GOCAA Judge Member
Chair of Keyboard Studies at California State University, Northridge
Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov
Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov is the Chair of Keyboard Studies at California State University, Northridge. A sought-after performer, master class clinician, adjudicator and lecturer, Dr. Rachmanov has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and was an invited guest artist/lecturer/clinician at The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Shanghai and Beijing Central Conservatories.
Rachmano has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, London's Barbican and South Bank Centres, at venues in Europe and Asia, and has collaborated as a soloist with the Ukraine National Symphony, National Orchestra of Porto and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, among others. He has recorded for Naxos, Parma, Master Musicians and Vista Vera labels.
An active member of the American Liszt Society, Dmitry Rachmanov served as the Artistic Director of the 2016 ALS Festival “Liszt and Russia” hosted by Cal State Northridge. He is the president of the society’s Southern California chapter.
A proponent of Russian repertoire, Rachmanov gave the US premiere of Boris Pasternak's Piano Sonata, broadcast by the NPR, and his recital "The Art of the 19th Century Russian Character Piece" was noted by the New York Times for "considerable color and focus" he brought to each work. He is a founding member of the Scriabin Society of America; his April 2014 Scriabin program at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, part of the world recital tour commemorating Scriabin’s 100th memorial anniversary, was described as “a ‘poem of ecstasy’ in every sense: giant in conception, quantity, quality, execution, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity” by the New York Concert Review.
Dr. Rachmanov is a graduate of The Juilliard School (BM& MM) and Manhattan School of Music (DMA). His teachers include Nadia Reisenberg, Arkady Aronov, Alexander Eydelman and Ada Traub. He is a recipient of numerous awards, among them being named Jerome Richfield Memorial Scholar at CSUN and receiving an “Outstanding CAPMT Member State Recognition Award” by California Association of Professional Music Teachers. In 2018 Dr. Rachmanov was selected as the 2018-19 Academic Affairs Research Fellow in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication at CSUN. In January 2019 he was a Co-Director of the ChamberFest @ CSUN Festival. In the summer of 2019 he was a resident at the Brahmshouse in Baden-Baden, Germany.
Professor and Head of Piano
Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Michael Lewin is one of America’s foremost concert pianists, winning over audiences in 30 countries with playing of “majestic power and searing emotion.” (The London Times). His career was launched with top prizes in the Franz Liszt International Competition, the American Pianists Association Award and the William Kapell (University of Maryland) International Piano Competition. His recordings have won a Grammy Award and a Roundglass Music Award.
He has appeared as orchestral soloist with the Netherlands Philharmonic, Cairo Symphony, China National Radio Orchestra, Bucharest Philharmonic, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, State Symphony of Greece, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Boston Pops, and the Phoenix, Indianapolis, Miami, North Carolina, West Virginia, Nevada, New Orleans, Colorado, Guadalajara, and Puerto Rico Symphonies. Solo appearances include New York’s Lincoln Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Boston’s Symphony Hall, Taiwan’s National Concert Hall, Hong Kong’s City Hall Theatre, Holland’s Muziekcentrum, Moscow’s Great Hall, the Athens Megaron, the National Gallery of Art, the Newport, Ravinia and Spoleto Festivals and PBS Television. His extensive repertoire includes over 40 piano concertos, with particular interest in the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and a host of American and Latin American composers.
Mr. Lewin’s award-winning discography on Sono Luminus, Naxos and Centaur includes a pair of acclaimed Debussy recordings entitled “Beau Soir” and “Starry Night”, the complete piano music of Charles T. Griffes and Scarlatti Sonatas for Naxos, “Michael Lewin plays Liszt,” “A Russian Piano Recital”, “Bamboula!” piano music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, “Piano Phantoms,” “If I Were a Bird” and the 4 Violin Sonatas by William Bolcom with Irina Muresanu.
Michael Lewin is Professor and Head of Piano at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Classical Music Director for Ethos Music in China. He gives master classes worldwide, directs the Boston Conservatory Piano Masters Series and has taught many prize-winning and successful pianists. He is a Juilliard School graduate and a Steinway Artist. His teachers included Leon Fleisher, Yvonne Lefebure, Adele Marcus and Irwin Freundlich. Please visit www.michaellewin.com for more information.
Chu Wang Hua
Chu Wanghua, a Chinese-Australian composer, played a major role as one of the composers of the Yellow River Piano Concerto, particularly with his contribution to the piano part. This internationally recognised concerto has been widely performed and recorded by renowned pianists and orchestras in the world. Chu Wanghua’s symphonies such as Ash Wednesday , Autumn Cry and Silk Road were performed by Melbourne Symphony Orchestra . His Untitled String Quartet, Piano and Violin Duo, Piano Sonatas, Piano Concerto No 2 No 3 and No 4, and Choral pieces have been performed and recorded locally and internationally. His Silk Road Symphony , Saxophone Concerto and Accordion Concerto were premiered by Pro-Musica in Melbourne followed by the China National Orchestra in Beijing. More recently his new piano concerto, My Motherland was premiered by Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and Pro-Musica Symphony Orchestra in Melbourne. He has enjoyed commissions from many organisations throughout the world over the last 40 years and some of his piano pieces have been selected in the piano exam syllabus, not only in China, but in the UK, through the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, London.
As a pianist, he has been invited to perform recitals at the University of Melbourne, the national Gallery of Victory, and with the ABC. Over the last decade he has committed to a robust touring schedule of China and Hong Kong performing, lecturing and adjudicating.
The Juilliard School
Pianist Aaron Wunsch enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer, presenter, and educator. He has performed on concert stages throughout the US, Europe, and Asia, including in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Duke’s Hall in London, at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, and as a soloist with symphonies in the US and China. Lauded for his “masterful” chamber music performances (Hartford Courant), he has appeared at the Norfolk, Bowdoin, Sarasota, Great Lakes, and Yellow Barn chamber music festivals, collaborating in performance with cellist Lynn Harrell, clarinetists Charles Neidich and Anthony McGill, violinists Miranda Cuckson and Jennifer Koh, and the Miró and Parker Quartets, among others. He has worked closely with many renowned composers, including Thomas Adès, Nico Muhly, and Kaija Saariaho, and has performed new works by Saariaho and John Adams during Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music.
He studied at Yale University (B.A., cum laude), the Mozarteum in Salzburg (Fulbright Fellowship), and at the Juilliard School (M.M. and D.M.A.). He was formerly Assistant Professor of Piano at William Paterson University and is currently the Director of Keyboard Studies and Piano Curriculum at Juilliard, where he teaches piano literature, graduate studies, chamber music, and directs Juilliard PianoScope, the Piano Department’s performance series. He gives piano masterclasses and lectures at conservatories and universities in the U. S., Europe, and Asia, and he was a 2010 Visiting Professor at Shanghai Normal University. His awards for written work in musicology include the Henry Hart Rice Prize and the Richard F. French Prize. His principal teachers in piano included Peter Frankl, Karlheinz Kämmerling, and Robert McDonald, and he also worked with Andras Schiff, Jerome Lowenthal, and Claude Frank; his history and theory studies were with Allen Forte, Robert Morgan, L. Michael Griffel, and Maynard Solomon.
He is Artistic Director of both the acclaimed Music Mondays concert series in New York City and Co-Artistic Director of the Skaneateles Festival, in the Finger Lakes.
Professor of the Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory P. School.
Utar Artun was born in Ankara, Turkey. In 2006, he arranged musical pieces for the theater play “The 7 Women”. Artun arranged numerous movie soundtracks and oldies/jazz music for symphonic orchestras, and the Bursa Regional Symphony Orchestra, Antalya State Symphony, Cukurova State Symphony, Presidential Symphony Orchestra and Izmir State Symphony Orchestra performed his arrangements and compositions in live concerts. In Turkey, Artun performed at the 19th Istanbul Jazz Festival, 12th Side Culture Art Festival, the 7th Eskisehir Jazz Festival, 12th International Ankara Jazz Festival, 6th International Mersin Music Festival, and 25th International Ankara Music Festival. In 2008, Artun graduated from Percussion Department of Hacettepe Conservatory with 2nd Rank (runner-up) Degree Award (in Turkey).
After his graduation, he participated to European Scholarship Tours of Berklee College of Music and graduated in 2.5 years with summa cum laude degree. He was awarded for highly “Honorable Mention” from Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra Composition Competition, Barnes&Noble award, 5 Dean’s List awards, Outstanding Pianist award, Arif Mardin Scholarship Award and Brian Oliver Memorial Award. He was among the finalist of ASCAP’s Morton Gould Young Composers Competition (2010) and Young Jazz Composers Competition (2011). In January 2010 and 2012, one of his compositions was selected to Jazz Revelation Records CDs. He was a JRR artist of Berklee and Artun was a part of ‘Birds of Feather’, ‘Octave’ and ‘Ripple Effect’ albums. In 2011, he performed with Kevin Eubanks in the studio recording session of WGBH Studios - Boston, MA. In the US, He’s been in workshops, clinics, concert performances and album recordings with world renowned artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Dave Weckl, Jojo Mayer, Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Dave Liebman, Antonio Sanchez, Mark Guiliana, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Simon Shaheen, Dave Holland, Larry Finn, Eddie Gomez, Jason Moran, Fred Hersch, Kati Agocs, Hankus Netsky, Ken Schaphorst, Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, Erkan Ogur, Anat Cohen, Yazhi Guo, Luis Conte, Kenwood Dennard, Jason Linder, Ledisi, Omar Hakim, Chuck Rainey, Jack DeJonnethe and David Fiuczynski. He involved into the Rhythm of the Universe and Berklee Yo-Team Projects as an Arranger, Performer, Conductor and Orchestrator, and Planet MicroJam Institute at Berklee College of Music.
Artun won the 18th HALICI MIDI Composition Contest and 2nd place in the Berklee Film Scoring Contest 7 in 2011. In February 2013, He won a runner-up award of the TRT 2013 Children Choir Contest. In 2013, Artun won the Highest Award of SCAMV 1st National Symphonic Composition Contest. In Turkey, he is one the highly awarded scholars of Foundation of Modern Education (CEV) and Ankara Jazz Society (ACD). In 2016, won the 3rd place award of 9th Eczacibasi National Composition Contest with his symphonic lied "Hiclik". Artun has done numerous international studio recordings, albums, festivals, concerts and performances such as Undead Jazz Festival, Burlington Jazz Festival, Europalia Arts festival in Belgium, Musicacoustica Festival in China, Abu Dhabi Festival, Boston Jazz Fest, Barcelona Guitar Festival, Vilnius Jazz Festival in Lithuania, Huayi Arts Festival in Singapore and Detroit Jazz Festival. Artun had performances, touring and clinics in Switzerland (HKB-Bern & AMR Geneva), France (Paris, Sunset and Nancy, Music Academy International), Austria (Innsbruck - Treibhaus), Germany (Berlin-Aufsturz), Netherlands (Amsterdam- Panama), China (Beijing Central Conservatory) and Italy (Gezmataz Jazz Festival, Genova). He did a tour with Jussi Reijonen in Finland along with 8 performances and 5 workshops. Also, he had plenty of interviews, TV broadcasts and newspaper-press cuttings in USA, Europe and Turkey. With Nazan Nihal, he released their band’s “neotolia” EP album – Rose Lace in 2014 and they won a Bronze Medal from Global Music Awards 2014. In 2017, they released their 2nd album “Neotolian Song” and finished their USA CD Release tour. In 2015, he won the Boston Microtonal Society Award and released his solo music video “Cajonversations”. In 2017 & 2018, Artun composed new ballet music for the Ankara State Opera & Ballet's Modern Dance projects such as "Kibritci Kiz". In 2017, he composed the first Piano & Cajon Concertant in the world and he premiered it at Zorlu PSM in Istanbul with Istanbul Symphony Orchestra in 2018. He was the Honorary Chairman/Judge of Global Outstanding Chinese Artists Association - 6th & Y7th International Piano Competition. In 2018, he won ‘JCI - TOYP “10 Outstanding Young Persons of the World” Culture Award - in Istanbul, Turkey. Recently, he was awarded for Cambridge Community Foundation and Mass Art Council grants. Currently, he’s working on a new symphonic project “DORE-MIMI” with Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Ankara.
In 2015, Artun got his M.M. degree from the historic New England Conservatory with ‘Academic Honors’. He has also composed and arranged over 120 pieces for symphony orchestra, as well as more than 160 pieces for brass bands and big bands. Featured on various studio albums as a piano player, arranger, and drummer. His compositions and arrangements are performed in USA, Switzerland, Turkey, Holland, China, Canada, Taiwan, Singapore, Czech Republic and Russia. Artun was working as an Arranger for Ankara Kent Big Band and Musical Director for Classical Oasis Ensemble. Furthermore, He's a voting member at The Recording Academy for upcoming Grammy Awards. In addition to that, Utar Artun is a member of SCI, NACUSA, Cagdas Turk Bestecileri and BMI. Currently, Artun is a faculty member at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory P. School.
The Juilliard School
The American pianist Matthew Odell began his studies at the age of 10 and has since won acclaim for performances of a wide range of repertoire as a solo recitalist, soloist with orchestra, and chamber musician. He has been hailed as “excellent” by the New York Times and “brilliant ... playing with total commitment and real abandon” by Gramophone. Highlights of past concert seasons include such diverse projects as Messiaen’s Des canyons aux étoiles... with David Robertson and the Juilliard Orchestra for the reopening of Alice Tully Hall, a performance in the New York Philharmonic’s Stravinsky Festival, and a tour of concerts, lectures, and masterclasses in England, France, and Spain. Recent concerts have featured the complete solo piano works of Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, John Adams, and Michel Merlet.
In addition to performances in Weill Recital Hall and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, and the 92nd Street Y in New York, Mr. Odell has appeared at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, and at venues in Boston, Chicago, Miami, Paris, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Taipei, and Helsinki. He has also performed at the Aspen Music Festival, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, New York’s Focus! Festival, the La Gesse Festival in Toulouse, France, Nuits musicales and Concerts du cloître in Nice, France, and the Rohm International Music Festival in Kyoto, Japan.
A passionate advocate of the music of our time, Mr. Odell frequently premieres works written for him. He has performed contemporary repertoire with the New Juilliard Ensemble, AXIOM, Peabody Camerata, and the American Art Song Festival, a group he founded in 2004. He has worked with many prominent composers, including Pierre Boulez, John Corigliano, Ned Rorem, Mark Adamo, Michel Merlet, and Robert Aldridge. His debut album Connections: The Piano Music of Olivier Messiaen and his Students was recently released on Albany Records.
Mr. Odell’s special love of the art song repertoire has resulted in many recitals with singers from around the world, including the British bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk and members of the Metropolitan Opera. For five years he served on the coaching faculty of the Académie Internationale d’été in Nice, France, and he has performed in the Marilyn Horne Foundations’s festival The Song Continues at Carnegie Hall. At Lincoln Center, he has presented a tribute to baritone Pierre Bernac as well as the complete songs of Barber and Duparc. He is a founding member of The Hampton Trio and Acacia and has collaborated with a wide array of musicians, including clarinetist Charles Neidich and pianist Peter Hill.
Mr. Odell currently teaches at The Juilliard School and frequently presents masterclasses, workshops, and lectures at professional conferences and universities throughout the U.S and Europe. In May 2010 he graduated with a doctoral degree from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Margo Garrett, Jonathan Feldman, and Brian Zeger. He studied further with Marian Hahn at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, graduating Pi Kappa Lambda with both a master of music degree and a graduate performance diploma in piano performance and with Laurence Morton at Bob Jones University. He also worked with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria, and with Ann Schein at the Aspen Music School.
For more information, visit www.matthewodell.com.
Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
SHARON MANN, D.M.
Sharon Mann is Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Following early studies with Isador Buchhalter, Rudolph Ganz, Irwin Freundlich, and Rosalyn Tureck, Dr Mann earned degrees from The Juilliard School, Stanford and Northwestern Universities.
Among her early ventures, Dr Mann co-founded The Sommermusikvochen Music Festival in Switzerland, served for six years as Director of Ohio’s State Concert Series from the Governor’s mansion, and led the Junior Bach Festival for ten years.
Dr Mann has served on the faculties of the Perlman Music Program, Bowdoin international Piano Program, St Olaf College and The Sienna Italy Music Festival. She has offered master classes across the United States and in Beijing, Singapore and Kyoto.
A respected soloist and ensemblist, Dr Mann is also widely regarded for her penetrating interpretations of Bach’s keyboard music. Her re- release Bach’s Six Partitas has been received with international praise.
An avid collaborator, she holds this nation’s first doctorate in piano/ chamber music, performing and touring with artists including Alain Marion (France), Michael Grebanier (San Francisco), Elaine Skorodin- Fohrmann (Chicago Symphony) and the Cavani String Quartet (Cleveland).
Dean Anderson, Conductor USA
Dean Anderson has been the Director of Orchestra Studies at La Sierra University since 2013. He is also frequently engaged as a guest conductor with professional orchestras around the globe. Most recently, he conducted Rossini’s Il Barbieri di Siviglia in Pisa, Italy as part of a production by Teatro Goldoni. In addition, he has conducted orchestras such as the Orquesta del Festival Gaudix Clásica in Spain, and the Orchestra Filarmonica Campana in Italy. He has been the Music Director and Artistic Director for the Dana Point Symphony and Symphony Irvine for over twelve years. He continually strives to champion a diverse blend of repertoire - ranging from the beloved works of Beethoven and Brahms, to newly commissioned works by local and international composers. His international engagements include concerts with professional orchestras in Europe (Italy, Spain), Asia (Hong Kong, Thailand, Vietnam), and South America (Brazil, Argentina). He has served as cover conductor for the San Diego Symphony and has performed with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In addition, he has worked with such artists as Cho-Liang Lin, Andres Cardenes, Yizhak Schotten, Smokey Robinson, David Archuleta, Manhattan Transfer, John Tesh, Lincoln Mayorga, Arlo Guthrie, and Dick Dale.
A versatile and collaborative conductor, Mr. Anderson’s performances include major ballet works such as the Nutcracker, Peter and the Wolf, and La Cigale with ballet companies such as the Anaheim Ballet, Nouveau Chamber Ballet, and the Montage Dance Theater. He has also conducted numerous operas such as The Magic Flute, Il Segreto di Susanna (Wolf-Ferrari), Hansel and Gretel, I Due Figaro (Mercadante), Daron Hagen’s Little Nemo in Slumberland and more. One of the highlights of his career was his Walt Disney Hall debut performance of Marcos Galvany’s O My Son. He was the first American citizen to conduct the Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Orchestra in Vietnam. He also led the Southern California Chamber Ensemble performance of traditional Chinese and Japanese music for pipa and erhu with Tu Shan Xiang and George Gao in Nagoya, Japan.
Mr. Anderson completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at UCLA under the mentorship of Neal Stulberg. He studied conducting with Edward Dolbashian and violin with John McLeod at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Additionally, he has participated in conducting workshops with Gustav Meier, Mark Gibson, Marin Alsop, Mihail Agafita, Don Thulean, and Lawrence Golan. He recently completed a Visiting Conductor Residency at the Saarlandiches Staatsoper, a professional opera company in Saarbrucken, Germany under the guidance of General Music Director - Sebastian Rouland.
Svetlana Smolina Russia /USA
performed with orchestras and in recitals worldwide. A recipient of “New Names” scholarship program, her notable appearances with orchestras include Mariinsky Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher, St.Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestra National de France, Dublin Philharmonic, South Florida Symphony, Odessa and Nizhny Novgorod Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, New Florida Philharmonic, Shreveport Symphony, New York Chamber. A frequent guest at festivals worldwide, Ms. Smolina has performed at the Salzburg Festival, Hollywood Bowl, Ravinia Rising Stars, White Nights, Maggio Musicale, Mikkeli, Ruhr, Moscow Easter, Rotterdam Phillips Gergiev, International Gilmore, Settimane Musicali di Stresa, Michelangeli, Hennessy Artists Series at Hanoi Opera House, The Voice of Music in Upper Galilee,in Royal Covent Garden Opera, Mariinsky 3 Concert Hall, Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, Mozarteum, Merkin Hall, Kravis Center, NJPAC, Yellow Lounge Berlin, GulbenkianFoundation, Grand Artists Series in Tel-Aviv, Academia Santa Cecilia in Rome, New Names and D. Sakharov Festival in Russia.
Recent recordings include Stravinsky’s Igor Stravinsky Les noces (Valery Gergiev, conductor on Decca/Phillips and on Mariinsky Label which received ICMA award for Best Choral Work in 2011), a recording of solo Chopin Album for the Chopin iTunes Project, Benjamin Britten Young Apollo live recording from Walt Disney Hall for BCM+D records and many broadcasts for NPR, WQXR New York, BBC, PBS, RAI, Cultura TV and other networks.
In the summer of 2011 Svetlana joined iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles, making her debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall with iPalpiti Orchestra (Eduard Schmieder, conductor). Since 2011 Svetlana is directing piano program at Philadelphia International Music Festival.
In 2014 Svetlana won “Live on Stage” live showcases and was chosen as their only Classical Pianist Artist for 2015-16 season. This upcoming tour brings her to more than 20 states. Svetlana recently was featured and gave an interview for Keyboard Magazine Other collaborations include a series of concerts with Robert Davi and Dave Konig at Eisenhower Park, Harry Chapin Lakeside Theater presented by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano.
In 2014-15 Vadim Repin gave a series of concerts /presentation with Svetlana at the residences of Ambassador of Russia in Washington DC and in London UK for Maestro Repin’s Trans -Siberian Art Festival. Their recital in March 2015 in Koerner Hall in Toronto, Canada received an astonishing critical acclaim. In July 2015 they performed a recital as part of "2015 – Russian Year in Monaco Shining Stars of Russia” concert series in the Salle Garnier, Monte-Carlo Opera for Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.
In 2015-16 season Svetlana opened the season with Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional Juvenil in Lima, Peru, and was chosen as the soloist on the New Year tour to China with Dublin Philharmonic/ Maestro Derek Gleeson performing Rachmaninoff Concerto throughout in 7 cities including Suzhou Grand Theater, Harbin New Opera House and Harbin Concert Hall, Wuhan Qintai Concert Hall, Tianjin Grand Theater and in Changsha opening its new Concert Hall.
Highlights of 2016-2017 include performances and recordings at the inauguration year/ opening of Tippet Rise Festival in Montana together with Christopher O’ Riley with released CD on Pentatone Oxingale Records in July 2017, duo recitals with Vadim Repin at Cartagena Music Festival in Teatro Colon, Bogota for “2017 Columbia- France Year”, in Bangalore, Mumbai India for XXV Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari in Sardinia, Italy; Carnegie Hall recital with Lee-Chin Siow, concert at Sentosa World Theater in Singapore concert for International Women Day/Chinese Chamber of Commerce, masterclasses in Singapore at NAFA, tour with South Florida Symphony / Maestra Sebrina Alfonso in Florida and a recital in Buenos Aires, Argentina at CCK Symphony Hall for “The Best Pianists of the 21st Century “series”.
In the Spring of 2018 Svetlana played at the opening night of Navrasa Duende Global Carnival with Dublin Philharmonic on Nehru Stadium/ New Delhi; performed a duo recital at Basel Stadtcasino, Switzerland with Charlie Siem, made her debuts with Missouri Symphony and Eastern Connecticut Symphony, gave masterclasses/ workshops and a concert tour in China for Winplus International and at Varna International Summer Academy in Bulgaria.
Invitations for 2019 included a concert at VI Trans-Siberian Arts Festival with Vadim Repin and Alexander Kniazev, masterclass at Trans- Siberian Art Festival in Novosibirsk for its educational program “ Simply Meet the Star”, debut at Lake Tahoe Festival with Maestro Joel Revzen with Rachmaninoff 3 rd concerto, orchestra and solo debuts at the Festival in Ushuaia, Argentina with invitation to become their annual Artist in Residence Pianist, orchestra concerts in 5 cities in Florida with South Florida Symphony, recitals in Sarasota for Chopin project, solo recital and recordings in Bangalore, India with Dr. Subramaniam for Sree Rama Seva Mandali Festival and an orchestra recording of Beethoven Double Concerto with Maestro Derek Gleeson and Pavel Sporcl at Bulgarian National Radio in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The most recent invitations include Ushuaia International Festival in Argentina, a tour in Brazil, debut with Maestro Daniel Boothe and Symphonicity at the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, performances with Maestro Evgeny Bushkov and Belarusian State Chamber Orchestra at Minsk Philharmonic and with Maestro Vladimir Plaksin and Nizhny Novgorod Soloists Chamber Orchestra.
From September 2020 Mrs. Smolina is appointed to be a Program Director at the Piano Academy at the European Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia, a Division of Irish American University.
Svetlana is a Grand Prix Winner of Citta Di Senigallia International Piano Competition, Kingsville Piano Competition, William Byrd Young Artists Piano Competition and a Prize Winner of Murray Dranoff International Duo Piano Competition and Shreveport Symphony Wideman Piano Competition. Mrs. Smolina studied at Indiana University with Professor Alexander Toradze (BM), at Balakirev Music College with Natalia Fish (BM), at Oberlin Conservatory with Monique Duphil (BM), at Brussels Royal Conservatory with Eugeny Mogilevsky (Artist Diploma), and at University of Michigan with Arthur Greene where she received her DMA.
Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music
Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music
With a career of repertoire that spans the musical sphere, Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano and multi-genre contemporary vocalist Carrie Cheron has been hailed as having the “voice of an angel” with “unfeigned expression,” and has graced many stages across New England and beyond. Highly sought-after as both a classical performer and crossover artist, Carrie performs regularly as a soloist and ensemble member of Skylark Vocal Ensemble, Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, Lorelei Ensemble, and folk/baroque collective Floyd’s Row, among others.
The 2021-2022 season opened with the world-premiere performance of Francine Trester’s A Walk in her Shoes with Boston Landmarks Orchestra at Boston’s Hatch Shell. The season continues with performances and recording projects with Skylark Vocal Ensemble and Lorelei Ensemble; Bach cantata BWV 213 in the Emmanuel Music Chamber Festival, Bach’s St. John Passion, and countless performances of Bach cantatas with Emmanuel Music; a solo appearance with Boston Baroque in Vivaldi’s Gloria; a residency with Portland Bach Experience, and more.
Classical solo highlights of previous seasons include Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater, Bach’s B Minor Mass, Christmas Oratorio, Wolf’s Spanisches Liederbuch, Britten’s A Charm of Lullabies, and Bach cantatas with Emmanuel Music; an international solo debut with Skylark Ensemble at the Holy Week Festival at St. John’s, Smith Square in London, accompanied with a live on-air performance on BBC Radio 3’s program, “In Tune”; Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Requiem and Vesperae solennes de Dominica, Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Messiah, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus, and Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil.
On the operatic stage, Carrie recently performed the roles of Amore and Valletto with Boston Baroque in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea; Doctor/Loki in Guerilla Opera’s world premiere presentation of Per Bloland’s opera Pedr Solis; and Vicki in Francine Trester’s chamber opera Florence Comes Home, based on the life of composer Florence Price.
A champion of contemporary classical composition, Ms. Cheron recently joined New Gallery Concert Series for the world premiere of weavery, by composer Marti Epstein, written specifically for Ms. Cheron’s voice. She also recorded the song cycle Alice, by composer Thomas Oboe Lee; recently performed Boston composer Christopher Montgomery’s song cycle Ascent; and is preparing Francine Trester’s song cycle Universal Orlando for an upcoming performance.
A featured soloist on all of Skylark Ensemble’s Grammy-nominated recordings, Carrie performed a solo, a cappella track of “Wayfaring Stranger” on Skylark’s most recent Grammy-nominated album, It’s a Long Way. This November, Skylark released its most recent album, A Christmas Carol, which includes a devastating arrangement of “Coventry Carol,” by Benedict Sheehan, featuring Carrie as soloist. She can also be heard as a soloist on Lorelei Ensemble’s most recent recording, love fail, and is featured on their aforementioned upcoming recording of Jessica Meyer’s “I Long and Seek After.”
Ms. Cheron is particularly proud to perform with Shelter Music Boston, which presents classical chamber music concerts of the highest artistic standards, in homeless shelters and other sheltering environments in and around the Boston area. She is also a founding and core member of Eudaimonia, a conductorless period orchestra that uses musical performance to support the social and humanitarian work of partner organizations. In 2017, Eudaimonia collaborated with the students of Longy School of Music to present a fully-staged production of Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans, in which Ms. Cheron performed the title role.
As a nationally recognized performing singer/songwriter, Ms. Cheron’s original compositions and singing have been celebrated by the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Great Waters Folk Festival, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, and the Connecticut Folk Festival Songwriting Contest. She has shared the stage with such acclaimed artists as Sweet Honey In The Rock, Anais Mitchell, The Barra MacNeils, Northern Lights, David Jacobs-Strain, and Edie Carey.
A dedicated educator, Carrie is an Associate Professor of Voice at Berklee College of Music, where she teaches healthy vocal technique of all genres. When she is not performing or teaching, Carrie spends countless hours wading through the woods, foraging for mushrooms, petting her beloved cat Zoe, and organizing seeds for the upcoming planting season.
Professor of violin at California State University Northridge (CSUN)
Violinist Lorenz Gamma has a varied career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and teacher. He is the founder and artistic director of the Borromeo Music Festival (www.borromeomusicfestival.org) in Switzerland. The festival consists of a two-week summer course for advanced string and piano students and hosts faculty members from many internationally renowned music schools such as the New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University in Bloomington, the Royal Academy of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, and many others.
Mr. Gamma spent three years concertizing full-time with the Amar Quartet, with performances in many of Europe’s most important chamber music venues, including the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Residenz in Munich, the Cologne Philharmonic, as well as many other venues in cities such as London, Paris, New York, etc. With his quartet, he won the Millennium Award at the 2000 London International String Quartet Competition and several other prizes.
Prior to his activity with the quartet, Mr. Gamma served as concertmaster of the Northwest Sinfonietta in Seattle and as principal of the Zurich Opera orchestra. As a soloist Mr. Gamma has performed over twenty different concertos by Bach, Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Bruch, Gubaidulina, Lutoslawski, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Piazzolla, Rubinstein, Schumann, Spohr, Tartini, Vivaldi, and Wieniawski.
As a chamber musician, he has performed string quartets by over sixty composers, as well as the greater part of the standard chamber literature of over eighty composers. Musicians he collaborated with include Sophia Gubaidulina, Heinz Holliger, Paul Katz, Ronald Leonard, Thea Musgrave, Roger Reynolds, Donald McInnes, Joseph Silverstein, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and many others.
Mr. Gamma lives in Los Angeles and is a professor of violin at California State University Northridge (CSUN), where he also serves as head of strings and director of the chamber music program. His private and professional violin students have regularly gone on to continue their studies at such institutions as the Juilliard School, Indiana University, the Manhattan and Eastman Schools of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Southern California, and the Colburn School in Los Angeles.
Lorenz Gamma was born in Switzerland, where he received his initial training as a violinist at the conservatory in Lucerne. His further studies took place in the United States, with Franco Gulli, Steven Staryk, and Mark Kaplan.
Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music
A dynamic musician of the 21st century, Matthew captivates his audiences with his expressive and heartfelt performances, inspires his students with curiosity and vision and adapts both to the business and technology demands of today, running his own teaching business and producing his own recordings and music videos.
A Grand Prize winner of multiple competitions, he has performed in 12 countries and has been the featured soloist with many orchestras, including giving the World Premiere of the Ghostship Cello Concerto with the Oakland Symphony.
While a student of Jean-Michel Fonteneau at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Matthew co-founded and managed the Cello Street Quartet. Dedicated to bridging gaps between audiences, their mesmerizing music took them all across the world; from local educational events to Levi's Spring Fashion Showcase in New York City. In 2014, they served as U.S Ambassadors to Hungary, Kosovo, and Russia as fellows of the U.S. Department of State's program, American Music Abroad.
Matthew has created successful fundraising campaigns, lectured on music entrepreneurship, presented on the TEDx Stage of San Francisco, and has been featured in several commercial recording projects.
Matthew is dedicated to bridging diversity and connecting humanity through innovative and inspired collaborations, music-making, and education.
Andreas Stier was born in Hannover(Germany) in 1952. Through his very music-loving family he received many kinds of inspirations from early childhood, piano music, chamber music, especially vocal music. Wherever he studied, in Germany, Korea, Taiwan, he joined choirs, school orchestras (violin), and was engaged in chamber music or vocal accompaniment (piano).
In spring 1983 he graduated from Hamburg University majoring in Sinology with a Master of Arts degree.
In summer 1983 he graduated from HfMT (University for Music and Theatre) Hamburg, majoring in piano with the teacher’s diploma.
In autumn 1983 he began to teach as a professor for Piano at the HfMT Hamburg.
Within 38 years of working at the HfMT, he also taught many students from China, Korea and Taiwan, trying to bring them closer to the mentality of western music and composers.
During the last eight years, he also taught Japanese students at a piano academy in Hamburg.
Since 1978 Andreas Stier has been teaching private students, some of them preparing for the entrance examination to the Music University, others participating in music competitions. He has been a jury member of the official German music youth competition “Jugend Musiziert” for solo piano and piano chamber music for more than three decades.
For Andreas Stier playing music has always been a means of communication and a wonderful chance to understand and overcome cultural distances. And so he is engaged in talking about classical music in his musical internet channel as Teacher Andy.
a faculty member at Juilliard school
Pianist Mika Sasaki is an imaginative and versatile soloist, chamber musician, and educator whose performances and teaching have taken her to the U.K., Italy, Japan, Switzerland, and throughout the U.S. Her debut album, Obsidian: Mika Sasaki plays Clara Schumann, released on Yarlung Records in 2016, was highly acclaimed by the Online Merker as “illuminat[ing] the artistic inspiration and creative exchange between three Romantic souls,” Clara Schumann, Robert Schumann, and Johannes Brahms. Her playing has been broadcasted on WQXR, WFMT, KQAC, and Radio Sweden, and she has performed concertos with the Sinfonia of Cambridge (U.K.), New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, 92Y Orchestra, and more recently with the InterSchool Symphony Orchestra of New York.
Dr. Sasaki has won awards at the Peabody Conservatory, Soleil Music Competition in Tokyo, All Japan Classical Music Competition, and the NJSO Young Artists Audition. Her festival appearances include Music@Menlo, Tanglewood, Accademia Musicale Chigiana, pianoSonoma, Taos, Yellow Barn, Aspen, Focus!, Icicle Creek, Rushmore, SoundWaves (Omaha), Mannes Beethoven Institute, Caramoor, Shandelee, Weekend of Chamber Music, and Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Geneva, Switzerland. She is the pianist of Ensemble Mélange and frequently concertizes with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble in Boston, Manhattan Chamber Players, Carnegie Hall’s Ensemble Connect, and with her duo partners. She is an artist faculty member at Music@Menlo’s Young Performers Program and the Charles Ives Music Festival at the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra during the summer.
She is an alumna of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University (B.M., M.M.), Ensemble Connect—a two-year fellowship program of Carnegie Hall, Juilliard, and Weill Institute in partnership with the NYC Department of Education—and The Juilliard School (D.M.A.), where she was awarded the Juilliard Career Advancement Fellowship as a graduate who demonstrated outstanding artistry and achievement in leadership, entrepreneurship, and breadth of engagement.
Based in New York City, Dr. Sasaki is a faculty member at Juilliard, where she teaches piano, chamber music, and keyboard skills courses in the Evening Division, and Piano Topics and keyboard skills for pianists in the College Division. mikasasaki.com
Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, USA
Amy Zanrosso USA
Amy Zanrosso’s playing has been hailed as expressive, magnetic and masterful. She started piano lessons started at the age of 6 and by the age of 15, had made the decision to make music her life.
As a soloist, Amy is addicted to the thrill of performing with orchestra. Since 2016, concerto repertoire has forced her to push her limits, helping make her into the confident and electrifying player she always hoped to be. She has appeared as soloist with the Symphony of the Kootenays, the Russian Chamber Orchestra and the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra. Her intense love of chamber music has led her to more fully admire and explore her favorite composers while sharing the experience with countless inspiring, dedicated players and appreciative audiences. In addition to freelancing in the Bay Area with various musicians and ensembles, the RossoRose Duo, founded in 2015, keeps Amy and violinist Alisa Rose occupied learning and performing repertoire from Beethoven to Auerbach.
After her Bachelor’s, Amy furthered her studies for a few years in Italy and then completed a Master’s Degree at McGill University in Montreal. Her life filled with a wealth of chamber music and was rounded out by some Broadway musicals, German cabaret and a number of years in an Argentine tango quintet. In 2014, Amy moved from Montreal to the Bay Area and is currently based in Oakland. Since the big move, Amy went on tour to China with the GRAMMY award- winning Pacific Boychoir, rehearsed Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with Gustavo Dudamel at the podium and was the pianist for Chorissima, the five-time GRAMMY award winning San Francisco Girls Chorus Premier Ensemble throughout the 2017–18 season.
Like performing, Amy finds teaching to be a highly rewarding part of a musician’s life. She is a faculty member and chamber music coach at the Pre-College Academy of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music as well as at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA. She is constantly fueled by her fantastically inspiring students. Amy is looking forward to all the superb music, musicians, students and enthusiastic audiences that will come her way in the future. Many thanks to Beethoven and Brahms for inspiring her to come this far – she wouldn’t change a thing. For more information, please visit www.amyzanrosso.com.
Ms. Fanfan Pang is the chairman of the Global Outstanding Chinese Artists Association, an extraordinary piano educator who immigrated to the United States with an EB1-A (Alien of Extraordinary Ability) Visa, Associate member of Grammy, the guest lecturer of the Xinghai Concert Hall ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) graded-exam lecture series. The founder and education director of Guangzhou Yayun-Poly Music & Art Studio.
Judges of the Zhongsin International Music Competition (Singapore), the Chopin International Piano Competition for Young Pianists (preliminary, quarter-final), and many other major piano competitions. Moreover, Ms. Fangfang Pan successfully introduced major music events from Hong Kong and Macau into China mainland, which has made great contributions to the music education of China mainland as well as the cultural exchange between special administrative regions and the mainland.
After her immigration to America, Ms. Fangfang Pan participated as a judge in multiple major art competitions, she was also the Director of Juries of the composition contest of the San Francisco International New-concept Filmfest, and the Artistic Director of America-Asia Art Group. At the same time, she established the Global Outstanding Chinese Artists Association which is based in San Francisco, and the GOCAA International Piano Competition (GIPC), as well as the GOCAA International Vocal Competition (GIVC) and the GOCAA International Strings Competition (GISC). As the founder and chairman of GOCAA and the International music Competitions, Ms. Fangfang Pan has led numerous rising young talents from all over the world showing their talents in music on many different stages world-widely. Hundreds of these young talented pianists’ recitals and concerto concerts were held, giving each of them great opportunities to become a better and more mature artist.
Due to the success of the GOCAA International Piano Competition (America Division), July 29th is announced as GOCAA Day by the Mayor of San Mateo, America. Additionally, Ms. Fangfang Pan has been awarded Outstanding Contribution Awards several times from different cities.
Ms. Fangfang Pan has been performing with a couple of excellent musicians in duo forms, such as Ms. Anna Maria Mendieta, the principal harpist with the Sacramento Philharmonic; Mr. Matthew Linaman, cello professor from the Pre-college of San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Time Gramophone Concert Series they performed through cities from America, Canada to China has been awarded Outstanding Artists Awards and reported by major media like World Daily, Singtao Daily, News for Chines e, Sino Television, ChineseRadio.com, ChineseRadio.cn, G&E AM1510 Radio, etc.