Benjamin Liu started his piano study at the age of four, and joined the Junior Music School of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) at age eight. Since then, he has studied with various renowned teachers such as Professor Eleanor Wong and Ms. Amelia Chan, before commencing an eight year pupilage with Professor Li Ming Qiang until obtaining his Bachelor of Music degree at HKAPA in 2013. During this period, Benjamin received many prizes including the First Prize in the Schumann International Youth Competition and Third Prize in the Young Musician of the Year 2010, as well as the Parsons Music Scholarship and the Tom Lee Music Scholarship.
Benjamin has also studied with Professor Dominique Merlet (former teacher of the Paris Conservatory of Music) and Professor Andrzej Jasinski (Jury President of the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition) in the Summer Academy of University Mozarteum (Salzburg), and attended the master classes of Professor Alexander Braginsky, Professor Chang Tao, Professor Jack Winerock, Professor Peter Franki, Professor Aquilles Della Vigne and Professor Stephen Saveage.
In 2015, Benjamin obtained his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music under the guidance of Professor Natalya Antonova. He is now pursuing his doctoral degree Eastman School of music with Professor Antonova and is currently her teaching assistant.
Born in South Korea, pianist Byeong Hon (Brian) Park began his piano studies at the age of six. However, it ended shortly after, because he had shown no interest in it. He moved to the United States at the age of twelve and started to grow his interest in classical piano in high school. It started out as a hobby as he taught himself from the basics. He then started his proper piano studies as a sophomore in high school. Realizing that he had found his passion in piano, he decided to pursue a career in classical music. After just two and a half years, he gave a full solo recital upon high school graduation.
From there, he spent two years in community college refining his skills. He then transferred to one of the most prestigious music schools, Eastman School of Music, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in piano performance under tutelage of Ms. Rebecca Penneys. He will be continuing his education at Eastman as a master’s student starting in the fall of 2013 with Ms. Penneys.
Park has won prizes in various competitions such as LISMA International Music Competition, Musical Arts Club of Orange County, Bach Festival, and more. He has performed throughout United States and Canada, including appearing as a guest performer at the Music Teachers’ Association of California to present a solo recital at Chapman University. He has worked with the members of Ying Quartet for chamber music and with Dr. Jean Barr and Dr. Sylvie Beaudette for collaborative piano. His prior teachers include Dr. Janice Park from Chapman University and Dr. Monica from Fullerton College.
Born in Taichung, Taiwan, and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chia Ni Wu began her piano studies at the age of 4. She began her piano studies with the Yamaha group piano classes before moving onto private studies. Throughout her time in Malaysia, she studied piano under various teachers including Snezana Panovska and Loo Bang Hean. Chia Ni has also attended several festivals, some including the Royal College of Music International Piano Course in London, UK, the Music Horizons Summer Program at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and the International Academie D’ete de Nice in Nice, France. In these festivals, she performed in masterclasses for Prof. Dr. h. c. Arbo Valdma, Dimitri Alexeev, Natalia Trull and many more .
Besides from classical piano playing, Chia Ni also played keyboard in her high school’s jazz band. At the age of 10, she picked up the flute and played in the school’s symphonic band and began her flute studies under Yukako Yamamoto, co-principal flutist in MPO (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra). Chia Ni received the Artist of the Year award by her high school’s visual and performing arts department from 2008 to 2011. She was also elected as the president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society in her high school where she organized events to promote visual and performing arts in the community.
Her leadership skills continued to develop as she served both as a vice president and president of NAfME (National Association of Music Education) Collegiate Chapter in Eastman School of Music. From there, she founded the Hillside Children’s Center music outreach program. Chia Ni has a great interest in teaching various levels of students in both private and group settings. During her summers back home in Malaysia, she interned at a community music school and worked with students of various levels in piano, flute, music theory and aural skills. She also has the experience of teaching early childhood music. She is currently a teacher in the Eastman Community Music School early childhood program.
In May, 2016, Chia Ni received her B.A. in Music Education – General at Eastman School of Music with high distinction and she is beginning her Masters of Music in Music Education (Piano) under Mr. Vincent Lenti.
Fang-Wei Hsu, born in Taipei, Taiwan, began her piano studies at the age of six. Following years of study, she entered into the Interlochen Arts Academy for her high school education and continued her piano studies with Yoshikazu Nagai and Michael Coonrod. Ms. Hsu was a recipient of various awards at the Interlochen Arts Academy, including the Senior Honor Award, Fine Arts Award for piano, and Dean’s Honors List with Distinction. Ms. Hsu won first prize at the 2008 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano and performed on the winner’s recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Following year, she was awarded with the Honorable Mention Award at the youngARTS program by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Fang-Wei was also featured on the National Public Radio show From the Top, which showcases young musicians from across the country.
As a frequent performer and recitalist, She made her concerto debut at the age of fifteen with the Eastern Symphony Orchestra conducted by world renowned conductor, maestro Gerard Schwarz. In addition,Ms. Hsu has made her appearances at the Weill and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center, Kyoto Arts Center in Japan. In 2009, Ms. Hsu performed Liszt’s Totentanz with the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, and was critically acclaimed. She received a review from the Classical Voice North Carolina and it raved that Ms. Hsu’s playing “tossed the fiendish passages … like water off a duck’s back”, and that “she finessed her way through the piece with strong stamina …her energy never wavered through the course of the 15- minute workout”.
Ms. Hsu has participated in many music festivals including Eastern Music Festival, Piano Texas, and Chautauqua Music Festival. She has performed in masterclasses for Yoheved Kapinsky, Ann Schein, Tamás Ungár, José Feghali, Cecile Licad, among others. Fang-Wei received her Bachelor of Music with high distinction from the Eastman School of music, where she is currently pursuing degree in Master of Music under the tutelage of Natalya Antonova.
Born in Hong Kong in 1991, Evelyn Wing-Yan Lam started learning the piano at the age of seven. She received the Bachelor of Music Degree at the Eastman School of Music in May 2013, from the studio of Professor Natalya Antonova. She also received a Licenciate Diploma with Distinctions from the Trinity College, London in 2007. Other mentors include Cherry Leung, Vivian Wai Cheng, and Maxim Mogilevsky. An active soloist and accompanist, Evelyn performed the Beethoven Concerto No. 3, Beethoven Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” and the Yellow River Concerto with the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2010. Evelyn also performed as a soloist with the orchestra in China during the summer in 2010. Evelyn also received awards including the 5th prize of the Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition in 2001, Outstanding Performance award in the Mozart Piano Competition in 2003. In 2010, she received the Honors Chamber Award from the Eastman School of Music.
She is currently pursuing her Masters of Music in Piano Performance and Literature as a student of Natalya Antonova.
Gerta Grimci Wiemer began her music education in her native country, Albania. At the age of 14, she came to the United States to compete in the 4th Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, where she received an Honorable Mention. Since then she has performed as a soloist and collaborator in the USA and abroad. She won the 1st Riverton Metropolitan Orchestra Concerto Competition, in Utah. She has performed with the Nebo Philharmonic and the BYU Symphonic Orchestra, as well as numerous chamber groups. In 2002 she performed for K-12 audiences in Salt Lake City, UT along renowned pianist and pedagogue Anne Koscielny, as part of the “Music in Our Schools” program initiated by the Gina Bachauer Foundation. She is a sought after adjudicator for various piano competitions in Utah and was a guest master teacher for the UMTA Ogden Chapter. Gerta held the position of adjunct faculty at Weber State University for seven years, where she worked with music majors in preparation for the piano proficiency exam. She taught group piano classes as well as private lessons. She also taught in the WSU Piano Preparatory Program, working with students from age six to adult. Her students have won and placed in a number of competitions. Gerta has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Tadeo Coelho, Celena Shafer and Kathryn Lucktenberg. Gerta received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from Brigham Young University, where she was taught and mentored by the acclaimed pianists, Dr. Paul Pollei, Barbara Allen, and Dr. Irene Peery-Fox.
Dedicated to performing a wide range of solo and chamber repertoire, pianist Jeong-Eun Lee has been recognized in numerous competitions and festivals such as the Coleman National Chamber Competition, Northwest Chopin Festival, Seattle Young Artists Music Festival, the MTNA Washington State Competition and the Sturm Page Competition. Since her debut with the Skagit Valley Symphony, Ms. Lee has appeared as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony and the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra. She performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Benaroya hall in Seattle, WA and performed in Italy, Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
As an avid chamber musician, Ms. Lee performed as one of the young artists at the Kneisel Chamber Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, where she studied with Jane Coop, Bonnie Hampton, Bayla Keyes and Seymour Lipkin. Ms. Lee is also one of the founding members of Trio 507, which was featured in concerts in Marine Series in Novato, CA. At the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, she played in masterclasses of Menahem pressler and pursued her chamber studies with Paul Hersh, Mark Sokol and Ian Swensen along with accompanying studies with Timothy Bach. Ms. Lee spent summers at the Kneisel Chamber Festival, Holland International Music Sessions, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Songfest and Amalfi Coast Festival.
Originally from Seoul, Korea, Ms. Lee received degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Nelita True and Yoshikazu nagai. Currently, she is pursuing Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the Eastman School of Music in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music, where she studies with Jean Barr.
Jungeyun Grace Choi is a pianist and music educator who is an active performer, teacher, and advocate for the arts. Since her debut performance at the age of 13 with the University of Texas at Arlington orchestra, she has performed throughout Asia and the United States. Her recent performances include: Solo Recital at Kilbourn Hall in Rochester, NY; Solo Recital at Steinway Hall in Dallas, TX; Solo Recital at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY; and Faculty Recital at Interlochen, MI. Ms. Choi was the finalist for Texas Music Teachers Association Young Artist Competition and has participated in the masterclasses of Joaquín Achúcarro, Yaroslav Pugach, and André Marchand.
Ms. Choi is highly interested in teaching and has worked with students from beginners to advanced, both in group and private settings. Her previous teaching positions include: Faculty at Gray School of Music, Faculty at National Piano Institute for Young Artists, Class Piano Instructor at Southern Methodist University, Teaching Fellow at Southern Methodist University Piano Preparatory Department, Studio Teaching Assistant at the Eastman School of Music, and Teaching Assistant at the Interlochen Arts Camp.
Working in arts organizations is another important aspect of Ms. Choi’s career. Since 2001, she has been involved with many organizations to promote the arts including Dallas Chamber Music, Office of Development at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Music Festival and Academy, and Kumho Recital Hall. As part of her broader interests in actively promoting community, culture, and international human rights, Ms. Choi has worked for United Nations Environment Program, Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations, Annual Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, and 2002 FIFA World Cup.
An intellectual musician, Grace Choi earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Piano Performance and English Language and Literature at Sookmyung Women’s University with teaching certifications in Music and English. She graduated magna cum laude with the College of Music Dean’s Award. Ms. Choi completed a Master’s degree in Music Education at the Eastman school of Music with Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Certificate and a second Master’s in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Southern Methodist University. She is also a member of Pi Kappa Lambda.
Ms. Choi maintained an active career in Dallas, TX for years before starting her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Music Education at the Eastman School of Music. As the first pianist to be accepted to this unique doctoral program at Eastman, she is passionately continuing her performing and teaching of piano in various settings.
For more information, please visit: choigrace.com.
The First Prize winner and recipient of the Baroque Prize at the 2012 San Antonio International Piano Competition, Lo-An Lin, was born in Taipei, Taiwan. A pianist with “brilliance” and “thoughtfulness” (San Antonio Express), Lin has performed throughout the United States and abroad. Highlights of her solo performances include performances and recitals at the Seoul National Arts Center in Korea, National Recital Hall and Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, the Steinway Hall in New York City, and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Lin has appeared as a soloist with several orchestras. Most recently Lin performed with the Evergreen Symphony (Taipei, Taiwan) in January, 2015. Lin has also performed with the San Antonio Symphony, the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra, the Queensland Orchestra in Australia, the Glenn Gould School Orchestra in Canada, the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, and the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR FM (New York), KPAC/KTXI Texas Public Radio, and ABC Classic FM (Australian Broadcasting Corporation National Radio).
In 2007 Lo-An was featured in the American Music Teacher Magazine as the co-author of an article for the Music Teacher’s National Association’s collaborative conference with the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Associations and Royal College of Music. She was also featured and interviewed by the MUZIK magazine in Taiwan for her solo recital appearances at the National Recital Hall (Taipei, Taiwan) in 2007 and 2012.
Lin has received prizes and recognitions from many international and national piano competitions. Lin won the First Prize at the collegiate division of MTNA Piano Competition in California and the First Prize at the National MTNA Senior division competition, Third Prize at the Corpus Christi International Piano Competition, Second Prize at the Lennox Young Artists International Competition, First Prize, and Audience prize, Concerto prize, and Best performance of an Australian work prize at the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition, First Prize at the Viardo International Youth Piano Competition, Second Prize at the Missouri Southern International Piano Youth division, and Second Prize at the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition.
Lin received the Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music in 2014, as the recipient of the George W. Miles Scholarship studying with Mr. Hung-Kuan Chen. During her study at the Yale School of Music, she was one of the few students selected to represent the piano department for solo performances in the Millenium Stage in Kennedy Center as well as the Steinway Hall. She received her Bachelor of Music degree studying with Mr. Yoshikazu Nagai at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and her Master of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music studying with Dr. Nelita true. During her study at the San Francisco Conservatory, Lin was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Piano and won the school concerto competition in her freshman year. Lin is currently a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School of Music studying with Dr. Nelita True. A passionate teacher, Lin taught secondary piano lessons at the Yale School of Music, and currently teaches at the Eastman Community Music School and serves as a teaching assistant for the class piano program at the Eastman School of Music.
Pianist Meng Zhou began her professional music education at age five. In 2002, she was admitted to the music school attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and studied with Jin Zhang and PingGuo Zhao. From 2008-2012, she received scholarships to attend Eastman for Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree in piano performance and literature, where she is now pursuing her Doctor of Music Arts degree studying with Dr. Douglas Humpherys, the chair of the piano department.
Ms. Zhou has won the piano scholarship from the music school attached to the Central Conservatory of Music from 2002-2008. Music festivals and competitions include: The Banff Centre Summer Music Program (Piano Master Class in 2015), The Lima Symphony Orchestra- Young Artists Competition (first prize in 2013), Piano Texas International Academy & Festival (young artists program in 2012), the Third Beijing International Music Festival and Academy (2007), the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City (2006), the Fourth Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists (2004), the Ninth “Xinghai Cup” China Children’s Piano Competition (first prize in 2002), the First TOYAMA Asia Teenager’s Music Competition in Hong Kong (first prize in the Class Six group in 2002), and the Second Chinese Work Piano Competition in Hong Kong (fifth prize in 2000).
Ms. Zhou had master classes/coaching with Leon Fleisher, Nelita True, Robert McDonald, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Matti Raekallio, Tamás Ungár, John Owings, José Feghali, Robert Shannon, Jean Barr, Alan Chow, Jerome Lowenthal, Thomas Schumacher, Lee Kum-Sing, Arkady Aronov, Victor Rosenbaum, Solomon Mikowsky, Jerome Rose, Alexander Braginsky, Phillip Kawin, Emanuel Krasovsky, Nina Lelchuk, Steven Mayer, Yuan Sheng and Gabriel Kwok.
She has performed numerous solo recitals and chamber concerts at the concert hall of Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing Normal University in China, the Kilbourn Hall, Hatch Recital Hall in Rochester, the Ed Landreth Auditorium and PepsiCo Recital Hall in Texas. In 2013, Ms. Zhou was invited to be the soloist in concert featuring Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 1 for celebrating the 60th anniversary of Lima symphony orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Crafton Beck.
Born in Shanghai, China, Ruxin (Michelle) Zhao started her piano study at the age of six as an amateur. At the age of seventeen, Ms. Zhao moved to the United States to attend Kent School in Kent, Connecticut, where she studied piano under Ms. Margarita Nuller. In 2010, Ms. Zhao entered University of Rochester as a neuroscience major, while simultaneously started studying piano under Professor Vincent Lenti at the Eastman School of Music.
Ms. Zhao was the winner of the University of Rochester Concerto Competition in 2010 and performed with the University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra in the following spring.
In May, 2014, Ms. Zhao earned her B.A. in Music at University of Rochester, and she is currently pursing Masters of Music in Piano Performance and Literature under Dr. Douglas Humpherys.
Born in Xinjiang, China, Yuechen Xiao started his piano education at the age of six. He received many prizes include award of excellence in“Xinhai” Piano Competition and First prize winner in the National Finals of the China Youth Art Selection of Excellence competition. In 2006, he moved to Beijing and started his professional musical training in Central Conservatory of Music Affiliated High School, Beijing, China. And studied with Professor. Yafen Zhu as private student. In 2012 he was admitted in Eastman School of music under Dr. Douglas Humpherys and he received the bachelor degree of music in piano performance and literature. Now he is beginning his master of music in piano performance and literature under Dr. Douglas Humpherys.