2013 Sejong Music Competition Judges
Primary and Elementary divisions: Yu-Sui Hung | Aaron Stampfl
Junior and Senior divisions: Elena Abend | Marcia Bosits | Kyomi Sugimura
Primary and Elementary divisions: Susan Paik | Stacia Spencer
Junior and Senior divisions: So Young Bae | Russell Hershow | Ni Mei
A versatile performer, Yu-Sui Esther Hung has appeared as a solo and collaborative pianist throughout the United States and her native Taiwan. A chamber music enthusiast, she is equally at home with singers and instrumentalists and has collaborated with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan.
Yu-Sui has participated in numerous piano and chamber music masterclasses conducted by leading musicians, most notably Martin Canin, Orlando Cole, Vladimir Feltsman, Seymour Lipkin, Lambert Orkis, David Soyer, Herbert Stessin, James Tocco, and the Guarneri Quartet. As an orchestral pianist, Yu-Sui has performed in major concert halls such as the Kimmel Center of Performing Arts and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, the Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Aspen Music Festival, and the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, and has worked under the baton of Luis Biava, James Conlon, and David Zinman. A strong advocate of new music, she has premiered both solo and chamber works extensively including works dedicated to her and has played with various contemporary ensembles throughout the US.
Yu-Sui holds a bachelor’s degree in piano and clarinet from National Taiwan Normal University, master’s in solo and collaborative piano from Temple University, and doctorate in piano performance with secondary expertise in theory from University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She is currently on the faculty of VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, where she teaches piano and theory and serves as staff pianist. She also serves as the choir director at Taiwan Presbyterian Church of Greater Chicago in Des Plaines. Before settling in Chicago, she has taught piano, music theory, and ear training at Temple and CCM. Her primary teachers include Charles Abramovic, Li-Chin Lai, Lambert Orkis, and Frank Weinstock.
Aaron Stampfl recently completed a Doctorate in Music at Northwestern University studying piano with Alan Chow. Stampfl completed his undergraduate studies at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Daniel Paul Horn. He studied piano and chamber music with Shigeo Neriki, Evelyn Brancart and János Starker at Indiana University, receiving a Master’s Degree and Performance Diploma.
As a soloist, Stampfl has given many concerts including performances at the Chicago Cultural Center and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has been heard live on Vermont Public Radio and Chicago’s Q101. He has also performed in masterclasses given by André Laplante, Stephen Hough, and the Emerson String Quartet.
In addition to maintaining a private studio, Dr. Stampfl currently serves as a professor of piano at Benedictine University and group piano at DePaul University in Chicago. He has formerly served as an Associate Lecturer and Staff Accompanist at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
A performer in a variety of genres, Stampfl has collaborated with the Tony Award winning soul singer Heather Headley and has worked in the recording studio alongside Brian Bell of the Grammy-winning rock band Weezer. Having performed in every major rock club in Chicago, Stampfl continues to appear frequently with numerous indie-rock bands.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, pianist Elena Abend is well known as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed with all the major orchestras of her country and has recorded with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Venezuela. As the recipient of a scholarship from the Venezuelan Council for the Arts, Ms. Abend studied at the Juilliard School, where she received her Bachelor and Master degrees. She was awarded the William Schuman Prize for outstanding achievement given to a single graduate student of her class. She has performed at the Purcell Room in London’s Royal Festival Hall, Avery Fisher Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and the Academy of Music with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Other engagements have included the Wigmore Hall in London, the Toulouse Conservatoire and the Theatre Luxembourg in France, the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C., the United Nations, Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Chicago Cultural Center, Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Atlanta Historical Society, and the Teresa Carreno Cultural Center in Caracas. Other chamber music collaborations include, performances at the Ravinia and Marlboro Music Festivals, as well as live broadcasts on Philadelphia’s WFLN, The Dame Myra Hess Concert Series on Chicago’s WFMT and Wisconsin Public Radio at the Elvehjem Museum in Madison.
Ms. Abend has been on the Faculty of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University’s String Academy summer program and the Milwaukee Chamber Music Festival. An active performer in the Milwaukee area, Ms. Abend has performed on the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra Series at Schwan Concert Hall, Piano Chamber, New Generations, Music from almost Yesterday, and the Yolanda Marculescu Vocal Art Series at the UWM. She has performed with “Present Music Now” and the “Frankly Music” Series, as well as being an invited guest on several occasions to perform with the Fine Arts Quartet. She recorded a CD with clarinetist Todd Levy performing music of Brahms and Schumann for the Avie Label, as well as numerous CD projects for the Hal Leonard Corporation. She is currently on the Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she teaches piano and chamber music.
Marcia Bosits is Associate Professor of Piano and Director of the Piano Pedagogy Program at the Bienen School of Music, Northwestern University. In addition to the doctorate from Northwestern, she earned an Artist’s Diploma from the Warsaw Conservatory in Poland as the recipient of a Kosciuszko Foundation Fellowship.
Dr. Bosits has held national positions in many professional organizations including Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, the National Group Piano and Pedagogy Forum, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and the World Piano Conference. Her articles have appeared in such recognized journals as Clavier, Keyboard Companion, Piano Journal and the American Music Teacher, and she appears as a clinician in piano pedagogy throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and the Far East. Active as a soloist and chamber musician, she has been a guest performer for the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA) Conferences in Rome, Portugal, and Serbia.
Kyomi Sugimura has appeared at the major festivals such as Edinburgh, Stars of the White Nights and Mikkeli Festivals. She has performed in Japan, USA, England, Scotland, Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Russia and Taiwan. She has appeared as a soloist with Osaka Philharmonic, Kansai Philharmonic, Nara Philharmonic and Osaka Symphonika orchestras. Ms. Sugimura has been also featured on live broadcasts on NHK radio, Asahi TV and Nara Radio/TV in Japan.
By Valery Gergiev’s invitation, She was the first foreign pianist to play Stravinsky’s unknown early piano sonata in St. Petersburg, Russia, where composer conceived it. This performance received the highest critical acclaim from Russian press.
Ms. Sugimura has served as a faculty member at Osaka Conservatory, Kansai College of Music and Sakurai Pre-College of Music, and as adjunct faculty member at Indiana University South Bend.
She has studied Osaka Pre-Conservatory, Osaka Conservatory, Arizona State University and Indiana University South Bend, where her teachers were Shizuko Okiia, Toyoko Kreutzer, Robert Hamilton and Alexander Toradze.
Susan Paik, Co-concertmaster and former Principal Second Violin of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, holds performance degrees from The Juilliard School and Seoul National University in South Korea, as well as diplomas from Indiana University and Manhattan School of Music. She is currently in the dissertation stage (ABD) of her doctoral degree in violin performance at Indiana University. Her major teachers include Mauricio Fuks, Sylvia Rosenberg, Hyo Kang, Chongsuk Li and Kwang-Koon Kim.
Active as a recitalist, chamber musician, and educator, Ms. Paik serves on the chamber music faculty of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Paik has appeared at the Indiana University Summer Festival and in collaboration with Indiana University faculty artists and has performed as soloist with the Juilliard Theatre Orchestra.
An advocate of contemporary music, Ms. Paik has performed on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW chamber series. She premiered new works by Teddy Niedermaier, Eric Nathan, Yoomi Paick, Austin Jaquith, and others. Her 2014 season features performances in Paris, Berlin, and London.
Ms. Paik served as assistant to distinguished violinist Mauricio Fuks at Indiana University and provided technical and fundamental instruction to his undergraduate and graduate students. She held an Associate Instructor position at Indiana University.
A former Orchestra Mentor at the Aspen Music Festival, Ms. Paik also served as concertmaster of the Indiana University Symphony Orchestra under conductor Cliff Colnot.
Stacia Spencer is a senior lecturer in string pedagogy at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music and string coordinator for the Northwestern Music Academy. She also has been on the faculty of the Northwestern National High School Music Institute teaching violin, viola and chamber music. Prior to moving to the Chicago area, Ms. Spencer was an assistant professor of music at Indiana University School of Music where she taught classes in violin and viola pedagogy and was the assistant to Mimi Zweig at the IU String Academy. Ms. Spencer has a special interest in contemporary music, working with composers and performing new pieces. An eclectic musican and performer, she has been a vocalist and jazz singer in the Jon Eaton Pocket Opera Company in Chicago and New York.
As a singer and electric violist she has also performed and recorded in the rock genre. She received her bachelors and masters degrees in viola from Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with Mimi Zweig, Kim Kashkashian and George Janzer. Ms. Spencer’s students have won many competitions and have been featured on “From the Top”. They also participate in their school orchestras as well as the Chicago Youth Orchestras and the Midwest Young Artists Orchestras.
A native of Busan, South Korea, violinist So Young Bae is an active soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player both in the United States and South Korea. Bae has received numerous awards from competitions including first prize in the Busan Music Association Competition, second prize in the Korea-America National Competition, Gold medal in the Se-Jong University Competition, second prize in the Taegu Broadcasting Competition, and second prize in Nanpa Music Competition. She is also the recipient of various scholarships, including the Joseph Fuchs Scholarship, Knafel Askin Violin Scholarship and Samuel Gardner Grant. As an active soloist, Bae recently won the Stony Brook Concerto Competition, and will be performing Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in the 2012/13 season.
Bae is an active chamber music musician, and has collaborated with artists such as members of the Emerson Quartet, Colin Carr and Tina Dahl.As an orchestral player, Bae has recently joined Chicago Symphony Orchestra appointed by Music Director Riccardo Muti in July 2012. In the past, she has performed with the New York City Ballet Orchestra for its 2012 winter season and with New World Symphony Orchestra. She has also toured Europe with the Juilliard Orchestra under the baton of James DePriest in 2005 and China under Xian Zhang in 2008.
Bae has participated in many festivals over the years including the Aspen Music Festival (2008) and Music Academy of the West (2006), where she was a fellowship recipient. She has also attended Kneisal Hall (2007), Sarasota Music Festival (2006, 2007) and the 2007 Juilliard Chamber Fest. In the summers of 2009, 2010 and 2011, Bae was invited to participate in the orchestra of the Verbier Music Festival.
Bae began her studies of the violin at the age of 7. At age 18, she was honored with the rare distinction of early admission at the Seoul National University. She obtained both her Bachelor and Master’s degrees at the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Stephen Clapp and Sylvia Rosenberg. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree as a full-scholarship student and violin teaching assistant at Stony Brook University studying with Soovin Kim and Philip Setzer.
A native of New York City, Russell Hershow took his first music lessons from his father, an amateur violinist. He went on to attend the Juilliard School and the Indiana University School of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree. He received private instruction from Josef Gingold and Yuval Yaron at Indiana University and Joseph Fuchs at Juilliard.
Hershow participated in numerous music festivals and competitions before joining the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 1987. In 1989, he played with the Pittsburgh Symphony for a short time before joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra later that year—just in time to participate in the Orchestra’s exciting sixth tour to Europe with Sir Georg Solti.
In addition to his orchestral duties with the CSO, Hershow pursues an active chamber music career in Chicago.
Ni Mei joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as fourth chair second violin in 2009. She came to the CSO from the Detroit Symphony, where she previously was a member of the first violin section. A native of China, Mei began playing violin at the age of 6. Her first teacher was her father, concertmaster and later music director of the Wuhan Symphony Orchestra. At 10 years old, she entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she studied for 11 years under Duoqin Xu, Shisheng Zheng and Zhinuo Ding.
Ni Mei came to the United States to continue her violin studies at Pittsburg State University and at Rice University, where she studied with Kathleen Winkler. During her years of study, she won Pittsburg State’s Concerto-Aria Competition, the Waddill Chamber Music Competition, and first prize in the Young Texas Artists Competition. She also was concertmaster of the Southeast Kansas Orchestra, associate concertmaster of the Ohio Light Opera and a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra.