Judges

Judges Bio-Photo

Chinese Instruments

YANG WEI

YANG WEI

Yang Wei's musical education began at the early age of 6. As a young student of music,he received instruction in several different classical Chinese instruments. At 13, the decision was made to concentrate his considerable talents upon mastering the Pipa.
The years of study and dedication began to payoff when at 18 he performed as a soloist with the National Shanghai Orchestra. This accomplishment was followed by his achievement of the ART Trophy First Prize for the International Chinese
Musical Instruments Competition, in the Young Professional Pipa Section, which he wasawarded in 1989.As a professional musician he has been celebrated worldwide, performing for andinspiring audiences throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States. His professional activities have included performing as a soloist with various orchestras and in various
ensembles, teaching and participating in educational programs in both public and educational settings. Since 2000, Yang Wei has toured with the acclaimed, Silk Road Project, performing alongside world famous cellist, Yo Yo Ma. In the United States, he has performed at such known venues as the Ravinia International Music Festival, theKimmel Center, the Lincoln Center and the Chicago Symphony Center. In addition to these performances, he has served as Artist-in-Residence for the Art Institute of Chicago and has led international music lectures. He has been instrumental in commissioning new works by well-known composers such as Bright Sheng, Zhu Jianer, Gabriela Lena Frank, and Yao Chen. In 1996, Yang Wei moved permanently to the United States, making his home in the Chicago area. Yang Wei's artistic perspective is an interesting one.

JEN CHUNG

JEN CHUNG

JEN Chung is from Taipei, Taiwan and graduated from National Taiwan University of Arts with a Master degree in the Chinese Music Department, and Chinese Music Department of Tainan National University of the Arts. Currently he is the music director of 3PEOPLEMUSIC, member of Vita Eterna, and adjunct teacher of National Taiwan College of Performing Arts.

As a student, he had won the prize of Chiuko Traditional Orchestra's "New Talent" series in 2012. Champion of New Art's "Star Show" competition in 2007, and was selected in "New Star of Music -Traditional Chinese Instruments" of Taipei Chinese Orchestra. Champion of Taipei Folk Orchestra Huang Zhong Award for youth in 2006, Chinese Music Association's dizi competition for adults in 2005, Tainan County Competition of Music for College A section in 2005. Santa Fe's Minister of Culture described his performance as " JEN Chung crosses the boundaries between east and west via music, and his performance is very touching."

In recent years, he has invited by Taiwanese music groups and performers to commission, including Taipei Chinese Orchestra, National Chinese Orchestra Taiwan, Chinese Music Association, Chinese Music Department of National Taiwan University of Arts, and String Orchestra of Tainan National University of the Arts, etc. Arrangements and music works for 3PEOPLEMUSIC: One Sound, Three Different Romances in a Row, Slowly Rowing on Jasmine Waves, Two Pieces -Amoeba and Spray, Whispering Hope, Cloudy Day for Xindi, heptatonic scale Zheng, pentatonic scale Zheng and Bandoneon.

Marimba

PIUS CHEUNG

PIUS CHEUNG

“… [Pius Cheung] surmounts the contrapuntal hurdles and offers a stylish, deeply expressive interpretation [of the Goldberg Variations] notable for its clear voicing, eloquent phrasing and wide range of color and dynamics.” - The New York Times

“Tuneful, neo-Romantic yet technically difficult, [Pius Cheung’s Études] not only showcased Mr. Cheung’s mastery of his instrument but also demonstrated his considerable skill and promise as a composer in his own right – one who writes the kind of music people will want to hear.”

- The Washington Times

Hailed by the New York Times as “deeply expressive” for his groundbreaking recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations on solo marimba, Pius Cheung is widely known as one of the most important percussionists of his generation. He has presented solo recitals at Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Kyoto Arts Center (Japan), as well as music festivals around the globe such as the Usedom Music Festival (Germany), Hong Kong Arts Festival, Taiwan International Percussion Convention, Chiapas International Marimba Festival (Mexico), Drum Fest (Poland), Percussion Plus Festival (Denmark), Italy PAS International Percussion Festival, Osaka Percussion Festival and Shenyang International Percussion Festival (China).

He is one of the most sought-after composers for percussion today. His latest works include Allegro Brutale for solo marimba, commissioned by Dame Evelyn Glennie; Heaven and Earth, a 20 minute tone poem for the Ju Percussion Group; and two percussion concerti for the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra.

Furthermore, Mr. Cheung frequently serves as a judge at national and international competitions, as well as presents masterclasses at renowned institutions such as the Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Amsterdam Conservatory, Paris Conservatory, Toho Gakuen (Japan) and Beijing Central Conservatory.

Mr. Cheung endorses Yamaha, Zildjian, Remo, and Innovative Percussion, which produces his signature mallet series. Mr. Cheung is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Percussion Area at the University of Oregon.

PEI-CHING WU

PEI-CHING WU

Pei-Ching Wu, internationally renowned marimbist, earned her doctorate from West Virginia University in 2005. A founding member, Wu has served as Principal of the Ju Percussion Group since she was 18 years old and gives recitals regularly. In 1999, she was invited to perform with the Amadinda Percussion Group in Budapest Spring Festival. She also performed with Martha Argerich at the First Martha Argerich Music Festival in Taipei in 2001 and was featured in Asian Women Marimbists Concert at the 5th TIPC in 2005. In 2009, Wu was nominated for the 8th Taishin Arts Award with “The Glamorous Match”, a duet of percussion and piano. She was invited to perform at Marimba 2010 International Festival and Conference to critical acclaim. In 2012, Wu was nominated for the 10th Taishin Arts Award with her 2011 marimba recital “Wonderland”.

Presently, Wu is an Associate Professor of Music at the Taipei National University of the Arts, Senior member of the Ju Percussion Group and teaches at the National Taipei University of Education and Shih Chien University. Wu is the host of "Pei-Ching's Percussion World" at Bravo Radio FM91.3 and Classical Radio FM 97.7

Piano

CHIA-YIN LIN

CHIA-YIN LIN

Chia-Yin Lin is a faculty member at Foothill College. She received her degrees in piano performance from University of Washington, University of Texas at Austin and University of Oregon. Dr. Lin has adjudicated various piano competitions, she is an active performer, lecturer and chamber musician.

DMITRY RACHMANOV

DMITRY RACHMANOV

Pianist Dmitry Rachmanov has garnered much acclaim for his passionate performances, refined musicianship and brilliant pianism. Hailed as an "indisputable musician" by the Brussels' Le Soir and "suave and gifted pianist' by the New York Times, Rachmanov has been heard at venues such as New York's Carnegie Hall, Washington DC's Kennedy Center, London's Barbican and South Bank Centres, and Beijing Concert Hall, and his tours brought him to Canada, Mexico, Europe, Russia, Turkey and the Far East. He has recorded for Naxos, Navona, Omniclassic, Master Musicians and Vista Vera labels, and collaborated as a soloist with Manhattan Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Ukraine National Symphony, National Orchestra of Porto, Portugal and Vidin Sinfonietta, Bulgaria, among others. A strong proponent of the Russian repertoire, he gave the US premiere of Boris Pasternak's Piano Sonata, broadcast nationwide by the NPR, and his recital "The Art of the 19th Century Russian Character Piece" was noted by the New York Times for "considerable color and focus" he brought to each work. A founding member of the Scriabin Society of America, Rachmanov has given recital tours featuring the music of Scriabin in commemoration of the composer’s memorial centennial (1915-2015), including appearances in Moscow, Paris, Budapest, Beijing & Shanghai and in the US. His recital at Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall was called “indeed a ‘poem of ecstasy’ in every sense: giant in conception, quantity, quality, execution, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity” by the New York Concert Review.  In the past three years he has worked on the project of creating a video anthology of Scriabin’s major piano works.  In the fall of 2018 Dmitry Rachmanov participated in the 100th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the Scriabin Memorial Museum in Moscow by presenting at the centennial conference and performing a recital at the museum’s Grand Hall.

Dr. Rachmanov's interest in historical performance practice brought him to the Massachusetts' Frederick Historic Piano Collection, where he has made regular appearances performing recital series on period instruments. His album “Beethoven and His Teachers,” recorded in collaboration with the pianist Cullan Bryant on the collection’s period instruments and released by Naxos in 2011, has received critical accolades.

An active member of the American Liszt Society, Dmitry Rachmanov has served as the Artistic Director of the American Liszt Society Festival “Liszt and Russia” hosted by California State University Northridge in June of 2016 (http://www.als2016.org). He is a founding member and President of the ALS’s Southern California Chapter.

Dr. Dmitry Rachmanov is Professor of Piano at CSU Northridge, where he serves as Chair of Keyboard Studies.  A sought-after master class clinician and lecturer, Dr. Rachmanov has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, and has appeared as a guest artist/teacher at The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, University of Michigan, Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Beijing Central, Shanghai and Harbin Conservatories as well as East China Normal and Shanghai Normal Universities, among others. Dr. Rachmanov has been a frequent competition adjudicator in the US and abroad, including Gina Bachauer International Artists, Brahms Poertschach, Austria, and Los Angeles International Piano Competition, among others.

Rachmanov is a graduate of The Juilliard School (BM & MM) and he holds DMA from Manhattan School of Music. His teachers include Nadia Reisenberg, Arkady Aronov, and he coached with Yvonne Lefebure, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Menahem Pressler, Vitaly Margulis and John Browning. A prizewinner of international competitions, he was awarded a fellowship from the American Pianists Association and received the George Schick Award for Outstanding Musicianship at Manhattan School of Music. In 2008 Dr. Rachmanov was named the Jerome Richfield Memorial Scholar of the Year at California State University, Northridge.  In 2015 he became an honoree of the Outstanding Faculty Award presented by the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars for his dedicated service to the International Community at CSUN, and he was a recipient of the Outstanding CAPMT (California Music Teachers National Association) Member, State Recognition Award. In 2018 he was named the Academic Affairs Research Fellow in the Mike Curb College at CSUN.  In January of 2019 he served as artistic co-director of the ChamberFest @ CSUN 2019 Chamber Music Festival.  In the summer of 2019 he was a resident at the Brahmshouse in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Dmitry Rachmanov is a Steinway Artist.

NAMIL SULTANOV

NAMIL SULTANOV

Namik Sultanov is well-known as a distinguished pianist and pedagogue with exceptional lyrical gifts and a distinctive performance style. Born in Baku, Azerbaijan,he showed extraordinary musical talent from a very early age. Playing violin and flute, he was a serious student of composition in his youth, composing more than 150 pieces that were featured at music school concerts. Although at that time a string student, he won first prize in the music school’s piano competition. At 12, deeply impressed by Van Cliburn’s stunning performance at the First Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, he began to self-study Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto. Practicing day and night, he soon played all three movements for Ahad Israfilzade, chief conductor of the Azerbaijan Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Israfilzade immediately asked him to play with the Philharmonic, and the triumphant concert was a big sensation in the musical life of this capital city.

After this success, the Azerbaijan government sponsored Namik at Russia’s most prestigious conservatory, Moscow’s Central Special Music School. He studied underProfessor Lev Naumov, a follower of the legendary Heinrich Neuhaus. Continuing his education under Professor Naumov’s supervision at the Moscow State Conservatory, he received his doctorate in performance in 1973. After eduation, he was invited to join the faculty of the Azerbaijan State Conservatory, soon appointed an associate professor with the added title “Honor Artist of the Azerbaijan Republic”.
Participating in numerous national festivals throughout Eastern Europe, Dr. Sultanov represented his country at International Music Festival in Moscow ,International Piano Festival in Istanbul , the International Music Festival in Mexico City and the International Music Festival in Germany.

He has performed in various concert venues including Great Hall of the Moscow Conseravatory, in San Francisco Bay Area, in New York City ( Carnegie Hall), Vancouver, Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul , Izmir, Ankara, Mexico City, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Tallinn, and Baku.

In 1991, Dr. Sultanov was invited to join the piano faculty of Turkey’s Bilkent University, where he chaired the Piano Department and was Vice Dean of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts. During his teaching years in Azerbaijan, Turkey, and the United States, he nurtured many students who have become winners and laureates in regional, national, and international piano competitions. In 1999, the Turkish Ministry of Culture formally recognized his distinguished teaching. Dr. Sultanov has been invited to erve on juries for national and international competitions and is sought for master classes in Europe, Canada, Mexico and USA . He recorded several CDs. Currently, he holds a faculty position in San Jose State University, California, USA .

ELLEN WASSERMANN

ELLEN WASSERMANN

Ellen Wassermann began studying piano with her father, Irving Wassermann. She studied at Juilliard with Eduard Steuermann and with John Perry at Oberlin College where she received her Bachelor of Music degree.  Ms. Wassermann received a Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory where she was a student of Leon Fleisher, and served as staff accompanist and vocal coach.  She has won numerous competitions including first prize in the Mason-Hamlin Competition and first prize in the William Kapell International Piano Competition.

She is very active in the Bay Area in both solo and chamber recitals, and is currently principal pianist with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.  Professor Wassermann was a member of the Music Department faculty at California State University, East Bay from 1972  until her retirement in 2014.  She currently has a large studio of private piano students.

ROGER WOODWARD

ROGER WOODWARD

Roger Woodward is widely regarded as belonging to the highest echelon of pianists and performs at venues such as: the Sydney and La Scala Opera Houses, Hollywood Bowl, Tiananmen Square, Odéon of the Herodes Atticus, Gulbenkian Gardens Lisbon, Royal Albert Hall London and at major international concert halls at the invitation of Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Witold Rowicki et al; with the New York, Los Angeles, Beijing, Israel and Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestras, Cleveland Orchestra, five London Orchestras, London Mozart Players, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris among others.

He performed at over one hundred festivals on five continents including the BBC Promenade Concerts London, Festival d'automne à Paris, La Biennale di Venezia, Wien Modern, Edinburgh Festival, Warszawska Jesień, Music Today Festival Tokyo, Festival de la Roque d'Anthéron, and at the invitation of Sviatoslav Richter, at the Festival de la Grange de Meslay, Touraine.

The artist was awarded many distinguished honors and prizes, notably: Chevalier dans l’ordre des arts et des lettres, Knight of the Order of Brefni. He is recipient of the Polish Order of Merit, Polish Solidarity award by the citizens of Gdańsk, Polish Gloria Artis (gold class) and of the Order of the British Empire. He is a Companion of the Order of Australia and designated National Living Treasure by Australia’s National Trust.

His recordings won wide critical acclaim, most recently, for his recording of the Bach 48 Preludes and Fugues, award of the Goethe prize, Preis der Deutschen Scallplattenkritik, Diapason d’or, France and Ritmo prize, Spain. Legendary recordings of repertoire by JS Bach, Debussy, Barraqué, Xenakis, Feldman, Takemitsu, Otte, Shostakovich and Sitsky are widely regarded as the most outstanding in their field.

Roger Woodward first studied piano with Winifred Pope in Sydney, organ, harpsichord and church music with Kenneth Long, Master of Music at the St Andrew’s Cathedral and piano with Alexander Sverjensky (a pupil of Sergei Rakhmaninov and Alexander Glazunov( at the Sydney Conservatorium then at the National Chopin Academy of Music Warsaw, with Zbigniew Drzewiecki. He was Chair of Music at the University of New England and Founding Chair of the School of Music and Dance, San Francisco State University where he is currently, keyboard professor. He is published by HarperCollins and the Pendragon and Greenway Press, gives master classes worldwide and participates on the juries of international piano competitions.

GRACE YU

GRACE YU

After graduating and receiving her BA in Music from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Grace Yu joined the Shanghai Conservatory's faculty as an assistant professor. She then went on and receive her MA at the Winthrop University School of Music in South Carolina. Grace continued her studies at Boston's Longy School of Music, where she focused on chamber music. In 1993, she joined the San Francisco Community Music Center's Piano Department faculty and has been teaching there ever since. Grace has also held positions as the MTAC Certificate of Merit Chair for Alameda Branch and State VOCE Chair North. She is currently on the MTAC CM Council as the Piano Panel Regional North Coordinator. Besides teaching and overseeing various programs, Grace also enjoys her time as a pianist for CCUMC, a local church.

String

HARABBA ATLADOTTIR

HARABBA ATLADOTTIR

Hrabba Atladottir is an Icelandic violinist based in the Bay Area, California, where she appears frequently as a soloist and chamber musician.

After finishing her studies at the University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany, she worked with the Deutsche Oper and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and she also spent a few years in New York City, working with the Metropolitan Opera and several other ensembles and orchestras.

Hrabba has a strong passion for new music, and enjoys interacting with composers, bringing their works to life. Hrabba is a Violin Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley.

LARISA ELISHA

LARISA ELISHA

Russian-American violinist, Larisa Elisha, is an internationally acclaimed soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue, having performed and taught extensively throughout Russia, Poland, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Holland, Norway, Taiwan, Lithuania, Israel and the United States. Dr. Elisha was the Concertmaster of the Witold Lutoslawski State Philharmonic, Principal Violinist of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra and Artistic Director and First Violinist of the Wratislavia String Quartet. She was Professor of Violin, Chamber Music and Pedagogy at the K. Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw, Poland.

Dr. Elisha has performed recitals at prestigious European chamber music festivals that include International Festival Wratislavia Cantans and Contemporary Music Festival Musica Polonica Nova in Wroclaw, Poland, Draeseke’s Festival in Germany, Gioventi Musicale d’Italia in Bergamo, Wieniawski Festival in Poland and the Mozart Festival in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has performed at the Concertgebouw, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Karajan Hall of the Berlin Philharmonie, and has made numerous CD, radio and television recordings. Her solo performances of the Shostakovich Violin concerto with the Wroclaw Philharmonic and Koszalin Symphony Orchestras, solo recitals in Krakow and at the Wieniawski Festival in Szczawno Zdroj (Poland) drew critical acclaim.

Dr. Elisha was Violin Artist-in-Residence at Washburn University and Concertmaster of the Topeka Symphony Orchestra. As Concertmaster of the Wichita Grand Opera, she performed featured solos with Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo and Joyce DiDonato. Dr. Elisha is heard regularly in solo and chamber music performances, including Summit, Sunflower and other national and international music festivals. Larisa Elisha is the Violinist and Co-founder of the Elaris Duo with Cellist, Steven Elisha. The Duo performs extensively nationally and internationally. As winners of the prestigious Global Music Award for MSR- Classics Releases DUO VIRTUOSO II (2018) and  DUO VIRTUOSO (2020), the Elaris Duo has received critical acclaim and was featured in Fanfare, Gramophone, American Record Guide, Atlanta Audio Society, Malcolm Tattersall’s “Music & Vision,” Turok’s Choice and BBC Music.

As a master teacher, performer and clinician, Dr Elisha frequently presents lectures and Master Classes at national and international festivals, conferences, universities, including the Jerusalem Academy of Music, University of Haifa, Summit Music Festival, Charleston International Music School Summer Festival, Lithuania Music and Theatre Academy, National Taiwan University of the Arts, American String Teachers Association, Georgia Music Teachers Association and College Music Society. Continuing the tradition of Russian violinist David Oistrakh and Yuri Yankelevich, she holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Belarus State Academy of Music in Minsk, where she was a student and Teaching Assistant of Professor Olga Parkhomienko, one of Oistrakh’s noted protégés. Larisa Elisha earned her Doctorate degree at the K. Lipinski Academy of Music in Wroclaw.

Currently, she is Professor of Music and Coordinator of Upper String Studies at Georgia Southern University

HENRY GRONNIER

HENRY GRONNIER

Henry Gronnier, is a founding member and the First violinist of the Rossetti String Quartet. Early musical studies took place at the Conservatoire in his native town of Saint Quentin, France, where he was awarded the Premier Prix in both piano and violin. He attended the Conservatoire National de Region de Versailles, receiving the Gold  Medal in the class of Madeleine Thuillier Deverge and continued with Michèle Auclair of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. He concluded his studies with Nell Gotkovsky, Sally Thomas & Zino Francescatti.

Mr. Gronnier has appeared throughout the world in recitals, including his New York debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and his London debut at Wigmore Hall. As a soloist with orchestra and in chamber music ensembles, he has appeared at a number of the world’s most prestigious festivals including the “Festival of Two Worlds”, Spoleto (both in Italy and Charleston, South Carolina), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Mostlty Mozart at Lincoln Center (NY), Caramoor (NY), Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), and the Festival de San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), with such artists as Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Rina Dokshitsky, Gautier Capucon, Lukas Foss, Pepe Romero, Paula Robison, Eugenia Zukerman, Patrice Fontanarosa, Chantal Juillet, Carter Brey, among others.

Henry Gronnier was an Associate Professor of Violin and Director of Chamber Music at University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music (USC) until the Spring 2014. He is the chair of the string department and on the faculty at the Academy and Colburn School for the performing arts in Los Angeles, Bob Cole Conservatory at Calstate Long Beach and on the Advisory Board of the Rocky Mountain Ballet Theater.

ANNA KRUGER

ANNA KRUGER

Anna Kruger, a native of Columbus, GA, is Associate Principal Viola for the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, Principal Viola for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and viola professor at CSUS Sacramento. As founding violist of the Lark Quartet from 1985 through 1998, she toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, to Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Mexico, Canada, and Russia.  Among many competition prizes awarded the Lark were the Gold Medal in the 1991 Shostakovitch International String Quartet Competition and the 1990 Naumburg Chamber Music Award. In 1998, the Quartet's commission and premiere of a work by Aaron Jay Kernis won the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Highlights of Ms. Kruger's seasons with the Lark include performances at the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria at the invitation of Gidon Kremer, the Beethoven Festival at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, (under the direction of Sviatoslav Richter), Lyon's Musicades Festival in France, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival in Northern Germany, and Mexico's Festival de Musica de Camera.  Major centers where she has performed include NY's Lincoln Center, the National Gallery and Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, St. Paul's Ordway Theater, San Francisco's Herbst Theater, and in the cities of Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Houston, Honolulu, Chicago, Atlanta, and Indianapolis.  She has concertized abroad in the major cities of London, Paris, Basel, Stockholm, Munich, Hamburg, Vienna, Shanghai, St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Teaching residencies with the Lark Quartet include positions as Quartet-in-residence at Ohio University, Dartmouth College, Florida State University, Florida Atlantic University, and San Diego State University.

Previous to the Lark Quartet, Anna played for two years as principal violist of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Kruger received her Bachelor's Degree with High Distinction from Indiana University and her Master's Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

JOANNA LEE

JOANNA LEE

Violinist Joanna Lee has performed throughout Korea, Japan, China, Europe, and the United States in significant venues such as the KKL in Luzern, the JT Art Hall in Tokyo, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. She was a soloist with the Suwon Symphony and has been invited to prestigious festivals such as the Verbier Festival, La Jolla Music Society, Kuhmo Festival, and the Mozarteum Summer Academy. A prizewinner from a number of competitions, Ms. Lee holds first prizes from the Padova International Competition, Korea Times Competition, Utah Chamber Music Competition, and the Beverly Hills Consortium. She was a recipient of multiple scholarships such as the Colburn Foundation Scholarship and the Fritz-Gerber Scholarship.
As a chamber and orchestral musician, Ms. Lee is active in the greater Los Angeles area and abroad. She was awarded the first prize in the International Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso in London and fourth prize at the Schoenfeld International String Competition this past summer in Harbin, China. She is a founding member of the piano quartet Los Angeles Ensemble, which performs primarily in the Los Angeles area, and also coordinated the Korea-
Japan Chamber Music Tour, which took place in three cities in Korea and Japan. In addition to her recent position as Principal Second Violinist of the Redland Symphony, she is a member of the Pacific Symphony. Also a devoted educator, Ms. Lee was Visiting Lecturer at Scripps College and is currently on the faculty at the Colburn Community School of Music of Performing Arts.
Born into a musical family, Joanna Lee began playing the violin at the age of six. She attended the University of Music in Basel, Switzerland and the University of Vienna, where she completed her studies with distinction under the guidance of Adelina Oprean and Dora Schwarzberg. During this time, she also received close musical guidance from Mikyung Lee and Ikhwan Bae. Joanna holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (Phi Kappa Lambda), where she studied under the tutelage of Margaret Batjer on a full scholarship. Her areas of concentration were Sacred Music, Jazz, and Baroque Violin.

CHIN KIM

CHIN KIM

Mr. Kim is international violin soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and pedagogue, performing as soloist with orchestras such as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and with both South and North Korean orchestras which is unheard of for a South Korean born American, with conductors Leonard Slatkin, Gerhardt Albrecht, Ianzug Kakhitzhe, and Myung Whun Chung. Praised by the critics with comments such as "Literally brought the audience to its feet" (The Strad, London), "A gorgeous, lush tone" (The Washington Post), "Great flair and brilliance" (Strings), "Transcendent technical control" (L'Independant, France), "Gracefully lyrical...Infectious warmth throughout" (Gazette, Montreal), Recently Mr. Kim performed the Paganini Concerto with the Cape Philharmonic in South Africa, the Mendelssohn Concerto with the Symphony of the Americas, gave recitals in New York, Florida, and Washington. He also performs, gives master classes, and teaches at the Green Mountains Chamber Music Festival, the International Academy of Music Festival, and the Summit Music Festival to name a few.

In 2017, Mr. Kim substituted for a soloist in one day’s notice in the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Ureuk Symphony, and was re-invited to the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Laureate series to give recital. Gave master classes and performances, at the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, and the Summit Music Festival. In 2019, Mr. Kim completed hugely successful 18 city recital tour of China

Winner of major and top prizes at numerous prestigious international violin competitions including the Concours Musical International Reine Elisabeth de Belgique (Brussels, Belgium), Concourse International de Montréal (Canada), Premio Paganini International Violin Competition (Genoa, Italy), and International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (USA). Mr. Kim's versatility keeps him as one of the most sought after of violinists with concertos, recitals, chamber music, master classes, and with teaching. He is/was on the violin and chamber music faculty at the Mannes College of Music New York, the Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music, the CUNY Graduate center Doctoral program, and at the Columbia University Teacher’s College.

Mr. Kim's CDs of the Tchaikovsky, Glazunov, Prokofiev 2nd Concertos, and the Prokofiev Sonata No. 2 (conductor Paul Freeman,with orchestras St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, and with pianist David Oei) have been released by ProArte/Intersound to high critical acclaim "Performing each with consummate technical ease, attractive tone, and an excellent lyrical sense" (Stereophile), "Fully in command of his instrument and musically assertive. The Sonata is a superior example of perceptive chamber music collaboration" (Billboard), "Kim's rich, golden tone is a real treat...no doubt many great singers would envy Kim's lovingly phrased and songful performance...easy recommendation" (American Record Guide). The Starr-Kim-Boeckheler Piano Trio (with pianist Susan Starr, cellist Ulrich Boeckheler) released the Mendelssohn Piano Trio in c minor, and the Tchaikovsky Piano Trio in a minor with the Mastersound/Allegro.

Graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, and subsequently from the Juilliard School, he was awarded the D.M.A. degree, the Petscheck award, the Kreisler award, and the Concerto Soloist award. Mr. Kim was awarded the Nan-Pa award from Korea, highest of honors given to a Korean-born musician.  His teachers include Ivan Galamian, Dorothy DeLay, Josef Gingold, Jascha Brodsky, Felix Galimir, Sally Thomas, KyungWha Chung, among others, and also studied Shenkerian Analysis with Dr. Carl Schachter, and Bach with Edward Aldwell.

Vocal

MILENA GEORGIEVA BACH

MILENA GEORGIEVA BACH

Milena Georgieva Bach is founder and artistic director of Bach-Millennium Music. Miss Georgieva made her operatic debut in Europe and performed roles in Aida, La Boheme, Tosca, Il Trovatore, Tannhäuser and others in France, Italy, Germany and Bulgaria. Miss Georgieva is a regular soloist in the San Francisco Bay Area, performing opera and oratorio repertoire. Performances include roles in Der Freischutz, Der Rosenkavalier, Il Trovatore, Suor Angelica, Il Tabarro and others. Concert work includes Messa da Requiem by Verdi, Te Deum by Dvořák, 9th Symphony by Beethoven, War Requiem by Britten, Lobgesang by Mendelssohn and solo recitals. Milena Georgieva Bach holds Master’s and Professional Studies diplomas from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Bachelor’s diploma from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. Miss Georgieva is founder of Association Opera Sofia, a performing non-profit organization in Bulgaria and has previously worked as program director for BASOTI, a San Francisco based non-profit. Milena Georgieva Bach is an active teacher and adjudicator.

GARABEDIAN EDNA

GARABEDIAN EDNA

Dramatic Mezzo Soprano Stage Director CEO California Opera Association

Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano Edna Garabedian has performed to critical and popular acclaim in the United States, and throughout South America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. She is best known for her numerous performances of the roles of Amneris, Carmen, Eboli, Santuzza, Azucena and Kostelnicha and Suzuki. Gian Carlo Menotti , hailed Ms. Garabedian for her presentations of Mother, Agatha, and Baba in his productions of Amahl and the Night Visitors, Mari Golovin,The Medium

Ms. Garabedian made her professional debut in the role Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with the New York City Opera where she was also featured in Julius Caesar and Tales of Hoffman. Soon thereafter, she performed leading roles with the San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Houston Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, Baltimore Opera, Kansas City Lyric Opera, Buffalo Opera, Spoletto Festival, Edmonton Opera, Virginia Opera, Florentine Opera, and Portland Opera. Abroad, Ms. Garabdeian was a frequent leading artist at Stuttgart Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Karlsruhe Opera, Nurnburg Opera, Kassel Opera , Staatsoper Bonn, and Munich Opera.

Ms. Garabedian won the first place title of several prestigious awards including Weyerhauser Awards, Sullivan Awards, Rockefeller Awards, and awards from the Metropolitan Opera and Baltimore Opera Auditions. In 1970, Ms. Garabedian was the Gold Medalist in the 4th Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Russia. Most recent awards include the 2012 Fresno County Women’s Lawyers Hall of Fame, 2011 Spirit of Compassion, 2010 Horizon for Outstanding Performing Artists, Top 10 Professional Women in Business, the Roosevelt Achievement Award, among many others.

As a vocal pedagogue, Ms. Garabedian traveled extensively throughout South America concertizing and training artists at the International Music Institute of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She held the distinction of Chair of Voice and Opera for University of Connecticut, University of the Pacific, and Bowling Green State University. She has served as Professor of Voice on the Faculty of Northern Illinois University, California State University of Fresno, American University, and San Francisco State University. Her private voice students have gone on to claim top prizes in opera and perform at Teatro alla Scala and the Metropolitan Opera of New York, Broadway Touring Companies , among others. Recently, Ms. Garabedian is hailed with great success in China, training Artists for the Hangzhou Music Association. She participated in the development of Western opera for Hangzhou Opera and the opera program of Taiwan.

Ms. Garabedian was Deputy Stage Director for Raffa Productions “cast-of-a-thousand” European touring production of Aida that featured noted opera stars; Leontyne Price, Grace Bumbry, and Raina Kabaivanska. Ms. Garabedian has directed over 100 productions throughout the United States and Asia, and supports the furtherance of contemporary composers and compositions. In 1999, Ms. Garabedian founded the Fresno International Grand Opera and in 2000, the California Opera Association, a full-production, Summer Arts and Education Program for aspiring and emerging young artists based in Fresno, California. Currently, Ms. Garabedian is training artists worldwide in career development, voice lessons and therapy, stage directing, and is CEO / Artistic Director of California Opera Association. With distinction and honor, Ms. Garabedian served as an adjudicator in Montalto Uffogo, Italy for the Ruggero Leoncavallo Voice Competition, Aug, 2018, and will joined the Opera San Luis Obispo as stage director for The Magic Flute following successful productions of Madame Butterfly and Oklahoma . Forth coming productions scheduled in 2020/21 will include Norma, Madame Butterfly, Pagliacci, Gianni Schicchi, and Suor Angelica.

Edna.garabedian@comcast.net 7101 North Monte Avenue Fresno , California 93711 559-213-7622

SCHARLACH JACQUE WILSON

SCHARLACH JACQUE WILSON

Vocal/ Jacque Wilson Scharlach
is hailed as a “passionate singer with beautiful warm tones”. She has more than fifteen years of teaching experience including three years spent as voice faculty at the University of Southern Maine. She is currently on the voice faculty of West Valley College and San Jose State University, as well as maintaining an active private vocal studio. She is an active member of NATS and is currently the Vice President for Singing Festivals-San Francisco Bay Area Chapter.

Jacque holds a Master’s degree in opera performance from The Boston Conservatory and a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge. She has appeared with numerous orchestras and choruses across the country including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Opera and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. She has performed to great renowned on both coasts in opera and musical theatre. Some of her favorite roles include: Meg Page(Falstaff), Meg(Little Women), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Julie Jordan (Carousel), Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), and Pitti Sing(The Mikado). She believes in teaching a bel canto technique to all her students whether they are singing classical, musical theatre, or jazz.

Cello

YI-BING CHU

YI-BING CHU

In 1986 Chu Yi-Bing was prize winner at the 42nd Concours International d’Exécution Musicale in Geneva, after graduating with a Premier Prix from Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique à Paris in France where he studied under the tutelage of Maurice Gendron. He was the first Chinese cellist ever to win a prize in a major international Cello competition. He served as principal cellist in Basel Symphony Orchestra, Switzerland between 1989-2004, Chu Yi-Bing was also guest principal cellist of Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra  in Munich, Germany.

Chu Yi-Bing was appointed as cello professor and head of the cello department at the CCOM in Beijing, where he taught between 2004 and 2018. He founded the Chu Yi-Bing Cello Ensemble with his students, the first Cello Ensemble in China, playing countless concerts in a number of diverse cities and provinces, schools, colleges and universities. Chu Yi-Bing founded the SuperCello festival in Beijing, 2016. SuperCello is the premier cello festival in China. Every year it is attended by hundreds cellists including a number of world leading performers.

Chu Yi-Bing was born in Beijing, China in 1966. His father Chu Yong-Ning, Cellist, and mother Wang Yao-Ling, pianist, were both professors at the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM) in Beijing, China.

ELISHA STEVEN

ELISHA STEVEN

“in the front ranks of his generation’s musicians” - Janos Starker
“above all else, Elisha’s playing is the voice of candor. It is honest and enthusiastic. He courageously takes chances, decidedly unwilling to hide behind conventional musical gestures” - The New Haven Register
“a flexibly nuanced, burnished tone… Lightning-swift left hand and deft bow arm”
- New York Concert Review
Internationally acclaimed cellist, Steven Elisha, has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, Norway, China, Taiwan, Brazil, Israel and the United States. He first attracted attention at the age of fifteen when he gave solo performances with the Albany and Schenectady (New York) Symphonies. Elisha’s New York debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and premiere performance of Cry of the Dove (a cello concerto written by his sister, Adrienne Elisha) received critical acclaim. As an honorary member and returned guest of the Beijing Cello Society, he has extensively toured mainland China, performing recitals and teaching master classes at the Shanghai, Canton, Xian, Jinan and Beijing conservatories. Featured solo appearances have included the Beijing Central Philharmonic and Symphonies of Beijing, Xian, Jinan, and Canton, Toledo Symphony, Connecticut Chamber Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Topeka Symphony, Gulf Coast Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony and Highland Park Strings. Formerly, Director of String Studies at Washburn University, Principal Cellist of the Topeka Symphony, and Conductor of the Topeka Symphony Youth Orchestra, Elisha was also the Artistic Director/ Conductor of the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra. Dr. Elisha regularly gives master classes, workshops and residencies throughout the United States, including his fun-loving and innovative “Mr. Cello Stories” program for audiences of all ages. Elisha frequently presents worksh ps, teaches and performs at national and
international festivals, conferences and summer music programs, including the Summit Music Festival, Sunflower Music Festival, Washington Square Music Festival,
Charleston International Music School, Omaha Conservatory Summer Institute, College Music Society and American String Teachers National Conference. Elisha is the Regional Representative of the American String Teachers Association Georgia Chapter. Elisha is co-founder and cellist of the Elaris Duo, with violinist Larisa Elisha. As a recording artist, Elisha is heard on a Grammy-nominated Musical Heritage Society recording of New England piano trios, Yale Cellos of Aldo Parisot on Delos and Duo Virtuoso on MSR-Classics. Just released at MSR-Classics, DUO VIRTUOSO II – Works for Violin and Cello by Honegger, Ravel and Schulhoff, has received high praise in reviews appearing in Fanfare Magazine, Gramophone American Record Guide and other leading
music publications. Elisha was featured in Fanfare Magazine, and winner of the Global Music Awards for DUO VIRTUOSO and DUO VIRTUOSO II. Currently, Dr. Elisha is Professor of Music, Director of Strings and Director of Orchestras at Georgia Southern University.

GELFAND PETER

GELFAND PETER

Peter Gelfand Biography

Between the years 1985 and 2017, Peter Gelfand served as Principal Cellist with the San Jose Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the San Jose Ballet Orchestra and the Monterey County Symphony Orchestra.

During that time, he performed often as the Guest Principal Cellist with the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Modesto Symphony, and as a member of the St. Louis Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony.

Mr. Gelfand received his undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Indiana University School of Music, where he studied with legendary cellist Janos Starker.

In 2008, Mr. Gelfand was honored with the City of San Jose’s first ever “Champions of Arts Education” Award.  He is the founder and director of a project called pARTners in Arts and Health, an organization that strives to integrate all manner of the Arts into all facets of healthcare.

Mr. Gelfand has served on the music faculties at Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory. He has been a member of the music faculty at Santa Clara University since 1993, and at San Jose State University since 2013.

Mr. Gelfand currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors with the California Music Center, the host organization and presenter of the highly regarded Irving M. Klein International String Competition, as a Trustee with the Ira F. Brilliant Center for Beethoven Studies, and as a County Commissioner with the Santa Clara County-Province of Florence, Italy, Sister County Commission.

Windwoods

MARA PLOTKIN

MARA PLOTKIN

Clarinetist Mara Plotkin, enjoys an active career as an orchestral, chamber, recording musician, and author. Mara has performed in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Four Seasons Centre, Massey Hall, and Glenn Gould Studio. She performs regularly with San Francisco Bay Area’s Freeway Philharmonic orchestras such as Opera San Jose, Oakland Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, and Monterey Symphony Orchestra. Recent chamber music performances include playing approximately 100 concerts in San Francisco Symphony’s educational program Adventures in Music in woodwind quartet Solo Vento and was guest clarinetist with the Pacific Arts Wind Quintet. Mara’s two volume book The Ballet Orchestra Clarinetist will be published this summer.

Mara was a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Wyoming and the University of the Pacific. She has taught private clarinet lessons for over ten years and has a private clarinet studio where she works with an array of students between the ages of 10 and 75. With a background in dance, Pilates, and Yoga, Mara presents her workshop Movement for Musicians to musicians all over the Bay Area in order to encourage healthy body biomechanics, career longevity, and minimize injury.

Mara holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Toronto where she studied on full scholarship with Joaquin Valdepeñas and dedicated her research to the interpretation of orchestral ballet excerpts for clarinet. She received a Master of Music degree and Professional Studies Diploma from Mannes College of Music in New York City where she studied with Stephen Williamson and David Krakauer. Mara received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific where she studied with Patricia Shands.

GINGER KROFT

GINGER KROFT

Ginger Kroft, clarinetist, is an active orchestral and chamber musician in the San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Kroft is a faculty member at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Santa Clara University. She is Principal Clarinet of Carmel Bach Festival and Sacramento Philharmonic, and is a member of the Oakland Symphony. She regularly performed with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra for six seasons. In the chamber world, Ms. Kroft has collaborated with ensembles such as Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, the ADORNO ensemble, Bridge Players, Avenue Winds, and the Worn Chamber Ensemble.

Ms. Kroft is a Vandoren International Artist and performs on M15 mouthpieces and Traditional reeds. Ms. Kroft is a frequent lecturer and was a featured speaker at the 2020 CAPMT State Convention. She regularly adjudicates music competitions and coaches at Chamber Music of Northern California. An education advocate, she has served on the Board of Directors for Music Teachers’ Association of California and MTNA-CAPMT. Ms. Kroft maintains a private teaching studio, ClarinetStudio.org. She holds degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University, with distinction.