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FACULTY 2020

Giacomo Scinardo - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Founder & Artistic Director,
Sicily Intl Piano Festival & Competition

Idil Biret - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Concert Pianist
President of Jury

Jura Margulis - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Professor at Musik und Kunst Privatuniversität der stadt Wien

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

Svetlana Belsky - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Coordinator, Piano Studies University of Chicago

Jinson Kim - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Former Faculty at the
Seoul National University

Joel Schoenhals - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Chair of Piano Department at Eastern Michigan University

Shanshan Yang - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

Associate Professor of Piano,
Central Conservatory of Music, China

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.

Idil Biret - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

IDIL BIRET

The Turkish pianist, Idil Biret, manifested an outstanding gift for music at the age of 3. Turks called her the Turkish Mozart, and when she was eight the financially strapped Turkish Parliament voted a special appropriation to make possible her musical education in Europe. Hypersensitive to music as a baby, she gained the ability to hear a tune and reproduce it on the piano when she was only two. She had an uncanny ability to learn music in her mind without practicing it at the keyboard, delivering it perfectly formed to the amazement of onlookers. Her first teacher in France was the famed pedagogue Nadia Boulanger, under whose tutelage she blazed through the curriculum at the Paris Conservatory. She graduated at the age of 15 with three first prizes. She studied piano with Alfred Cortot and was a lifelong disciple of Wilhelm Kempff who considered her as her best student.
Since the age of 16 Idil Biret has given concerts throughout the world with major orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Orchestras, Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Dresden Staatskapelle, Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Polish Radio Symphony, L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Warsaw Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Among the eminent conductors she collaborated with are Pierre Monteux, Joseph Keilberth, Hermann Scherchen, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Alexander Dimitreev, Erich Leinsdorf, Rudolf Kempe, Adrian Boult, Malcolm Sargent, Charles Mackerras, Moshe Atzmon, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Andrew Davis, Anthony Wit and Aaron Copland.
Idil Biret made her first tour in the then USSR in 1960 upon the invitation of the great Russian pianist Emil Gilels giving 16 concerts. Over the years she made many more visits performing nearly 100 concerts in Moscow, Leningrad and other cities in the great concert halls of the country. Her USA debut then took place in 1963 when she played a six concert series with the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Erich Leinsdorf performing Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3. The same year she played S. Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 3 also with the London Symphony Orchestraconducted by Pierre Monteux. Idil Biret has participated at many Festivals including Montreal, Berlin, Paris, Nohant, Duszniki, Athens, Persepolis, Dubrovnik, Montreal, Royan, Montpellier and Istanbul. She has played L.v. Beethoven Sonatas with Yehudi Menuhin and the W.A. Mozart Concerto for two pianos with Wilhelm Kempff. Idil Biret has been member in the juries of many competitions including the Van Cliburn (USA), Queen Elisabeth (Belgium), Montreal (Canada), Busoni (Italy), Liszt (Weimar, Germany). She has received the following awards; Lily Boulanger Memorial, Boston; Harriet Cohen - Dinu Lipatti gold medal, London; Adelaide Ristori prize, Italy; Artistic Merit, Poland; Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite, France. Over the years Idil Biret has made more than 70 records which include the world premiere recording of the nine L.v. Beethoven Symphonies' transcriptions by Franz Liszt for EMI (6-LP/1986). She also recorded the complete solo piano works and all the concertos of Frédéric Chopin (15-CD/1992), Johannes Brahms (12-CD/1997), Sergei Rachmaninov(10CD/2000) and the three piano sonatas of Pierre Boulez (1995) for Naxos. In 1995 her recording of the complete works of F. Chopin was awarded a "Grand Prix du Disque Chopin" prize in Poland. She recorded extremely adventurous music for composer Ilhan Mimaroglu's label Finnadar in the 1970's, and her 1995 Naxos disc of Pierre Boulez's three sonatas won France's Golden Diapason award and was selected among the best recordings of the year by Le Monde newspaper in France. Idil Biret has also recorded for Naxos the Etudes of Ligeti and the Firebird ballet music’s piano transcription by Igor Stravinsky which were released in 2003. The sale of her recordings for Naxos is nearing two million copies worldwide. Biret is presently recording the complete cycle of L.v. Beethoven’s 32 Sonatas. The Idil Biret Archives (IBA) contains all her professional recordings and aims to bring together as many of the radio/tv recordings as possible. As the copyrights are obtained, those recordings not commercially available will be released under the IBA label. The L.v. Beethoven/F. Liszt Symphonies originally recorded for EMI in 1985/1986 are the first of these (released in January 2004). The 9 LPs recorded for Atlantic/Finnadar in New York will follow. Idil Biret is also recording new works for release under the IBA label including the 32 Sonatas of L.v. Beethoven. Idil Biret has played in cycles the complete piano works of L.v. Beethoven and J. Brahms. In the 1980's she performed in two series of concerts L.v. Beethoven’s 32 sonatas and the piano transcription (F. Liszt) of all the 9 Symphonies, the latter broadcast live by Radio France. In the 1990s she played L.v. Beethoven’s five Piano Concertos, the Choral Fantasia and the Triple Concerto in five concerts. In 1997 she played all the solo piano works of Brahms in a series of five recitals in Germany during the composer’s centennial anniversary and also performed Brahms’ two piano concertos at a single concert the same year.

Jura Margulis - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

JURA MARGULIS

Pianist Jura Margulis has been internationally recognized for his compellingly communicative and emotional
performances, as well as for the range of his tonal palette and his consummate virtuosity. Reviewers have praised the “absolute authority” of his interpretations and the sense of “controlled obsession” he transmits at the keyboard (Fono Forum). The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted that his aesthetic is both “impulsive and
contemplative.” The Los Angeles Times praised his “excellent pianism” and called him “highly musical”.
The Washington Post applauded his “titanic reserves of sheer power” and his “effortless spontaneity.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram called his performance “… the perfect Beethoven for the audience of our time sweeping lyricism … imagination, originality, and good taste pervaded every phrase.” In August of 2011 Drehpunkt Kultur in Salzburg stated: "After the performance one fleetingly thinks of the pianists that became legends, but comparisons are impermissible. Margulis is a master sui generis (of his own kind)." His orchestral appearances include performances with the Russian National Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, the Südwestrundfunk Orchestra, the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Venezuela, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, the Prague Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestra della Svizzera italiana. He has played in numerous festivals, including the Schleswig Holstein Musik Festival, the Berliner Festwochen at Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Verbier, the Lugano, and the Sommets du Classique Festivals in Switzerland, the Argerich-Beppu Music Festival in Japan, and the Salzburger Festspiele in Austria. Margulis won prizes in more than a dozen international competitions, including Busoni in Italy and Guardian in Ireland. He is also a recipient of the esteemed Pro Europa prize awarded by the European Foundation for Culture. Active as a chamber musician, Margulis is a founding member of the Margulis Family Trio and performed with, among others, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Lilya ZIlberstein, Alissa and Natalia Margulis, Arnold Bezuyen, the soloists of the Moscow Virtuosi, members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Moscow String Quartet. He has also concertized with Martha Argerich on two pianos in Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and the USA. Recent years have brought him to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Dallas, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, Little Rock, Tulsa, Carmel, Austin, Phoenix, San Jose, Minneapolis, Memphis, and New Orleans in the US, as well as to Frankfurt, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Elmau, Berlin, Bologna, Bruxelles, Bayreuth, Budapest, Bangkok, Barcelona, Beijing, Paris, Cape Town, Madrid, Yerevan, Warsaw, Aix-en-Provence, Almaty, Lugano,
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tbilisi, Thessaloniki, Tokyo, Tallin, Sapporo, Seoul, Shenzhen, Salzburg, Vienna, Moscow, and St. Petersburg internationally. Margulis has recorded ten CDs for Sony, Ars Musici, and Oehms Classics, covering a wide spectrum of repertoire. These recordings have attracted substantial attention, including selection as a “reference recording” by Fono Forum, and inclusion on the “Bestenliste” of the Deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Recording Review). Jura Margulis’s father and grandfather were pianists and pedagogues and methodical piano pedagogy is an integral part of his artistic vision. He holds master classes in the US, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia, Armenia, Israel, Russia, Korea, China, and Japan. He is the host of www.PianisttoPianist.com; a weblog of thoughts, observations, research, methodology, rules, exceptions, aphorisms, concerns, and secrets from pianist to pianist. Jura Margulis is regularly invited as a judge in international piano competitions, most recently in the ARD Music Competition in Munich and the World Piano Competition in Cincinnati. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Jura Margulis was raised in Germany, where he studied with his father, Vitaly Margulis, at the Musikhochschule Freiburg. He was also a student at the prestigious Fondazione per il Pianoforte in Cadenabbia at Lake Como in Italy. In 1994 he moved to the United States to study with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and made the US his home.
In 2008 Margulis became the inaugural holder of the Emily J. McAllister Endowed Professorship in Piano at the J.W. Fulbright College of the University of Arkansas. In 2018 Jura Margulis returned to Europe following an appointment as professor of piano at the Music and Art University in Vienna, Austria.

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 an active international 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 flungas the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., the IBK and Recital Halls of the Seoul Art Center, 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, Italy, Romania, Russia, 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. Mr. Harding’s 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, Suite Bergamasque, the 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. He is a Permanent Guest Professor at the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China, where he holds the privilege of presenting yearly masterclasses; he has additionally served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the both the Sichuan Conservatory (2008) and Seoul National University (2011). While teaching at SNU, he simultaneously held a Special Chair in Piano at Ewha Womans' University. He has taught masterclasses and performed lecture recitals at all the major universities and schools of music in South Korea. In addition to serving as Chair of Piano and teaching undergraduate and graduate piano performance and chamber music at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Mr. Harding also serves on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer Piano Academy and is a frequent guest artist and teacher at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in Tampa, Florida. He is a founding faculty member of the White Nights International Piano Festival in Saint Petersburg, Russia. 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.

Svetlana Belsky - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

SVETLANA BELSKY

Critically acclaimed as “a passionate pianist and scholar”, Svetlana Belsky is an in-demand recitalist and chamber pianist, noted for her remarkable rapport with audiences and stylistic versatility. She has appeared in the Ukraine, Russia, Poland, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and throughout the United States. Her performance credits include Carnegie Recital Hall, Kiev Philharmonic Hall, Dame Myra Hess Series, Music in the Loft, countless university concert series, live recitals on Chicago’s WFMT and New York’s WQXR, and guest appearances with the University of Chicago Symphony, Southern Illinois Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra and the Tutti Orchestra. Dr. Belsky’s love for a wide variety of music has led her to play early music with original instrument ensembles, and receive awards for her interpretation of new American music. In the past few years alone, she has introduced, in world and local premieres, compositions by no fewer than a dozen living composers. She also appears regularly as a harpsichordist with the Chicago Syntagma Musicum Ensemble. During the 2012-2013 season, Svetlana celebrated the centennial of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, with performances of the rarely-heard transcription of the work for solo piano by Vladimir Leyetchkiss all over the world and on live radio, to excellent reviews. Her recording of the masterpiece appeared in 2014 on the Centaur Records label. The American Record Guide describes the CD as “an extraordinary performance” and “astounding”. Another passion is the music, writings and pedagogical legacy of Ferruccio Busoni. Her recent book, an annotated translation of Busoni as Pianist by the renowned Russian musicologist Grigori Kogan, was published by the University of Rochester Press in January of 2010, to great reviews, and has been nominated for the prestigious Claude V. Palisca Award (for Outstanding Translation) by the American Musicological Society. Ms. Belsky’s lecture-recitals have helped to introduce wide audiences to of Busoni’s music, and her CD of Busoni’s Piano Transcriptions (along with her other recordings) has been heard on 137 radio stations around the world. According to a recent review, Belsky “has some claim to call herself Ms. Bach-Busoni”. Although born in the Soviet Union, Svetlana Belsky was trained mostly in the United States. After immigrating to America, Ms. Belsky studied with Chicago's beloved Emilio Del Rosario. She received her Bachelor of Music Summa cum Laude and Master Degrees from the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Ann Schein, a student of the legendary Arthur Rubinstein. Later, she earned her Doctorate in Performance at the Manhattan School of Music, while working under Mme. Nina Svetlanova, an heir to the tradition of Heinrich Neuhaus. She has also been privileged to coach with Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Phil Levin (harpsichord) and other great artists. Dr. Belsky has won prizes in numerous national and international piano competitions, including the Frinna Awerbuch and the AMSA World Piano Competition. Ms. Belsky's busy teaching schedule includes students from four continents, many of whom are competition winners, professional musicians and performers themselves. Her students have gone on to pursue musical careers, win scholarships to music conservatories, and, most importantly, become music lovers. As the Coordinator of Piano Studies at the University of Chicago, besides teaching individual lessons and coaching chamber ensembles, she organizes student performances and masterclasses. She is also in great demand as a lecturer on the subjects of piano pedagogy, masterclass guest teacher, and competition adjudicator. Besides her book, she has to her credit numerous CD liner notes for Russian Disc, Consonance and Triton Records labels.

Jinson Kim - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

JINSON KIM

Pianist Jinson Kim has been extensively performing across the globe as a soloist and chamber musician since the launch of her international concertizing career in 1989. Concert venues include the Berliner Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Berlin, Beethovenhalle (Bonn), Tonhalle (Düsseldorf) and Seoul Arts Center. Broadcasting stations in Korea and Germany such as KBS TV, KBS FM, MBC, ZDF, WDR, BR, EBS, Deutsche Welle have produced numerous recordings with Jinson Kim. She was invited to the Pusan-Ibach-Festival (Busan), Beethoven Festival (Bonn), Brahms Memorial (Bonn), Westfälisches Musikfest (Münster) where her entire piano recital with works by Berg, Hindemith, Prokofiew, Brahms and Liszt was broadcasted live by WDR. Recently, she has played Mendelssohn and Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra under conductor Dong Ho Lee and Beethoven No. 5 with the Pusan Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Li Xincao.
In her fourteenth year teaching in Higher Education in Korea and Germany amongst other at Seoul National University (SNU) and Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler Berlin”, she has acquired a long track record of success as a teacher. Her students currently study or studied at prestigious music schools such as Rice University, Eastman School of Music, University of Southern California, New England Conservatory, University of Austin, University of North Texas, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, University of the Arts Berlin and Academy of Music in Dresden, Essen, Cologne and Munich. Born in Seoul, Korea, but raised in Germany, Jinson Kim studied piano with Rosemarie Zartner (Bonn), Rainer Becker (University of the Arts [UdK], Berlin) and Hans Leygraf (Mozarteum, Salzburg). After finishing her piano performance studies with distinction, she studied also master music education (UdK) and master musicology (Humboldt University Berlin). Currently, she is doing a PhD in music pedagogy at the University of Music and Arts in Vienna besides teaching at the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler Berlin”. Since 2018, she is invited as faculty for the Summer String Institute at University of North Texas.
Additionally, as a fine example of her interest in musicological research, she is involved in a long-term project at Seoul National University that comprises the translation of the book “Beethovens 32 Klaviersonaten” by Jürgen Uhde to Korean (first volume released in fall 2016, second volume will be released in 2020). Besides her additional ABD in music pedagogy, her ample performing experience has greatly benefited her pedagogical skills and helped her in guiding students in their musical pursuit, as well did her research in musicology.

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.

Shanshan Yang - Sicily International Piano Festival & Competition

SHANSHAN YANG

Shanshan Yang distinguishes herself as one of the leading pianists of young generation in China. She is currently Professor of Piano at the Central Conservatory of Music and a Yamaha artist. She studied under Lv Qingbao and Wu Ying in China prior to her enrollment at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium where she was under tutelage of Daniel Blumenthal, a frequent jury member of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth International Competition for Piano. She received her master’s degree in piano performance at the Brussels Conservatory in 2003. She has garnered a number of notable international competition prizes including:
In 2000, on behalf of China, she took part in the 14th Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw.
In 2003, she was awarded the Grand Prize of the André Dumortier International Piano Competition in France.
W Denis, a renowned pianist and jury president of piano competitions, has highly praised her: “We want to introduce a music talent to you here. She can acutely perceive and then strike a perfect balance between piano techniques and inner expressions. If not, feelings and emotions could not be revealed.” 2003 also saw her winning the first prize of Belgium Excellentia International Piano Competition, and her collaboration with the Belgium Royal Chamber Orchestra performing the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 27. The Belgium local newspaper, Chapelle Musicale spoke highly of her performance: “The Chinese female pianist interpreted the nuances of Mozart in both a splendid and exquisite way. And her collaboration with Philip Gadd can be regarded as the perfect combination of grace and talent.” In 2010, she was honored with the Hollywood Golden Key in USA.
In 2011, upon the invitation of the Chopin Society, she attended the 200th Anniversary of Chopin’s Birth in Garmin, Austria and played Chopin’s Piano concerto No. 2 in F minor. As an active young pianist in today’s music world, she has held piano recitals at home and abroad, such as in Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Hamburg Elbo Philharmonic hall , Pasadena theatre, Los Angeles, USA, The Esplanade Concert Hall in Singapore, Garmin concert hall, Austria, Beijing Concert Hall of Philippine Cultural Center, The Shanghai Oriental Art Center, the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou, Nanjing Culture & Art Center, Chengdu Jiaozi Concert hall, Hunan Concert
Hall, Wuhan Chime Bell Concert Hall, Hangzhou Grand Theater and so on. Her albums include Piano Recital 《如此珊琴》, Concert Live in Berlin Philharmonic Hall and Impression of Black & White 《黑白印象》(piano duo album). In August 2015, she made a new recording of Chopin’s 24 Preludes in Tokyo, Japan. Then the following year she was honored as one of the 9 Qinyin Ethnic Chinese Pianists From The Globe. Shanshan Yang’s performance is distinctive and empathetic, passionate and lyrical, filled with emotions and feelings. Not only can she play works of great variety, but has a good grasp of works of different periods with innovative interpretation, especially Chopin’s works. she was instructed by some of the most legendary Chopin interpreters in the world. Her research on Chopin’s works with great concentration for years has rendered her understanding and interpretation in-depth.

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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