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FACULTY 2019

Giacomo Scinardo - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Founder & Artistic Director,
Sicily Intl Piano Festival & Competition

Leslie Howard - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Concert Pianist
President of Jury

David Lively - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Director of the École Normale
de Musique de Paris competitions

Yin Zheng - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Director of Keyboard Studies, Virginia Commonwealth University

Christopher Harding - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Chair of Piano Department,
University of Michigan
School of Music

Christopher Janwong McKiggan - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Concert Pianist and Winner of International Competition

Pornphan Banternghansa - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Professor of Piano at the Silpakorn University

Joel Schoenhals - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Chair of Piano Department at Eastern Michigan University

Solungga Liu - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Chair of Piano Department at the College of Musical Arts,
Bowling Green State University

Vincenzo Pavone - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Concert Pianist &
Chamber Musician

Giacomo Scinardo - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

GIACOMO SCINARDO

• Founder & Artistic Director, Sicily Intl Piano Festival & Competition.
Italian concert pianist and recording artist Giacomo Scinardo just became a Sony artist, He has performed as soloist with different orchestras including the “George Enescu” Symphony Orchestra in Bucharest and the Kiev Symphony Orchestra. He performed and taught master classes throughout the world including the United States, Asia, Italy, Germany, France, Greece, Holland, Switzerland, Scotland, Ireland, England, Spain, Croatia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Turkey and Russia. The performances have also been broadcast on international classical radio stations, including RaiRadio3, BBC Radio3, Radio France, and Radio Romania Muzical. At a very young age, Scinardo received many awards and won over 20 national and international piano competitions, including the International “Mendelssohn Piano” Competition. Since 2007 he appeared in hundreds of concerts at noteworthy venues including, notably, the Sale Cortot in Paris, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Rachmaninoff Concert Hall at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Ateneul Roman in Bucharest, Auditorium of the Swiss Radio in Lugano, RAI Auditorium in Turin, the Siam Ratchada Auditorium of Bangkok, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. He gave masterclasses and recitals at the prestigious Gnessin State Musical College and Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, as well as the University of Michigan School of Music-Ann Arbor. His recording of the Mussorgsky’s Complete Piano Works” for the label Dynamic that has recently been released, and was a best seller No. 1 in Italy among all new releases, and a best seller at No. 7 in the US. The latest CD dedicated to Satie music is now being digitally streamed more than 2 millions times. He also just finished recording the Four Piano Sonatas of the contemporary French/Lebanese composer Bechara El-Khoury for the label Naxos that will be released in the 2019. He graduated with top honors at a very young age from the Conservatory “Bellini” in his hometown of Catania, Italy, where he studied with Epifanio Comis. He also did further study with Phillip Entremont and Leslie Howard. Giacomo is currently piano professor at the Campobasso State Conservatory in Italy.

Leslie Howard - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

LESLIE HOWARD

The only pianist to have recorded the complete solo piano works of Franz Liszt, a project which included more than 300 premiere recordings. He has been described by The Guardian as "a master of a tradition of pianism in serious danger of dying out". In 1987 Howard became an instructor at the Guildhall School of Music. He often gives masterclasses at the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music. He frequently appears with promising student pianists to help further their careers. Examples are performances of Liszt's arrangement for two pianos of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with Coady Green; piano duets of Percy Grainger with Michael Brownlee-Walker; and conducting a performance of Shostakovich's First Piano Concerto in London's Wigmore Hall, and then again at the Royal Festival Hall for the Pearl Awards, with a 9-year old Chinese pianist as soloist. Howard is also frequently invited to sit on the juries of music competitions, such as the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition and the Royal Over-Seas League's annual music competition. He has a large repertoire of solo and chamber music, and more than 80 works with orchestra. He was a founding member of the now disbanded London Beethoven Trio, which gave regular performances for a number of years. In 1986, to mark the centenary of Franz Liszt's death, Leslie Howard gave a series of ten Liszt recitals in London’s Wigmore Hall. By excluding Liszt's arrangements (fantasies and transcriptions) of other composers' works, and by selecting only the final versions of Liszt's original works for solo piano, Howard was able to represent Liszt's entire solo piano oeuvre in ten mammoth recital programmes. To celebrate his seventieth birthday, Leslie Howard has prepared some of the works which have proved most in demand by his many followers throughout the years:
a programme of Liszt’s operatically inspired piano music that he is playing in many countries. 2018 will also see the release of one further CD of hitherto unrecorded pieces by Liszt, finally bringing the total to 100, and so extending the already unequalled accomplishment of the largest solo artist recording project in the history of classical music (The new disc can be safely slotted into the famous complete Liszt boxed set which has been available from Hyperion Records since 2011). This critically acclaimed project merited Leslie Howard’s entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, six Grands Prix du Disque, the Medal of St. Stephen, the Pro Cultura Hungarica award and a mounted bronze cast of Liszt’s hand presented by the Hungarian President.
Leslie Howard has balanced his prodigious recording career with an international concert itinerary which has seen him performing regularly throughout the world for more than half a century, always with a repertoire that seeks to extend the audience’s experience and to challenge accepted hierarchies of received wisdom. He has appeared regularly with the world’s finest orchestras, and has also pursued a distinguished career as a chamber musician, partnering many of the greatest solo musicians and ensembles of our time. In addition to his solo Liszt recordings, Leslie Howard’s CD discography contains many other important world première recordings, including the four piano sonatas of Rubinstein, the three piano sonatas of Tchaikovsky and a disc of Scandinavian piano sonatas. All his early solo and duo recordings (with David Stanhope) of the music of Grainger have been reissued in a 5-CD set by Eloquence. There are also the Piano Quartets of Rubinstein – world première recordings for Hyperion, 25 Etudes in Black and White – his own compositions recorded for ArtCorp, and a disc pairing the two Rakhmaninov piano sonatas for Melba Recordings. Melba has also released two CDs with Mattia Ometto joining Howard in the complete music of Reynaldo Hahn for two pianos and piano duet. A work in progress, Brilliant Classics are issuing three sets each of 3 CDs of Liszt’s complete music for two pianos, again with Mattia Ometto – the first box contains all 12 of Liszt’s own two-piano versions of his symphonic poems. In his capacity as a renowned scholar working from primary sources, Professor Howard has produced 13 volumes of Liszt Society Publications for The Hardie Press, including the complete chamber music, 30 volumes of the Music Section of the Liszt Society Journal, and 4 volumes of the new Urtext Liszt scores for Edition Peters (with a much-praised version of the Liszt Sonata). His other editorial work includes a new reconstruction and orchestration of Paganini’s fifth violin concerto for the collected Paganini Edition in Italy, the full score of Bellini’s ‘Adelson e Salvini’, and the now-standard two-piano score of Rakhmaninov’s 4th Concerto for Boosey & Hawkes.

David Lively - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

DAVID LIVELY

David Lively, American-born concert pianist, began his public career at the age of fourteen, performing Khatchaturian’s virtuoso Piano Concerto with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Subsequently, Lorin Maazel invited him to perform with the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra and following engagements included such ensembles as the English Chamber Orchestra, with Sir Simon Rattle, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestra of France in collaboration with such prestigious conductors as Sir Colin Davis, Erich Leinsdorf, Lovro von Matacic, Kurt Sanderling, Sergiu Comissiona, Ferdinand Leitner, Walter Weller, Leonard Slatkin, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Michael Tilson Thomas, etc. An exceptionally gifted artist, David Lively has acquired over eighty concertos in his repertoire, of which he has recorded over ten for labels such as Deutsche Grammophon, Koch Schwann and Marco Polo. Especially interested in the American heritage of the twentieth century, David Lively focused particularly on the masterpieces of Elliott Carter and Aaron Copland, with whom he studied them personally and consequently recorded. Meanwhile, his enthusiasm for such neglected masterpieces such as Busoni’s and Furtwängler’s monumental Piano Concertos led to recordings of both, the one of Furtwängler’s being the first of the unabridged and definitive version. This curiosity has led to his yet to be released recording of Joseph Marx's two monumental piano concertos of the same period. He has also devoted his attention to contemporary production, having given the European premiere of “Riverrun” by Takemitsu with conductor Kent Nagano, the French premiere of “90+” for piano solo by Elliott Carter as well as “Cendres” by Kaija Saariaho, and just recently, the world premiere of the chamber concerto “Cries” by William Blank, written especially for him, and Michael Travlos’ Double Concerto with the Moscow Radio Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Fedosseyev. William Blank's upcoming Piano Concerto, commissioned by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva will be written expressly for him. Very involved in chamber music, organising the Saint Lizier Festival devoted to this repertoire in the French Pyrenees every summer, David Lively has given numerous concerts with the Melos and Borodine Quartets, violinists Gil Shaham, Myriam Fried, Augustin Dumay and pianists Martha Argerich, Eugene Istomin, among many others. David Lively studied in the United States and in France (at the École Normale de Musique de Paris) where he currently resides. Prize-winner in numerous international competitions, including the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud where he met Claudio Arrau, to become one of his rare pupils, the Queen Elisabeth and the Tchaikowsky where he garnered the special prize for contemporary music, David Lively has also been awarded the Dino Ciani Prize of the Scala of Milan in 1977. Having taught at the National Superior Music Conservatoire of Paris, David Lively has also been invited to give master classes at the Hochschule in Vienna, the Royal Scottish Academy of Glasgow and the Chapelle Royale in Belgium. From 1998 to 2001, he was in charge of one of the concert pianists classes at the University of Music in Vienna. He is also regularly invited on international juries for competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth and the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud. A total command of the keyboard allied with an insatiable curiosity allow David Lively to master all styles from the Renaissance to today and to perform such monuments as Bach’s entire Art of the Fugue. During the past three years devoted particularly to pedagogy, David Lively has given great consideration to the role of the keyboard in the history of music. This has led to redefinition of his role as virtuoso and the development of several exciting projects. One of these is the rediscovery of the Romantic chamber concerto, a surprisingly well developed genre in the beginning of the nineteenth century. Study of this specific genre has led to reconsideration and performance of several works well known in more amplified versions and the rediscovery of works little-known or just recently republished. This project is offered as well on historic Romantic instruments. One other project of great potential and innovation is Prismorphism, an original interpretive approach developed personally by David Lively in collaboration with Jean-Baptiste Barrière, composer specialised in computer research, involving synthesizer and computer programming. This installation-performance is proposed in inspiring architectural sites that allow for spatialisation and projection of Impressionistic masterpieces. Just one, but very essential, objective is to allow these new techniques to attract and convince the general public. These musical adventures show David Lively to be on the cutting edge of musical performance.

Yin Zheng - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

YIN ZHENG

• Professional, polished and emotionally communicative – Fanfare Magazine (41:3), USA.
• Sensational pianist with a magic touch full of radiance, transparency and colors – Philharmonic Magazine (Vol.215), China.
Concert pianist Yin Zheng, currently Associate Professor of Piano and Director of the Keyboard Studies at the Virginia Commonwealth University, enjoys a vibrant career of performing and teaching across Europe, US, and Asia. She has been featured on leading music stages such as Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, the John F.Kennedy Center for Performing Arts and, in worldwide reputable music festivals in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Canada, and Estonia. She has worked with eminent pianists such as Paul-Badura Skoda, Alicia de Larrocha, and Aldo Ciccolini and is highly appraised by the legendary British-Chinese pianist Fou Tsong as a unique interpreter of the music of Mozart. Natively from shanghai, China, she earned degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels under Dominique Cornil and the Doctorate of Musical Arts under Nelita True from the Eastman School of Music. She is first-prize winners in national and international competitions held in New York; she was invited as the first pianist from the North America to perform at the Kirovohrad Spring Music Festival in Ukraine. Dr. Zheng regularly appears as guest performer and teacher throughout both U.S. and international higher institutions including: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Shanghai Normal University, Kasetsart and Mahidol University College of Music in Bangkok, University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to name a few. Critically acclaimed, her newly-released CD-set Complete Sonatas for Piano and Violin by W.A. Mozart (Vermeer/Naxos) was recorded at the University Mozarteum Salzburg upon extensive research at the International Mozart Foundation. Together with her violin partner Bin Huang, gold medalist of Paganini International Competition, she performed the entire cycle twice in the US and made a featured appearance at the prestigious Shanghai Spring Music Festival where the live recordings were made and broadcasted in US, China, Australia and United Arab Emirates. The interview series and rave reviews on the concert were published on the Lifeweek Magazine of China that reaches over 13 million readers online. Dr. Zheng made her solo and chamber music debut concert tour in Colombia, China and Taiwan in 2015-17, and presented concerts, workshops and masterclasses in Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Iran. Her 2018-19 season highlights a debut solo concerto performance with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, residencies at both the Compobasso Conservatory in Italy and Xi’an Conservatory in China. During the summer, she is faculty-in-residence at the Lancaster International Piano Academy in Pennsylvania, Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, as well as both Semper Music and InterHarmony International Music Festivals in Italy. Dr. Zheng is an avid explorer for innovative art forms and creative cross-disciplinary collaborations: She has ventured into the third-stream by performing with jazz violinist supreme Regina Carter; She worked with acclaimed French-Canadian painter/filmmaker Jean Detheux in collaborations that have been featured in both international film festivals and at the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music. She is a frequent adjudicator for American MTNA Competitions and international competitions in Mexico and Eastern Europe. She is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Global Summer Institute of Music @ VCU, an international summer music festival based in Richmond.

Christopher Harding - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

CHRISTOPHER HARDING

Pianist Christopher Harding maintains a flourishing international performance career, generating acclaim and impressing audiences and critics alike with his substantive interpretations and pianistic mastery.
He has given frequent solo, concerto, and chamber music performances in venues as far flung as the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei, the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, and halls and festival appearances in Newfoundland, Israel, Romania, and China. His concerto performances have included concerts with the National Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestras, the San Angelo and Santa Barbara Symphonies, and the Tokyo City Philharmonic, working with such conductors as Andrew Sewell, Eric Zhou, Taijiro Iimori, Gisele Ben-Dor, Fabio Machetti, Randall Craig Fleisher, John DeMain, Ron Spiegelman, Daniel Alcott, and Darryl One, among others. His chamber music and duo collaborations have included internationally renowned artists such as clarinetist Karl Leister, flautist Andras Adorjan, and members of the St. Lawrence and Ying String Quartets, in addition to frequent projects with his distinguished faculty colleagues at the University of Michigan. He has recorded solo and chamber music CDs for the Equilibrium and Brevard Classics labels. He has additionally edited and published critical editions and recordings of works by Claude Debussy (Children's Corner, Arabesques and shorter works) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Viennese Sonatinas) for the Schirmer Performance Editions published by Hal Leonard. Professor Harding has presented master classes and lecture recitals in universities across the United States and Asia, as well as in Israel and Canada. His most recent tours to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China included presentations and master classes at Hong Kong Baptist University, National Taiwan Normal University, SooChow University, the National Taiwan University of Education, and conservatories and universities in Beijing (Central and China Conservatories), Tianjin, Shanghai, Hefei, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Dalien, and Chongqing. He has additionally performed and lectured numerous times in Seoul, including lecture recitals and classes at Seoul National University, Ewha Women's University, and Dong Duk University. He has served extended tours as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, China (2008), and also at Seoul National University (2011). While teaching at SNU, he simultaneously held a Special Chair in Piano at Ewha Womans' University. In addition to teaching undergraduate and graduate piano performance and chamber music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Harding also serves on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer Piano Academy and is a frequent guest artist and teacher at the MasterWorks Festival in Winona Lake, IN. Recent summer festivals have also included the Chautauqua Institution in New York, and the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in Tampa, Florida.
Harding was born of American parents in Munich, Germany and raised in Northern Virginia. His collegiate studies were with Menahem Pressler and Nelita True. Prior to college, he worked for 10 years with Milton Kidd at the American University Department of Performing Arts Preparatory Division, where he was trained in the traditions of Tobias Matthay. He has taken 25 first prizes in national and international competitions and in 1999 was awarded the special "Mozart Prize" at the Cleveland International Piano Competition, given for the best performance of a composition by Mozart. His current recording projects include the Brahms viola/clarinet sonatas with clarinetist Dan Gilbert and violist Stephen Boe, as well as works by Debussy and Beethoven with violinist Aaron Berofsky and Adam Unsworth, french horn.

Christopher Janwong McKiggan - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

CHRISTOPHER JANWONG MCKIGGAN

Pianist Christopher Janwong McKiggan’s playing has been called as “masterful, highly contrasted and sharply characterized” (Gramophone), and he has been hailed as having “astounding technique… startling poise and control” (Kansas City Star), “astonishing virtuosity and piano coloration” (The Citizen), being “commanding” (Limelight), “outstanding” (Bangkok Post) and “proving to be colossus, converting every piece into a virtuoso composition” (The Manila Times). McKiggan won a top prize as laureate at the prestigious 12th UNISA International Piano Competition (WFIMC) and won numerous other awards, including the Gold Medal in the Seattle International Piano Competition, second prize in the Isabel Scionti International Music Competition, First Prize in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and awards in other national and international competitions. He is also the recipient of the Presser Award, for which he was awarded a grant to create the international relations project titled Resonance of Hope. His appearance on 2015 recording of Augusta Read Thomas’s viola-piano duet Cantos for Slava (Augusta Read Thomas: Music for Strings, Nimbus Records, engineered by multiple Grammy-winner Christopher Willis), was hailed as “virtuosi[c] and skilled[ed]” (Gramophone). His solo album, Paganimania, (Albany Records, 2015) was mixed and mastered by Grammy-Nominated sound engineer Ken Gorres. In its review of Paganimania, Fanfare, called McKiggan “the best hope for a global music of the future.” McKiggan has been heavily involved with contemporary music after his teacher, Bennett Lerner, introduced him to it. He has given world premieres of compositions by Robert Beaser, Howard Shore, Augusta Read Thomas, Paul Schoenfeld, Hans-Jurgen von Bose, Viktor Ekimovsky, Atsuhiko Gondai, Kunihiko Ryo, Thomas Larcher, Emile Naoumoff, Peteris Vasks, Steward Wallace, and Harald Weiss. In 2012, McKiggan opened the Beijing Modern Music Festival with the Asian Premiere of Beaser’s Piano Concerto with the National Center for Performing Arts Orchestra, conducted by Lu Jia, at the National Center for Performing Arts Concert Hall (The Egg). In 2014, he gave the Asian premiere of Nobert Palej’s Piano Concerto, and in 2015 he gave the world premiere of Daniel Knagg’s Secret Alchemy, a piano concertino for piano, string trio and orchestra. McKiggan closed the 2015 Thailand International Composition Festival with the Asian Premiere of Pulitzer Prize -Winner Zhou Long’s Piano Concerto Postures with the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jose-Luis Novo, in 2016 performed the world premiere Narong Prangcharoen’s Piano Concerto “luminary” and did the American premiere of the Zhou Long Concerto with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Novo in November 2016. In addition to Zhou Long, McKiggan has also worked closely with notable composers Carter Pann, Claude Baker, Paul Lansky, John Sharpley, Tison Street, and David Vayo, and has commissioned works from Beaser, Karim Al-Zand, James Mobberley, S. Peace Nistades, Moon Young Ha, Zhou Jing, Taguchi Motohide, Keane Southard, Narong Prangcharoen, Cheol-Woong Kim, Polina Nazaykinskaya, and Wang Jie. Christopher has been a guest artist at multiple music festivals including the Thailand International Contemporary Music Festival, the Geneva Music Festival and Electronic Music Midwest. He has performed at numerous venues including Weill Recital Hall, Salle Cortot, The Kennedy Center, Melbourne Recital Center, Cultural Center for the Philippines, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, The Egg Beijing, Le Poisson Rouge, Benaroya Hall, Hahn Hall, Paul Hall, Jin Mao Concert Hall. He is the founding pianist with the Bangkok Piano Trio and Eon Piano Trio which one of their concerts was graced by the presence of H.R.H Princess Galyani Vadhana. Christopher is also the founding member and one of the producers of the “JEEB” ensemble, based in Bangkok, Thailand. Their concerts have gathered an enormous following both on the concert stage and through social media. He has been featured in over a dozen magazines (Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, L’officiel, L’optimum, among others), appeared in many TV programs, and been featured in numerous newspapers around the globe. He has also been featured on multiple TV and Radio programs around the globe including featured on
“Performance Today” on American Public Media. Christopher’s playing of “Three Minds” by Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen has been hailed as “Evocative” (The DAILY SOUND), and he recorded the piece for Albany records in the album “Phenomenon” and recorded “Between Heaven and Earth” in the album “Mantras”.
Born in Christchurch, England, Christopher began his piano studies at age six with his father. He moved to Thailand at age seven, residing with his father, British, and mother, a Thai citizen of Chinese heritage.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City as a Bachelor of Music studying under Doctor Robert Weirich, a Master’s Degree from Rice University and recently graduated from the Doctoral of Musical Arts program at Rice University under Professor Jon Kimura Parker. Recently, Christopher has also started to venture into the realm of Crossover Music under the Moniker “Chris The Pianist” with his videos being shared on Facebook by ten’s of thousands of people, and viewed millions of times. He has also worked as a director and director of photography having professional work released as commercials, music videos, and promotional videos. He also regularly teaches privately at his studio, and his students have been chosen as prize winners and selected to study abroad. He is the Co-Founder and Head faculty member of the Piano Academy of Bangkok and his students have been chosen as top prize winners in National and International competitions around the world.

Pornphan Banternghansa - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

PORNPHAN BANTERNGHANSA

Pianist Pornphan Banternghansa was born in Bangkok, Thailand. Other than performing extensively in her home country, she has been featured in many recitals and festivals worldwide where she also performed her compositions in Asia, Europe, and the United States of America. She appeared as soloist with Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Ferroci Wind Ensemble, Bangkok Charity Orchestra, Pro Musica Ensemble and Thai Youth Orchestra. Pornphan also performed in numerous music festivals such as the Aspen Music Festival, Salzburg College Summer Festival and Chautauqua Music Festival. She was also selected as the first ever pianist from Thailand to participate in the prestigious Verbier Academy in Switzerland under a scholarship from HRH Princess Galayani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra. As a pedagogue, she serves as Co-Founder and Head Faculty at the Piano Academy of Bangkok and a lecturer at Silpakorn University. She is often invited to teach at summer festivals such as Asia International Piano Academy and Festival and Silpakorn Summer Music School. Her students have won top prizes in national and international competitions including The 5th Franz Liszt International competition for Young Pianist, Osaka Music Competition, USCI Piano Competition, Steinway Competition Thailand, National Beethoven Piano Competition for Young Pianist and many more. Pornphan received a Bachelor’s degree doubling major in Piano Performance and Composition as a full scholarship recipient from the University of Miami under Rosalina Sackstein, Dr. Teresa Escandon. She holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music under Rebecca Penneys. She is the Co-Founder and Head faculty member of the Piano Academy of Bangkok and her students have been chosen as top prize winners in National and International competitions around the world.

Joel Schoenhals - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

JOEL SCHOENHALS

Joel Schoenhals is Professor of Piano at Eastern Michigan University and Foreign Expert at Central China Normal University in Wuhan, Hubei, China. Between 2012 and 2016, Schoenhals performed the cycle of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, reaching thousands of Michiganders through over 70 community engagement concerts in salon atmospheres as well as in historic Pease Auditorium at Eastern Michigan University. Live video recordings of the complete cycle can be found on the music living project website and on his YouTube channel.
In Fall 2016, Schoenhals again will focus on reaching large audiences through many concerts in smaller, intimate settings and culminating in performances in Pease Auditorium. He will launch the Bach-Brahms Project, a two-year, four-concert series featuring the complete Partitas of Johann Sebastian Bach and character pieces of Johannes Brahms. Fanfare wrote of his recording Schubert and Schumann Fantasies, “Schoenhals has a real feel for the core of Schubert’s writing. There is no denying the beauty, ravishing at times. The lasting impression of this disc is something to really treasure.” Fanfare also wrote of his other new release, Chinese Piano Music, “Consummate technical skill and polish. Schoenhals’ tonal palette is massively varied. The recording is simply staggeringly good. This is a pure winner.” Schoenhals has also received praise for his recordings Bartók’s For Children, Lieder of Schubert Transcribed for Piano by Franz Liszt, and Musical Moments of Schubert and Rachmaninoff on Fleur de Son Classics. “These are rich and romantic readings (Musical Moments), beautifully played and recorded. There is no more sensitive and poetic recording of the Schubert. A wonderful program, played with great sensitivity and tone” (American Record Guide).” “Seek this one out and find one of the greatest releases of the year (Liszt). Now if someone would only help me to close my jaw, hung open by the second track. Only then can I return to mundane existence” (American Record Guide). Schoenhals holds a Master of Music, Doctoral of Musical Arts, and Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. He earned his undergraduate degree in piano performance at Vanderbilt University. From 1998-2010, he was a faculty member of the Summer Piano Program at the Chautauqua Music Festival in Chautauqua, New York.

Solungga Liu - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

SOLUNGGA LIU

Solungga Liu has been acclaimed as a pianist of great breadth. She is a champion of early twentieth-century American music and underrepresented works of the standard repertoire. She is also known as an uncanny interpreter of new music. Her November 2017 debut at the Library of Congress was praised for its “rhythmic precision, expression and a finely calibrated sense of balance between all of the moving parts.” There she performed a solo recital of works by Charles Griffes, Amy Beach and César Franck, a concert tailored to her strengths and uniquely composed of music from the Library’s manuscript collection. The American Record Guide described her recording “The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan: Piano Works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes” for Centaur Records, as having, “excellent sound, sensitivity and beguiling color,” to which the Seattle Post-Intelligencer added, “This is an excellent recording. Liu has done justice to this sometime overlooked body of work with her playing, as she pays tribute to a unique and evocative composer.” This recording led to the special request by the Library of Congress that she premiere Griffes’s 1915 piano transcription of Debussy’s Les parfums de la nuit from his orchestral work Iberia, once thought lost by Griffes’s biographers. About this world premiere, the Washington Classical Review wrote, “The piece retained an orchestral spectrum of colors in Liu’s hands. She served as the knowing conductor—the glue that held it all together while still allowing the transcription to shine through on its own merits”. A dedicated performer of new music, Liu has performed numerous composers of our time, including Lutoslawski’s Piano Concerto with OSSIA, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music and Tehillim with Alarm Will Sound, Meandering River and Three Braided-River for solo piano by Robert Morris (both are dedicated to her), and Aaron Travers’s Concierto de Milonga, written for her and the Indiana University New Music Ensemble. She recorded two CDs of Reich’s major works with AWS, and Albany Records released her recording of
Meandering River. In addition, Liu premiered and recorded Gregory Mertl’s Piano Concerto commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for her, conductor Craig Kirchhoff and the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble. The 2017
Bridge Records release has received great praise from the American Record Guide, Toronto’s WholeNote and Fanfare. Liu enjoys an active career across five continents, with concerts in the USA, Canada, Austria, Australia, Romania, Brazil, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong. Notable performances include Ravel’s Concerto in G Major with the Taipei Metropolitan Orchestra, performances of concerti with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble as well as members of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra/Choral Society, solo recitals at Taiwan’s National Concert Hall, the Goethe Center in Bangkok, the Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Thailand International Mozart Festival, a chamber concert with new music ensemble Open Gate at Carnegie Hall, and three annual recitals at the prestigious Brazilian Museum of Sculpture (MUBE) Concert Series in São Paulo, Brazil. Liu is Associate Professor of Piano at the College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University, Ohio. In addition to her dedication to students at BGSU, Liu maintains a vigorous schedule as a guest artist teacher and adjudicator at major international conservatories and competitions, among them the Central Conservatory in Beijing, China, National Taiwan Normal University, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, the University of Tasmania in Australia, São Paulo State University and Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, the First Thailand International Mozart Competition and the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition. In the US, she has also presented master classes and lectures at numerous venues such as the Eastman School of Music, the Providence Keyboard Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, and the University of Minnesota. Following up her Griffes CD, Centaur Records will issue Liu’s newest recording – solo and chamber works by Amy Beach – in 2019. Liu holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Alan Feinberg, Douglas Humpherys and Elizabeth DiFelice.

Vincenzo Pavone - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

VINCENZO PAVONE

Often performs as soloist and as chamber musician, Vincenzo Pavone played in important venues in Italy and abroadsuch a Wiener Saal in Salzburg, the Edimburgh Society of Musicician in UK, the Steinway Hall in New York, the James Black Hall and the W.E. Singleton Center of Perfming Arts in Richmond (USA), the Chopin Associatie Vlandeeren Cultuurcentrum Beringen in Belgium, the Orangery Concert Castle of Unternzennin Wurzburg, the “Euromediterraneo” Festival in Rome, in Sicily for the prestigious “Taormina Arte Festival”, in Frankfurt for DreieicherMusiktage. In the 2017 he’s been touring in Francoforte, Dreieich and Darmstadt. Recently, Vincenzo was awarded at the Orchestra Competition of the Global Summer Institute of Music in Richmond. He played Beethoven piano concerto No. 1 at the Italian Grand Gala Piano Tour in Lugansk, Ukraine. Vincenzo was also awarded in several other national and international piano competitions: I° Prize at “National Piano Competion of Barcellona P.G.” and special Prize for interpretetion of J. Brahms, Italy, I° National Piano Competions of “Città di Bucchianico” (CH), II° Prize at VIII National Piano Competions “Benedetto Albanese” Caccamo (Pa), I° Prize International Piano Competions ”G. Campochiaro” di Pedara (CT), I° Prize National Piano Competions “Agimus” (Rome) ect. As well as musician, Dr. Pavoneowns a master degree with the highest honors in Literaturefrom the University of Catania and is also artistic director of the cultural association “Mecenate” in Sicily, he is also a faculty member at he “G. Verga” Musical High School” in Modica. He began studying piano at a late age, when he was 15 years old, under the guidance of Antonella Scuderi; later, he graduated with the highest honors from “V. Bellini” Conservatory in Catania, Sicily, under the guidance of Antonella Scuderi. He furthered his studies with Maestro Lorenzo Di Bella and Guianluca Luisi and took master classes held by eminent teachers such as Aquiles Delle Vigne, B. Canino, R. Risaliti, L. Howard, R. Cappello, Ammara, R. Plano, D. Franceschetti, N. Carusi,
L. Trabucco, F. Scala.

Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition
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Catania (CT),
Sicily, Italy

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info@pianosicily.com

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