Pianist / Sergei Babayan
Acclaimed for the immediacy, sensitivity and depth of his
interpretations, Sergei Babayan's performances reveal an emotional
intensity and bold energy, equipping him to explore stylistically
diverse repertoire. He is known for his innovative programming,
often including modern works by composers such as Lutoslawsky,
Ligeti and Arvo Part, and extending the boundaries of mainstream
repertoire for which he continues to be acclaimed, excelling
in Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann as much as the Russian
heritage of Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and Prokofiev. His philosophy
that a recital should reveal a spiritual dimension, results
in playing which sustains an intensity which never fails to
captivate. His performances of J S Bach, have always gained
him both public and critical acclaim, and he firmly believes
that the natural evolution of the keyboard instrument has
led to today's modern piano which allows the music to be fully
expressed in this modern incarnation.
A student of such legendary teachers and musicians as Gornostayeva,
Naumov, Pletnev and Vlasenko in the Moscow Conservatory, he
was, however, not permitted to leave the country and be free
to compete and study in the West. He was the first pianist
from the former USSR who was able to compete without government
sponsorship after the collapse of the system.
Immediately after his first trip outside of the USSR, he won
consecutive first prizes in several major international competitions
including the -Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition
(formerly the Cleveland International Piano Competition) (1990)
-The Palm Beach International Piano Competition (1990), -The
Hamamatsu Piano Competition (1991) -The Scottish International
Piano Competition (1992 ). He is also a Laureate of the Queen
Elizabeth International Piano Competition, the Busoni International
Piano Competition, and the Esther Honens International Competition
in Calgary, Canada. Since that time he has had major engagements
and concert tours throughout Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Australia,
South Africa, South America and the USA.
His New York recitals at Carnegie Hall and
Alice Tully Hall, performances with the Cleveland Orchestra,
Baltimore Symphony, and Detroit Symphony met with huge critical
acclaim, as have his many subsequent recital and concerto
performances throughout all the major cities in the US. His
concert schedule has included performances and broadcasts
throughout major European cities and extensive tours of Japan.
He appeared with recitals in such important venues as Salle
Gaveau in Paris, Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in
New York, the Warsaw Philharmonic, Severance Hall in Cleveland,
Bolshoy Zal of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and countless
In recent seasons he performed recitals
in New York City, London, Hannover, Manchester, Bruxelles,
Glasgow, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Grenoble, Tours, Warsaw,
Tokyo, Osaka, Sapporo, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Chicago,
San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Seattle, Atlanta, Miami,
and New Orleans.
Sergei Babayan appeared in numerous major
music festivals in France, Germany, UK, Poland, Spain, and
the US. His concerts have been broadcast by WQXR, WCLV, Radio
France, Polish Radio and Television, BBC-TV and NHK Satellite
Television. He has made several highly praised recordings
for EMC, Connoisseur Society and Pro Piano labels. His recordings
of Scarlatti, Ligeti, Messiaen, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Ravel,
Schubert, Liszt, Vine, Respighi and Prokofiev garnered high
acclaims including a ¡°critic's choice¡± in the New York Times
praising Babayan¡¯s ¡°extraordinary technique and ability to
play densely harmonized works with illuminating transparency
and a daunting measure of control¡±. American Record Guide
joins in these accolades praising his ¡°phenomenal level of
color and imagination¡±. About the recording of Scarlatti Sonatas
American Guide says: ¡°It can stand proudly besides that of
Mr. Babayan has appeared with many major
orchestras throughout the world including the Cleveland Orchestra,
the Warsaw Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra,
the Orchestre Nationale de Lille, and New World Symphony.
His performances with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra were received with great enthusiasm
by audiences and critics alike. He has collaborated with such
conductors as Yuri Temirkanov, Neeme Jarvi, Hans Graf, David
Robertson, Kazimierz Kord and Michael Christi, and his concerto
repertoire is constantly growing - at this point he has 51
concertos which have been performed.
His unusual and imaginative recital programming
has always elicited interest and praise. Mr. Babayan is an
enthusiastic advocate of new music and has an immense repertoire.
Sergei Babayan¡¯s deep interest and love
for the music of Bach has led him to study more recently with
Helmuth Rilling. Always in search of the new, Sergei Babayan
studied conducting in order to deepen his understanding of
the orchestra, to be able to study and perform some of the
music of the 20th century which is particularly interesting
for him, as well as to conduct piano and orchestra repertoire
from the keyboard. In this role, he already has performed
music of Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schnittke, Part, Vasks, Schedrin,
In May of 2006 Sergei Babayan was invited
by Valery Gergiev to perform Lutoslawsky piano concerto in
the XIV International Festival ¡°Stars of the White Nights¡±
in St. Petersburg with the orchestra of Mariinsky Theatre.
Performance was highly praised in major Russian publications
and met with great enthusiasm by the audience. He has recently
invited by Gergiev to perform Prokofiev ¡®s 3rd piano concerto
in his Easter Festival, and will return to London in 2010
to perform at the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra
under the direction of Gergiev. Other recent highlights include
the Prague Spring Festival with the Janacek Chember Orchestra
and an acclaimed recital at the 92nd Y in New York.
Born in St.Louis, Missouri, Phillip Kawin began his piano studies
at the age of seven. He moved to Paris to study at the Ecole
Normale de Musique, graduating at the age of eighteen. Mr.Kawin
continued his education in New York City, where he received
both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the Manhattan
School of Music as a protege of Dora Zaslavsky-Koch, herself
a pupil of Harold Bauer and Wilhelm Backhaus.
In 1989, Phillip Kawin joined the college faculty at Manhattan
School of Music , where he currently serves as a member of the
Piano Faculty, and is President of the school's Faculty Council.
He has given masterclasses at such institutions as the Moscow
Conservatory, Rimsky-Korsakov (St.Petersburg) Conservatory,
Van Cliburn Piano Insitute, Beijing Central and Shanghai Conservatories,
Seoul National University, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts
and others internationally.
Phillip Kawin has performed at numerous festivals/venues throughout
the world. These performances include a solo recital at the
City Recital Hall/Angel Place in Sydney, Australia. In New York,
he has performed on David Dubal's "Remembering Rubinstein"
program at the Kosciuszko Foundation, as well as the Leschetizky
Association's 60th anniversary gala concert.
Mr.Kawin performed the opening concert of the St.Louis Philharmonic
Orchestra season with the Beethoven C minor piano concerto,
which he also performed with the Korean Symphony Orchestra.
A regular guest of the International Academy of Music, he has
performed six consecutive years in Italy, opened the first International
Academy of Music in Burgos, Spain, and has appeared six times
in St.Petersburg, Russia.
For the past decade, Phillip Kawin has been at the PianoSummer
International Festival/Institute in SUNY/New Paltz, New York,
where he joins such colleagues as Vladmir Feltsman.
His DVDs for Excellence in Music, are available on pianovision.com
and he is an active presenter at the annual World Piano Pedagogy
Phillip Kawin has been the subject of numerous publications
as a world- renowned performer/teacher. He is a Steinway Artist
Following her notable triumphs at major international piano
competitions, HaeSun Paik has performed around the globe to
great critical acclaim for her sublime musicianship and stunning
virtuosity. She won top prizes at the Tchaikovsky (Russia),
Queen Elisabeth (Belgium), Leeds (England), and William Kapell
(U.S.A.) international piano competitions.
Ms. Paik has appeared as a soloist with the Boston Symphony,
National Symphony, London Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Radio
France Philharmonic, KBS Symphony, NHK Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic,
City of Birmingham Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic
and Russian National Orchestra among others.
In addition to her concerto appearances, she has performed
frequently in the U.S. at such venues as New York¡¯s Carnegie
Hall and Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center in Washington
D.C., Jordan Hall in Boston and in various major international
concert halls. She has appeared in numerous music festivals
throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Beethoven Festival
in Munich, Radio France Festival in Montpellier, Courchevel
Music Festival, Beijng International Music Festival &
Academy, International Keyboard Institute & Festival in
New York, PianoSummer at New Paltz.
Ms. Paik¡¯s debut recording was released internationally on
the EMI label to much critical acclaim. Subsequently, Ms.
Paik has recorded four discs of solo piano works, exclusively
for EMI Korea. Most recently, she recorded Beethoven¡¯s complete
works for Cello and Piano with cellist Laurence Lesser, released
by Bridge Records.
Ms. Paik is also one of the most sought
after pedagogical influences in Korea. She was the youngest
pianist of her generation to be appointed as a music professor
at Seoul National University (SNU). After serving as Professor
at SNU for a decade, she decided to leave the position to
devote herself to performing and broadening her musical horizons.
Currently, she is a member of the faculty at the Hartt School,
Hartford University in Connecticut. Ms. Paik is also Artist-In?Residence
at Daegu Catholic University, and serves as the Artistic Director
of Busan Music Festival in Korea.
HaeSun Paik began her musical studies in
her native Korea. At 14, she came to the U.S. to continue
her studies on piano at Walnut Hill School for Performing
Arts in Boston and later graduated from the New England Conservatory
where she studied with Russell Sherman and Wha Kyung Byun.
Ms. Paik was also invited by the International Piano Foundation
in Lake Como (Italy), where she worked with many of the world¡¯s
most renowned artists.
SOO-JUNG SHIN received her musical training at the Seoul National
University, the Vienna Academy of Music and the Peabody Conservatory
of Music. Her teachers include Chung Jin-Woo, Josef Dichler,
Leon Fleisher, Wilhelm Kempff and Maria Curzio Diamond. She
won many prizes in music competitions including the Dong-A
National Competition in Korea, the Elena Rombro Stepanow Competition
in Vienna, etc. She was also awarded the Korean Academy of
Arts Award and honored with the Order of Ok-Kwan Culture Medal.
She has performed with orchestras such as the London Philharmonic,
Tokyo Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, KBS and NHK Symphony
under the batons of Lim Won-Shik, Leon Fleisher, Wolfgang
Sawallisch, Yuzo Toyama, Sir John Pritchard, Asahina Takashi,
Iwaki Hiroyuki and others. She appeared with the world famous
performers such as Ruggiero Ricci, Nicolai Gedda, Janos Starker,
Chung Kyung Wha and others.
She has served on the juries of many prestigious competitions
including the ARD, Dong-A, Tokyo, Koln, UNISA, Dublin, Hamamatsu,
Sendai and other international music competitions.
SHIN has taught at the Seoul National University, the Seoul
School of Arts, and the Kyung Won University. She served as
Dean of the School of Music for 8 years at Kyung Won University.
In 2000 she returned to the Seoul National University where
she started her teaching career in 1969 as the youngest faculty
member at its College of Music. She became the first woman
dean of the College in 2005 until her retirement in 2007.
After her retirement, she is busy with chamber music, master
classes and other musical activities. She is Director of Mozart
Concert Hall and Chairperson of the GMMFS(Great Mountain Music
Festival & School ) Committee.
Lee Kyung-Sook studied at the Curtis Institute of music in Philadelphia
under Mieozyslaw Horoszowski and Rudolf Serkin. In 1967 after
having completed her studies at the Curtis Institute, she went
on to win a prize at the Philadelphia Orchestra concerto auditions
and performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1968, which
was broadcasted nationwide in the United States.
Subsequently, she was involved in a period of great activity
with performances with such distinguished artists such as Christian
Ferras, Pierre Fournier, Eudice Shapiro, Aaron Rosand, Julius
Baker, Dmitri Yablonsky, Paul Tortolie and also with world renowned
orchestra including L'orchestra de la Suisse Romande, The Hong
Kong Philharmonic, The Royal Philharmonic, The Prague Symphony,
The Moscow Philharmonic, and The Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra
She has performed all of Beethoven piano concertos in 1987,
Beethoven sonatas in 1988, Mozart piano sonatas in 1989, Prokofiev
9 piano sonatas in 1991, and in 1993, she played Tchaichovsky's
3 piano concertos in one concert .
In 1985 she won the first "Musician of the year" prize
awarded by the magazine "Music Dong-A." In 1985 and
1988 she was named the "Artist of the year," in 1987
she was awarded "The Nanpa Music Awards," in 1988
"The Korean Critics Association Awards" and the "Kim
Soo-Goon Performing Arts Awards," and in 1994 she won "The
Korean Artist Prize," and has held a chair as a judge on
the judging committee in the Munich and Japanese Sonoda International
piano competitions .
Currentely she is the honorary professor of Yonsei University,
the member of the National Academy of Arts, the republic of
The Korean pianist, Hee Sung Joo, first came to international
attention of the winning the first prize in the prestigious
Dudley International Piano Competition in England in 1995. Chosen
from among more than 60 pianists representing 22 countries,
Ms. Joo subsequently gave her London debut in 1996 in the Royal
Festival Hall. After the recital, critic Geoffrey Crankshaw
wrote in the British Quarterly, Musical Opinion :
¡° A fresh talent of high promise came into view at The Purcell
Room when Hee Sung Joo, the winner of the 1995 Dudley International
Piano Competition, gave her Prize Winner¡¯s recital. From the
first bars of Bach, one recognized an artist of genuine stature,
someone with something to say, and the ability to say it! A
sure sense of style, backed with a truly formidable technique
enabled this young artist to take us to the heart of each composer.
This was no routine obeisance, but rather a sense of affirmations.
I eagerly look forward to hearing this vital talent again.¡±
Following her success in England where she concertized extensively,
Ms Joo went on to become a prizewinner in the U.S. at the Wideman
Piano Competition, as well as earning distinctions in both the
Cleveland International Piano Competition and the William Kapell
International Competition in Baltimore where she won Nancy W.
Miller Memorial prize.
After Ms. Joo took first place in the 2002 New Orleans International
Piano Competition, she made several appearances in the New Orleans
area including a performance with Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other U.S. appearances have included recitals in Jordan Hall(Boston),
the Isabella Stuart Gardener Museum, French Library, Wesleyan
College Crowell Concert Hall, and Loyola University. She also
had two feature recitals as the first prize winner of Simone
Belsky Music Award Competition.
A nature of Seoul, Hee Sung Joo, began piano studies at age
of 5. Winner of first prizes in the two major piano competitions
in Korea, the Hankuk Journals and the Dong-A Music Competition,
Ms Joo made her debut in Seoul in 1990. She graduated from the
New England Conservatory of Music receiving a Masters Degree
and Artist Diploma, working with Ms. Wha Kyung Byun, and also
studied at the Hartt School of Music, working with Paul Rutman.
She had taught in Walnut Hill Music School and New England Conservatory
Preparatory School in Boston, and present, she is working as
an assistant professor at Seoul National University in Korea
Known for his ¡°excellent imagination,¡± ¡°stunning
conception of sound . . . . sensuous . . . as a controlled substance,¡±
and hailed as a ¡°memorable and inspiring . . . . thoughtful
musician,¡± through whom music sounds ¡°completely new, modern
in the best sense of the word, as if freshly created . . . .
as if he himself had composed the work¡± (New York Concert Review),
pianist Quentin Kim tours extensively in the Americas, Europe,
and Asia, having been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, Alice
Tully Hall in New York City, Salle Cortot in Paris, the Permanent
Missions of Korea and India to the United Nations, and the Residence
of the U. N. Secretary-General. He is a Grand Prize winner of
the Grace Welsh International Prize for Piano, as well as a
First Prize winner of the Joong Ang Music Concours of Korea,
and has of late toured in Central and South America with members
of International Sejong Soloists.
Equally active as a composer of noted aestheticism and emotional
sincerity, Quentin has been creating a vivid world of fantasy,
drama and intimacy through his ¡°tireless pursuit of excellence
and fascination with beauty¡± and conviction in the perpetual
modernity of tonality. His music, heard at such venues worldwide
as Carnegie Hall, New York Society for Ethical Culture, Cajastur
Cultural Center in Gijon, Spain, National Theatre of Costa Rica,
Heredia Theatre in Colombia, Palace of Fine Arts in The Dominican
Republic, as well as at the Concerts at the Crossroads series
in Cleveland, has been praised and favored by the public and
professional musicians alike for its ¡°refreshingly direct¡± (New
York Concert Review) quality, and the American Record Guide
called his compositions ¡°worthy of repeated hearings.¡± Particularly
acclaimed was the recent premiere of his Variations on an Ancient
Korean Melody given by pianist Hai-Kyung Suh in the Jeju Island,
Korea. Quentin received an Honorable Mention for his At the
Deathbed for two violins, viola and violoncello from the 2009
Washington International Competition for Composers. His music
is published by the New York Classical Press (ASCAP).
As an educator, Quentin¡¯s teaching philosophy, founded upon
the idea of a music studio as a supportive and dynamic environment
with emphasis on helping the students understand music and express
it with physical ease, while challenging and inspiring them
to aspire higher goals, has over the years enabled his students
to find that they can communicate music with more empathy, while
playing the piano with more facility. Students of various backgrounds,
who have shown professional successes, including students who
have gone on music programs such as The Juilliard School and
others who are active in such diverse fields as Broadway theatres,
have come to work with Quentin. With his reputation as a teacher,
he has also been asked to adjudicate regional piano competitions
and recently invited by various colleges and universities to
give recitals and master classes in the Midwest (Drake University,
IA, and Albion College, MI, among others).
Quentin¡¯s principal teachers have included Claude Frank, Yoheved
Kaplinsky, Jerome Lowenthal, Yong Hi Moon, Soo Jung Shin and
Philip Lasser (composition). He was graduated with a bachelor¡¯s
degree from Michigan State University, with a master¡¯s degree
from The Juilliard School, and was awarded an Artist Diploma
from Yale University. In 2010, The Juilliard School named him
a Doctor of Musical Arts.
Quentin¡¯s piano album ¡°Romantic Tales¡± (Blue Griffin Recording)
has earned him favorable reviews from the media, including the
American Record Guide, which praised his ¡°warmth that is always
engaging¡± and exclaimed that ¡°his range of emotion and color
is extraordinary.¡± His new CD ¡°The Sonata Album¡± has just been
He is currently a Professor of Piano at Pusan National University