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Selection Jury

Gabriel Kwok

Gabriel Kwok

Baruch Meir

Eugene Indjic

Wojciech Świtała

Wojciech Switala

 

Gabriel Kwok

Gabriel Kwok was born in Hong Kong and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Guy Jonson and later with Louis Kentner in London. He has been Head of Keyboard Studies at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts since 1989. A Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, he is Visiting Professor at the Shenzhen Arts School, Xian Conservatory of Music, Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Wuhan Conservatory of Music and China Conservatory of Music in China. He has served on the faculty of the Cliburn Piano Institute (USA), International Institute for Young Musicians (USA), Colburn Academy Festival (USA), Art of the Piano (USA), Chetham’s International Piano Summer School (UK), Beijing International Music Festival and Academy (China), Beijing International Piano Festival (China), Shanghai International Piano Festival (China), Singapore International Piano Institute, Asia International Piano Academy and Festival (Korea), Kyungsung International Piano Academy (Korea) and Tel-Hai International Piano Master Classes (Israel).


He has given masterclasses at the Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Royal Academy of Music (London), Royal College of Music (London), Royal Northern College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Hannover Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Rotterdam Conservatorium, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Queensland Conservatorium of Music, University of Auckland, University of British Columbia, Carnegie Mellon University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Eastman School of Music, University of Kansas, Northwestern University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Peabody Institute, Roosevelt University, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Temple University, Texas Christian University and The Yale School of Music as well as classes in Taiwan, Singapore, Korea and Portugal.


Gabriel Kwok has been a jury member of many international competitions including the Asia Mozart Bicentenary, Rome, Vianna da Motta, Gina Bachauer, Hong Kong, China, Missouri Southern, Hilton Head, Minnesota Piano-e, Darmstadt Chopin, Japan PTNA, Rio de Janerio BNDES, Singapore Chopin, James Mottram, Asia Chopin and China Shenzhen International Piano Concerto Competition.


He was an Artist-in-Residence for Radio Television Hong Kong. He has collaborated with many distinguished artists in concerts, among whom were Pierre Amoyal, Alexander Ballie, Siegfried Behrend, Alan Civil, Eugene Fodor, Lu Siqing, Albert Markov, Yuri Mazurkevich, Clarence Myerscough, Roberta Peters, Qian Zhou, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Jenny Ren, Aaron Rosand, Nathaniel Rosen, Rohan de Saram, Hansjoerg Schellenberger, Jeffrey Solow, Leon Spierer, Richard Stolzman, Wang Jian and Xue Wei. In 2014, Professor Kwok was awarded Medal of Honour from the Hong Kong Government for his contribution to piano education in Hong Kong.

 

Baruch Meir

Pianist Baruch Meir is one of only 65 artists worldwide named Bösendorfer Concert Artist since the founding of the company in 1828. Meir has performed extensively in Austria, Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Serbia and throughout the United States. Meir has recently presented recitals at the Bösendorfer Saal, Vienna, Austria; Nixon Library, LA; Bauman Auditorium, Newberg, Oregon (Bösendorfer Concert Series), Dixon Hall, New Orleans; Wise Auditorium, Jerusalem; Bates Recital Hall, Austin; Murphy Hall, LA and at the Toujours Mozart Festival in Salzburg, Austria.


An associate professor of piano at the Arizona State University School of Music in the Herberger Institute, Meir maintains a busy teaching schedule in addition to his international concert career. In 2014 Meir toured China’s Shanghai Conservatory (which he also toured in 2005 and 2007), the Sichuan Conservatory and the middle schools affiliated with those schools, as well as Wenzhou University where he was awarded a Guest Professorship. He also taught in some of Koreas’ most reputable music schools and universities including Seoul National University, Yonsei, Kookmin, Hanyang, Sunhwa, Kyoungbook and Seoul Arts High School. Meir has given master classes at the Music Academy in Vienna, the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem, the Manhattan School of Music and various conservatories and universities in the United States.


A native of Israel, Meir is a summa cum laude graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University, where he earned bachelor and master degrees in piano performance. He holds the Artist Diploma from the Royal College of Music in London and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from ASU. His teachers include Rachel Gordon, Valter Aufheuser, Pnina Salzman, Michael Bugoslavsky, Irina Zaritskaya and Robert Hamilton. Meir’s distinctions include the American-Israel Cultural Foundation Awards, the British Council fellowship, 1st place at the Klatzkin Competition for contemporary piano music and the ASU concerto competition, and additional awards in piano competitions worldwide.


Meir is the founder, president and artistic director of the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competitions that is distinguished by its reputable jury that included Sergei Babayan, Ricardo Castro, Aleksandar Serdar, Alexander Korsantia and legendary pianist Martha Argerich.


At Arizona State University, Meir maintains a class of outstanding pianists from all over the world. His students were awarded top prizes in various competitions, including first prizes at the Schmindbauer International Competition, Yamaha USASU International Senior and Junior Competition for Young Pianists, Young Concert Artist International Competition, Washington International Piano Artists Competition, as well as winners at the ASU Concert of Soloists Concerto Competition (most recently two of his students won the 2014 competition). Meir also frequently adjudicate in various competitions and festivals worldwide including the international competition Isidor Bajic Piano Memorial in Serbia, the Russian Music Festival and Competition in Vancouver, Pasnter Letamid national piano competition in Israel (2009-2014), among others. In summers Meir teaches at the Schelrn international music festival in Italy.

 

Wojciech Świtała

WOJCIECH ŚWITAŁA - is a graduate of the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice, where he studied with Professor Józef Stompel. In 1991-1996 he continued his studies under the guidance of Professors Karl-Heinz Kàmmerling, André Dumortier and Jean-Claude Vanden-Eynden. He is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including Bardolino (First Prize), the Long-Thibaud Competition in Paris (Second Grand Prix, audience prize and prize for the best European participant) and the Montreal Piano Competition. He received an award for the best interpretation of a polonaise, as well as several other prizes at the 12th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 1990.

Foreign tours have taken him to most European countries as well as Argentina, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, Libya, the USA and Canada. He has performed with the majority of Polish symphony orchestras (including Sinfonia Varsovia, Amadeus, the Kraków Philharmonic and the Silesian Philharmonic), under the baton of such conductors as Agnieszka Duczmal, Jan Krenz, Tadeusz Strugała, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach, Krzysztof Missona, Jerzy Katlewicz, Mirosław Błaszczyk and Tomasz Bugaj. In addition to solo performances, he has developed a career in chamber music, appearing with the violinist Szymon Krzeszowiec, the Silesian Quartet, the Camerata Quartet, the Royal String Quartet and the Aukso Orchestra.

Wojciech Świtała has recorded many CDs, mainly of music by Liszt, Schumann and Chopin (including the Scherzi, Walzes, and Rondos as part of the National Edition series). In 2000 and 2005 his discs were awarded the Grand Prix du Disque Frederic Chopin and in 2002 he received the Fryderyk Award of the Polish recording industry. In 2003, Świtała recorded both books of Debussy's Preludes for the BeArTon label and joined Szymon Krzeszowiec in the recording of the complete violin sonatas of Brahms for SONY Music Polska. His discography also includes works by Juliusz Zarębski (for BeArTon, recorded with the Royal String Quartet in Super Audio CD technology, 2006), Chopin's Preludes, Op. 28 and the Andante spianato and Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22 (recorded for the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute on an 1848 Pleyel piano and an 1849 Erard piano, 2007) and Szymanowski's works for piano and violin (recorded with Piotr Pławner for DUX, the Fryderyk Award in 2009).

In 2010, the pianist recorded the complete collection of Chopin's songs with Ewa Iżykowska. The material was published in Blu-ray format by the National Centre of Culture as part of their collection. His latest recording is of the Ballades, both on modern piano and historic Pleyel fortepiano (published by the National Fryderyk Chopin Institute, 2012).

Since 1998, Wojciech Świtała has also pursued a teaching career. He is currently a Professor at the Piano Department. Between 2008 and 2012 he served a term as vice-rector of didactics and education. In September 2012, he became Head of the Piano Department. He was jury member at such competitions as: 66th International M. Long and J. Thibaud Piano Competition in Paris (2009), The National Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2007, 2008, 2011,2012), The International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz (2010), The International Chopin Piano Competition in Singapore (2010) as well as competitions for scholarships of the Yamaha Foundation and EPTA. He will be a jury member at the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (2015).