2021 Sejong Music Competition Judges Profile

2021 Sejong Music Competition Judges

Final Round Judges: Caroline Chin | Cornelius Chiu | Qing Li
First Round Judges:: Timothy Kantor | Kristin Lee

Final Round Judges: Andrew Cooperstock | Mayron Tsong | Hae-won Song
First Round Judges: Yu-Lien The | Adela Hyeyeon Park | Dan Linder | Clara Park | Gina Yi | Melanie Almiron

Caroline Chin

violin final round

Described by Time Out New York as “"Incisive, industrious, and creatively restless..." Caroline Eva Chin has concertized throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia in concert halls including the John F. Kennedy Center, the White House, New York’s Carnegie and Weill Halls, and the Concertgebeau in Amsterdam. She gave her solo debut at age 12 and has since performed with several orchestras throughout the United States.

An avid chamber musician, Ms. Chin has been a member the Hudson Piano Trio, Ensemble Epomeo, and collaborated with members of the Takács Quartet, Vermeer Quartet, the Juilliard Quartet as well as with artists Gary Hoffman, Raphael Wallfisch, Colin Carr, Nobuko Imai, Charles Neidich, and Piers Lane. She has been featured as a guest artist at the Consonances Festival in France, Schiermonnikoog Chamber Music Festival in Holland, the 2 Rivers Chamber Music Festival in the UK, the Scotia Festival in Canada, and the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts.

A promoter of new music, she has performed works of composers Jennifer Higdon, Samuel Adler, Aaron Jay Kernis, Mikel Kuehns, David T. Little, Paul Moravec, and the world premiere of Triple Concerto: Da Camara by Pulitzer Prize winning composer, George Walker. Recordings include the world premiere Elliott Carter’s Tre Duetti for Violin and Cello on Centaur Records as well as recordings on Avie Records, Somm Records, and New World Records.

While on tour, she has given master classes at universities and colleges throughout the U.S. including Oberlin Conservatory, University of North Texas, University of Colorado Boulder, Michigan State University, University of South Carolina, and Florida State University. Ms. Chin has toured the US and Japan with tap dancer Savion Glover and performed and recorded as leader of SONYC and concertmaster of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. As the Artistic Director of Musica Reginae from 2007-2011, she worked to bring high quality music performances to the ethnically diverse communities of Queens.

Ms. Chin is Assistant Professor of Violin at Bowling Green State University's College of Musical Arts and on the violin faculty of the Brevard Music Center Festival. She received her Doctorate of Music Degree at CUNY’s Graduate Center, received her Master of Music Degree from the Juilliard School as a student of Robert Mann, and received the Bachelor of Music Degree from Indiana University’s School of Music as a student of Miriam Fried. www.carolineevachin.com

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Cornelius Chiu

violin final round

Violinist Cornelius Chiu enjoys a versatile career as a chamber and orchestral musician as well as a soloist. He is a protégé of the famed pedagogue Josef Gingold and graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in music performance with highest distinction from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. While at Indiana he was awarded a performer’s certificate as well as a fellowship. His other teachers while at Indiana were Franco Gulli, Yuval Yaron, and Nelli Shkolnikova.

He received noteworthy distinction from Isaac Stern in master class and studied chamber music with Janos Starker, Rostislav Dubinsky, Menahem Pressler, and Gyorgy Sebok.

He served as concertmaster of the Indiana University Symphony Orchestra and won the school violin competition resulting in his performance with them.

Cornelius was a winner of the Indianapolis Young Musicians Competition, The National Arts and Letters Competition, The Baltimore Music Club Competition, The Irving Klein International String Competition as well as a finalist in the Julius Stulberg Competition, The Seventeen Magazine General Motors National Competition, and semifinalist in the UNISA International competition.

He has performed as soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Chamber Symphony Orchestra and the Northwest Symphony Orchestra, and debuted at the Kennedy Center in 1993. Prior to 1996, when he was invited by Daniel Barenboim to join as a first violinist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cornelius had won positions in both the Dallas symphony and the Chicago Lyric Opera. In 2007 and 2008 he was invited by Myung Whun Chung to participate in the Asian Philharmonic Orchestra, a cultural exchange of Asian musicians from around the world.

An avid chamber musician Cornelius’ interest in this area began after winning the Kuttner Quartet Competition at Indiana. He has performed at the Recontres Musicales and St. Nazaire Festivals in France, the Ensemble Villa Musica in Germany, and the Ravinia Festival where he has worked with Pierre Boulez and Steans Institute Director Miriam Fried and Paul Biss..

He performs annually with his CSO colleagues in the Chicago Symphony Chamber Music Series and is a founding member of the Meridian String Quartet. With his wife Inah, he forms the Corinah Duo which has performed and been broadcast nationally. He also has recorded on the Cedille label and frequently collaborates with his brother Frederic Chiu, a successful concert pianist and recording artist.

A dedicated teacher Cornelius has taught a private studio for over thirty years and has been on the faculty of the Music Institute of Chicago and the Wheaton Conservatory of Music, and has for the last several years been a faculty at the David Kim Orchestral Institute at Cairn University. He currently on the faculty of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University where he recently performed in an All Philip Glass program with pianist Paul Barnes.

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Qing Li

violin final round

Astonishing in her musical versatility, violinist Qing Li brings great warmth, poise and insight to her music making. Ms. Li is the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Principal Second Violin, appointed by Yuri Temirkanov in 2000 upon winning the audition, and is frequently featured as a soloist with the BSO. Other solo engagements have included the Butterfly Lovers Concerto at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Haydn violin concerto with the Richmond Symphony and the Bach Double Concerto with Hilary Hahn to name a few. Ms. Li is a Piatigorsky Foundation Artist, a much sought-after recitalist, chamber musician and guest concertmaster and principal appearances both locally and internationally. Noted performances in that capacity with orchestras like the Iceland Symphony in Reykjavik and the Singapore Symphony to name a few. Her last featured solo performances with the BSO was Vivaldi’s Winter in 2018 fall under the direction of Maestro Nicholas McGegan. Throughout the great cities of America, South America, Europe and Asia, her broadcast appearances include television stations in US, Germany and China and a biography on Voice Of America. Notable reviews for Qing Li include the Baltimore Sun, ‘the highest level musically’. . . 'unsurpassed technical brilliance’ The German Hohenlohe News, ‘excelled with ethereal play’ and the Richmond Times, ‘her style was impeccable.’

She is also a member of the three-time Emmy Award winner, The All-Star Orchestra on PBS. On top of her being a veteran member of the BSO for 25 years and served under three music directors including her current music director, Marin Alsop. Ms. Li is also currently a violin faculty artist of the Peabody Institute of Music at the Johns Hopkins University. She is a faculty artist of the NYO-China, a Carnegie Hall project, and is active in International Festivals throughout US, South America, Asia and Russia.

Born in Beijing China, Ms. Li began violin studies at age 4 with her father. At age 12, Qing Li was accepted to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. There she was discovered at a master class by Berl Senofsky, Based on a prize-winning Sibelius Violin Concerto performance at the first Beijing International Violin Competition, Mr. Senofsky brought her to the renowned Peabody Conservatory of Music, where she was granted a full scholarship and won the Marbury violin competition. Ms. Li has also studied with Herbert Greenberg. After graduating from Peabody she studied with the legendary Joseph Gingold. Under David Zinman’s directorship, Ms. Li won her first position in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, playing a $100 Chinese violin, which was a gift from her father before coming to America. She now performs on her 1736 Neopolitain instrument made by Nicolo Gagliano.

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Timothy Kantor

violin first round

Violinist Timothy Kantor enjoys performing around the globe at some of the world’s greatest concert halls and chamber music series. As a member of the Afiara Quartet in Toronto, Mr. Kantor has performed hundreds of concerts and helped to develop several innovative projects. One of the quartet’s most recent projects, Spin Cycle with DJ Skratch Bastid, culminated with a Juno Award-nominated album and a solo performance with the Toronto Symphony.

Collaborations include those with such varied artists as scratch DJ Kid Koala, Academy Award-nominated producer KK Barrett, and jazz virtuoso Uri Caine.

Before joining the Afiara Quartet, Mr. Kantor was concertmaster of the Evansville (Indiana) Philharmonic and a founding member of the Larchmere String Quartet, in residence at the University of Evansville. He has performed as a member of the Kuttner String Quartet in residence at Indiana University, the chamber music and Quartet in the Community residencies at the Banff Centre, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar and the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar. He has also performed chamber works with many of today’s leading musicians, including Joshua Bell, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Atar Arad, William Preucil, Alexander Kerr, and the Pacifica Quartet. Mr. Kantor has been featured as an artist on American Public Media’s “Performance Today”, CBC Radio, and local classical radio stations in both Cleveland and Toronto. He is devoted to the performance of new music and has participated as soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician with the new music ensembles at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Indiana University.

A dedicated teacher and coach, Mr. Kantor is the Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. Mr. Kantor also teaches at the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont and the Programa Gabriel del Orbe in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Mr. Kantor graduated with honors from Bowdoin College, earned a Master of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and pursued doctoral studies at Indiana University. His former teachers include Jaime Laredo, Paul Kantor, Stephen Kecskemethy, Andrew Jennings, and Mark Kaplan. Off the clock, Mr. Kantor enjoys auto racing and basketball.

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Kristin Lee

violin first round

A recipient of the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, Kristin Lee is a violinist of remarkable versatility and impeccable technique who enjoys a vibrant career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. “Her technique is flawless, and she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity,” writes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Strad reports, “She seems entirely comfortable with stylistic diversity, which is one criterion that separates the run-of-the-mill instrumentalists from true artists.”

In addition to her dynamic performing career, Lee was recently appointed to the faculty of University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as Assistant Professor of Violin. She is the artistic director of Emerald City Music, a chamber music series she co-founded in 2015, that presents authentically unique concert experiences and bridges the divide between the highest caliber classical music and the many diverse communities of the Puget Sound region of Washington State.

Kristin Lee has appeared as soloist with leading orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, West Virginia Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Tacoma Symphony, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Nordic Chamber Orchestra of Sweden, Ural Philharmonic of Russia, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Dominican Republic, and many others. She has performed on the world’s finest concert stages, including Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Kennedy Center, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Steinway Hall’s Salon de Virtuosi, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Ravinia Festival, Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live, (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York, the Louvre Museum in Paris, Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection, and Korea’s Kumho Art Gallery. An accomplished chamber musician, Kristin Lee is a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, performing at Lincoln Center in New York and on tour with CMS throughout each season, as well as a principal artist of Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara, sitting as The Bernard Gondos Chair. She is also concertmaster of the Nu Deco Ensemble in Miami, Florida, and is a member of Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse, a hybrid chamber-jazz ensemble that explores the very foundations of group improvisation and spontaneous composition. Lee has also appeared in chamber music programs at Music@Menlo, La Jolla Festival, Medellı́n Festicámara of Colombia, the El Sistema Chamber Music festival of Venezuela, the Sarasota Music Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern of Germany, the Hong Kong Chamber Music Festival and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, among many others.

Recent and upcoming highlights include performances presented by the San Francisco Symphony with Itzhak Perlman, Amarillo Symphony, Chamber Music Sedona, a tour with the Silk Road Ensemble, Music@Menlo, Parlance Chamber Concerts, Moab Music Festival, Town Hall Seattle, Lyra Music Festival, Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, Olympic Music Festival, North Carolina New Music Initiative, and the Leicester International Music Festival, as well as performances with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Camerata Pacifica.

Lee’s performances have been broadcast on PBS’s “Live from Lincoln Center,” the Kennedy Center Honors, WFMT Chicago’s “Rising Stars” series, WRTI in Philadelphia, and on WQXR in New York. She also appeared on Perlman in Shanghai, a nationally broadcast PBS documentary that chronicled a historic cross-cultural exchange between the Perlman Music Program and Shanghai Conservatory. She made the world premiere recording of Vivian Fung’s Violin Concerto, written for her, which won a Juno Award and is available on Naxos. Lee’s many honors include awards from the 2015 Trondheim Chamber Music Competition, 2011 Trio di Trieste Premio International Competition, the SYLFF Fellowship, Dorothy DeLay Scholarship, the Aspen Music Festival’s Violin Competition, the New Jersey Young Artists’ Competition, and the Salon de Virtuosi Scholarship Foundation.

She is also the unprecedented First Prize winner of three concerto competitions at The Juilliard School – in the Pre-College Division in 1997 and 1999, and in the College Division in 2007.

Born in Seoul, Lee began studying the violin at the age of five, and within one year won First Prize at the prestigious Korea Times Violin Competition. In 1995, she moved to the United States and continued her musical studies under Sonja Foster. Two years later, she became a student of Catherine Cho and Dorothy DeLay in The Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. In January 2000, she was chosen to study with Itzhak Perlman after he heard her perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with Juilliard’s Pre-College Symphony Orchestra. Lee holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Itzhak Perlman and Donald Weilerstein, and served as an assistant teacher for Perlman’s studio as a Starling Fellow. She has served on the faculties of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, the LG Chamber Music School in Seoul, Korea, El Sistema’s chamber music festival in Caracas, Venezuela, and the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival. For more information, visit www.violinistkristinlee.com.

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Andrew Cooperstock

piano final round

Pianist Andrew Cooperstock performs widely as soloist and chamber musician and has appeared throughout six continents and in most of the fifty states, including performances at New York's Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the United Nations. He has been featured in recitals and concerto appearances at the Chautauqua, Brevard, and Round Top music festivals, the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and Hong Kong’s Hell Hot! New Music Festival, in such international locales as London, Paris, Geneva, Beijing, Seoul, Accra, Kiev, Vladivostok, Canberra, Quito, and Lima, and on National Public Radio, Radio France, and the British Broadcasting Corporation. In 2019-20 he performed and taught in China, Hong Kong, Germany, Czech Republic, New York, Minnesota, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, the Carolinas, Nebraska, Colorado, and Arizona, and he was convention artist for Music Teachers Association of California.

Cooperstock’s recent articles have appeared in Piano Magazine and the MTNA e-Journal, and as part of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, he lectured on the composer’s pedagogical legacy at the MTNA national virtual conference. His video on teaching Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op. 2, No. 1, created for the Frances Clark Center’s inaugural series From the Artist Bench, was released in February.

An advocate for American music, Andrew Cooperstock has premiered works by composers Lowell Liebermann, John Fitz Rogers, Rob Paterson, and Aaron Copland and participated in commissioning works by Eric Stern, Robert Starer, Dan Welcher, and Meira Warshauer. With a special interest in piano music of Leonard Bernstein, he made the first recording of Bernstein’s complete piano works, for Bridge Records, a portion of which appears in Deutsche Grammophon’s Bernstein: Complete Works.

A sough-after chamber musician, Cooperstock has performed with the Takács Quartet, the Ying Quartet, the Dorian Quintet, violinist James Buswell, violist Roberto Diaz, cellists Andres Diaz and András Fejer, hornist Eli Epstein, and pianist Paul Schoenfield, and he is a member of the Colorado Chamber Players. With violinist William Terwilliger, as Opus Two (www.opustwo.org), Cooperstock has recorded the complete works for piano and violin by Aaron Copland. The award-winning duo has been internationally recognized for its “divine phrases, impelling rhythm, elastic ensemble and stunning sounds,” as well as its commitment to expanding the violin-piano duo repertoire. The duo has appeared throughout North and South America, Europe, and Australia, and it made its Asian debut in 2006 with performances across China, Korea, Japan, and the Russian Far East. In 2011 they were in residence with the National Symphony of Ghana, Africa, and at the University of Ghana Legon. Their appearance at Woodstock, New York’s prestigious Maverick Concerts was called “one of the most significant and worthwhile concerts of the 2010 season.” In 2013 Opus Two were guests of the United States Embassy on tour throughout Peru. With cellist Andres Diaz, Opus Two has recorded chamber music by Lowell Liebermann (Albany Records) and Paul Schoenfield (Azica Records). Opus Two’s recording Bernstein: Violin Sonata, Piano Trio, New Transcriptions (Naxos) features new arrangements by legendary Broadway music director Eric Stern and collaborations with Broadway actress-singer Marin Mazzie, and their following CD, a 75th-anniversary tribute to American composer George Gershwin, features a newly commissioned Eric Stern arrangement of beloved songs from Girl Crazy and collaborations with Broadway singer Ashley Brown.

Prize-winner in the National Federation of Music Clubs Artist Competition, the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and the United States Information Agency’s Artistic Ambassador Auditions, Cooperstock has since served as juror for these competitions, in addition to the Iowa International Piano Competition, the Liszt-Garrison International Competition, China’s Giant Cup Art Talent Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association national competitions, among many others. Dr. Cooperstock holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Cincinnati and Peabody Conservatories, where he studied with Abbey Simon, David Bar-Illan, Walter Hautzig, and Samuel Sanders.

A Steinway artist, he is Program Director of the Saarburg (Germany) International Music Festival and School and Professor of Piano at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he served as Artistic Director of the University’s Bernstein at 100 celebration. He is President-Elect of Colorado State Music Teachers Association. Dr. Cooperstock’s former students hold positions at important music schools across the U.S. and in Europe and Asia. In 2020 he received the Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence Award in Teaching and Pedagogy.

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Mayron Tsong

piano final round

Steinway Artist, Mayron Tsong, has been taken by her performances around the globe to almost every state in the continental United States, as well as Canada, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. After her solo recital Debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Harris Goldsmith of The New York Concert Review praised it as "an enlivening, truly outstanding recital.” Fanfare Magazine called her “a genius, pure and simple… perhaps, a wizard.” “Bold and indefatigable technique… glowing with colors… impetuousness that was suspended tantalizingly by elastic rubato” – Washington Post.

Her first CD of Romantic Russian Piano Music released by Centaur Records in 2008 won a Global Music Award and rave reviews in American Record Guide and Fanfare Magazine who compared her playing to Horowitz, Pollini, Andsnes and Laredo, saying “her technique is dazzling, yet subjugated to a controlling intellect and deeply felt sensitivity that removes her from the category `virtuoso' by nature of her long-range artistic vision.” She is currently engaged in her next recording project of Haydn Piano Sonatas.

Winner of numerous competitions and prizes, Mayron has performed and interviewed for many radio broadcasts, including CBC Radio in Canada, WDAV in North Carolina, WFMT Radio in Chicago, Radio 4 in Hong Kong and NPR's “The State of Things.” She has appeared as soloist with orchestras around the world, including the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic (Russia), Symphony North (Houston), Longview Symphony Orchestra (Texas), North Carolina Symphony, Red Deer Symphony Orchestra (Canada), and Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra (Canada). Equally active in chamber music collaborations, her summers have taken her to festivals across the United States, Prague, Germany and Italy, including The Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, The Art of Piano at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Eastern Music Festival, Prague International Piano Masterclasses, Texas Music Institute and the Amalfi Coast, Schlern and Orfeo Music Festivals in Italy. Her collaborations with some of the finest chamber groups and musicians in North America include Jeffrey Zeigler (of the Kronos Quartet), Brentano String Quartet, Philharmonic Quintet of New York, Miró String Quartet, Vega String Quartet, James Campbell, George Taylor and Antonio Lysy.

A native of Canada, Dr. Tsong is one of the youngest musicians to complete a Performer's Diploma in Piano from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto at age 16. While still a student, she was awarded the Millennium Prize for Russian Performing Arts, and she is a three-time recipient of The Female Doctoral Students Grant, a competition that encompasses all disciplines nationwide, awarded by the Government of Canada. Holding graduate degrees in both Piano Performance and Music Theory from Rice University, her impressive pedigree boasts distinguished teachers like John Perry, György Sebök, Robert Levin, Anton Kuerti and Marilyn Engle. Gaining recognition as a pedagogue herself, she has appeared around the world as a master class clinician, lecturer, judge and Visiting Professor.

She was Artistic Director of the First William Kapell Youth Competition in 2012 at the University of Maryland and is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies at the School of Music. She is also an Honorary Member of the Tingshuset Music Society in Sweden along with prominent Swedish Artists like Martin Fröst and Christian Lindberg. She previously served as Head of Keyboard Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Lethbridge.

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Hae-won Song

piano final round

Pianist Haewon Song is a member of the acclaimed Oberlin Trio along with Oberlin faculty David Bowlin, violin, and Dmitry Kouzov, cello. An internationally recognized artist and pedagogue, Song has performed and taught at top venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her frequent appearances include concerto performances with the KBS Orchestra in Seoul, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and Oberlin Conservatory ensembles including the Chamber Orchestra, College Community Strings, and Wind Ensemble.

Song has appeared at numerous international festivals, among them Mexico’s Cervantino Festival, the All-American Music Festival in Stuttgart, Grand Teton Music Festival, Aria Festival, Canada’s Institute of Musical Arts, Festival de Nice in France, the Oberlin Summer Piano Festival, Aloha Piano festival,Vivace Festival and the Tonghai Music Festival in Taiwan. In 2005, Song toured Korea as a member of the Oberlin Piano Quartet, which included celebrated performances in Daejun and at the Kumho Concert Hall in Seoul.

A native of South Korea, Song attended the Toho School in Tokyo, Peabody Preparatory School, and the Juilliard School, where her major teachers were Julian Martin, Martin Canin, and Shuku Iwasaki. She has taught at Tunghai University in Taiwan and Kyung Won University in Seoul, and has been a member of the Oberlin piano department since 1991. Throughout her tenure at Oberlin, her students have won major prizes in both national and international competitions, including MTNA Nationals, Wideman, Kingsville, Oberlin International Piano, Walgreen, World, and Corpus Christi, and they regularly appear with significant orchestras across the United States and Asia.

Song is a frequent performer in duo piano recitals with her husband and fellow Oberlin faculty member Robert Shannon; their recording of George Crumb’s Celestial Mechanics (Bridge Records) has been hailed as “a wonderfully buoyant rhythmic performance” (Classicstoday.com).

In 2005, Song toured Korea as a member of the Oberlin Piano Quartet, which included celebrated performances in Daejun and at the Kumho Concert Hall in Seoul.

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Yu-Lien The

piano senior first round

Yu-Lien The has appeared throughout the US, Europe, and Southeast-Asia, soloing with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Kammerorchester Hannover, and the Baroque Orchestra L'Arco. As a recitalist and chamber musician, she has performed at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival and venues such as Detroit Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall. A prizewinner of the 12th International Piano Competition Viotti-Valsesia (Italy) and the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb, she was admitted to the National Concert Podium for Young Artists (Germany), which led to several concert tours with violinist Tomo Keller. Dr. The has been involved in many commissions and world premieres. She frequently collaborates with saxophonist Joe Lulloff and champions new works by composers such as Dorothy Chang, Stacy Garrop, and Carter Pann.

Born in the Netherlands, Yu-Lien The received most of her musical training in Germany, where she obtained degrees in both piano and recorder performance and pedagogy from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. She has earned an Artist Diploma from the Hochschule für Musik Detmold as well as a D.M.A. in piano performance from Michigan State University. Her principal piano teachers were Arie Vardi, Anatol Ugorski, and Deborah Moriarty.

A dedicated pedagogue and sought-after clinician, Yu-Lien The is an Assistant Professor of Keyboard Studies at Western Michigan University and has previously served on the faculties at Bowling Green State University, Valparaiso University, and Kalamazoo College.

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Adela Hyeyron Park

piano senior first round

Described as “a pianist with power, precision, and tremendous glee” by Gramophone, pianist Hyeyeon Park was selected as an Artist of the Year 2012 by the Seoul Arts Center, and is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions including Oberlin, Ettlingen, Hugo Kauder, Maria Canals, Prix Amadèo, and Corpus Christi.

She has appeared on major concert stages, performing with orchestras such as the Seoul Philharmonic, KNUA Symphony Orchestra, Incheon Philharmonic, Gangnam Symphony, and Seoul Festival Orchestra, among others. Her performances have been broadcast on KBS and EBS television (Korea), RAI3 (Italy), WQXR (New York), WFMT (Chicago), and WBJC (Baltimore).

Ms. Park holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Yale School of Music, and Korea National University of Arts.

She is Artistic Director of Apex Concerts, co-director of Young Performers Program at Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival & Institute and Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her first solo CD recording, Klavier 1853, was released on the Blue Griffin label.

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Dan Linder

piano junior first round

Praised as a “pianistic chameleon” (Fanfare), Daniel Linder is a versatile pianist, chamber musician, and teaching artist. He has performed solo and collaborative recitals to high acclaim in venues across the United States and in France and Denmark, and recordings of his performances have aired on KUAT Classical Radio in Tucson, AZ. Recent accolades include the Fresno Musical Club Susan Torres Award, and prizes in the James Ramos International Competition, the Seattle International Piano Competition, and the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, among others.

Daniel is an avid performer of 20th- and 21st-century works. Recent projects include the 2020 world premiere of Kay He’s multimedia work Lost in Colors, collaboration with the Russian String Orchestra in a performance of Alfred Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No. 1, and lecture recitals on Maurice Ohana’s Douze Études d’interprétation. His recordings of solo and duo piano works by Daniel Asia are included on Ivory II, released by Summit Records in early 2021.

Dr. Linder is Assistant Professor of Practice in Piano at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music, where he serves as keyboard area coordinator, teaches applied lessons and piano literature, and teaches honors seminars in music. He has presented lectures on piano pedagogy and music teaching and learning at state and national conferences of the Music Teacher’s National Association (MTNA), and his article, A Multisensory Approach to Memorization was named 2018 ‘Article of the Year’ by CAPMT Connect, the e-Journal of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT).

Daniel was named Outstanding D.M.A. Graduate by the Keyboard Studies Department of USC’s Thornton School of Music. Before moving to Los Angeles to complete his D.M.A. in piano performance, he earned a M.M in piano performance from the University of Arizona, and both a B.M. in piano performance and a B.A. in history from Northwestern University. His principal teachers are Bernadene Blaha, Dr. John Milbauer, Alan Chow, and Dr. Rose Chancler. Daniel grew up in the Adirondacks of northeastern New York. Please visit www.drlpianist.com for more information.

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Clara Park

piano Junior first round

Clara Park has performed internationally, including recitals at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall (New York), Beijing Concert Hall in China, Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago. Of her solo tour in China, the Tianjin Daily reviewed that “Park caused a sensation among music lovers”, and of her compact disc “Piano Music of Theodor Leschetizky”, American Record Guide writes “…can’t imagine anyone playing these (pieces) better, or with more elegance and dedication…splendidly realized”.

She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University and Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from Peabody Conservatory, and her teachers include Claude Frank, Boris Berman, Julian Martin, and John Perry.

She has been a concerto soloist with orchestras including the Augusta Symphony, the Brevard Music Festival Orchestra, the Ureuk Symphony, and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra. She has given world and American premieres, and her performances have been featured at festivals including Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Aspen Music Festival, Ernen Musicdorf in Switzerland, the Foothills Chamber Music Festival, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. She also presents workshops and master classes and her students have received regional and national distinction.

She was recently inducted to the Steinway Teacher Hall of Fame. She has taught at Atlantic Union College in Massachusetts, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Georgia Southern University, and is currently on faculty at Augusta University.

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Gina Yi

piano elementary first round

Dr. Gina J. Yi is Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for Music Education at Wheaton College-Conservatory of Music. She received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Juilliard School, a Master of Music Education from Ewha Womans University in South Korea, and a Ph.D. in Music Education from Michigan State University.

She has published articles in established music education journals and presented at conferences both nationally and internationally.

In South Korea, Dr. Yi also led piano pedagogy workshops for studio teachers and college piano majors.


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Melanie Almiron

piano elementary first round

Pianist, teacher, and patented inventor Melanie Almiron’s “spine-tingling” performances of solo piano music by Béla Bartók with Urbanity Dance’s professional company at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum were a culmination of almost two decades of continued discovery and learning experiences. The groundwork for this period began while completing her independent study “On Learning and Practicing: Music and the Brain” during her graduate studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. Almiron performed Bartók’s Rumanian Folk Dances, Sz.56 and Bagatelles, Op. 6, both works in their entirety, three consecutive times during the one-evening event “Third Thursday: Celebrate Dance”, not once as previously planned.

Almiron credits her ability to learn and teach how to perform with ease and consistency to her piano studies with her principal teacher Randall Hodgkinson at the New England Conservatory and to her ongoing Feldenkrais Method studies. She completed four years of study in the theory and practice of the Feldenkrais Method under David Zemach Bersin through the New York City Feldenkrais Professional Training Program.

Almiron invented manipulatives to help solve an age-old problem for some beginners and for those desiring to learn how to sightread music with more proficiency at the keyboard. She currently devotes time daily to writing a novel piano method to help students integrate keyboard music theory learning, sightreading, and piano technique in their daily practice. Almiron reminds her students to engage their whole selves in a playful way while practicing and learning the fundamentals of musicianship. Her hope is for her students to discover the joys of practicing with kinesthetic and spatial awareness with quality listening and attention to the score to move toward greater understanding and connection with the music. A natural distillation of a musical composition will happen over time, allowing students to connect personally and artistically with the music they are playing and therefore their listeners.

Almiron’s past adjudicator experience includes the A. Ramón Rivera Piano Competition and the Indian Hill Honors Piano Competition.

Melanie Almiron has appeared as soloist at Capella Hall in Saint Petersburg; Rachmaninov Hall at the Moscow Conservatory; Jordan Hall, Calderwood Hall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Tsai Performance Center in Boston; Graham Chapel at Washington University; and Christ Church Cathedral under the auspices of the Shepley Program of Music and Art in Saint Louis, Missouri, her birthplace and hometown.

Almiron is currently a piano faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School and School Continuing Education. She also maintains a private piano studio in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Bachelor of Music. in Piano Performance, with honors, New England Conservatory of Music; Master of Music in Piano Performance, with honors, NEC; principal piano studies with Randall Hodgkinson, Russell Sherman, and Jane Allen; piano studies with Aube Tzerko, Emilio del Rosario, Jung Ja Kim; early piano studies with Peggy Liggett and Lois Whitcomb; chamber music with Seymour Lipkin, Eugene Lehner, and Joseph Kalichstein; masterclasses with Angela Hewitt and Emanuel Ax; winner of annual NEC Honors Piano Competition (Johann Sebastian Bach category); founder and pianist, Almiron Trio, prizewinner of the Northeast Music Competition for Chamber Ensembles sponsored by the Shoreline Alliance for the Arts; winner of University City Concerto Competition; Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School Young Artist; Kneisel Hall Maine Students Program Mentor Scholarship; Kneisel Hall Adult Chamber Music Institute Teaching Assistant Scholarship; chamber music performances with members of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; solo performances to benefit ATASK and the PMA Scholarship Foundation; pianist in collaboration with choreographer, Dawn Kramer, for premiere performance of “Swan Song No. 1” solo Bartók piano music; rehearsal pianist for Yo-Yo Ma in his preparation of premieres of the John Harbison Cello Concerto and the John Williams Cello Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra; NEC Preparatory School Piano Department assistant and piano pedagogy studies with Jean Stackhouse while completing undergraduate studies; independent study under Jean Stackhouse; former faculty, Concord Community Music School, New Hampshire; completed Feldenkrais Professional Training Program, New York, accredited by the Feldenkrais Guild of North America, under David Zemach Bersin; authorized teacher of Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons.

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