Judges

Judges Bio-Photo

Piano

Richard Cionco

Richard Cionco

Steinway Artist Richard Cionco has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall in New York, and almost every major U.S. city, as well as in China, Hong Kong, Canada, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, and Denmark. He has toured to Japan and Taiwan with and recorded Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

A graduate of the University of Maryland and The Juilliard School, he teaches and performs each summer at the Orfeo Int’l Music Festival in the Italian Alps.  Several of Mr. Cionco’s original compositions and arrangements have been performed in the U.S., Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, and Brazil. His first solo CD, Latin American Music for Solo Piano on Centaur Records, has received rave reviews, notably by the American Record Guide.

During the summers of 2008 and 2009 performed and gave master classes in China.  He he traveled to Hong Kong a dozen times for recitals, lectures, master classes, and adjudicating.   For five summers in a row, Mr. Cionco was invited to perform solo recitals at the Samsø Piano Festival on the island of Samsø in Denmark.

Recently he released a solo CD of Beethoven’s late piano music and a CD of music by American Composer, Sunny Knable, both on the Centaur label.  Formerly a teaching fellow at Juilliard, Mr. Cionco is currently full Professor of Piano at California State University Sacramento, where he has taught since 1993.

Natsuki Fukasawa

Natsuki Fukasawa

Steinway Artist Natsuki Fukasawa's has performed in Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, England, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.S. She is a recipient of the Best Chamber Music Recording of the Year from the Danish Music Awards.

Dr. Fukasawa is a faculty member at University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music, and serves on the artist faculty for the Talis Festival and Academy in Switzerland, Orfeo Music Festival in the Italian Alps. She also enjoys nurturing young talents in her own private studio, where her students’ accomplishments include appearances in the NPR show From the Top, winning top prizes in Chopin National Competition, MTAC Young Artist Guild, Philadelphia International Competition, and go on to pursue music in college.

Dr. Fukasawa’s teachers include Tim Fredericksen in Denmark and Ferenc Rados in Hungary.

Dr. Fukasawa enjoys running, tap dancing and playing with her two kitties.

Chih-Long Hu

Chih-Long Hu

A native of Taiwan, pianist Chih-Long Hu‘s performance career was launched after receiving honors including the Taipei National Concert Hall Arising Star, the Chi-Mei Artist Award, and prizes from the Mauro Monopoli International Piano Competition in Italy, the Concurs International De Piano D'Escaldes-Engordany in Andorra, the Takamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan, and San Jose International Piano Competition in California.

An active performer, Hu performs extensively in Asia, Europe, and America appearing as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. His recent performance highlights include concerto performances of Rachmaninov’s Paganini Rhapsody, Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto, Schumann’s Concerto in A, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, solo and chamber recitals in China, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Ireland, Canada, and throughout the U.S. Hu’s performances have been broadcast in "Performance Today" through NPR stations across the U.S. His CD albums "Formosa Caprices", “Complete Rachmaninov Etudes-Tableaux”, and “Goldberg Variations” have received critical acclaims.

Recipient of the UT Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award and named “Teacher of the Year” by Tennessee Music Teachers Association, Knoxville Music Teachers Associations, and Appalachian Music Teachers Association, Hu is committed and passionate in teaching. He strives to cultivate and inspire curiosity in meaningful expressions and to help his students discover their individuality through the music.  His students have won numerous prizes from international and national competitions, and have been accepted to prestigious universities and conservatories.

Hu involves with the community and has served in various professional organizations. He is frequently invited to give lectures and masterclasses, as well as to judge international and national competitions.

Hu holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Michigan, a Master's degree from Taipei National University of the Arts, and a Bachelor's degree in civil engineering from National Taiwan University. His piano teachers include Arthur Greene, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Tai-Cheng Chen. Hu is currently the Sandra G. Powell Endowed Professor of Piano and the coordinator of Keyboard Studies at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Sheng-Yuan Kuan

Sheng-Yuan Kuan

Praised for her “admirable technical finesse and expressive flair” (Baltimore Sun), pianist Sheng-Yuan Kuan has garnered enthusiastic receptions for her solo and chamber music performances at the Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, Taiwan National Concert Hall, Musikverein in Vienna, and various music festivals and concert series throughout the US. Sheng-Yuan’s collaborations with renowned musicians such as Chad Hoopes, Nobuko Imai, Stefan Jackiw, Espen Lilleslatten, Elmar Oliveira, Sir Angel Romero, Richard Stolzman, Stephen Taylor, Keng-Yuen Tseng, Time for Three, and Latin Grammy Award winning flautist Nestor Torres, reflect her passion in making chamber music of eclectic styles.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Sheng-Yuan relocated to America to further her music education. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from The Peabody Conservatory, Master of Music from Yale School of Music, and Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with famed pedagogues like Boris Slutsky, Peter Frankl, Scott McCarrey and Constance Keene. She garnered awards at competitions worldwide, including the 13th Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna (Best Female Pianist Award, 2009), the 12th Taipei Chopin International Piano Competition (3rd Prize, 2008), Corpus Christi International Competition in Texas (2nd Prize, 2008), and New York Kosciuszko Chopin Piano Competition (3rd Prize, 2003). Sheng-Yuan performs with a wide array of ensembles including Florida-based A's Duo, Con Brio Ensemble, Scherzo Trio, and the South Florida Chamber Ensemble. She is also a founding member of Femina Camera Trio and has played orchestra piano with the Palm Beach Symphony and New World Symphony. She has for the past 8 years served as staff collaborative pianist and adjunct keyboard instructor at Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida. In the summer, you can find her working and performing at the Heifetz International Music Institute and Rushmore Music Festival.

Victoria Neve

Victoria Neve

Victoria Neve, Pianist

Victoria Neve has distinguished herself as a piano soloist, chamber musician, duo pianist and accompanist in concerts throughout the United States. Her appearances include presentations for the College Music Society, the National Conference on Women in Music, the Memphis State Music Festival, the State Conventions of the Music Teachers Association of California and the California Association of Professional Music Teachers, and the national convention of the Music Teachers National Association. Dr. Neve has been heard on radio as a piano soloist on the National Public Radio series "Early American Keyboard Music" and on the San Francisco State University "University Concert Series," as well as on stations KQED in San Francisco, KPFA in Berkeley, the University of California at Santa Cruz radio station, and KMVR in Northern California. Her repertoire ranges from the music of the early Classic composers, performed on a period instrument, into the 21st Century. She has toured California with performances of George Crumb's Makrokosmos, Volumes I and II, for solo amplified piano. She is Founder and Director of the San Francisco Young Pianists Competition and is a frequent adjudicator at numerous other piano competitions. She is on the faculty of the School of Music at San Francisco State University, where she hold the rank of Full Professor of Music.

Chia-Lin Yang

Chia-Lin Yang

Hailed by critics as possessing “the requisite touch of poetry that eludes so many pianists,” Dr. Chia-Lin Yang has toured throughout the United States, Canada, and her native Taiwan as a concert pianist and chamber musician.

Top prizes at the Seattle International Piano Competition and Kingsville Isabel Scionti Solo Piano Competition helped launch a performance career which has included concerts at Benaroya Hall and the Banff Centre’s Rolston Recital Hall as well as a national broadcast on WQXR in Minnesota. Additional competition awards include the National Arts and Letters Competition, WAMSO Young Artist Competition, Camerata Concerto Competition, and Wideman Piano Concerto Competition. She is a recipient of the Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists.

As a collaborative artist, Chia-Lin has appeared in concert with Queen Elisabeth Gold Medalist Ik-Hwan Bae, and has been featured on chamber music series throughout the Bay Area including the Santa Cruz Chamber Players, 405 Shrader, and Noontime Concerts in San Francisco. She was previously a member of the Aristo Trio and Yang-Shin-Bate Trio, and most recently co-founded the Verve Trio with violinist Elbert Tsai and cellist Brady Anderson.

Passionately dedicated to teaching, Chia-Lin serves on the faculty of the University of California, Santa Cruz and San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College Division. Her students have won prizes at international and national competitions including the César Franck Piano Competition, American Beethoven Society Celia Méndez Competition, WPTA Finland International Piano Competition, Costa Rica Piano Competition, KAMSA, US International Music Competition, MTAC Piano Competition, Golden State Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition, International Grand Music Competition, and Junior Bach Festival. They also participate in youth symphonies, chamber music programs, concert series, and summer music festivals around the country.

Chia-Lin received her Doctor of Music and Master of Music Degrees from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying with Evelyne Brancart and André Watts.