Introducing 24 participants joining Pianofest this summer.
Adam Mayon, a South Louisiana native, has been nationally recognized for his pianistic talent with prizes in the National Division of the MTNA Young Artist Competition and the NFMC Young Artist Competition. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Loyola University New Orleans, and recently completed his DMA degree at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with Dr. Soyeon Kate Lee. Adam will make his New York City debut with a solo recital at Steinway Hall in the fall of 2018.
In addition to pianistic interests, Adam pursues his lifelong passion for physical fitness. As a certified personal trainer and avid powerlifter, he has developed individualized fitness programs for aspiring musicians and athletes. His most current research project included finding direct correlations between fitness and music, appearing in the MTNA e-Journal publication (November 2017) entitled “Warming Up for the Warm-Up: A Case for Cardio Before Scales.”
Alevtina Dobina (Austria/Ukraine) is winner of numerous international piano competitions and awards. She was named Presidential Scholar by the President of Ukraine for special achievements in music and contributions to culture, and has toured in Brazil, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, USA, Russia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, and in her native Ukraine. She has just recently graduated with honors with a Master’s Degree at the Anton Bruckner University in Austria, where she performed as soloist and chamber musician, and collaborated in opera projects with the Landestheater of Upper Austria. She made her debut at the International Bruckner Festival 2016, and currently is studying at the International Erasmus Program in Spain with Leonel Morales at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica de Castellon de la Plana. Outside of piano, she collects shoes and bags and always loves traveling.
Born in Minsk, Belarus, Anna Yukho started piano at age six with her mother, and made her debut with the Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra, and was prizewinner of International Piano Competition in memory of Arthur Rubinstein in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Hanna received her first award at the age of ten as a winner of the International Chopin Piano Competition in Antonin, Poland. She was a prizewinner of the International Piano Competition “Music of hope” in Belarus, and in 2015 won Pianist’s Award of the isa15 – International Summer Academy of the mdw in Reichenau, Austria. She has appeared in Weill Recital Hall, Klavierhaus New York during the Mannes Sounds Festival, Vladimir’s Spivakov’s charity festival “Moscow meets friends”, and gave performances in Belgium, Italy, Austria, Holland, Poland, and Russia. Hanna has repeatedly performed with the Belarusian State Chamber and Symphony Orchestra. In 2013, she graduated from the Academy of Music in Minsk where she studied with Igor Olovnikov; at Mannes she studied with Vladimir Feltsman. In 2017 she graduated from Yale School of Music where she studied with Boris Berman and Peter Frankl. Her hobbies include yoga, jogging, movies, cooking, classic Russian literature, philosophy and psychology.
Anthony Cardella is a senior piano performance major and piano pedagogy minor at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he won the Margaret Gary Daniels Award for two consecutive years as a student of Michael Mizrahi, and first place at the Lawrence University Concerto Competition with Samuel Barber's Piano Concerto. Anthony has performed internationally at the Gigon International Piano Festival in Spain, the Porto PianoFest in Portugal, and Cantieri Musicali Framura festival in Italy.
Anthony has a passion for studying Italian culture and language, both in the United States and abroad in Milan, Italy, where he spent 6 months of his Junior year as well as part of this past summer, and also fosters a love for the culinary arts--a passion since middle school that culminated with a study of Italian cuisine with a professional chef in Milan.
Robert Levinger, a Wisconsin native, began his piano studies at age seven. He currently resides in Houston, where he pursues a Bachelor of Music degree at the Moores School of Music of the University of Houston, with Nancy Weems. He made his orchestral debut with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra of Minnesota at age 14, and subsequently appeared with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Madison Symphony Orchestra of Wisconsin. His performance of the Grieg Concerto was presented as a live broadcast on Wisconsin Public Television and Radio. He won prizes in the TMTA Collegiate Competition, the Young Texas Artists’Competition, the San Antonio Young Artist Competitions, and the Moores School of Music Concerto Competition. Away from the piano, Robert enjoys collecting CDs, reading classic literature, and thinks of himself as a born-to-be Green Bay Packers’ fan, a Star Wars aficionado, a Seinfeld enthusiast, and an avid word game player.
Brianna Tang has appeared in Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall New York, Westminster Choir College, and Auditorium San Nicolo in Venice. She has been among top prizewinners at Festival Musica in Laguna’s International Piano Competition, Narnia International Piano Competition, YPCNJ competitions, National League of Performing Arts competitions, and the Greater Princeton Steinway Society Piano Scholarship Competition. She currently studies at Stony Brook University with Pablo Lavandera, where she won the 2018 Concerto Competition with Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto. Outside of music, Ms. Tang was a YMCA national level competitive swimmer for 12 years, and a member of the NJMEA All State and Regions Choir.
Born in Shanghai, Chaojun Yang gave a solo performance in Paris Theatre des Champs Elysees at age six, and age nine played with the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra under Maestro Zheng Xiaoying. In the same year, she entered Shanghai Conservatory middle school, where she garnered numerous prizes in national and international competitions. ChaoJun has performed throughout Europe, the United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, throughout Asia including in North Korea, and in Poland gave a recital in Chopin’s house. Chaojun is a founder for the national Chinese history appreciation and discussion group in Shanghai, and is a journalist for the Shanghai Little Master Press. She studies at Bard College as a double major in French and music, studying with Matti Raekallio and Benjamin Hochman. Chaojun loves jogging and swimming, and she is preparing for a Marathon this summer in Nanjing. Most recently, she finished a 75 pages senior thesis on musical intuition based on French philosopher Henri Bergson’s notion on duration and élan vital. She widely used French, as her third language throughout the thesis.
Eoín Fleming studies at Shenandoah University with John O' Conor, and made his debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2016 with Beethoven’s Fifth Concerto. He has drawn distinction and won prizes in numerous competitions, including in the Suzhou Jinji Lake International Piano Competition in China, the Bank of Ireland Catherine Judge Memorial Award First Prize, and in the Shenandoah University Student Soloist Competition where he won First Prize and debuted with The Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra performing Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Concerto. Eoín won the Sheila Rumbold Cup and the Valerie Walker Rosebowl in The Royal Irish Academy of Music, and played piano in the film “Parked” starring Colm Meaney. Outside of piano, he enjoys cooking, tennis, badminton, and card games.
Greg Hartmann is pursuing a Master’s in Piano Performance with Ran Dank at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He won first place in the 2016 Walter A. and Dorothy J. Oestreich Concerto Competition, the 2016 Rochester Symphony Young Artist Competition, the 2016 Lakeshore Wind Ensemble Young Artist Competition, and received the Jung-Springberg Award for Outstanding Musicianship in the 2018 Kuleshov International Piano Competition. He has performed with the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Symphony, and the Concord Chamber Orchestra. Also an accomplished composer, Greg won the 2018 Paula Nelson-Guenther Young Composer Competition, and as a result his orchestral work “Requiem for a Memory: Nocturne for Orchestra” was recorded by the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. Greg is also the captain of the University of Cincinnati Table Tennis Team.
Born in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Pianist Hyejin Pak began studying piano at the age of six. She made her orchestral debut at the age of 12 with the Korean Philharmonic Orchestra, performing the Mozart Piano Concerto K.488. Since then, she has appeared as a soloist many times in venues such as Chicago Symphony Center (Buntrock Hall), Robert J. Werner, Youngsan Arts Center, among others. She is a prize winner of the 2017 Vancouver International Music Competition, 2016 Manhattan International Music Competition, Korean Philharmonic Orchestra Competition, as well as the Music Education Newspaper Competition in Korea. Hyejin has presented solo and chamber recitals in the United States and Asia.
Ms. Pak received her B.M degree from the Ewha Woman’s University in Korea where she was awarded the scholarship of excellence, completed graduate and doctoral degrees at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, studying with Awadagin Pratt. Following her passion for her favorite composer, Beethoven, she took a special study of his pedaling techniques as part of her Doctor of Musical Arts degree, and recently gave a lecture recital with this study. Outside of music, her passion is travel.
South Korean pianist Jaeyoung Kim is the recipient of the New Jersey State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak Award in 2018, and winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. Other awards include Grand Prize at the East Coast International Competition, and prizes at the Oberlin (Cooper) International Piano Competition, MTNA New York State Piano Competition, The American Prize, and at the KoreaHerald, Ewha & Kyunghyang, Eumyoun, and the Music Journal Competitions in South Korea. Mr. Kim also worked with Noah Bendix-Balgley, the first Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic. He spent summers at Music Academy of the West, Sarasota Music Festival, and Art of the Piano. Mr. Kim received his Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and is now continuing his Master’s degree at Juilliard with Emanuel Ax and Jerome Lowenthal. When not performing, Mr. Kim enjoys exploring different cuisines, watching movies, and traveling with friends.
Katherine E. Benson
Katherine E. Benson, from Jonesborough, Tennessee, is a Master of Music student of James Giles at Northwestern University, where she is active as soloist, collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and teacher. Katherine has received honors in several competitions, including the Los Angeles International Piano Competition. She participated in numerous festivals including Orford Musique and Cincinnati-Conservatory Art of the Piano. Katherine was awarded the Garth Newel Music Center Emerging Artist Fellowship and performed Schumann’s Piano Quintet with violinist Judith Ingolfsson and played continuo in a Baroque chamber orchestra led by violinist Aisslinn Nosky. Active in new music as both pianist and composer, Katherine recorded the complete twenty-four piano preludes of Ecuadorian-American composer Alexander Leon and performed with the OSSIA New Music Ensemble at the Eastman School of Music. Katherine studied composition at the Brevard Music Center with Robert Aldridge and David Dzubay, and at the high SCORE Festival in Pavia, Italy, where her string quartet was premiered by Quartetto Indaco. Her principal teachers have also included Chih-Long Hu and Jerilyn Paolini. Outside music, Katherine enjoys painting and digital art, and is an avid reader.
Konstantin Emelianov studies with Sergei Dorensky at the Moscow State Conservatory, where is teachers have also included Pavel Nersessian, Andrei Pisarev, Nikolai Lugansky, and Alexander Mndoyants. He began his studies with Krivorotova Tamara, and in 2009 he entered the Academic Music College of Moscow conservatory, studying with Mechetina Olga. Konstantin is also studying at the Rachmaninoff Academy in Sicily with Epifanio Comis. He is laureate of several international competitions, including the competition in memory of Vladimir Horowitz, the Verona International Piano Competition, and in 2017 Konstantin won first prize and audience prize at the Gian Battista Viotti International Piano Competition. He has performed in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and at the Bolshoi Theater, in addition to appearances in Bucharest, Vienna, South Korea, Spain, and Israel.
Markus Kaitila studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna, Folkwang University of the Arts in Germany with Till Engel and received a BM cum laude from Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College, with Nina Lelchuk last year. Markus has performed as a soloist with the Joutseno Art Summer chamber orchestra, Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra, Festival Orchestra at St. Peter’s and the Queens College Chamber Orchestra, under conductors Tong Chen and Charles Neidich. He won first prize in the Köhler-Osbahr Piano Competition in Germany as well as prizes in national chamber music competitions. Markus has performed in Wiener Saal, Salzburg, Musica Mundi Festival, Klavier-Festival Ruhr, and Mannes, LeFrak, and Carnegie Hall in New York. In his free time, he enjoys good food, exercise, reading and quality sleep.
Houston-based Michael Lenahan received his bachelor’s degree from The Juilliard School with Jerome Lowenthal, and is currently studying at Rice University with Dr. Robert Roux. He won prizes in the Toledo Symphony Young Artists Concerto Competition, the International Zimmerli Piano Competition, the Toledo Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Graves Piano Competition, and in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. Lenahan is dedicated to works by living composers, and his performances have included an appearance at Alice Tully Hall. He performed as the whistler for Ursula Oppens’ recent recording of Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated!—nominated for a 2016 Grammy. His passions include cooking, languages, travel, growing a beard, and defeating opponents in Scrabble. Lenahan’s first year attending Pianofest in the Hamptons was in 2017 and he’s looking forward to returning for another inspiring summer of passionate music making, sun and smiles, and seafood.
Minyi Zhang started playing the piano at the age of six in her native Shenzhen, China, where her teachers included Mei Xiao, Zhaoyi Dan, and Mingqiang Li. At Interlochen, she continued studies with Thomas Lymenstull , and is currently a freshman at The Juilliard School, studying with Jerome Lowenthal. She won 1st Prize in the 2016 Shenzhen Piano Open Competition, the Gold Prize in The Third “Changjiang Cup” National Piano Tournament, and Grand Prize among All Gold Prize Recipients Group in 2012. She also won the second Shenzhen Piano Open Tournament. Ouside of piano, Minyi is also very passionate about musical theatre and has participated in several productions. She also did Taekwondo before high school, and has won medals in the Shenzhen Taekwondo Sparring Tournament.
Born to a family of musicians, Misha Galant began piano lessons at the age of six and continued for fourteen years with his mother, Olya Katsman. Misha is a sophomore in the Columbia University and Juilliard School Exchange; he studies with Dr. Matti Raekallio at Juilliard and Dr. Yu-Jane Yang at Weber State University in Utah. He is the winner of numerous competitions and has performed with the Rochester, Utah, Oakland, Peninsula, Livermore, Santa Rosa Youth, and California Youth symphony orchestras. He toured Austria and Italy with the California Youth Symphony, and is one of ten students nationwide to receive the Chopin Foundation Scholarship and was a prizewinner at the first inaugural Van Cliburn Junior Competition and at the Eastman Piano Competition. In his free time, Misha enjoys playing chamber music, swimming, reading, hiking, eating, and performing to raise funds for various volunteer organizations.
Soyeon An, from South Korea, is currently pursuing DMA degree at University of Southern California as a student of Stewart Gordon, and recently won the USC Concerto Competition with Brahms First Concerto. She completed her MM degree at Eastman School of Music with Enrico Elisi, and won several competitions in Korea including Seoul Music Competition, Korea Mozart Orchestra Competition, New Arts Competition, and the Bucheon Scholarship Competition. In the same year, she received a Faculty Merit Award at the Chautauqua Piano Competition. She has participated in Pianofest in Hamptons, Texas International Piano Festival, San Juan International Piano Festival in Puerto Rico, Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in Florida, Chautauqua Music Festival, and Buam Society Piano Summer Festival in Korea. She organizes and plays benefit concerts for Ronald McDonald House, providing support for sick children and their families. She would love to enjoy cooking in some future, but for now only enjoys eating. Since moving to LA, her newest hobby is sunbathing on the beach.
Chinese pianist Jiao Sun studies with Soyeon Kate Lee at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, where she is pursuing her DMA degree. She has performed throughout China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, where she has frequently appeared at the Aspen and Chautauqua music festivals. After she began studies at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, she studied with Bernadene Blaha in Los Angeles, and received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Douglas Humphreys and Rebecca Penneys.She has won top prizes in several competitions in the U.S., China, and Russia, including the Cincinnati CCM Concerto Competition with Prokofiev’s First Concerto, the Chautauqua Piano Competition, and the Golden Bell National Competition in China. At CCM, Jiao Sun has extensive teaching experience, and collaborates in performances involving singers and chamber choir ensembles. Outside of her pianistic pursuits, she also has a passion for harpsichord and Chinese Koto, and has studied both formally. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, and cooking spaghetti.
A native of Boston, Timothy Stephenson started piano at age eight. He is in his first year at Indiana University, pursuing a DMA with Norman Krieger. Past studies include undergraduate and graduate degrees at Florida State University, with Dr. Read Gainsford. He performed Beethoven's First Concerto as the winner of the Jacobs School of Music's Concerto Competition, and will perform Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Columbus Philharmonic Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, he is a member of Stephenson|Gan, a violin-piano duo that made their Carnegie Hall debut in May 2017. Tim enjoys biking, reading Harry Potter, and spending time/making music with his wife, Jia Rong.
Victoire-Theodora Pruvost is a French-American Piano Society Artist and Full-Scholarship Grant Recipient, and is a Dorothy McKenzie Artist Recognition Scholarship Awards Winner. She studies at the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Lyon, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, with teachers Alain Planès, Jerome Granjon, and William Grant Naboré. She also pursues advanced studies at the International Piano Foundation Theo Lieven in Lugano, Switzerlzand. She has performed in Paris, Geneva, and New York, where she appeared in recital at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival. Victoire has developed over the past two years a distinctive piano style rooted in her interest for ethnomusicology, which has culminated in an intensive study of the piano works of Messiaen, Jolivet and Granados. Victoire is interested in philosophy, magic realism, pictural arts, photopraphy and travels.
Nathan Lee, of Seattle, Washington, began playing the piano at the age of six and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine. He won First Prize in the 2016 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, made his New York debut in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, and has an upcoming debut in Kennedy Center debut in Washington, DC. Nathan Lee has appeared as soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic on NPR's From the Top, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra, and he shared the stage with pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Lang Lang on Gala Evening for the Seattle Symphony. Mr. Lee has been heard in Korea, on Radio-France, and in Perugia, to sold-out audiences. Mr. Lee has participated in Musicfest Perugia in Italy, and at the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland. He studies with Sasha Starcevich.
Rolando Antonio Alejandro
Rolando Antonio Alejandro made his debut in 2007 at age 8 eight, at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. He appeared with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, performing concertos by Mendelssohn and Beethoven. In 2016 Rolando released a debut album "Piano Latino", a collection of Hispanic composers who have been influential in Latin American popular music. He won prizes in the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition and in the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music Concerto Competition with Saint Saëns Second. He was recipient of the Chopin Foundation of the United States Scholarship 2016 and 2017, the 2016 National YoungArts Foundation Merit Winner, Interlochen Maddy Summer Artist Award, and Interlochen Summer Fine Arts Awards. Rolando is a junior at the Juilliard School, studying with Matti Raekallio.
Pianist and composer Matthew Griswold has performed at the Spoleto Music Festivals in Italy and in the United States, and has appeared in the Czech Republic, Spain, and at the Interlochen Summer Arts Festival. He first sat down at a piano at the late age of 11, where he worked out his own version of Pachelbel's Canon based on a cell phone ring he had just heard. Self-taught through high school, Matthew learned to play entirely by ear and memorized large-scale works and concerti by listening to recordings. He won First Prize in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, after initially being turned away with a request to return only after learning to read music. Matthew studied with Robert Shannon at Oberlin Conservatory, where he won the Arthur Dann Piano Competition, and where he also studied philosophy and physics. He continued with graduate studies at Mannes College of Music with Jeremy Denk, and is currently working on his DMA at the CUNY Graduate Center with Ursula Oppens. Matthew holds power lifting records in multiple states, including a Virginia state record in his weight-class for a 479 lb dead-lift.