FAIM Co-Creation Music Festival 2019 FAIM Co-Creation Music Summer Festival
The purpose of 2019 FAIM Festival is to increase the awareness of teamwork, collaboration and reciprocative learning.
Piano learning is a very lonely and anti-social type of work. Although it dramatically helps one’s focus, self-learning and problem solving abilities, it also has its downsides, which is anti-social. Interpersonal relationships and communication skills are often not pianists’s fortes.
FAIM Piano Chamber Music Festival aims at giving piano students the opportunity to learn from each other, and most importantly, learn from the BEST, while playing four-hands and two-piano works with our world class piano faculty and visiting faculty. On top of rehearsing and performing with our professional piano faculty, the festival also encourages students to compose for each other and to perform each other’s works, forming a learning environment for developing composer-performer relationships, through interactions and socialisation.
On top of FAIM’s internationally renown piano faculty and visiting faculty, this festival will also feature high profile stellar visiting composers, who will lead our students on how to network, how to write film music, how to present your works to performers, and how to work with your performers in rehearsals, etc.
FAIM Festival faculty will each give their best topic as a workshop for all the students to learn versatile techniques and knowledge on musical interaction, rehearsing, co-creating, interdisciplinary works and more.
Final presentation of the festival will be presented at the two concerts on July 27 at Oriental Arts Center.
The afternoon concert will feature students with their chamber music performances and compositions. The concert will be viewed as an internal competition with FAIM scholarships for the winners. The results of the winners will be announced at the evening concert.
The evening concert will be directed by the world renown pedagogue, chair of FAIM honorary board, Solomon Mikowsky. Dr. Mikowsky will be giving a short lecture and a masterclass with selected students.
FAIM Co-Creation Music Festival dates from July 1- July 27, 2019
- 1-on-1 piano lessons
- 1-on-1 4-hands/2-piano lessons
- 1-on-1 composition lessons
- Workshops on music literature, film scoring, composer/performer networking
Solomon Mikowsky, pianist https://www.msmnyc.edu/faculty/solomon-mikowsky/
Cited as “one of the world´s most sought-after artist teachers, for reasons that are not hard to come by” (Clavier), Solomon Mikowsky is renowned for his “magical ability to develop his piano students into artists” (Sur Exprès). He has worked with an extraordinary number of gifted pianists and is featured in Benjamin Saver´s The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA, in Liu Ye’s Our Piano Era, spotlighting interviews with some of the world’s greatest teachers, such as Fleisher, Graffman, Lipkin and Vardi, and in Mario Cremata Ferrán’s La Voluntad de Prevalecer, together with the world renowned prima ballerina assoluta Alicia Alonso.
Dr. Mikowsky’s students have won over 150 international piano competitions plus prizes, including the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Masters Competition (three winners, including first prize) in Israel; the Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Sviatoslav Richter, in Russia; Van Cliburn (Special Award) in the US; Beethoven in Bonn and Schumann in Leipzig (first prizes in both), in Germany; Vianna da Motta and Porto (two winners in each), in Portugal; Alessandro Casagrande (first prize), Senigallia (first prize), Caltanisseta, Finale Ligure, Ibla, Marsala, Mazara del Vallo, Monza and Torrefranca, in Italy; Andorra (four winners, including two first prizes and the Alicia de Larrocha Prize); Vilnius International Competition (first prize) in Lithuania; Francis Poulenc in France; Dublin in Ireland; Montreal (two winners) in Canada; Panama (nine winners, including three first prizes); Yamaha in Japan; Viña del Mar in Chile; Ignacio Cervantes (two winners, including first prize) in Cuba; international competitions in Beijing and Shanghai, in China, and the Taipei Chopin International Piano Competition in Taiwan.
His students have also won many competitions in Spain, including the Santander (first prize); Maria Canals (eight winners, including three first prizes) and Ricardo Viñes, in Barcelona; José Iturbi (four winners, including two first prizes), Carlet (five first prizes) and José Roca (two winners, including first prize), in Valencia; Pilar Bayona (six winners, including first prize) in Zaragoza; Jaén (seven winners, including two first prizes); Joaquín Rodrigo and Hermanos Guerrero (four winners, including first prize in each), Infanta Cristina (including first prize), Spanish Composers (first prize and Spanish Prize) and Ataulfo Argenta, in Madrid; Ibiza (two first prizes); Cidade de Ferrol (first and second prizes) in Galicia; Toledo (first prize); Manresa; Albacete (first prize), and Marisa Montiel (first prize) in Linares.
In the United States, they have won the Chopin Kosciuszko (ten winners, including eight first prizes), Artists International (five prize winners), the Naumburg and the Thomas Richner (first prize), in New York; the Minnesota E-Competition (two winners); World Competition (three winners, including first prize) in Cincinnati; Palm Beach (first prize) and Murray Dranoff, in Florida; New Orleans (first prize); Hartford Symphony (first prize); New Jersey Symphony (first prize); Junior Missouri-Southern (first prize); Gina Bachauer in Utah; Cleveland; Hilton Head; Houston Symphony; Denver Symphony; Augusta Symphony; Helen Hart in Kentucky and North Carolina Symphony. Two of his students have been recipients of Arthur Rubinstein and Shura Cherkassky debut recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Previous listings do not count the multiple winners at Manhattan School of Music, including various winners of the Harold Bauer Award, four winners of the Munz Chopin Competition and about forty winners of the annual College concerto competitions, including the Eisenberg–Fried, Dora Zaslavsky-Koch, as well as the Precollege concerto competitions.
Among Mikowsky’s students have been recipients of the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award, the Gilmore Young Artist Award, the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Astral and Koussevitzky Artists, in the United States; the Diapason D’Or in France; and the Orden al Mérito Civil by King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Many of his students currently hold important teaching positions at the leading conservatories in England, Spain, Germany, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United States, including the Mannes School piano faculty, the Manhattan School of Music College piano faculty (two) and the Precollege (six), the UC Berkeley music faculty, the Stuttgart Hochschule Musik and the Kronberg Academy’s Sir András Schiff Performance Program for Young Artists.
In North America, his pupils have performed with the New York Philharmonic (two students), Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, National and San Francisco symphonies, the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, and the Atlanta (two students), Baltimore, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Colorado, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Miami, Minnesota (two students), New Orleans, Oregon, Seattle, and St. Louis symphonies, Boston Pops and Far Cry Chamber Orchestra, in the United States, and the Montreal (two students) and Vancouver symphonies and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, among others, in Canada.
In Europe, they have performed with the Berlin Philharmonic (two students), the Bavarian Radio Orchestra, the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony and the Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester, the Dresden Philharmonic and the Staatskapelle, NDR Hamburg Orchstra, in Germany; the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony, in Austria; the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, BBC Proms, City of Birmingham Symphony, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, in the United Kingdom; the Amsterdam Royal Concertgebouw and the Rotterdam Philharmonic, in Holland; the National Orchestra of France, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Lille Philharmonic, in France; the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Italy; the Budapest Hungarian Festival Orchestra in Hungary; the Zurich Tonhalle in Switzerland; the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra and the St. Petersburg Orchestra, in Russia; the Danish National Symphony; the Belarusian Symphony; the National Orchestra and Finnish Radio Orchestra, in Finland; the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Sweden; the Oslo Philharmonic and the Radio Symphony, in Norway; the Porto and the Gulbenkian orchestras, in Portugal; the National Symphony and Czech and North Czech philharmonic orchestras, in the Czech Republic; and the Spanish National Orchestra and all the other important orchestras, in Spain. They have also performed as soloists with the Israel Philharmonic (three students), the Cairo Symphony in Egypt and the main orchestras in Central and South America, in the Caribbean (Cuba and the Dominican Republic), in Asia (China, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea, the Tokyo and Nippon symphony orchestras in Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines), in New Zealand, and with the Melbourne Symphony in Australia.
They have performed under such conductors as Barenboim, Comissiona, Dudamel, Dutoit, Ehrling, Entremont, Eschenbach, Fischer, Frühbeck de Burgos, Jurowky, López Cobos, Masur, Mehta, Maazel, Skrowaczewski, Petrenko, Temirkanov, Tovey, Williams and Zinman, among many others. They have been guest artists at the Aspen, BBC Proms, Blossom, Bowdoin, Canary Islands, Caramoor, Chicago Grand Park, Edinburgh, Gijón, Granada, Grand Teton, Jerusalem, La Roque d’Anthéron, Lucerne, Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart, Proms in London, Ravinia, Salzburg, San Sebastián, Santander, Stony Brook, Tanglewood, Yellow Barn, Vail and Verbier music festivals, among others.
Solomon Mikowsky was born in Cuba of Russian-Polish parents. His early training was with César Pérez Sentenat, who studied in Paris with Joaquín Nín, student of Moszkowski, a Liszt pupil. He was granted scholarships by the Cuban government and the Juilliard School to study in New York with Sascha Gorodnitzki, foremost pupil of the legendary Russian virtuoso Josef Lhevinne. A neurological impediment interrupted his performing career, leading him to earn a doctorate from Columbia University Teachers College and to dedicate his life to instructing future artists. He has served on the juries of some of the most important international competitions and given master classes in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Warsaw, Budapest, Salzburg, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and throughout Australia and Asia. During the summer, he directs his International Piano Festivals (link) in Europe and in Cuba, where he teaches and his students perform in recitals and as orchestral soloists.
The Solomon Mikowsky Recital Hall at MSM was inaugurated in 2010 and expanded in 2018. A versatile, state-of-the-art performance hall, it includes two Steinway pianos, a concert grand and a professional grand. A third Steinway grand was donated for Mikowsky’s own studio at Manhattan School of Music. The recital hall also exhibits students’ memorabilia, various editions in Spanish and English of Mikowsky’s critically acclaimed book Ignacio Cervantes and the XIX-Century Cuban Danza (review), the biographical The Piano Teaching Legacy of Solomon Mikowsky, written by his longtime student Kookhee Hong (review) in English, Spanish, Chinese and Korean versions, as well as some of the hundreds of CDs recorded by his students. Mikowsky also contributed the Mikowsky Recital Hall at the Chicago College of Performing Arts with a Steinway grand, and the Ignacio Cervantes Recital Hall in Havana, Cuba with a Steinway concert grand. The José Martí newly renovated theater in Havana also features a Steinway concert grand donated by Mikowsky.
Mikowsky has been honored with the Cintas Prize by the Institute of International Education. He is recipient of the President’s Medal for Distinguished Service from Manhattan School of Music and a Doctor Honoris Causa from Cuba’s Instituto Superior de Arte. An exclusive Steinway Artist, Mikowsky was the first teacher featured in the Steinway Gallery with his portrait hanging right next to those of Richard Goode, Byron Janis and Yevgeny Kissin. He has contributed to Américas, the journal of the Organization of American States, and has been featured in interviews in Chopin (Japan), Piano Artistry (China), and Musica di pianoforte (South Korea). He has taught at The Juilliard Precollege Division, the Philadelphia Musical Academy (University of the Arts), New York University, Columbia University Teachers College (Adjunct Associate Professor), and Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Mikowsky has been a member of the Manhattan School of Music College faculty since 1974 and of the Precollege faculty since 1969.
Inesa Sinkevych, pianist
A laureate of the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Ukrainian-born pianist Inesa Sinkevych has also won first prizes in the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Barcelona and the Concurso Internacional de Piano Premio “Jaén” in Spain, as well as awards in the Minnesota International Yamaha Piano-e-Competition; the Vianna da Motta and the Porto international competitions in Portugal; the Casagrande International Competition in Italy; the Panama International Competition; and the Cidade del Ferrol and Spanish Composers competitions in Spain. Inesa Sinkevych has been praised for her “intense, thrilling and sophisticated playing” (General-Anzeiger, Germany), “brilliant note-perfect fluency” (New York Concert Review), “grand passion and elegant lyricism” (Audiophile Audition), and “rich cantabile” (Ritmo, Spain). She has been described as a “Schubertian of real distinction,” with a “maturity that belies her age (Music Web International), and as an “artist with intuition that knows to look far beyond technique” (Diario de Noticias, Lisbon). “Grasping the overarching structure and purpose,” writes JWR Review, “is Sinkevych’s strength.”
As soloist she has appeared with the Israel Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Gulbenkian Orchestra of Lisbon, Orquesta Nacional del Cuba, the Gran Canaria Philharmonic of Spain, the Porto Symphony of Portugal, the Tenerife Symphony of the Canary Islands, the Warsaw Symphony Orchestra, and the Kharkov Youth Orchestra, among others. She has performed as recitalist, chamber player, and orchestral soloist at the Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Purcell Room in London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Minnesota Orchestra Hall, the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, the Hong Kong City Hall, Guanghualu Arts Center in Beijing, Joaquin Rodrigo Auditorium in Madrid, the National Philharmonic Hall of Ukraine, and the Great Hall of the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon. Recent performances include appearances at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, Festival de El Valle de Anton in Panama, and with the Orquesta Mozartiano de la Habana in Cuba, as well as in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenyang, and Guangzhoua in China on tour. Inesa Sinkevych appeared live on WFMT Chicago, Kol Israel, Classical WETA Washington, the RDP Portugal, Minnesota Public Radio, and Mezzo Classic TV Channel, France. She performed at the Israeli Presidential Conference (2008) in Jerusalem for U.S. President G.W. Bush and Israeli President Shimon Peres.
Inesa Sinkevych is guest faculty at the Interharmony (Italy), Euroarts (Halle, Germany), Manhattan in the Mountains (Catskills, NY), Summit (New York), and Forum Musicae (Madrid, Spain) summer festivals. A judge for the Junior Peace and Music Ambassador Competition and head of the jury for the International Shostakovich Piano Competition in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, she also serves as visiting faculty at the FaceArt Music School in Shanghai and as an honorary advisor to the Leaves Music School in Nanjing, China.
Inesa Sinkevych began her piano studies at the Kharkov Special Music School in her native Ukraine with Victor Makarov and later studied with Alexander Volkov at the Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv. A scholarship from the America–Israel Cultural Foundation enabled her to further her studies with Solomon Mikowsky in the United States, where she received her Master of Music degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Manhattan School of Music. Dr. Sinkevych has been a member of the Piano faculty of Manhattan School of Music’s College Division since 2014 and Precollege Division since 2008.
EDIT MARIA LENGHEL, pianist http://www.editfazakas.com
Edit Maria Lenghel (née Fazakas) has been praised by critics for displaying all of the “ingredients necessary to a musician: wild temperament, spiritual depth and playfulness”…“she has the ability to completely metamorphose according to the style and character that her pieces require.”(2011 Bucharest concert review) A winner of more than 20 international competitions, Ms. Fazakas has toured across Europe (Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom), as well as in Israel, Japan, Peru and the USA (New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, Virginia, Texas, Florida). Recent successes include the Rislov Foundation Award (Michigan, USA), Three Arts International Piano Competition (Ohio, USA), Oberlin Conservatory Mozart Concerto Competition, the Boston Conservatory Concerto Competition and the finals of New York Concert Artists International Competition. Her numerous concerto performances include Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Oberlin Orchestra, Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a theme by Paganini with the Boston Conservatory Orchestra and Rachmaninov’s Third Piano Concerto with the Newton Symphony Orchestra and the Boston University Symphony Orchestra. In Romania, her native country, she has performed in the George Enescu International Music Festival, at the Romanian Philharmonic Hall, the Cluj Philharmonic Hall, the Radio Hall, and has made commissioned recordings for the National Radio and Television. Recently, she has been invited to give a well received recital at the Romanian George Enescu Philharmonic and has been immediately reengaged. She has collaborated with maestros Ludovic Bacs, Bruce Hangen, James Orent, amongst others, and maintains a close performing relationship with Bulgarian conductor Konstantin Dobroykov. Her artistry was perfected with some of today’s most sought-after musicians: Claude Frank, Piotr Paleczny, John O’Conor, John Perry, Choong Mo Kang, Jacques Rouvier, Andre Laplante.
Ms. Fazakas graduated from Oberlin College Conservatory, where she was a student of Peter Takacs. While at Oberlin, she was awarded the Dean’s Talent Award for the full duration of her studies. She went on to pursue a Master of Music degree at the Boston Conservatory and started doctoral studies at Boston University, both under the tutelage of Michael Lewin. In Boston, she was the recipient of the Lewitus Scholar Award and was invited to become a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda International Honors Society, as a result of her high academic achievements. Also an avid writer, she holds a diploma in journalism after graduating with the highest marks from the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest, Romania. Previously a piano instructor at the Oberlin Conservatory, the IP Piano School and Page Music School in Boston, she is also on the faculty of the Youth and Muse Boston International Music Festival.
Antonio Juan-Marcos, composer
The music of award-winning composer Antonio Juan-Marcos has been described as “seductive and sensitive” (ResMusica), music that “introduces rich acoustic universes” (Diapason), filled with “beautiful, mysterious, and delicate atmospheres” (Musikzen). Having gained renown for his instrumental ensemble and orchestral music, Juan-Marco’s work also reaches across disciplines, and he often collaborates with authors, poets, video artists, and early music specialists. Literature is often a point of departure in Juan-Marcos’s work, ranging from 18th-century Italian sonnets to contemporary Latin American fiction and poetry.
Juan-Marcos was recently awarded the 2018 American Prize in Composition – Orchestral Division for his work Amanece (2015) for countertenor soloist and orchestra, a setting of poems by the famed Mexican author Octavio Paz on the occasion of his birth centenary. In 2017, Juan-Marcos was distinguished with the Nicola Di Lorenzo Prize in Music Composition by the Department of Music at the University of California, Berkeley — a second time — for his monodrama Tum Tambor (2017). The work, scored for countertenor, ensemble, and video, was inspired by the short story “Macario,” by prominent Latin American author Juan Rulfo whose work was foundational to the genre of “magical realism.” Juan-Marcos received his first Nicola Di Lorenzo Prize in 2016 for Nocturno Eléctrico, a concerto for electric guitar and orchestra, which also received the 2017 Gold Medal and the highest honor distinction of the jury by the Global Music Awards. Also, in 2016, he was awarded the Eisner Prize for the Highest Achievement in the Creative Arts by the University of California, Berkeley.
Upcoming premieres of Juan-Marcos’s work include Canto de Semillas (Song of Seeds), commissioned by Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and Mandrami, Latin American premiere by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Mexico City. Both performances will take place in October 2018.
Recent projects have included the world premiere of Tum Tambor – co-commissioned by Ensemble 2e2m and Festival Internacional Cervantino (Mexico) – in October 2017 and Paesaggi Corporei – settings of four sonnets attributed to Antonio Vivaldi, composed as a companion to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. It was premiered and commissioned by the ensemble Les Folies françoises to massive acclaim at the 2017 baroque music festival Sinfonia en Péridord (France). Juan-Marcos is notedly only the third composer to receive a commission from Les Folies françoises – the first two being Kaija Saariaho (2009) and Thierry Pécou (2013). Additional commissions included new orchestral music for some of the most important Mexican national orchestras.
The music of Antonio Juan-Marcos has been presented in the United States, France, Belgium, Spain and his native Mexico under the direction of conductors such as Pierre Roullier, José Aréan, Patrick Cohën-Akenine, and David Milnes among many others who have championed his work. Additionally, Juan-Marcos’s pieces are included in the repertoires of prestigious ensembles and orchestras among them, the Orchestre National de Lorraine, Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble 2e2m, Les Folies françoises and L’Instant Donné. His piece for cello and electronics El Afilador was recorded by the cellist Marie Ythier for Evidence Classics Records and distributed by Harmonia Mundi.
Born in Mexico City, Antonio Juan-Marcos began his musical training studying classical guitar, later studying composition, piano, and guitar at the Boston Conservatory. In 2003 he continued his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et Danse de Paris, where he graduated with honors with the piece Arder Aprender. Later, he attended the Electroacoustic Composition Courses at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) in Paris (2012-2013). Throughout his education, Juan-Marcos has had the privilege to present works at festivals and academies across North America and Europe and his mentors have included renowned contemporary composers such as Kaija Saariaho, Osvaldo Golijov, Stefano Gervasoni, Philippe Leroux, and Franck Bedrossian.
Juan-Marcos is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Music Composition at the University of California, Berkeley where he also teaches harmony and theory. His music is distributed and published by Filarmonika Music Publishing.
Sam Wu, composer
Sam Wu’s music deals with the beauty in blurred boundaries. From Shanghai, China, Sam attends The Juilliard School for his M.M., after receiving an A.B., with honors, from Harvard University. His teachers include Tan Dun, Robert Beaser, Chaya Czernowin, Richard Beaudoin, and Derek Bermel.
Selected for the American Composers’ Orchestra’s 2019 EarShot Readings, winner of Harvard’s Robert Levin, Bach Society Prizes, Oklahoma City University’s Project21 Prize (2nd Place), Interlochen Fine Arts Award, Sam was also a finalist for the Cortona Prize and ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.
Sam’s music has been performed across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His collaborators include the Melbourne, China National, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Suzhou Symphonies, Sarasota Orchestra, Shanghai, Moscow, Boston Youth Philharmonics, National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Shanghai International Arts Festival, Sydney University Confucius Institute, Asia Society, members of the Parker and Ansonia Quartets, Princeton Pianists’ Ensemble, Radcliffe Choral Society, Harvard Ballet Company, and pipa master Wu Man.
Sam also has been featured on the National Geographic Channel, Business Insider, Harvard Crimson, Harvard Arts Blog, Asahi Shimbun, People’s Daily, China Daily USA, SinoVision, CCTV, ICS, among others.
James Brawn, pianist
” an outstanding Beethovenian” – International Record Review.
” a major pianistic force” – MusicWeb International.
” a true virtuoso” – Limelight Magazine.
” one of the greatest living interpreters” – Music & Vision.
” a deeply committed and intensely musical interpreter” – Musical Opinion.
“Brawn’s pianism—and more importantly, his interpretative skills are formidable indeed, some of the best recent Beethoven playing I have heard” – Audiophile Audition.
“Here at last is the true heir to John Lill and Stephen Kovacevich” – Beethoven Piano Society of Europe Chairman, Professor Malcolm Troup, 2013.
Since his Mozart K.503 concerto debut in Australia aged twelve, pianist James Brawn has forged his own musical path of discovery, studying with great pianists who can trace their pedagogical lineage back to Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt and Clara Schumann.
Brawn was born in England but has lived around the world in New Zealand, Australia, China and the USA. Starting piano lessons at the age of seven, he performed on New Zealand television and won his first awards in Auckland in 1979. His family moved to Melbourne the following year where his musical studies blossomed through the 1980s with Margaret Schofield (a pupil of Solomon), Ronald Farren-Price (a pupil of Arrau) and Rita Reichman (a pupil of Serkin and Horszowski). He won major prizes at competitions and scholarships, including the Hephzibah Menuhin Award presented by Yehudi Menuhin. While still at school, James performed concerti by Mozart, Beethoven, Saint-Saens and Rachmaninoff. He also played in the concerto final of the ABC Young Performers Awards in 1987, leading to concerts with the Adelaide and Melbourne Symphony orchestras.
With a major overseas study grant from the Australia Arts Council, Brawn was able to continue work with his mentor, Rita Reichman, in Philadelphia. He won a full scholarship, aged 17, to the Royal Academy of Music London. There he studied with Frank Wibaut and Christopher Elton, winning many recital awards including the Beethoven, Romantic and 20th century prizes. He also performed in master classes with great pianists such as András Schiff, Tamás Vásáry, Stephen Kovacevich, Fou Ts’ong and Menahem Pressler. James studied chamber music with members of the Amadeus and Chilingirian Quartets and attended the Britten-Pears and Lake District summer schools. At the age of 19, Brawn won the Keyboard final of the Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition, performing at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.
Recitals as soloist and in chamber music partnerships followed at music societies and festivals around the UK. At this point, James furthered his studies with the Armenian pianist, Nelly Akopian-Tamarina, and the Slovenian pianist, Marina Horak.
His London performances to date include, amongst others, the Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St James’s Piccadilly, St.Martin-in-the-Fields, the Foundling Museum, Blackheath Halls, Regent Hall and The Forge. Overseas recitals include the Berlioz Auditorium, Paris, Roussel Hall, New Orleans, Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre, Shanghai Concert Hall, music societies in Brunei, Hong Kong and in Sicily. Other important British venues include Cheltenham Town Hall, Menuhin Hall, Chichester, Bristol and Birmingham Cathedrals. He has also given recitals for the Schubert Society of Britain, the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe and Helensburgh Music Society. Radio broadcasts include ABC Classic FM and 3MBS radio in Australia, RTHK Radio 4, Hong Kong, SMG radio Shanghai and NPR stations across the USA.
Forging links with the acclaimed producer Jeremy Hayes at Potton Hall, Suffolk, Brawn began recording the complete Beethoven piano sonatas in 2012. Six volumes of ‘A Beethoven Odyssey’ have since been released to exceptional reviews. The first 2 volumes of the James Brawn ‘In Recital’ series have also been greeted to similar acclaim. Each of these recordings is available on the MSR Classics label – www.msrcd.com.
In 2016, Brawn was appointed to the piano faculty of the FaceArt Institute of Music, Shanghai. His recent concerto performances include the Beethoven 1, 3, 4 and 5 with the English Symphony Orchestra, Surrey Mozart Players, Capriol Chamber and Stroud Symphony Orchestras. James Brawn is a Steinway Artist.
Dr. Oliver Salonga, pianist
Praised for his emotional energy and technical brilliance, Oliver Salonga has enthralled
music aficionados in the concert halls of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy,
Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, and China. He has had a graceful
transition from being a child prodigy to an artist of high musical insights. At a very young age, he
has demonstrated an outstanding ability to communicate with audiences on a deeply personal
level that made him one of the most exciting pianists of his generation.
Oliver Salonga recently obtained his Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at
University of Southern California studying under the guidance of Mr. Norman Krieger. In
addition, he minored in Music Analysis, Arts Management, and Collaborative Arts. In 2009 and
2011, he obtained his Master of Music and Artist Diploma in Piano Performance at the Cleveland
Institute of Music under the guidance of 2001 Van Cliburn Silver Medalist, Antonio Pompa-Baldi
and was awarded the Sadie Zellen Piano Prize for his superior musical talent. Under his guidance,
Salonga won Gold Medal in 2008 Joenju International Piano Competition in South Korea. Also,
he has been invited to the world's most prestigious competitions which includes 2010 Hilton
Head International Piano Competition, 2011 Scottish International Piano Competition, 2011 Rina
Sala Gallo International Piano Competition to name a few. His orchestral engagements were
received with critical acclaim. His concerto repertoire ranges from Beethoven to Prokofieff and
performed with international orchestral as Jeonju Symphony, Manila Symphony Orchestra,
Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Currently, he is teaching piano duo ensembles and preparatory students at Soochow
University School of Music. In addition, he also teaches at Wuxi United International School as
an International Baccalaureate Teacher in Music. Salonga joined FaceArt Institute of Music piano faculty in 2018.
PETER TOMASZ, pianist
Juilliard Alumni, award winner of Contemporary Music Competition in Warsaw and co-founder of FaceArt Institute of Music in Shanghai – Polish pianist and composer Piotr Tomasz – is an accomplished performer and educator, whose versatility as an artist has earned him an unique position in the field of music.
One of the prominent artistic principles of Peter Tomasz is to create independent, creative and inspiring music project, never repeat the same formulas, surprise his audiences with new visions. During the last few years Tomasz has created series of lecture-recitals focused exclusively on Bach (at the Shanghai Symphony Performing Space), performed complete Ravel works, initiated performance of complete Chopin’s works, joined contemporary music performances, composed his own music, went on a Chopin tour in Australia crowned by a standing ovation at the Sydney Opera House, created theatrical performance at Shanghai Concert Hall “Chopin’s Journey” with guest artists Jenny Q Chai (contemporary pianist) and Cole Ingraham (electronic music composer and media artist) while managing and teaching at FaceArt Institute of Music in Shanghai. In April 2015 Tomasz recorded a piece for two pianos by American composer Cindy Cox and premiered it at the Oriental Art Center during a concert exclusively devoted to her music.
After earning Master’s degrees from both the Academy of Music in Krakow, where he studied under Dr. Andrzej Pikul, and the prestigious Juilliard School of Music in New York City, studying piano under Jerome Lowenthal, Mr. Tomasz returned to his native city of Krakow, Poland. Here Mr. Tomasz was promptly appointed Vice President of the newly established PianoClassic Association, the organization responsible for the Royal Krakow International Piano Festival and Piano Competition. In 2010, Mr. Tomasz moved to Shanghai, China, and, together with contemporary pianist Jenny Q Chai, cofounded the new music center FaceArt Institute of Music, which serves as a cultural bridge between the music worlds of Shanghai, Krakow and New York City.
Piotr Tomasz’s education background is peppered by quite unusual paths and interests. Already at age of 13 he has been appointed an organist and choir master at St. Peter’s Church in Krakow District in Poland, where he worked for 10 years while studying counterpoint, harmony, and Bach’s organ works. He wrote his dissertation on Scriabin as an coronation of his studies in Krakow. During his years at Juilliard School of Music, Mr. Tomasz studied harpsichord with Lionel Party, which led him to discover his own voice in the keyboard music of J.S. Bach and piano with Jerome Lowenthal – student of Alfred Cortot – whose genuine romantic legacy ignited new ideas about Chopin’s music.
Hailed by music critic David Dubal as a “rare and inspiring Chopinist,” Mr. Tomasz is an active ambassador of Polish music abroad and laureate of international piano competitions and a frequent participant in prestigious festivals across the globe. Mr. Tomasz has toured his native country and performed at such major concert halls as Paul Hall in New York City, Concert Hall in Shanghai, Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, Sydney Opera House and many others in Spain, Italy, U.S.A., Australia and China. In 2005, Mr. Tomasz had the pleasure of performing in Krakow the complete piano works by Maurice Ravel, commemorating the 130th anniversary of the composer’s birth, a unique and groundbreaking event for that city. In the same year, Mr. Tomasz gave three concerts of Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand with the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Stanislaw Welanyk. In 2007, he was invited by the Krakow Philharmonic Orchestra to perform Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Mr. Tomasz after winning the highest honor at the 20th Century and Contemporary Music Competition in Warsaw, Mr. Tomasz recorded Béla Bartók’s Piano Sonata for the Polish Radio and TV Network.
Mr. Tomasz tournee in Australia in 2013, which was a part of a global project “Polish Music Days” initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland and organized by Piano Classic Association met great appreciation. Mr. Tomasz’s Chopin recitals were enthusiastically received across the country, crowned by a standing ovations at the Sydney Opera House.
Dr. Jenny Q Chai, pianist https://www.jennychai.com
An artist of singular vision, pianist Jenny Q Chai is widely renowned for her ability to illuminate musical connections throughout the centuries. With radical joie de vivre and razor-sharp intention, Chai creates layered multimedia programs which explore and unite elements of science, nature, fashion, and art. The New Yorker describes Chai as “a pianist whose dazzling facility is matched by her deep musicality.”
Based in both Shanghai and Paris, Chai’s instinctive understanding of new music is complemented by a deep grounding in core repertoire, with special affinity for Schumann, Scarlatti, Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, and Ravel. She is a noted interpreter of 20th-century masters Cage, Messiaen, and Ligeti, and her career is threaded through with strong relationships and close collaborations with a range of notable contemporary composers, including Jarosław Kapuściński, Cindy Cox, Andy Akiho, and György Kurtág. With a deft poetic touch, Chai weaves this wide-ranging repertoire into a gorgeous and lucid musical tapestry.
Chai is also a vital champion and early tester of the groundbreaking synchronous score following software program, Antescofo. Developed at IRCAM by scientist Arshia Cont, the software offers a real time computer and animation response to live performance elements, enabling performers to create multimedia presentations of sophisticated and expressive fluency. Chai explored and helped hone Antescofo in residence at IRCAM alongside frequent collaborator Jarosław Kapuściński, and has since toured internationally with the software offering multimedia performances in Shanghai, New York, Havana, and elsewhere.
Other notable highlights include her 2012 Carnegie Hall recital debut; many performances at (le) Poisson Rouge, including a 2016 Antescofo-supported program, Where’s Chopin?; her 2018 Wigmore Hall debut with a program exploring the relation between color and sound; lectures and recitals at Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, and Shanghai Mercedes Benz Arena; a featured performance at the Leo Brouwer Festival in Havana, Cuba; Philippe Manoury’s double-piano concerto, Zones de turbulences, at the Warsaw Autumn International Festival of Contemporary Music with duo partner, pianist Adam Kośmieja and the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra; and much more.
Her immersive approach to music is also channeled into her work with FaceArt Institute of Music, the Shanghai-based organization she founded and runs, offering music education and an international exchange of music and musicians in China and beyond. Additionally, Chai served on the Board of Directors of the New York City-based contemporary music organization Ear to Mind, and has published a doctoral dissertation on Marco Stroppa’s Miniature Estrose.
Chai has recorded for labels such as Deutschlandfunk, Naxos, ArpaViva and MSR. In 2010, she released her debut recording, New York Love Songs, featuring interpretations of works by Cage and Ives among others, and her most recent recording,(S)yn(e)sth(e)te, was released by MSR Records in 2017. She can also be heard on Michael Vincent Waller’s Five Easy Pieces and Cindy Cox’s Hierosgamos.
The recipient of the Yvar Mikhashoff Trust’s 2011 Pianist/Composer Commissioning Project, the DAAD Arts and Performance award in 2010, Chamber Music America commissioning award and first prize winner of the Keys to the Future Contemporary Solo Piano Festival, Jenny Q Chai studied at the Shanghai Music Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, and in Cologne University of Music and Dance. Her teachers include Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Seymour Lipkin, Solomon Mikowsky, Marilyn Nonken, and Anthony de Mare.