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Jury of Professional Group


Michael Shinn  2019 Jury 

dean of music            Boston Conservatory at Berklee  

          Michael Shinn joined Boston Conservatory at Berklee in 2017 as dean of music. In this capacity, he oversees Music Division faculty, students, and curriculum development.

          Shinn’s diverse career in music reflects his deep passion for performance, education, entrepreneurship, and innovation in the arts. Prior to this appointment, Shinn was chair of keyboard studies at The Juilliard School, where he taught piano, chamber music, piano pedagogy, and keyboard skills for both pianists and conductors. He also served as senior advisor for educational and artistic programs at Juilliard Global Ventures, where he was the professor for Juilliard’s first online course, Juilliard Piano Class: Sharpen Your Artistry.

          Based on the belief that musicians must successfully communicate through spoken word in addition to performance, Shinn launched the Speaking from the Stage initiative at Juilliard, which prepares—and requires—students to speak to their audiences at their graduation recitals. As a spokesperson for the arts, Shinn has presented about the future of arts education and the role of the arts in society at SXSW EDU and the Pebble Beach Authors and Ideas Festival.

          Shinn has designed innovative lectures and courses on a variety of subjects, focusing largely on his specialty, the music of Franz Liszt. In 2011, he was the artistic director of the Liszt Festival at Juilliard, a series of lecture-recitals celebrating the composer’s bicentennial.

          Shinn and his wife, Jessica, founded and direct the pianoSonoma Music Festival, a unique festival that brings together artists in residence and adult musicians of all backgrounds to collaborate and perform in  Sonoma County, California. As duo pianists and Yamaha Artists, they regularly perform throughout the United States.

         Shinn is also a marathon runner and triathlete.

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Michael Lewin

2019 Jury

Professor of Piano ,   Boston Conservatory at Berklee,

             Michael Lewin is one of America’s most active and popular concert pianists, bringing charisma, emotive intensity, and high-wire virtuosity to audiences in over 30 countries. His career was launched with victories in the Franz Liszt International Competition, the American Pianists Association Award and the William Kapell International Piano Competition. His numerous recordings have won a Grammy Award and a Round Glass Music Award.

             Lewin’s orchestral appearances include 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. Recital 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 Ravinia and Spoleto Festivals and on PBS Television. His extensive repertoire includes over 40 piano concertos, with particular interest in the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Debussy and American and Latin American composers.

             Mr. Lewin’s recordings include 2 discs of Debussy, “Beau Soir” and “Starry Night,” “Piano Phantoms,” “If I Were a Bird,” the complete piano music of Charles Griffes, Scarlatti Sonatas, “Michael Lewin plays Liszt,” “A Russian Piano Recital,” "Bamboula!" piano music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and the Bolcom Violin Sonatas with Irina Muresanu. They are available on Naxos, Centaur and Sono Luminus.

             Michael Lewin is Professor of Piano at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Director of Classical Music for Ethos Music in China. He gives master classes worldwide, directs the Boston Conservatory Piano Masters Series and has mentored many prize-winning pianists. He is a Juilliard School graduate and a Steinway Artist. His own teachers included Leon Fleisher, Yvonne Lefebure, Adele Marcus and Irwin Freundlich.


Jonathan Bass

2019 Jury 

Professor of Piano ,   Boston Conservatory at Berklee,

             Pianist Jonathan Bass appears frequently throughout the United States as soloist and chamber musician.  He has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall on four occasions, and the North Carolina Symphony at the Appalachian Summer Music Festival. He has been featured on many radio programs throughout the country, including National Public Radio’s ‘Performance Today’, and his solo and chamber music recordings have received high acclaim from Gramophone Magazine. A Steinway Artist, Bass gave his New York debut at Weill Recital Hall as the First Prize winner in the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition (1993). He performs frequently at Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall in Boston, and at Tanglewood.  Internationally, he has performed in China, Israel, Japan, Poland, Spain, and Russia.

            Collaborative highlights include guest appearances with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, and recitals with violinist Joseph Silverstein. As the pianist and a founding member of the Walden Chamber Players (1997), he has performed on a variety of chamber music series and residencies across the United States and Canada and recorded three CDs. He has also given numerous performances with many presents and past members of the Boston Symphony, including his wife, violinist Tatiana Dimitriades, who partners with him in the Boston Duo. As orchestral keyboardist, he has performed with the BSO on two European Festival Tours under conductors Seiji Ozawa and Bernard Haitink.

            Among the awards he has received are First Prize in the American Pianists Association Beethoven Fellowship Competition (1989), First Prize in the American National Chopin Competition (1984), First Prize in the National Arts Club Competition (1983), Second Prize in the Washington International Competition (1993), Second Prize in the Young Keyboard Artists Competition (1983), and the Bronze Medal and Mozart Prize at the Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition (1987).

          Bass studied at the Juilliard School Pre-College with Richard Fabre, and later received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Juilliard as a student of Adele Marcus and Sascha Gorodnitzki. He also studied in Russia at the Moscow Conservatory, and at Oberlin College. He has a Doctor of Music degree from the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with, and was teaching assistant to, Menahem Pressler.

         Jonathan Bass is a Professor of Piano at Boston Conservatory at Berklee, where he has been on the faculty since 1993. He was Chair of the Piano Department from 2008 to 2015 and Chair of the Piano Department at Boston University from 2006 to 2008. He has been on the piano faculty of the Preparatory School of New England Conservatory since 1994, and he also serves on the faculty of the Walnut Hill

School. His students have won many competition prizes, and he has given numerous master classes throughout the country.


Dmitry Rachmanov

2018 /2019/2020 Jury

Chair of Keyboard Studies at California State University, Northridge

           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.

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Svetlana Smolina

2020 Jury

Piano Program Director  - Philadelphia International Music Festival and the Piano Conservatory at the European Piano Academy .

SVETLANA SMOLINA 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, 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, 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, Gulbenkian Foundation, Grand Artists Series in Tel-Aviv, Academia Santa Cecilia in Rome.

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, 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" 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, Sentosa World Theater in Singapore concert for International Women Day/Chinese Chamber of Commerce, 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”.


Highlights of Spring 2018 include opening night concert at Navrasa Duende Global Carnival with Dublin Philharmonic on Nehru Stadium/ New Delhi, duo recital in Basel Switzerland with Charlie Siem, performances with Missouri Symphony and Eastern Connecticut Symphony, masterclasses/ workshops and concert tour in China for Winplus International and at Varna International Summer Academy in Bulgaria. 


Invitations for 2019 include 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 debut 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  with  Maestro Derek Gleeson and Pavel Sporcl at Bulgarian National Radio in Sofia, Bulgaria. 


In 2020 Svetlana will return to Ushuaia International Festival in Argentina, perform with National Symphony of Argentina in Buenos Aires, will go on tour to Brazil and will make her debut in Taipei at National Theater Concert Hall.  In February 2020 Svetlana was invited to teach masterclasses at Idyllwild Arts for Junior Chamber Music and in March she made her debut with Symphonicity Orchestra in Virginia. 


From September 2020 Svetlana 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 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. 


James P Liu 

2013-2021 Jury 

Music Director Chief Conductor Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra

            Acclaimed as one of the most outstanding conductors in China today, James P. Liu has achievements throughout Europe and America. Based in China and Italy, Liu was recently selected as one of the best Chinese conductors at the15th Anniversary Gala Concert China Philharmonic Orchestra.

            Mr. Liu has been guest conductor with Numberger Symphoniker Orchestra (Germany), Duisburger Philharmoniker (Germany) Aachen Symphony Orchestra (Germany) Thuringer Symphoniker (Germany), Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra (Poland), The Cyprus State Symphony Orchestra, Poland Zabrze Philharmonic Orchestra, Poland National Youth Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (Israel), Oita Symphony Orchestra (Japan), Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic), Tuscia Opera Festival (accepting three invitation to appear as principal guest conductor) (Italy), Normandy Music Festival (France), The Mexico State Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra (USA), Lamont Symphony Orchestra (USA), Pueblo Symphony Orchestra (USA), China Philharmonic Orchestra, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra (Taiwan), GangNeung Symphony Orchestra (Korea), China Philharmonic Orchestra, Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, XiaMen Philharmonic Orchestra and Sichuan Symphony Orchestra (China).

             Since his WPO tenure, he implemented a plan for musician exchanges with the Duisburger Philharmoniker Orchestra of Germany, the Oita Symphony Orchestra of Japan, Poland National Youth Symphony Orchestra, Italian Tuscia Opera Festival. He successfully conducted joint concerts resulting in high appreciation by government and media for promoting foreign exchange through the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra. 

​            Recently, he recorded composer An-lun Huang’s works with Russian Philharmonic Orchestra and Russian National Choir. In May 2018, he conducted Russian Philharmonic Orchestra again completing the second CD at Moscow.

​            James P. Liu, of Singapore nationality, was appointed Music Director of the Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra at the invitation of the Wuhan City Municipal Culture Bureau (China) in 2004. 

           As the first Formal Music Director, and the Chief Conductor, he re-built the orchestra to professional status and programmed 80 concerts that year becoming ‘the’ professional orchestra in today’s Central China. In June 2011, he founded Wuhan International Piano Festival where he remains as Artist Director.  During his first-year tenure, Liu led the WPO on the first overseas tour to Oita, Japan along with launching the inaugural core concert season.  In 2009, he conducted the WPO at the 9th Asia Symphony Week in Tokyo Japan and WPO was the only Orchestra from China has received high praise from Japanese media.  Mr. Liu also led the orchestra touring at 13 cities in China 2011 and 2017 WPO touring at 8 cities in China under China Poly Arts Management.  In 2016, he led the WPO in a tour of Europe with tremendous success in Italy and France.

​            He was a Scholar in the Conducting Faculty at the College of Music of Michigan State University (USA). He is also the principal guest conductor of Pueblo Symphony Orchestra of Colorado (USA). In 2016, he was invited by University of Denver (USA) as conducting adjunct professor and guest conductor of Lamont Symphony Orchestra. Recently he was appointed the Artist Director of Globe Outstanding Chinese Artist Association. He was a judge of GOCAA internatioanl piano competition grand final and the international piano competition in TaiWan finals as well.  

            Mr. Liu has been awarded a variety of honours.  He received "Excellent Music Contribution" awarded by the Japanese Association 2001.  In 2005 he received the "Special Contribution in Culture" from the Wuhan Municipal Culture Bureau and the "Chime Bells Award" by the Hubei Provincial Government in 2006.  He was listed as one of ten foreign experts for his contributions in economy and culture of Hubei, China.  In 2010, he was given the Wuhan Culture Contribution Award from the city government. In 2010, he was named as one of the ten "The Province Culture Fashion Elite" by the Radio Film and TV Bureau of Hubei Province. In 2011, he received the Wuhan Municipal Government’s “Yellow Crane Friendship Prize” as one of the best foreign experts who contributed to Wuhan City. He also received the “Special Contribution in Culture “by Wuhan’s Propaganda Department, March 2012.  In 2016 he was the only candidate in the cultural sector selected by the Wuhan Government to enter the City of Wuhan “Yellow Crane Talents Plan”.

            Mr. Liu studied music at Utrecht Conservatorium (Hongeschoolvoor de Kunsten Utrecht) in Holland and Michigan State University in America. He studied with Leon Gregorian, Gustav Meier, and Larry Rachlleff.

Alvin Zhu


2019/2021 Jury 

Piano professor of Tianjin Juilliard School

          Heralded as “dazzling,” and “displaying his own versatility and exquisite control of his instrument” by Butler Eagle, and “imaginative and masterful” by Taicang Daily, Chinese-American pianist and Steinway Artist, Alvin Zhu is recognized internationally for insightful, engaging, and emotionally penetrative playing. His artistry has led to acclaimed performances throughout four continents including North America, Asia, Europe, and Australia.

          As an orchestral soloist, Zhu has given performances of Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, Gershwin, and Rachmaninoff concertos with renowned orchestras in the United States, Canada, and Asia. Recent highlights include Mozart's Piano Concerto in d minor K. 466 with Maestro Yongyan Hu and the Baotou Symphony Orchestra at the Baotou Grand Theatre in Inner Mongolia and with Maestro Grant Cooper and the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Concerto in C Major K. 467 with Maestro Rossen Milanov and the Chautauqua Symphony at the Chautauqua Amphitheater, and Beethoven’s “Emperor” Piano Concerto with Maestro Hu and the EOS Symphony at the Beijing Concert Hall.

         Frequent recitalist and chamber musician, Zhu has appeared in prestigious venues including New York’s Alice Tully and Steinway Halls; Australia’s Sydney Opera House; China’s Beijing Concert Hall, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Central Conservatory of Music Concert Hall, National Center for the Performing Arts, Tianjin, Hunan, Foshan, and Taicang Grand Theatres; Taiwan’s Soochow University; Montreal’s Palais du Congress; Italy’s Rome Stadio Olimpico; and numerous series across the United States including the “Steinway Piano Series” for the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania; “Music for Morales” in New Mexico;“Rising Stars Piano Series” at Texas State University; “PianoForte Foundation Series” in Chicago; “New Music New Haven Series” at Yale University; and “Eureka Chamber Music Series” in California. Notable appearances at summer festivals include Beijing Modern Music Festival, Juilliard’s “Focus! Festival,” Aspen Music Festival in Colorado, Music Academy of the West in California, Chautauqua Institution in New York, Texas State International Piano Festival in San Marcos, and the Tsingtao International Music Festival in China. Zhu is also a Steinway SPIRIO™ recording artist and has been featured on radio shows and television including NPR’s “From the Top” as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist, Pittsburgh’s Classical WQED, and China Central Television (CCTV).

         As a worldwide scholar and educator, Zhu has given masterclasses and lectures at China’s Steinway Hall Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, and Beijing; Central Conservatory of Music; Beijing-American Center at the United States Embassy; Hunan Grand Theatre in Changsha; Taicang Cultural Center in Taicang; Open College-Conservatory in Foshan; Canada’s Li Delun Foundation and the Steinway Gallery of Toronto; Pennsylvania’s Carnegie Mellon and Slippery Rock Universities in Pittsburgh; New York’s Juilliard School in Manhattan; and Connecticut’s Yale University in New Haven. Zhu, a recipient of the prestigious Fulbright Research Scholarship in 2017  as a “Foreign Expert Researcher” at the Central Conservatory of Music, has undertaken the first biography of his late- grandfather Zhu Gong Yi, a master pianist, pedagogue, and former Chair of the Piano Department at CCOM, whose influence and contributions have shaped music education in China ever since the 1940’s. Aside from performances and lectures across Asia, Zhu has also served on the jury for the 1st Franz Liszt International Youth Piano Competition in China (Changsha) in 2018, the 2019 Metropolitan International Piano Competition in New York City, the 2019 Steinway Youth Competition in Toronto, and the 2019 Franz Liszt International Youth Piano Competition (Shanghai).

        Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to a family and legacy of renowned musicians, Zhu began piano studies with his grandmother and mother at age four, and violin and viola studies with his father at age five. At age ten, he studied with Yeeha Chiu before attending the Juilliard School in 2009. A graduate of Juilliard’s Five-year BM/MM Accelerated Program with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky in 2014, Zhu went on to further studies after being awarded the distinguished C.V. Starr Foundation Doctoral Scholarship at Juilliard, attaining his Doctorate of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in 2019 under the tutelage of Dr. Kaplinsky and Professor Julian Martin. Currently, he is the youngest professor in the inaugural faculty roster of the Tianjin Juilliard School— Juilliard’s first branch campus— specializing in solo piano, chamber music, and music history in the Pre-college and Graduate divisions.

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Fangfang Pan 

Founder of GOCAA Internatinal Piano Competition

Chairman of the Global Outstanding Chinese Artists Association

            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 culture exchange between special administrative regions and the mainland.  

            After her immigration to America, Ms. Fangfang Pan participated as judges 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, which gives each of them great opportunities in becoming a better and a more mature artist.

           Due to the success of GOCAA International Piano Competition (America Division), July 29th is announced as GOCAA Day by Mayor of San Mateo, America. And Ms. Fangfang Pan has been awarded Outstanding Contribution Awards several times from different cities.

           Ms. Fangfang Pan has been performing with couple 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 medias like World Daily, Singtao Daily, News for Chines e, Sino Television,,, G&E AM1510 Radio, etc . 

John McCarthy 

“Director Emeritus” by the San Francisco Conservatory


2018/2020 Jury

John McCarthyʼs life in music includes that of pianist, teacher, arts administrator and educational consultant.

McCarthy has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony in Davies Symphony Hall and at the Ojai Festival with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. As a duo, John and Annamarie McCarthy have presented numerous performances at Stanford University, the Bracebridge Concerts at Yosemite National Park, and at CAMI (Columbia Artist Management Hall) in New York City. McCarthyʼs involvements in contemporary music include first performances of works by Gerard Grisey, Alden Jenks, and Frederic Rzewski, as well as recording for Composer Recording Society.

McCarthy relocated from the East Coast to accept a full scholarship from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. After graduation, he was immediately appointed to the faculty, a position he has held since 1972. Principal teachers include Cecilia Gniewek Brauer and Martin Canin in New York, Katja Andy in Boston, Bernard Abramowitsch, Robert Helps, Thomas LaRatta, and Milton & Peggy Salkind in San Francisco.

In 2011, McCarthy was bestowed the title of “Director Emeritus” by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in a ceremony marking his retirement after 16 years as director of Preparatory and Extension Divisions. During his tenure, McCarthy represented the Conservatory on the Education Committee of the San Francisco Symphony and brought the Preparatory Division to a place of international prominence.

An award winning teacher of long experience, John McCarthy is widely recognized as one of today’s leading pedagogues. In 2006, he was one of three teachers of classical music to receive a Distinguished Teacher Award from the Department of Education and the White House Committee on Presidential Scholars in the Arts, at a ceremony in Washington D.C. This honor was received by him again in 2013, acknowledging his “substantial contributions to the development of our nation’s young people.” His students have appeared as concerto soloists with the Philharmonia Baroque, Royal Scottish National Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, California Symphony, and with several youth orchestras, including San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and California Youth Symphony. They have performed at the Gewandhaus in Germany, the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, in San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall, at Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and on the nationally televised “From the Top at Carnegie Hall.”

His students have received numerous awards, including a Davidson Fellowship, and three students have been named Presidential Scholars in the Arts. They have received first prizes at the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition in Leipzig, the Scottish International Piano Competition, Stravinsky International Piano Competition, the International Bach Competition in Wurzburg, the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition in New York City, the Corpus Christi and Lennox International Young Artist Competitions in Texas, and competitions in Ukraine and Armenia. Six students have been named winners by the National YoungArts Award Foundation.

John McCarthy continues to teach at the Conservatory and has an active private studio. He served as music critic for San Francisco Classical Voicefor several years, spoken at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference, served on the juries of several international and regional piano competitions, and reviewed materials submitted for publication to Oxford University Press. He has taught on the faculties at Lone Mountain College, now a part of the University of San Francisco, as well as the Pacific Music Festival at Stanford University, the Young Musician’s Program at the University of California, Berkeley, and the International Institute for Young Musicians at the University of Kansas. McCarthy currently serves on the Artistic Advisory Council of Noontime Concerts in San Francisco and the Advisory Board of the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley.

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Aaron Wunsch 

2019/2020/2021 Jury

Director of Keyboard Studies and Piano Curriculum at Juilliard

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 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 master classes and lectures at conservatories and universities in the U. S., Europe, and Asia, and he was 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 

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Mika Sasaki


faculty member at Juilliard, where she teaches piano, chamber music, and keyboard skills courses

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.

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Matthew Odell

2021 Jury

teaches at The Juilliard School and frequently presents master classes, workshops, and lectures at professional conferences

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 master classes, 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.  

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Ignat Solzhenitsyn 
​2021 Jury

faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music.
conductor and pianist


Recognized as one of today's most gifted artists, and enjoying an active career as both conductor and pianist, Ignat Solzhenitsyn's lyrical and poignant interpretations have won him critical acclaim throughout the world.

In 2019–20 Mr. Solzhenitsyn returns to the Bolshoi Theatre to lead La Clemenza di Tito and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, both of which he conducted at their production premieres. He also returns to the National Philharmonic of Russia, leads the London Chamber Orchestra in Hong Kong, appears at Music@Menlo, and gives solo recitals in Rome, Madrid, and St. Petersburg.

Principal Guest Conductor of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Laureate of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Ignat Solzhenitsyn is much in demand as a guest conductor, having recently led the symphonies of Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Dallas, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Phoenix, Seattle, and Toronto, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Czech National Symphony, as well as many of the major orchestras in Russia including the Mariinsky Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the Moscow Philharmonic, and the Moscow Symphony.  He has partnered with such world-renowned soloists as Richard Goode, Gary Graffman, Steven Isserlis, Gidon Kremer, Sylvia McNair, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Garrick Ohlsson, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Mitsuko Uchida.

In recent seasons, his extensive touring schedule in the United States and Europe has included concerto performances with numerous major orchestras, including those of Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Baltimore, Washington, Montreal, Toronto, London, Paris, Israel, and Sydney, and collaborations with such distinguished conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, James Conlon, James DePreist, Charles Dutoit, Lawrence Foster, Valery Gergiev, Krzysztof Penderecki, André Previn, Mstislav Rostropovich, Gerard Schwarz, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Maxim Shostakovich, Yuri Temirkanov and David Zinman.  In addition to his recital appearances in the United States at New York’s 92nd Street Y, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, St. Paul's Ordway Theatre, Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium, Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall, San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre, and many others from coast to coast, Mr. Solzhenitsyn has also given numerous recitals in Europe and the Far East in such major musical centers as London, Milan, Zurich, Moscow, Tokyo, and Sydney.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Solzhenitsyn has collaborated with the Emerson, Borodin, Brentano, and St. Petersburg String Quartets, and in four-hand recital with Mitsuko Uchida.  He has frequently appeared at international festivals, including Salzburg, Evian, Ludwigsburg, Caramoor, Ojai, Marlboro, Nizhniy Novgorod and Moscow’s famed December Evenings.

A winner of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Ignat Solzhenitsyn serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music. He has been featured on many radio and television specials, including CBS Sunday Morning and ABC’s Nightline.  Born in Moscow, Mr. Solzhenitsyn resides in New York City.

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