, the Australian National Academy and the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia, the Paris Conservatoire and the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music in London. He has been invited on the juries of most of the world's most prestigious International Piano Competitions including those in Leeds, Moscow (Tchaikovsky), Vienna (Beethoven), Warsaw (Chopin), Tel Aviv (Rubinstein), Hamamatsu, Beijing, Shanghai, Munich, Bolzano (Busoni), Cologne, Vevay (Clara Haskil), Cleveland, Salt Lake City (Gina Bachauer), Sydney, Pretoria, London, College Park (William Kapell), Valencia (Jose Iturbi), Hilton Head, Bonn (Beethoven), Seoul and Xiamen (China). From 1997 to 2011 he took on the mantle of his revered professor Wilhelm Kempff and gave the annual Beethoven Interpretation Course in Kempff’s own villa in Positano, Italy where Kempff gave the course from 1957. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the course in 2007 a TV documentary was made entitled "Beethoven Bootcamp" which was shown in many countries and is now available on YouTube. Prof. O'Conor now gives this course annually at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin. Prof. O'Conor is regarded as one of the most important piano teachers in the world today. He is Distinguished Artist in Residence, Professor of Music and Chair of the Piano Division at Shenandoah Conservatory in Virginia, a faculty member at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, International Visiting Artist at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Visiting Professor at Showa University in Japan. His students have won many international prizes (most recently First Prizes at the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona in 2012 and the Beethoven Competition in Bonn in 2013) and he is in great demand for masterclasses and as a juror at the most prestigious International Piano Competitions worldwide. For his services to music he has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by the National University of Ireland, by Trinity College Dublin and by Shenandoah University, Virginia and an Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has been decorated with the title "Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres" by the French Government, has been awarded the "Ehrenkreuz für Wissenschaft und Kunst" by the Austrian Government, the "Order of the Rising Sun" by the Japanese Government, and has also been decorated by the Italian and Polish governments. John O’Conor is a Steinway Artist.
Christopher Elton was born in Edinburgh and received most of his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he achieved the unusual distinction of gaining the Academy’s highest performing award - the Dip. RAM - on both piano and ‘cello. Christopher Elton’s international recognition has come as a result of the many successes of his students - mostly at the Royal Academy of Music. Many have won international awards, including First Prizes in the Van Cliburn and London “World” International Piano Competitions, the 2009 “Top of The world”, the 2014 Shenzen International Piano Competition and the 2014 Montreal International Piano Competition as well as others such as Jaen, Newport, Dudley and New Orleans. Further recent successes have come with four prizewinners in four concurrent Leeds International Piano Competitions as well as in the Tchaikovsky, Leipzig Bach, Dublin, Shanghai, and Taiwan Competitions and many others. Students have also been successful in the prestigious Young Concert Artists award in New York, as well as in the London Young Concert Artists Trust. Many of his students are now recording artists, including Freddy Kempf, Yevgeny Sudbin, Joanna MacGregor, Inon Barnatan and Benjamin Grosvenor. While his priority has long been to his work at the Royal Academy, London, Christopher Elton has recently accepted an invitation to join the piano faculty at the Yale School of Music as a Visiting Professor for the 2nd semester of 2017/2018. He is also been much in demand overseas both as a teacher and as a jury member for international competitions. Within the last few years he has given masterclasses in the USA, Japan, Israel, Korea, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Spain, Germany and Ireland and Vietnam, many of them for important conservatories or universities. He has also been invited as a jury member at many important international competitions - The Cliburn, Moscow (Tchaikovsky), Dublin, Leeds, Busoni (Bolzano),Vienna Beethoven, Shenzen and China International to mention only some. He has also given recitals in the UK, USA, Ireland, Spain, Australia and Vietnam. He was a prizewinner in several British and international piano competitions, playing and broadcasting regularly both as a soloist and in chamber music. At the same time he worked as a freelance ‘cellist with the major London orchestras. Christopher Elton was Head of Keyboard at the Royal Academy of Music, London, (where he was elected a Fellow in 1983,) from 1987 to 2011. In 2002 the title of Professor of the University of London was conferred on him. He now also holds the title of Emeritus Head of Piano, and still maintains a large class of students at the Royal Academy of Music.
Angela Cheng: Consistently praised for her brilliant technique, tonal beauty and superb musicianship, Canadian pianist Angela Cheng is one of her country’s national treasures. She has appeared as soloist with more than 100 orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, St. Louis, Houston, San Diego, Indianapolis, Syracuse, Utah and Colorado. An avid recitalist, Ms. Cheng has performed solo and chamber recitals throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, including New York City (Avery Fisher Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the 92nd Street Y), Wigmore Hall in London, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Mariinsky Concert Hall in St. Petersburg and the Sydney Opera House, as well as in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Montreal, Toronto, Taiwan, Italy and Australia. In 2012 she made her Carnegie Hall debut as soloist with the Edmonton Symphony. Ms. Cheng has collaborated with numerous chamber ensembles including the Takács, Colorado, and Vogler quartets. Festival appearances have included Verbier, Edinburgh, Miyazaki, St. Petersburg/Stars of the White Nights, Enescu/Romania, Banff, Bravo! Vail, Chautauqua, Colorado, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla’s SummerFest, Ravinia, Vancouver, the Festival International de Lanaudière in Quebec, Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Cartegena International Music Festival in Colombia and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival in Germany. Ms. Cheng has been invited to give masterclasses throughout North America and in Asia, including the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, Taichung University in Taiwan, Indiana University, University of Michigan and the University of Texas. She has also served on the jury of many competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Esther Honens International Piano Competition, Montreal International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Hilton Head International Piano Competition, New Orleans International Piano Competition, and the American Pianists Association Competition. In 2022, she will serve on the Selection Jury of the Sixteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Ms. Cheng’s many honors include a Gold Medal at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition, the distinction of being the first Canadian to win the prestigious Montreal International Piano Competition, additional first prizes at the William Kapell International Piano Competition and D’Angelo Young Artist Competition, the Medal of Excellence from the Salzburg Mozarteum for her outstanding interpretations of Mozart, and a Career Development Grant from the Canada Council. In 2010, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and cited for her life as a “concert pianist and ambassador for classical music.” A native of Hong Kong, Ms. Cheng studied extensively with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University and with Sascha Gorodnitzki at the Juilliard School. She is currently on the artist faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she was honored with the 2011-12 Excellence in Teaching Award. Alvin Chow: Alvin Chow has appeared throughout North America and Asia as orchestral soloist and recitalist. In addition, he has performed extensively in duo-piano recitals with his wife, Angela Cheng, and his twin brother, Alan. A native of Miami, Florida, he graduated summa cum laude and Co-Valedictorian (with his brother) at the University of Maryland, where he was a student of Nelita True. Mr. Chow received the Victor Herbert Prize in Piano upon graduation from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Sasha Gorodnitzki, and held the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship at Indiana University as a student of Menahem Pressler. Mr. Chow has won top prizes in numerous competitions such as the National Symphony Young Soloists Competition, Civic Orchestra of Chicago Young Soloists Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, and the New York Piano Teachers Congress International Piano Competition. He has been presented as recitalist in such cities as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Vienna, Montreal, Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles, and has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Colorado Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Pan-Asia Symphony in Hong Kong, Shanghai Philharmonic, and Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, among others. He has also been Convention Artist for the state MTNA conferences in California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee. With Angela Cheng, he performed as Conference Artist for the 2019 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. Mr. Chow has presented numerous master classes and lectures at music institutions throughout the United States and abroad, including the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Taichung University in Taiwan, Colburn School in Los Angeles, Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, and Indiana University. He has taught and performed at numerous summer festivals, including the Shanghai Piano Festival, Banff Piano Master Classes, North Coast Piano Festival, Southeastern Piano Festival, New Orleans International Piano Festival, Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, Lake Como Summer Piano School in Italy, and the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria. Mr. Chow has been a member of numerous competition juries, including the New Orleans International Piano Competition, the Iowa International Piano Competition, the Jacksonville International Piano Competition, MTNA Student Competitions (national finals), the International Piano e-Competition (screening), the Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and the Cooper International Piano Competition at Oberlin. Mr. Chow was the first Fulbright Visiting Artist in Piano at the University of Arkansas, and also taught at the University of Colorado. Mr. Chow has been a member of the artist faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music since 1999. He served as Chair of the Piano Department from 2007-19, and Director of the Division of Keyboard Studies from 2019-21. Mr. Chow was named the Ruth Strickland Gardner Professor of Music from 2011-14, and also received Oberlin’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.
Deirdre O’Donohue is a member of the piano faculty in the department of Music and Performing Arts Professions at New York University and is also on the college and preparatory faculties of Manhattan School of Music. She has performed solo and chamber recitals in Austria, The Netherlands, Italy, Canada, and the United States. Active as an adjudicator in the United States and Canada, she has also given numerous master classes and lecture/demonstrations at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Shanghai Conservatory, the Poona Music Society in India, the Rotterdam Conservatory, and at various institutions throughout the United States and Canada. In the spring of 1998 and 1999, Dr. O’Donohue was invited by the Gijon Conservatory in Asturias, Spain, to give intensive weeklong courses in piano technique and interpretation. She has received the Sparrendam Medal for performance in The Netherlands, and the Roger Phelps Award from New York University for her dissertation entitled The Concept of Unity and Uniqueness in the Multi-Movement Works of Beethoven. Recent engagements have included master classes at New York University and Queens College, a 1999 presentation at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in St. Louis, the adjudications of the Royal Irish Academy of Music’s weeklong Piano Festival (March 2000) and the National Feis Ceoil (March 2002) in Dublin, a solo recital at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire, performances of Stravinsky’s Concerto for Two Pianos with Rosemary Caviglia, in New York and Vermont, and a lecture/demonstration for the New York Associated Music Teachers’ League. Deirdre O’Donohue is past president of the New York State Music Teachers’ Association and is the chairperson of the MTNA Eastern Division High School performance competitions. In the summers of 1999 and 2000, Dr. O’ Donohue taught piano and chamber music at Columbia University’s high school chamber music, strings, and piano program. Since the summer of 2001, she has been on the faculty of the Adamant Music School in Vermont. Dr. O’Donohue holds degrees from New York University, the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, and Mount Holyoke College.
Elaine Greenfield is a widely acclaimed pianist, recognized internationally for her performances, recordings, and teaching, with a distinguished career as soloist/lecture recitalist, and collaborative artist. Noted nationwide for her sensitive musical imagination, compelling artistry, and effortless technique, Ms. Greenfield has received acclaim for performances at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall, Washington DC's Phillips Collection, Boston's Gardner Museum, and innumerable concert venues coast to coast. A review in CLAVIER magazine, lauded Ms.Greenfield's CD release, "Debussy Preludes, Bks 1 & 2," Centaur Records, recorded at the Frederick Collection, calling her performances "impeccable"..."how this music was meant to sound". CLASSICS TODAY praised her "sensitivity and control", "alluring pedal effects"...."meeting technical challenges with no effort". Ms. Greenfield has been broadcast over international radio & TV, including the BBC, NPR, VPT, WGBH, WNYC, WAMC & WBAQ. THE NEW YORK TIMES praised her "crystalline clarity, tonal warmth, graceful airiness, and rhythmically strong" playing, with "...a formidable technique...". Additionally, Ms. Greenfield toured for 20 years with Philadelphia flutist, Pamela Guidetti, New York Concert Artists Guild winner and protegé of French master Marcel Moyse. In her region, she has appeared as soloist with I Musici de Montreal, VT Symphony Orchestra, VT Mozart Festival, and the VT Philharmonic; she was a founding performer of the VT Contemporary Music Ensemble and has performed decades of solo and collaborative recitals with various regional and national artists. Elaine invites you to read about her extensive background, activities, credits, & reviews, and to sample her 7album discography on Website www.elainegreenfield.com. Her 20+ year nation-wide collaboration with Arizona pianist Janice Meyer Thompson, as The Transcontinental Piano Duo, has resulted in three CD recordings, including the 2010 release “French Four-Hands and the Elegant Erard,” Centaur Records, recorded at the Frederick Collection, presentations by the Duo at the 2009 World Pedagogy Conference and the 2012 MTNA National Conference; plus, rave reviews for recitals, workshops, and master classes at colleges, universities, state conferences & community series in 17 of the 50 states, with a goal of reaching all 50! For additional Duo information, please visit http://www.TranscontinentalPianoDuo.com. As an educator, Elaine Greenfield is a passionate and dedicated teacher, who maintains an independent studio in South Burlington, VT, and is a member of the artist faculty of the Adamant Music School. She is a Master Teacher in Music Teachers National Association, a resource person for workshops, master classes, and lecture recitals, and an active adjudicator. In her local area Ms. Greenfield is Artistic Director of concert events for St. Paul’s Cathedral Arts and is founder- director of Greenfield Piano Associates: “a not-for profit educational organization, dedicated to the art of piano playing.” During her extensive teaching career Elaine has taught pupils of all ages and levels, with several artist-students from her studio winning contests at state, regional, and national levels. Many have since gone on to musical careers throughout the U.S. Presently, Elaine particularly enjoys working with teachers and mature artist-students. For samples of Elaine Greenfield’s performances, complete educational background, philosophy, and activities, in her own words, please visit http://www.elainegreenfield.com
"Robert Henry's lyricism hits the mark. Cogent shaping, dynamism, and powerful; inner voices decisively sing and project as his Chopin's bass lines reinforce this music's often ignored backbone; rapturous and texturally refined playing; absolutely enchanting." --Gramophone Magazine Hailed as a "consummate artist -- brilliant, formidable, effortless, and the epitome of control and poise," Robert Henry is an internationally distinguished pianist, winning universal acclaim as orchestral soloist, recitalist, accompanist, and chamber musician. Possessing the rare combination of insight, inspiration, and a dazzling technique, he continues to touch and electrify audiences around the world. Career highlights include 2002 solo debut recitals at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Wigmore Hall, with critics praising his "flawless technique, smooth and limpid phrasing, exciting programming." He performed the opening concert for the 2004 MTNA National Convention, and has presented concerts, masterclasses, and lectures under the auspices of the American Pianists Association, Chopin Foundation of America, National Gallery of Art, Glinka Conservatory, Phillips Collection, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina, Arkansas State University, Georgia State University, Strathmore Hall, Kitzingen Piano Festival (Germany), and the Ibla-Ragusa Piano Festival (Italy). He has presented concert tours of the U.S., England, Poland, Czech Republic, Nova Scotia, Russia, Italy, and Canada. A renowned collaborator and chamber musician, he has appeared with such notable conductors as Robert Spano, Donald Runnicles, Michael Palmer, Steven Byess, and Stefan Sanderling. Following his recent major orchestral debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Atlanta Journal Constitution claimed Robert as "an accomplished musician, versatile and elegant...he elevated the concerto to a poignant statement." Dr. Henry has presented recitals with the Pacifica Quartet, cellist Shauna Rolston, soprano Mary Ann Hart, and tenor Sergio Blasquez. He has toured internationally with the Grammy-winning Atlanta Boy Choir, directed by Fletcher Wolfe, and has accompanied the masterclasses of eminent artists Jerry Hadley, Frederica von Stade, and Håkan Hagegård. Together with cellist Charae Krueger, he has presented the complete works for cello and piano by Beethoven. He is also a founding member of the Summit Piano Trio, joined by Helen Kim (violin) and Charae Krueger (cello). Critics have praised his ensemble playing, saying, "It was clear from the outset that Robert Henry is a master of the keyboard. He moves easily from being an accompanist, to a soloist, to one member of the dialogue between his instrument and the ensemble. Robert Henry is top notch." Robert Henry has enjoyed phenomenal success in important piano competitions, ultimately winning the Gold Medal in four International Piano Competitions in the 2001-2002 season alone (New Orleans International Piano Competition, Washington International Piano Competition, Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, Alfredo Barilli International Piano Competition). These prizes stand alongside fourteen additional first place awards received throughout his career, including the Clara Wells National Competition. On three occasions, juries have spontaneously created special prizes to honor his performances, including Best Performance of a 20th-Century Work and Best Performance of a Commissioned Work. He is a laureate of the 2003 Seiler International Piano Competition (Germany). An International Steinway Artist, Dr. Henry has earned a reputation for giving stunning performances of the most demanding repertoire and for presenting overlooked masterpieces to the public, from Bach to Boulanger. One New York critic wrote, "Robert Henry's Chopin-Godowsky Études were beautiful beyond description. His sound brings to mind the great pianists of the past, for whom beauty of tone was integral to the structure of the phrase." In response to Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Henry coordinated and performed in the 2006 "Pianists for New Orleans" tour of the United States, raising over $100,000 for the city. For these efforts, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans. In 2010, Robert Henry released his debut CD, Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz, to rave reviews. Gramophone Magazine declared, "Robert Henry's lyricism hits the mark. Absolutely enchanting." The recording is a collection of some of the world's best-loved melodies, featuring Nocturnes of Chopin, Faur, Grieg, Liszt, and many others, including the world premiere of Alexei Stanchinsky's forgotten Nocturne from 1907. Also featured is Dr. Henry's own published transcription of Waltz for the Lonely, originally by guitarist Chet Atkins. Dr. Henry was also winner of two 2010 Telly Awards for the documentary about his recording experience, The Making of Twelve Nocturnes and a Waltz. Dr. Henry was joined by violinist Helen Kim in a world premiere recording of Romance and Dance by Chen Yi for Centaur Records. Also, Mr. Henry arranged and performed Faure’s Pie Jesu for the Atlanta Boy Choir for the film, Captain America 3 (2016). He is regularly heard locally and nationally on NPR's Atlanta Music Scene and Performance Today. In 2016, Dr. Henry released his third critically acclaimed recording, As the Songbird Sings: Music of Schubert and Brahms, which included the world premiere recording of Brahms' recently discovered piece, Albumblatt. Dr. Henry earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland, with additional studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Glinka Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was awarded the 2009 KSU Distinguished Alumni Award. He has studied closely with pianists Larissa Dedova, Sergei Dzevanovsky, Anne Koscielny, Raymond Hanson, David Watkins, Joseph Meeks, George Mintz, Sergei Babayan, and André Watts. As an educator and pedagogue, Dr. Robert Henry is an MTNA Nationally Certified educator and has lectured and performed at universities, conservatories, and festivals worldwide. He has served as recitalist, clinician, and juror for state, regional, and national MTNA conventions and competitions, and he has been featured in American Music Teacher, Gramophone, and Clavier. He operates an exclusive private studio in Atlanta, GA. He is Director of the Atlanta Boy Choir, Organist-Choirmaster of the Saint George's Episcopal Church in Griffin, GA, and he proudly serves as Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Piano at Kennesaw State University. In 2019, Dr. Henry presented a lecture entitled, "Practicing Like a Pro" at the MTNA National Convention in Spokane Washington. Future projects include a recording of Bach's Complete Two-Part Inventions and Chopin Études, Op. 10. Robert lives in historic Marietta, GA, with his son, Lucas Sebastian Henry. He maintains his web-presence at www.roberthenry.org.
Described as "an artist with a polished sound and tremendous constructive power" and hailed by the Hoja del Lunes de Madrid, as "the Spanish pianist of his generation," Jose Ramon Mendez is one of the most exciting Spanish pianists of today. Recent performances include Chopin's first piano concerto with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra and Manuel de Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" with the Nittany Valley Symphony, as well as numerous solo and chamber music performances in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His playing has been featured on WQXR's "Performance Today" and on Classical KMFA. He has been a guest performer at many music festivals, including Caramoor Festival, Barge Music Series, Festival Internacional de Piano de las Islas Canarias, Music at Penns Woods, Amalfi Coast International Music Festival, "Tocando el Cielo," Musica en Compostela, the Stony Brook International Piano Festival, and the Santander International Music Festival to name a few. As a chamber musician, Mendez has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Karl Leister, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Tree, Pascual Martinez-Nieto, and Pinchas Zukerman. Mendez received his first music instruction from his father and by the age of seven was already performing on Spanish television and radio stations. He made his solo debut at the age of eleven at the Oviedo Philharmonic Society in Oviedo, Spain, the youngest performer ever to do so in the history of the society. He first gained international recognition when he performed Liszt's first piano concerto under the direction of Sergiu Commissiona at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since then, he has concertized extensively in his native Spain, the United States, Italy, England, Portugal, Holland, and Japan to great acclaim. With his poetry, intellect, and masterful technique, he has been praised by critics and celebrated by audiences around the world. At the age of 18, Mendez's success brought him to the United States, where he began his studies at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He completed his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in piano performance with renowned pedagogue Solomon Mikowsky and went on to finish his Doctorate of Musical Arts under the tutelage of Byron Janis and Miyoko Lotto. During his stay in New York, he won top prizes in many international competitions, including Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition, Hilton Head Island International Piano Competition, Frederick Chopin Competition in New York, and Hermanos Guerrero International Piano Competition, among others. Mendez's professional teaching career began in 1996, when he was invited to teach master classes at the Gijon School of Music. Since then, he has given master classes in numerous cities in Spain, including Lugo, Aviles, Valencia, Gijon, Oviedo, Santiago de Compostela, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as in the United States at top music schools such as Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, and Columbus State University. Mendez also taught as assistant teacher to Miyoko Lotto at the Perlman Music Program, a program for gifted young musicians founded by the world famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. Currently in the summers, he is the Artistic Director and on the faculty of the Gijon International Piano Festival in Gijon, Spain, as well as frequently being invited to perform and teach at various festivals. For more information, visit his website.
Pianist Roberta Rust has concertized to critical acclaim around the globe, with performances at such venues as Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, New York's Merkin Concert Hall, Rio de Janeiro's Sala Cecilia Meireles, Washington's Corcoran Gallery, Havana’s Basilica and Seoul's KNUA Hall. Hailed for her recordings on the Parma (Navona), Centaur and Protone labels, Rust has appeared with the Lark, Ying, Serafin, Amernet and Fine Arts String Quartets and at Miami's Mainly Mozart Festival, the Philippines Opusfest, the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, Festival Miami, Long Island's Beethoven Festival, and France's La Gesse. Her concerto appearances have included engagements with the Houston Symphony, New World Symphony, Philippine Philharmonic, New Philharmonic, Redlands Symphony, Boca Raton Symphonia, Knox-Galesburg Symphony, Frederick Symphony, Lynn Philharmonia, and orchestras in Latin America. She served as Artistic Ambassador for the United States, was awarded a major National Endowment for the Arts grant, and also received recognition and prizes from the Organization of American States, National Society of Arts & Letters, and International Concours de Fortepiano (Paris). Dr. Rust serves as Artist Faculty-Piano/Professor and head of the piano department at the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida, where she received the "Deanne and Gerald Gitner and Family Excellence in Teaching Award." She has given master classes at Northwestern University, the San Francisco Conservatory, the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and throughout Asia and the Americas. Rust has been presented in performances and master classes at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, the Manila International Piano Masterclasses Festival, the University of Florida International Piano Festival and the Fondation Bell'Arte International Certificate for Piano Artists program. She has served as a competition adjudicator for the New World Symphony, the Chautauqua and Brevard Festivals, and the Colburn School's Music Academy. Roberta Rust studied at the Peabody Conservatory, graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, and earned performer's certificates in piano and German Lieder from the Mozarteum in Salzburg. A student of Ivan Davis, Artur Balsam, John Perry, and Phillip Evans, she received a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a doctorate from the University of Miami. Master class studies were with Gary Graffman, Leon Fleisher, Carlo Zecchi, and Erik Werba. For more information please visit www.robertarust.com.
Pianist Rebecca Penneys is a recitalist, chamber musician, orchestral soloist, educator, and adjudicator. For over six decades she has been hailed as a pianist of prodigious talent. Rebecca has concertized throughout all the continents north of Antarctica and she has represented the United States on United States Information Service State Department Cultural tours. She is a popular guest artist, keynote speaker and pedagogue. She is an International Steinway Artist, has given many concerts for Steinway & Sons and was inducted into The Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame. Combining a busy concert schedule with seminars and master classes worldwide, she taught international students at Eastman School of Music for thirty-seven years, and at the Chautauqua Music Festival for thirty-four years. She has taught at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival since its inception. Her current and former students include prizewinners in international competitions and hold important teaching posts on every continent. Rebecca made her recital debut at age 9 and performed as soloist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when she was 11. At 17, after winning many young artist competitions in the USA she was awarded the unprecedented Special Critics’ Prize at the Seventh International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, an award created in her honor. Additionally, she won the Most Outstanding Musician Prize at the Fifth Vianna Da Motta International Piano Competition (Portugal) and was top prizewinner in the Second Paloma O’Shea International Piano Competition (Spain). She made her New York Debut in Alice Tully Hall in 1972. In 1974, she founded the acclaimed New Arts Trio, which twice won the prestigious Naumburg Award for Chamber Music (New York City). In July 2017, Rebecca became Professor Emerita of Piano at Eastman School of Music. Since 2001 she has been Artist-in-Residence at St. Petersburg College, Florida and in 2007 she was appointed director of the St Petersburg College Piano Series. In 2015 she was appointed Courtesy-Steinway-Artist-in-Residence at the University of South Florida. She continues as founder-pianist of the Salon Chamber Music Subscription Series at the Rochester Academy of Medicine which started in 1997, and founder-director of Eastman Piano Series at the Summit which she started in 2009. Rebecca launched the Rebecca Penneys Friends of Piano (non-profit 501c3) and the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in 2013. The University of South Florida in Tampa hosts the collegiate tuition-free festival every summer. RPPF-Mini, a seminar that explores strategies in career development, is currently part of RPPF. Rebecca’s teachers include Aube Tzerko, Leonard Stein, Rosina Lhevinne, Artur Rubinstein, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Janos Starker, Josef Gingold, and Iannis Xenakis. She has taught and performed in such summer festivals as Southeastern Music Festival, Sitka, Marlboro, Eastern, Aspen, Vermont Mozart, Montreal, Tel Hai Israel, Shawnigan Johannesen, Peninsula, Roycroft, Mammoth Lakes, Eastern Music Festival, and Music Mountain. Rebecca has more than a dozen current CDs on Fleur De Son Classics and Centaur Records. Her 1st DVD includes music of Brahms, Debussy and De Falla; the 2nd DVD celebrates the music of Chopin; No 3 DVD underscores the spirituality of Brahms and enjoys Soler, Scarlatti, and two piano rags. Here are interview and review links. Visit her on-line at rebeccapenneys.com, rebeccapenneyspianofestival.org & on RPPF Rebecca Penneys YouTube “Penneys offers an extraordinary collection of performances displaying an astonishing control over piano sound. It is absolutely gorgeous, and full of unimaginable colors. She sings through the instrument, seemingly without effort. Her playing is simply revelatory.” — American Record Guide
American pianist Jeffrey Cohen continues to draw international attention for the brilliance and artistry of his interpretations. Mr. Cohen has been praised by The New York Times for the “lucidity and poetry” of his playing. Both as soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Cohen’s performances have taken him to three different continents. Recitals include appearances for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall, Bargemusic, the Phillips Collection, Mostly Music Series of Chicago, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing and the National Arts Center of Ottawa. Mr. Cohen has been a faculty member or guest artist at major music festivals including Bowdoin, Waterloo, Musicorda, Orford, Summit, Texas Music Festival, Seoul Summer Music Camp, Shanghai International Piano Festival & Institute, and the Beijing International Music Festival. His recent summer activities include serving on the faculties of the MusicAlp International Academy of Music in France, the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival, the Summer Academy Voksenåsen in Norway, and the Puerto Piano Festival. Mr. Cohen’s debut recording, a collection of French chamber music with his wife and duo partner violinist Lucie Robert, received critical acclaim in Fanfare magazine. He has performed for broadcasts on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today,” the CBC Radio Network, Radio Canada, Radio France and WQXR. In addition to his concert activities, Mr. Cohen’s teaching gifts have established him as a leading piano pedagogue of his generation. His students have won prizes in major competitions and enjoy successful careers as performers and teachers. For over thirty years, Mr. Cohen has been a piano professor and member of the artist faculty at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he currently serves as Coordinator of Piano Department Master Classes and Competitions. He has given master classes at prestigious institutions such as the Jacobs School of Music, Eastman School of Music, Central Conservatory in Beijing, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Seoul National University, Boston University School of Music and Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore. Mr. Cohen has served as adjudicator for numerous major competitions. A native of Tucson, Mr. Cohen studied at Indiana University where he worked with legendary pianist Menahem Pressler and received the coveted Battista Memorial Award. He is a past Laureate of the Beethoven Foundation and a prizewinner of the Sherman-Clay Steinway Piano Competition. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Violinist Lucie Robert, a native of Montreal, has received enthusiastic praise from audiences and critics alike for the expressive lyricism and tonal beauty of her playing. Lauded in the The New York Times for her “melting tone” and “wonderfully supple approach to phrasing,” Ms. Robert carries on the great violin tradition of her teacher and mentor, the legendary Josef Gingold. A prize winner of the First Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Austria, Ms. Robert has appeared as recitalist and chamber musician throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Far East. She has performed over thirty different works as violin soloist with major orchestras throughout North America. Ms. Robert has also collaborated in chamber music with artists such as Menahem Pressler, Richard Goode, Claude Frank, Philippe Entremont and Isidore Cohen. As a recording artist, she has performed for National Public Radio, WQXR, the CBC Radio Network, Radio Canada, and Radio France, and received critical acclaim for her recording of violin sonatas by Fauré and Saint-Saëns. An active participant in the summer music festival scene, Ms. Robert has been a guest artist or faculty member at festivals such as Bowdoin, the American Conservatoire at Fontainebleau, Meadowmount, Busan Music Festival, Hida-Takayama Festival, the Texas Music Festival and the MusicAlp Academy in France. In recent summers she has served on the faculties of the Orford Music Academy, Summer Academy Voksenåsen in Norway, and the Violin Institute at the Bienen School of Music. Highly sought after as a violin pedagogue, Ms. Robert has been a violin professor for over thirty years at the Manhattan School of Music and the Mannes College of Music in New York City. She has given master classes throughout the world at prestigious institutions such as Seoul National University, Korea National University of the Arts, Central Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Tokyo College of Music, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Sibelius Academy, Norwegian Academy of Music, the Glenn Gould School and the Conservatoire de Musique de Montreal. In the past several years, Ms. Robert has given lectures on violin technique and her teaching philosophy and is a frequent contributor to “The Violin Channel.” Her students have won prizes in major international competitions including the Indianapolis, Young Concert Artists, Paganini, Sendai, China, Seoul, Isang Yun and Szigeti International Violin Competitions. Ms. Robert has been a member of the jury at numerous international competitions including the Montreal, Fritz Kreisler, József Szigeti, Seoul and Joseph Joachim international violin competitions. She will serve as a jury member for the 2022 Jean Sibelius International Violin Competition in Helsinki.