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Teachers/Amateurs Participants

     Teachers Performers

Kristi BakerKristi Baker

Virginia BigelowVirginia Bigelow

Susan GrovesBobbi Goodman

Susan GrovesSusan Groves

Changxin Guan Changxin Guan

Hyeyeon JungHyeyeon Jung

Fredericka KingFredericka King

Juan LiHyekyung Lee

Marian Lee Marian Lee

Keji Lu Keji Lu

May Phang May Phang

Xing Rong Xing Rong

Anne Russell Anne Russell

Michael Schneider Michael Schneider

 

 

 

 

 

   Amateurs Performers

Frederick_Akalin

Frederick Akalin

Michael Brounoff

Michael Brounoff

Henri Delbeau

Henri Delbeau

Gerald Finkel

Gerald Finkel

Joel Goodman

Joel Goodman

Mari Ito

Mari Ito

Adrienne Johnson

Adrienne Stankey - Johnson

Chizuko Lobbia

Chizuko Lobbia

Larry Long

Larry Long

José Mauro Peixoto

José Mauro Peixoto

Gerrit Pronske

Gerrit Pronske

Stanley Sisskin

Stanley Sisskin

Mark Spurrier

Mark Spurrier

Utako Tanigawa

Utako Tanigawa

Wei Ling Wang

Wei Ling Wang

Graeme_Wilkinson

Graeme Wilkinson

 

 

 

   Amateurs Active Observers with Concerto

Mayen_Akpan

Mayen Akpan

Darren_Lee

Darren Lee

John_Nees

John Nees

Joann_Oh

Joann Oh

Joel Goodman

Yoko Taruki

Margaret Verhey

Margaret Verhey

Kristi Baker

Kristi Baker

Kristi Baker Piano Studio
Topeka, Kansas

Kristi Baker holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Kansas State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from the University of Kansas.  Her primary teachers were Mrs. Charlene Cox, Dr.  Robert Steinbauer, and Prof. Richard Reber.  Having taken her very first piano student in 1971, at the age of thirteen, she has produced many successful and award winning pianists.  She spent five and a half years at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas as Adjunct Professor of Piano, and in 2011 she closed out a successful thirty-two year career as a public school music educator.   In 2009, the Music Teachers’ National Association recognized Dr. Baker as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, a distinction which she still holds.

Throughout her career, she has been in demand as a solo and collaborative artist, guest clinician and festival adjudicator.  She continues to give workshops and master classes to teachers and students throughout Kansas, including a recent workshop on memorization and performance practice at Washburn University in Topeka and lecture-performances on György Ligeti and Robert Schumann at Emporia and Kansas State Universities.

Dr. Baker’s many performance credits include nine tours of Europe as a singer, conductor, collaborative artist and solo pianist.  She made her conducting debut with the Topeka Symphony Orchestra in December of 2012 and will make her first appearance at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia in June 2015.             

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Virginia Bigelow

Virginia Bigelow

Ginny's SOS Piano Studio
Walnut Creek, California

Virginia Bigelow grew up in a home with lots of laughter, games, music playing and singing. Her mother played violin in the Corpus Christi Symphony as well as in ensembles, and her father regularly played his own piano arrangements of current popular songs. So Ginny, as soon as she could sit at the piano, spent hours making up her own music. Formal lessons started in the 3rd grade with Agnes Weeks, continuing in high school with Marilyn Babel.
Being a flutist in the Ray High School band opened the door for Ginny the pianist, and shewas the one usually asked to accompany her friends on their various instruments. But Ginny did not plan to be a serious pianist when she went to college she wanted to be a band director. An inspiring teacher at Baylor changed that, and she switched to piano performance.

Ginny earned a Bachelor’s degree from Baylor and a Masters from the University of Houston both in performance. She then moved to Southern California, began teaching piano, took lessons from Earle Voorhies, met and married Mark (whose dowry was a Steinway Grand), moved to Walnut Creek, continued teaching, did occasional accompanying, and usually played a piano solo at the end of her students’ recitals. Then she met Lillian Cox.

Lillian arrived in Northern California’s Contra Costa County in the 1970’s with a Julliard background and strong emphasis on performing. To Ginny, Lillian Cox seemed like a Grand Dame. Soon after meeting her, Ginny had a vivid dream that if she wanted to be really good, she should study with Lillian Cox. Many things followed that chosen path learning concertos (performances with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, the Diablo Symphony, the Diablo Valley College concert band, and the Cantare con Vivo orchestra under David Morales), becoming a performing member of the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society and the Berkeley Piano Club, and taking many summer trips to perform and learn at International Workshops.

In 1986 Ginny won the teacher Grand Prize in the recording competition of the National Guild of Piano Teachers. In addition to private teaching from the 1970’s, she taught at Diablo Valley College from 1991 to 2012. Her private piano studio consists mainly of talented high school students who commit to a regular daily practice schedule and enjoy competing.

Choral singing was a favorite thing of the past. Now, when not playing the piano, teaching, or at some kind of music gathering; Ginny might be found on the golf course, or at her Zumba dancing class, or playing crazy card games with friends. Although it seems that piano teachers don’t ever retire, she looks forward to less work and more fun times!

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Susan Groves

Roberta Goodman

Private Piano Teacher
Carrollton, Texas

Bobbi Goodman holds her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she studied with the late Robert Prichard.  She has served on the piano faculty at Brookhaven College here in Dallas and at Glendale College in Los Angeles.  Her teachers in L.A. include Lillian Steuber, Aube Tzerko and Jakob Gimpel.  In 1974, she signed up to play in a Master Class given by Daniel Pollack, where she met her future husband, Joel Goodman (also playing in the class).  They married in 1977.
 
After this class, Bobbi studied privately with Daniel Pollack for six wonderful years before she and Joel and their toddler, Rachel, moved to Dallas as Joel began his research at UTSouthwestern Medical School.

In Dallas, Bobbi found that many teachers graduating from universities with Piano Performance degrees could play just about anything, but they confided in Bobbi that they really needed help in teaching the classics to their private students.  This gave Bobbi the idea of offering classes in her home for local teachers to study all aspects of Piano Pedagogy.  These classes met monthly from 1984 to 1993. There was an extensive cover article in the April, 2008 issue of Clavier magazine, entitled "Bobbi Goodman, Teacher of Teachers,"  which describes the classes and discusses a few classes in detail.

Bobbi has lived in Carrollton since moving to Texas and has been teaching piano privately in her home.  From 1984 to 1998, Bobbi served as a clinician and recitalist at the NPTI (National Piano Teachers’ Institute) and traveled all over the U.S.  giving programs for piano teacher groups on many different topics.

In 1998, Bobbi was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a disease similar to Arthritis, but it causes severe pain in the muscles and it affects the memory.  Bobbi was given medication for the pain, but the side effects of the medication made performing and giving programs for teacher groups almost impossible.

A few years ago, Bobbi finally decided that she missed her music so much that she made the decision to stop the sedating medications and return to full-time teaching and to working towards a return to performing and to giving classes.  She continues to give  programs for a few music teacher groups around Dallas.

Any spare time Bobbi has is spent with Joel, watching their very active grandaughter Violet and waiting for their new grandson to be born.

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Susan Groves

Susan Groves

Susan Groves Piano Studio
Austin, Texas

An active pianist and private piano teacher in Austin, Texas, Susan Groves comes from a long line of professional pianists, including her late father, University of Texas piano professor William Race, and her mother Katherine Race, who continues to teach and perform at age 88.  Susan was a prizewinner in several national competitions as well as soloist with several orchestras, including the Austin Symphony at age 12.  Principal teachers include Anton Kuerti, Danielle Martin, William Race and Nancy Garrett.  Followinv the completion of her doctorate at UT-Austin, Susan and her father formed the Race-Groves Duo, performing concerts throughout the US and China until his death in 1999.  Since then, since has given numerous performances in Austin and around Texas, both as a soloist and as chamber musician.  A devoted participant in Piano Texas since 2011, Susan was chosen to perform Mozart’s Piano Concerto #21 with the Ft. Worth Symphony during PianoTexas 2014. 


Susan Groves has maintained a large, award-winning private studio in Austin for 35 years and was twice voted Pre-Collegiate Teacher of the Year by the Austin District Music Teachers Association.  Her students have won many important competitions, including 1st place in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Corpus Christi, been featured on NPR’s From the Top, attended the Aspen Summer Institute, and received piano degrees from Juilliard, among other institutions. 

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Changxin Guan

Changxin Guan

China Conservatory of Music
Beijing, China

Recitalist and chamber music performer GUAN Changxin is one of the laureates at the 1992 China National Piano Competition and the 1st prize winner of the 8th Martin Memorial International Piano Competition. He graduated from Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China and earned master degree of music in piano performance from Texas Christian University in the USA. His main mentors and teachers include Dr. Tamas Ungar, Prof. YANG Jun and YING Shizhen. Currently associate Prof. of piano and coordinator of international exchange at the piano department, he has been invited to tour regularly nation-wide and overseas for recital series and collaboration of ensembles as well as giving lecture/presentations and master classes at different festivals, institutions and cities. Some of his students have earned prizes at national and international competitions and scholarships to further their study at some of the most prestigious institutions. Mr. Guan also adjudicates national and international competitions and co-founded the Beijing International Piano Festival, and the Colorado International Piano Academy at which he himself is also guest artist-in-residence. He teaches classes of Keyboard Music History and Outline of Piano Artistry, and has been voted by the students for several times for the honor of “Best Teacher” at the conservatory.

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Hyeyeon Jung

Hyeyeon Jung

University of Illinois
Urbana, Illinois

Dr. Hyeyeon Jung received a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and a Master degree in piano pedagogy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here prior musical training was at the Seoul National University and the Cleveland Institute of Music where she achieved BA, MM, and AD. While studying in Cleveland, she was named the recipient of the Dr. Joseph and Bess Scharff Leven Prize, William Kurzban Prize, and the Mu Phi Epsilon Rosa Lobe Collaborative Piano Award, described as “recognizing the highest level of artistic achievement”. She also received the prestigious Nancy Kennedy Wustman Memorial Award in Vocal Coaching at the University of Illinois.

As an outstanding soloist, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. She made her orchestral debut in 1998 with the Sunhwa Arts Symphony Orchestra. Thereafter, she appeared with Korean Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, she made her European debut at Rimsky-Korsakov Concert Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2009, she was invited to the Banff Music Centre in Alberta, Canada as an artist-in-residence working with the legendary Canadian pianist, Anton Kuerti. She has placed in various competitions including Seoul Music Competition, Taegu Broadcasting Corporation Competition, Korea Philharmonic Orchestra competition, Korean Music Society Competition the Seattle International Piano Competition, the American Protégé Concerto Competition, and the Southern Illinois Young Artist Competition.

During past summers, Ms. Jung actively has participated in numerous international music festivals where she also learned and performed a vast amount of chamber music repertoire. These festivals include Aspen, Bowdoin, San Francisco, Kent-Blossom, Music Alp à Courchevel in France, Salzburg Mozarteum Summer Academy in Austria, and Sydney Music Festival in Australia. She has been selected to perform in numerous master classes with internationally esteemed artists such as Robert McDonald, John Perry, Anton Kuerti, Richard Goode, Jerome Lowenthal, Ann Schein, and John O’Connor.

As a dedicated collaborative pianist and chamber musician, she has performed in many vocal recitals and chamber music concerts. One of her remarkable achievements in the collaborative area is performing the complete Brahms instrumental duo sonatas. Her influential chamber music coaches include members of the Cavani String Quartet at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Peter Salaff, a former member of the Cleveland String Quartet.

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Fredericka King

Fredericka King

New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School
Boston, Massachusetts

Fredericka King, pianist, made her debut at Carnegie Recital Hall and celebrated its 25th anniversary by performing there in February 2014. In addition to appearing in recital in the United States, Europe and South America, she has also been performed in Boston’s historic Jordan Hall, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, she has been the featured artist on television and public radio stations such as WGBH in Boston, WVPR in Vermont, and WGMS in the Washington, D.C. area. Her work has included appearances as soloist with several New England orchestras, and programs as soloist and collaborative artist at the National Gallery of Art, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, and the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Miss King performed numerous programs with the National Spiritual Ensemble as soloist and accompanist, touring throughout the United States. She is a founding member of the group La Femme, La Femme, dedicated to the performance of chamber and solo works by women composers. Recordings include a cd of solo and vocal works by American women titled  “Hooray for the Ladies!”with the group American Classics and chamber music by the African-English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor as a member of the Coleridge Ensemble. Her recitals feature works of Classical composers and also highlight the works of women, American, and African-American composers, as on her recording “A Born Pianist”.

Ms.King earned a Bachelor of Music degree at Boston Conservatory, a Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory and pursued doctoral studies at Boston University. She was awarded a Teaching Diploma by the Royal College of Music in London, England, and also studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.

Miss King is Senior Music Historian-in-Residence at Emerson College, a member of the piano faculty at New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School, and maintains a private piano teaching studio.

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Hyekyung Lee

Hyekyung Lee

Private Teacher
East Lansing, Michigan

A native of the Republic of Korea, Hyekyung Lee is an active performer, appearing as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist. She earned a Bachelor's and Master's degree from Yeungnam University. She has also studied with Dr. Marc Silverman completing a second Master’s Degree on Piano as a scholarship recipient at Manhattan School of Music. Lee has competed additional course work at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, at the Brandywine International Piano Institute at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, and at PianoSummer Festival at SUNY in New York.

Hyekyung has teaching credentials as a lecturer at Yeungnam University. She has performed with Yeungnam University symphony orchestra. She won the Honors Competition at Michigan State University performing with the MSU Symphony Orchestra at Wharton Center, and received the second prize at the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition and American Protégé International of Romantic Music.

Hyekyung has featured on numerous occasions for many instrumentalists, especially woodwind and brass, and gave chamber music recitals with fine musicians in New York and Michigan, while completing MM at Manhattan school of music and DMA at Michigan State University as Graduate assistant. She has accompanied solo competition participants at the 2014 North American Brass Band Association Championships in Grand Rapids, MI, solo competitors and featured soloists at the 2013 Midwest Regional Tuba/Euphonium Conference in Normal, IL, and performed with SymbiosisDuo at the 2015 Michigan Music Educator’s Association Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. She also has extensive experience as a choral accompanist. She collaborated with Meredith Bowen, the artistic director of Sistrum, Lansing Women’s Chorus since 2013.

In 2015, she recorded with SymbiosisDuo, the renowned tuba-euphonium duo of Dr. Stacy Baker and Dr. Gail Robertson whose recording the newest release ‘Playground’.

She is currently a scholarship doctoral candidate in piano performance at Michigan State University, and studies with Artist-in-Residence Panayis Lyras.

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Marian Lee

Marian Lee

St. Ambrose University
Davenport, Iowa

Marian Lee made her New York City debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as winner of the Artists International Award and has appeared internationally in Austria, Italy, France, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Poland, Brazil,  Byelorussia, Estonia, Hong Kong, Thailand, as well as in Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage and Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. In liaison with the U.S. State Department, she also received numerous grants in support of performances of American contemporary music abroad and is a Fulbright and International Research and Exchange scholar.

An enthusiast of 20th-century music, Dr. Lee is frequently invited to perform at international contemporary music festivals and has appeared with such distinguished ensembles as Continuum in New York City and the Seattle Chamber Players. She has given numerous world and U.S. premieres by contemporary composers from Russia, France, the Baltic republics and the United States. Recent professional activities include violin duos with Philadelphia Orchestra concertmaster David Kim, Frank Almond, concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony and Naha Greenholz, concertmaster of Madison and Quad City Symphony Orchestras. She has also held masterclasses in Hong Kong, Delaware, Louisiana, Illinois and Iowa.

Dr. Lee made her initial concert debut in high school performing with Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and Flint Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. She entered The Juilliard School as a scholarship student receiving a Bachelor of Music under the guidance of Gyorgy Sandor, whose own piano professor was Bela Bartok at the Liszt Academy in Hungary and is the author “On Piano Playing: Motion, Sound, and Expression,” a staple in the piano pedagogy literature.  She went on to receive a Master of Music degree in piano performance with Seymour Lipkin, winner of the prestigious Rachmaninoff Competition and artistic director of Kneisel Hall Chamber Festival. Subsequently, she was awarded the coveted Fulbright Grant to study with Naum Shtarkman, a Tchaikovsky competition laureate, at the Moscow Conservatory in what was then the Soviet Union. During her three-year stay, Dr. Lee witnessed the fall of the Soviet Union and toured extensively within the former USSR. Upon her return to the United States, Dr. Lee completed her doctoral degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at The Johns Hopkins University with Boris Slutsky, the youngest winner of the William Kapell Competition in College Park, Maryland. Marian Lee has previously taught at the University of Delaware and is currently teaching at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

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Keji Lu

Keji Lu

Southwestern Music Academy
Fort Worth, Texas

Keji LU, a native of China, is pursuing M.M. Piano Performance degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She teaches at Southwestern Music Academy as a piano instructor and she has also taught elective piano lessons in the School of Church Music. Before moving to Fort Worth, she has taught private piano and group lessons in the Herald Music School (NY), the Joyous Music School (NY), and the Creative Music Club (China). She holds a B.A. in Music Theory from the China Conservatory, and during her Bachelor degree study she was granted Academic awards, participated in various master classes, and gave lectures in Ear-Training for college-level students. She also holds a Master of Music degree in Music Theory from Mannes College, where she served as graduate assistant theory coach in subjects of ear-training, dictation, theory, and Schenkerian analysis. She studied with Carl Schachter, Robert Cuckson, Hedi Siegel, Poundie Burstein, Noam Sivan, and David Loeb. She actively participated in numerous solo and collaborative performances. As a soloist, she is the first-prize winner of numerous piano competitions in her homeland. She also serves as an active accompanist and collaborative pianist/ harpsichordist for the China Children’s Choir, the Chanters Choir, the New York International Music Competition, the Southwestern Singers, and the Southwestern Chapel Orchestra. She has served as a church pianist weekly from her youth until today. Her piano study has been under the teaching of Ding-Fan Wang, Marilyn Groves, Dr. Cristina Stanescu, Dr. Jill Sprenger (pedagogy), and Dr. Robert Smith.  

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May Phang

May Phang

DePauw University
Greencastle, Indiana

May Phang began piano studies in her native Singapore where she obtained her Associate and Licentiate diplomas from the Trinity College of Music (London) by the age of twelve. A graduate of McGill University in Canada, she obtained her doctorate from Temple University in Philadelphia. She is currently Associate Professor of Piano at DePauw University, Indiana.

She has given numerous solo recitals and chamber music concerts in Singapore, Canada, the United States, and Europe. A prizewinner of several competitions including the Chopin Young Pianists' Competition in Buffalo NY, Canadian Music Competition, Concours d'orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and Pontoise International Young Artists Competition in France, Dr. Phang has performed with orchestras such as the Singapore Symphony, Montreal Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Radio and television appearances include profiles on Singapore Broadcasting Corporation's "Life and Times" and "Arts Around" and broadcasts on Radio-Canada, Vermont Public Radio, WFLN, Philadelphia and WFMT, Chicago. An active music educator, she frequently adjudicates competitions and presents masterclasses.

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Xing Rong

Xing Rong

Private Piano Teacher
Denton , Texas

Chinese pianist Xing Rong is doing her DMA study UNT College of Music with professor Joseph Banowetz. Miss Rong gained several prizes in piano competitions such as excellent piano player in Chinese Pieces Competition, the third prize of Brahms Group in 14th Hong Kong Piano Asia-open Competition  and  excellent piano player in Beethoven Piano Competition in Hainan. She also participated in Vienna piano master class in 2005, Till Felner piano master class in Boston, 2010. She participated in Wallnut Hill Music Festival in the summer of 2010 and gave her two performances both in solo and in chamber concerts. During her two years PS program study in CIM from 2012 to 2014, Miss Rong was active in performances. In 2012, she was invited by Hong Kong Piano Association for both being in the Jury of 17th Hong Kong Asian Open Piano Competition and giving her solo piano recital in Macau. In 2015, miss Rong won American Protégé International Piano Competition and was invited to perform in Carnegie Hall.

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Anne Russell

Anne Russell

ACR Studio
Walnut Creek, California

Anne Cunnyngham Russell, pianist, singer and teacher, earned B.M. and M.A. degrees in Piano Performance from San Francisco State University under the guidance of Carlo Bussotti.  She is a Performing Member of the Berkeley Piano Club and Concert Performer with the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society. Internationally, she has performed with International Workshops in France, Australia and Austria and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and as chamber music recitalist in Siena, Italy with Hartt in Europe through the University of Hartford. Locally, as pianist and singer, she has given solo and collaborative recitals at the Regional Center for the Arts of Walnut Creek, CA and the Amador Theatre in Pleasanton, CA. She performed as pianist in Master Classes given by Ruth Harte, Sylvia Jenkins, Gwendolyn Koldofsky (collaborative piano), Fernando Laires, Elizabeth Pridonoff, Nelita True and participated as auditor of classes given by Guido Agosti at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy.  Additional private studies have been with Sylvia Jenkins, Fernando Laires and Nelita True.  As a singer (soloist and chorister), she performed several seasons with the Peninsula Women’s Chorus in the United States, Central Europe and Great Britain. She performed in a vocal master class given by Lucine Amara of the Metropolitan Opera. Her principal teacher for vocal studies is Dewey Camp, Professor Emeritus from San Francisco State University.


Anne is an active member of M.T.A.C., C.A.P.M.T., and M.T.N.A. as a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music Permanent status, (NCTM). Inspired by early studies with her first teachers, Thomas Frederick Freeman, pupil of Godowsky and Tanya Zunser Ury, pupil of Fischer, she began the journey as a teacher at the age of thirteen, forming her first piano studio for children and adults. During undergraduate years, she taught classes for Yamaha International in San Francisco.  She served on the Materials Advisory Committee to develop new textbooks, was instructor for the Junior Original Composition Course and was invited to study and teach in Tokyo, Japan.  Videos of her Model Classes were used as instructional material for teacher training seminars. Over the years, her private students have won scholarships from the CCMTAC, played in MTAC State Conventions, Honors Recitals, and Northern California Festivals through CAPMT. Currently, she maintains a large private studio in Walnut Creek, CA consisting of children and adults from beginning to advanced levels.

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Michael Schneider

Michael Schneider

University of Texas at Austin
Pflugerville, Texas

Critics have hailed Michael Schneider as ‘a pianist with exceptional insight’ and a ‘performer with great panache’ at venues around the world including Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, the International Chopin Festival at the legendary château of George Sand in France, Pianofest in the Hamptons, the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, Pianotune Festival in Brussels, and the 8th Annual Paderewski Festival in California.

Michael Schneider made his orchestral debut performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 with the San Angelo Symphony at the age of eleven. In addition, Michael has performed with numerous orchestras including the Bydgoszcz and Wroclaw Philharmonics in Poland, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (IL), the Plano Symphony, The Bartlesville Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Richardson Symphony Orchestra, Lake Lewisville Symphony, and the Big Spring Symphony. Michael is a top prize winner in the 7th San Antonio International Piano competition, the Kosciuszko Chopin and Frinna Awerbuch Competitions in New York, the International Paderewski Competition and International Liszt Competitions in Poland, and the Grace Welsh Prize for Piano in Chicago, the LA International Liszt Competition, among many others.

Michael grew up in San Angelo, Texas where he studied with TMTA/MTNA member Mrs. Melody Allen, winning prizes in almost every student affiliate event at the local, regional, and state levels of TMTA. He went on to get degrees from the University of North Texas in Denton: becoming that school’s first ever graduate in their Artist Certificate program, Cleveland Institute of Music: earning his Masters Degree and Artist Diploma under the tutelage of Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro, and finally back to Texas to complete his Doctoral studies in 2011 with Anton Nel at the University of Texas.

Michael has been on the faculties of several universities including: Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music (2005-2007), University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Fall 2010 – sabbatical replacement for Dr. Michelle Schumann), Concordia University Texas (2011-present), and most recently began as adjunct professor at the University of Texas Butler School of Music.

Over the years, Michael has been an active member and advocate of TMTA and ADMTA. In 2008, with three days notice, Michael replaced Petronel Malan as convention artist at the TMTA State Convention, giving a full-length solo recital. In 2013, Michael gave “Liszt and the Last Years – A Dramatic Monologue” presentation, getting stellar feedback and recognition by TMTA, and in 2014 presented at TMTA “The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Problem-Solving”. Michael actively judges many events around the state and in ADMTA and enjoys hearing students and writing helpful, constructive critiques. He has been a featured guest artist and guest master class teacher at the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) state conventions on multiple occasions.

Michael has been teaching in the Austin area since 2007, entering students in various local and state events. Many of his students have won prizes at various competitions around the state. Four of his students made their appearances in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall last November (2014) as a result of their performances in competitions.

Michael has been the (unofficial!) Resident Concert Pianist of Pflugerville and the First United Methodist Church in Pflugerville, TX the past three years, where he directs a highly successful monthly concert series entitled “Classical Artists Concert Series”. He is the creator and Artistic Director of the San Angelo Piano Festival and is currently co-director of the Austin Piano Festival. This summer Michael is relocating to the greater DFW area with his beautiful wife and two children, ages 4 and 2.

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Frederick Akalin

Frederick Akalin

Software Engineer
Santa Clara, California

Frederick Akalin graduated from Stanford University with degrees in computer science and a minor in music. He has worked most recently for Google, and continues to play the piano in his spare time.

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Michael Brounoff

Michael Brounoff

Judge
Plano, Texas

Although I suspended formal piano study after high school, I continued to play for personal enjoyment, serving as musical director of the satirical review, “Assault and Flattery” while in law school.  As a practicing attorney, I still found time to direct the music for local productions of Broadway musicals, including Brigadoon, The Fantasticks, Anything Goes, The Grass Harp, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, and Guys & Dolls.  I resumed formal piano study at age 53 with Dr. Tamas Ungar of Texas Christian University and—after accepting an appointment as Administrative Law Judge for the Social Security Administration in Syracuse, NY—with Dr. Fred Karpoff of Syracuse University.  Transferring back to Dallas, I resumed study with Dr. Ungar.  I have competed in the Van Cliburn Foundation’s, International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs four times, advancing to the semi-final round three times.  I have attended Piano Texas every year since 2000 except one, and have won in competition the privilege of concerto performance with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra four times.  I live in Plano, TX with my wife of 34 years, Martha Jane, our son, David Franklin, dog Buster, and my piano, a 9-foot Knabe named “Obiwan.”

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Henri Delbeau

Henri Delbeau

Physician
Williston Park, New York

Henri Delbeau started his piano studies at the age of seven and soon after debuted as soloist with the Suburban Symphony of the Great New York Area. He has played as soloist with many other orchestras and has performed many solo recitals abroad. He is a the first prize winner of several amateur piano competitions, including the Berlin International Competition for Amateurs, the Washington and Boston International Competitions, and has been a finalist at the International Competition for Amateurs sponsored by the Van Cliburn Foundation. He counts among his teachers Tamás Ungár, Dickran Atamian and Tong-il Han. Dr. Delbeau is currently an inpatient internist and floor chief at the Lutheran Medical Center, in Brooklyn, New York.

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Gerald Finkel

Gerald Finkel

Pathologist
Seattle, Washington

Gerald Finkel is a professor of pathology at the University of Washington Medical School, now semi-retired. Having taken his M.D. degree at Harvard Medical School in 1959, he practiced mostly in an academic setting until 1999 when he relocated to Seattle. His musical training started with private piano lessons in Newark, N.J., his home town. During that time, he met Seymour Bernstein, now an internationally known and respected pianist and pedagogue, with whom he became close friends. Mr. Bernstein has continued to mentor him, but he has had other teachers including Leonard Richter nearer home. During the many years of medical practice, the piano was not a priority, and only became one again after retirement. With much encouragement from friends and family, he continues to improve and tries to regain his youthful vigor. In the last few years, he has twice competed in the Van Cliburn Competition for Amateur Pianists, the Concours des Amateurs in Paris and the International Competition for Amateur Pianists in Berlin, where he advanced to the semi-finals. He has participated twice in the Piano Texas program for amateur pianists

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Joel Goodman

Joel Goodman

Cell Biologist
Carrollton, Texas

Joel Goodman was born in New York City, moved to Los Angeles at the age of 7, and then to Dallas in 1982 following completion of his education. He currently is on the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical School, where he directs a research program to understand how cells store fat, teaches pharmacology (antibiotics and chemotherapy) as well as cell and molecular biology, and runs the outreach office (STARS) of the medical school, offering programs and resources to high school students and science teachers. Joel has played the piano forever (it seems). After studying piano through college, he was inspired by the first Cliburn amateur competition and began lessons again, studying with Adam Wodnicki from U North Texas. He has never survived the preliminary round of the Cliburn or Berlin amateur competitions, but not for lack of trying. At PianoTexas he has performed with the Ft Worth Symphony twice, in 2010 and 2014. Besides piano and work, Joel enjoys riding his bike and the DART train, reading, and watching HBO. He is married to Bobbi, a noted piano teacher, with whom he performed on two pianos in the 1980s and 1990s. Bobbi and Joel have a daughter, Rachel, a granddaughter, Violet, and a grandson, Ezra.

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Mari Ito

Mari Ito

Architect
New York, New York

Japanese native, Mari Ito is a registered architect in Japan with years of practice. She currently works in a NYC-based firm for high-end hotel designing, such as The Peninsula Hotels, Hyatt, and Intercontinental Barclay Hotel. Inspired by NYC’s high cultural environment, she resumed piano playing in 2010 after decades of break. Past participation of competitions and festivals includes IPOCA, Piano TX and California Concerto Weekend.

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Adrienne Johnson

Adrienne Stankey - Johnson

Elementary Teacher
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Adrienne Johnson is a playwright and proud mother of four boys. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she was a student of Adele Marcus, and now works as a playwright and theatre director. Adrienne also works as a teacher at Holy Trinity School in St. Paul.

Adrienne took a 30 year break from the piano while she raised her children. Since starting to play 4 years ago, she has participated in the amateur competitions in Boston, Washington DC, Colorado Springs and Chicago.  She has advanced to the semi-final round a number of times and last spring won 2nd place in the Solo division and 2nd place in the Concerto Division in the Chicago Amateur Competition. 

In Minneapolis she has performed with the Wayzata Community Orchestra and made numerous appearances in community recitals. 

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Chizuko Lobbia

Chizuko Lobbia

Librarian
San Jose, California

Chizuko Lobbia started studying piano from the age of 2 years old in Japan. She took a break and then resumed study in 2004, along with performing as a timpanist for orchestra. She currently studies with Joe Ordaz and Kanako Inagawa in San Jose, California. In 2012 she performed Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3, first movement with the Mission College orchestra. In 2014 she played Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3, third movement at the California Concerto Weekend.  She has also attended “Piano Texas” annually since 2013 and was selected last year to play Mozart Piano Concerto No.9 (K.271), third movement with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.  For chamber music she has performed “Poulanc Trio for Oboe, Basson and Piano” and “Kuhlau Grand Trio for flute, cello and piano” at the San Francisco Symphony workshop, along with “Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 Op. 49, first movement” for the PTNA Society in Japan. She is a regular member of the Mission College Orchestra and Winchester Orchestra where she performs as a timpanist/percussionist and acts as the orchestra librarian.

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Larry Long

Larry Long

Retired
Fort Worth, Texas

Larry Long’s love for piano began in childhood when he studied with Anna Worden in Shreveport.    Away from piano lessons for 40 years,  he took it up again before retirement in 2002.  After moving to Fort Worth in 2008 he studied with Dr. Tamas Ungar at TCU and most recently with Dr. Ilka Araujo at Texas Wesleyan.  The Longs are proud to provide financial support for Tamas and his musical programs at TCU which also enrich the cultural life of Fort Worth.

Larry and Carol celebrated 44 years of marriage in December 2014.  They have two adult children, Lloyd Long and Claire Armstrong.  The Longs other interests include financial support for and participation in the work of Living Water International, a Christian NGO which drills clean water wells and provides sanitation and hygiene services in developing countries.

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José Mauro Peixoto

José Mauro Peixoto

Portfolio Manager
Sao Paulo, Brazil

José Mauro Peixoto is a mechanical engineer, graduated in 1966 by Maua Institute of Technology.  He completed a post graduated course in Business Administration at Getulio Vargas Foundation in 1970.

José works at the stock market since 1970.  He actually manages some Investment Funds that are among the top of the Brazilian funds.

José Mauro is son of the pianist Odette de Faria and the journalist Silveira Peixoto and started to study piano with his mother when he was three years old.  When he was five he made a studio recording.  At nine he gave a recital for “Pro Arte” the most famous artistic society at the time in Sao Paulo. At eleven appeared twice on Television.

His mother did not favor his adopting music as a career and encourages him to study engineering, because of his facility for mathematics.

At the age of twelve he abandoned the piano for twenty eight years, and only played again when a friend on the occasion of his fortieth birthday asked Jose Mauro to play, as a birthday gift, the Chopin’s Polonaise (opus 53), which he loved and remembered hearing him play as a child.

The success encourages José to return to the piano.  He looked for a teacher, and found Olga Normanha in Campinas, a friend of his mother’s.  For eight years he had weekly classes. At the same time, he refused invitations to work as director of two large financial institutions in Brazil, because he needed four hours daily to practice the piano.

In 1988 he gave two recitals.  In the following years he performed in public about once a year and in 1994 played the Rachmaninoff’s Concerto nº 2 with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra under Eleazar de Carvalho.

In 1997 he recorded a CD with works of Bach/Almeida Prado, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy and Rachmaninoff.

In January, 1999, he started to participate in piano competitions for amateurs, first in Paris, after in Fort Worth.  When returned to Brasil, Jose performed five times at English Culture of Sao Paulo, once at Musical Conservatory of Osasco, once in Curitiba, most of all playing a Chopin’s Recital.

In the following years, he participate in many other piano competitions for amateurs, in Salt Lake City, Colorado, Paris, Washington, Boston, Fort Worth, Berlin.

Since 2003 he has annually participated in the Amateurs Program of TCU.

Jose loves to play bridge and dance.

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Gerrit Pronske

Gerrit Pronske

Attorney
Plano, Texas

Gerrit Pronske is an attorney who practices business bankruptcy law in Dallas, Texas. He is author of “Pronske’s Texas Bankruptcy, Annotated,” a bankruptcy text book currently in its 15th edition. He started to play the piano at age 8. He has participated in numerous festivals and competitions for amateur pianists.

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Stanley Sisskin

Stanley Sisskin

Computer Programmer
New York, New York

Native New Yorker Stanley Sisskin received a Bachelor's degree in music from the University of California at Berkeley, a post-graduate degree in accompanying from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, and a Master’s Degree in Accompanying and Chamber Music from the Manhattan School of Music. Mr. Sisskin was the silver medal winner of the New York International Competition for Outstanding Amateur Pianists in 2004 and 2006 and the 1st prize winner of the Chicago Amateur Piano Competition concerto division in 2014. He has frequently appeared as soloist with the New York Piano Society, and as soloist with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta. In 2009, he performed a solo recital in the Rose Studio of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Mr. Sisskin was selected to play as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony in 2010, 2011, and 2014 as part of the PianoTexas Amateur Program.

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Mark Spurrier

Mark Spurrier

Physician
Saint Louis, Missouri

Dr. Mark Spurrier is an ophthalmologist living in St. Louis, Missouri, who finds time amid a busy private practice and teaching schedule to continue his piano studies with occasional coachings from Webster University Professor Daniel Schene.  Dr. Spurrier has attended Piano Texas sessions on two prior occasions and has a particular interest in chamber and ensemble performance.  He was principal accompanist for 10 years with the Gateway Men’s Chorus of St. Louis and has accompanied several notable singers including soprano Christine Brewer and Tenor Gerald Stroup. For several years, Dr. Spurrier has organized an annual benefit concert with his husband Karl Koesterer, featuring several members of the Webster University piano faculty in works for two pianos and eight hands.  These concerts have raised net proceeds of $60,000.00 for the benefit of hospitals, community college arts departments and, most recently, for a local non-profit organization, “Pianos for People”, which restores donated quality pianos and places them in needy homes, schools and community centers.  The Pianos for People organization recently moved into a new studio space and offers free group and individual “Lessons for People” with grants from the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and Monsanto.

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Utako Tanigawa

Utako Tanigawa

Information Systems Advisor
Cumming , Georgia

Utako’s love of music and art was inherited from her father, a professional artist and business owner, and her mother, a lover of classical music and choir member. After coming to the United States, she studied Mathematics and Computer Science, and PhD in Information Systems. While she started a family, and held executive positions of increasing responsibility, she had several decades’ absence of playing the piano.  However, after life threatening illness a couple of years ago, her love of music returned and continues to provide a tangible lifeline to beauty and hope.

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Wei Ling Wang

Wei Ling Wang

Network Technology
Plano, Texas

Wei Ling recently participated in several amateur piano competitions in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Boston. She is also an active supporter of music schools and non-profit music organizations in the city of Dallas and Fort Worth.  Wei Ling works in the telecommunication industry and engages multiple engineering teams in building computer networks to transport data, voice and video for global companies.

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Graeme Wilkinson

Graeme Wilkinson

Aviation
Montreal, Canada

Graeme Wilkinson was born in Vancouver, Canada, and first studied music seriously while completing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and French Literature at the University of British Columbia. Further studies in Switzerland included piano instruction at the Conservatories of Neuchâtel and Lausanne.

In 1979, he was employed by Air Canada, and has remained with the company until the present time. 
Graeme furthered his musical education at the Vancouver Academy of Music, and obtained an Associateship Diploma in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto. He has resided in Montreal since 1989, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music degree at l'Université du Québec à Montréal , and a Diploma in Advanced Music Performance Studies from Concordia University.

In 1999, Graeme took his musical avocation a step further, and competed in the first Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Fort Worth, Texas. Since that time, he has been a regular on the on the International Piano Amateur circuit, performing in competitions and workshops in Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, Czech Republic, Colorado Springs, Washington D.C., Boston, Chicago, and Fort Worth, where he remains a regular participant at Piano Texas. 
During the past nine years, Graeme has been increasingly active in choral work in Montreal, singing bass with the Ensemble Vocal and le Choeur de l'Université du Québec à Montréal.

In addition to numerous concerts in and around their home base, the choir has performed at Carnegie Hall, New York City, la Cathédrale de Lausanne, Switzerland, and most recently at Béla Bartók National Concert Hall, Budapest, Hungary Since 2008 he has also sung with the Chorus of the Montreal Symphony, under Maestro Kent Nagano, and with the Concordia University Chamber Choir, under the direction of Christopher Jackson.

Hobbies and interests include kayaking in the Southern Gulf Islands of Western Canada,transcendental meditation, animal rights, chamber music and musicology.

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Mayen Akpan

Mayen Akpan

Composer/Teacher
Houston, Texas

Mayen began her piano studies on accident. During her time on the swim team (2001), her friends influenced her musical palette with alternative rock music. She was inspired to learn how to play the drums, but was instead convinced to temporarily take piano lessons, as a precursor. Since that ‘accident’, Mayen has never looked back at her initial drumming desires, but has had her life so impressionably shaped by piano and classical music that she has decided to mold a career centered around it.

Mayen has been studying piano for almost 14 years; the clarinet for 13 years, voice for 5 years, and percussion for 2 years. She is an avid soloist and enthusiastic chamber musician. While living in Pennsylvania, she served as the principal clarinetist for the Sinfonietta Orchestra in State College (2009-2013), served as the vice president and treasurer of the Penn State Liszt Society (2013), performed in the Percussion II Ensemble (2013), and played the keyboard for the Penn State theater production of ‘My Favorite Year’ (2010). Recently, she performed in the 2015 California Concerto Weekend, and was invited to perform four times during the Houston Symphony Spotlight Pre-concert series, Spring 2015.

All of Mayen’s many musical experiences have developed her into a promising composer. She composes for film, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble, piano, orchestra, voice, chamber groups, and marimba. She is currently orchestrating her second piano concerto. Mayen also writes non-classical songs (Pop, Country, RnB, Folk, Swing, Singer-Songwriter, etc). Mayen utilizes her past, personal experiences to encourage everyone to pursue their dreams, and embrace their individuality, whole-heartedly and without apology.

She credits her rich musical development to all of her talented teachers and mentors (Dorothy Kirkpatrick, Crissie Warne, Tom Harrington, Dennis Kidwell, Laura Buntin, Carolina Tong, Diana Marshall, Andrea Hayter, Peter Cirka, Hyun Joo Park, Caroline Ryu, Kristin Stephenson, Jade Simmons, and Alina Uddin).

Mayen loves God, family, music, conducting, playing tennis, learning languages (Chinese, German, Italian, Russian), geography, volunteering, and watching competitive cooking shows.

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Darren Lee

Darren Lee

CPA
Toronto, Canada

Darren Lee enjoys a successful career as a CPA in Canada, providing taxation and educational consulting services to personal and corporate clients.  Over the years, Darren has expanded his repertoire to over 20 piano concertos, ranging from Bach to Barber but with an emphasis on the Romantic repertoire.  He has performed with various ensemble groups and orchestras, most recently with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra in the Mozart Concerto K.467.  In his spare time, Darren is a competitive marathon runner having participated in events in four continents. 

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John Nees

John Nees

Plastic Surgeon
Delray Beach, Florida

John E. Nees, M.D., grew up in Pennsylvania. He began his music studies on the organ at age 10 with Ken Wayne Klaiss, a silent movie theater organist in Pittsburgh. He learned to play popular songs and show tunes. He began classical piano and organ studies at age 13 with Edward M. Harris, a Julliard School of Music professor and composer, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He joined the American Guild of Organists, and played in organ recitals, weddings, and religious services. During college and medical school at Cornell University, he postponed his music interests to concentrate on his career in medicine. While at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, in 1968, he studied twentieth century opera with Donald Grout. After graduating from Cornell University Medical College in New York City in 1974, he continued his education with a surgery internship at the University of Texas Southwestern Health Science Center in Dallas, Texas; a general surgery residency at Harbor UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California; and a plastic surgery residency at the University of Miami Affiliated Hospitals in Miami, Florida. His interest in piano performance was rekindled in 1979, during his plastic surgery training in Miami, when he bought a piano and rediscovered his talent for classical music. In 1982, he began the private practice of plastic surgery in Seattle, Washington, at the Walter Scott Brown Clinic. A year later, he settled in Bellevue, Washington, bought a Steinway piano and renewed his music studies with Justin Root, a Peabody Conservatory graduate. He continued his piano studies in 1989 with Victoria Bogdashevskaya, a Moscow Conservatory professor and the Seattle Symphony pianist under Gerard Schwartz. From 1987 to 2000, Dr. Nees played annually in the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside, in Bellevue, Washington. He earned First Place honors in this competition in his division in 1990, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2000. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside from 1998 to 2000. He became an avid participant in Seattle musical events – opera, symphony, ballet, and piano. In 2001, Dr. Nees relocated to Boca Raton, Florida, to continue the practice of plastic surgery and be nearer to his family and his wife's relatives in Lima, Peru. He extended his piano studies with Roberta Rust at Lynn University in Boca Raton. He also participated in the annual "Healing Hands at the Steinway" recital at the Boca Raton Steinway Piano Gallery in 2004, 2006, and 2007. Currently, he is a member of the American Liszt Society and studies piano with Yang Shen at Lynn University. Dr. Nees practices plastic surgery at Strax Rejuvenation and Aesthetics Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He travels to Peru regularly to enjoy his extended family and second home.

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Joann Oh

Joann Oh

Office Manager
Irvine, California

Joann Oh earned her degrees in German Studies and Pre-med from Pomona College and Wesleyan University. She is the winner of the Elisabeth Tishler Prize in Piano and a grant recipient of the Yale- Griffith Scholarship to study German Studies and language in Vienna, Austria, and Munich, Germany. While in Vienna, Ms. Oh studied piano with Rosario Marciano. In addition to these accolades, Ms. Oh was also awarded a scholarship from the Korean-American Foundation for academic excellence.  In 2015, Ms. Oh was chosen to participate in CCW with orchestra.  Currently, Ms. Oh continues her piano studies with Dr. Anna Gliadkovskaya. In high school, Ms. Oh was recognized as a nationally ranked synchronized swimmer.  Currently, Ms. Oh resides in the Orange County area.

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Yoko Taruki

Yoko Taruki

Kindergarten Teacher
Yokohama, Japan

I am a School Director in Japan.  I started the piano practice at age four, but stopped in high school.  After taking MS at Indiana University, I have worked in the social science fields.  From 2005 I took a piano amateur summer program at Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and at Mannes College in NYC.  In 2009 I was a finalist of the International piano amateur competition in Osaka and Tianjin.  I participated in some International amateur piano competitions, Paris, Boston, Berlin, Texas, and Walzo.  

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Margaret Verhey

Margaret Verhey

Cardiologist - MD
Van Meter, Iowa

I began piano lessons at the age of 11 and continued through high school. I went to college at Marquette University in Milwaukee and graduated with a BS in biomedical engineering. Then I went to the Medical College of Wisconsin, in a suburb of Milwaukee. I did my internal medicine training in Grand Rapids MI and my cardiology fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic.

Since 1989 I have been with the Iowa Heart Center as a cardiologist. I am married with two children, both at Iowa State University. I took sporadically piano lessons along the way.  Now I am taking lessons with Mei-Hsuan Huang  at Iowa State University in Ames.  She is a Steinway artist and member of the  Piano Quartet Amara.

I am a member of the Des Moines piano club. We have recitals a few times a year. Last year I participated as an amateur at Piano Texas. I also enjoy photography and have taken a variety of workshops across the country. I own a horse – a fox trotter – Buddy and take him on trail rides. Jewelry design is another hobby.

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