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 others.

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 Horowitz...¡±

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, and Prokofiev.

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.


Phillip Kawin (Pianist)

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 Conference.
Phillip Kawin has been the subject of numerous publications as a world- renowned performer/teacher. He is a Steinway Artist

HaeSun Paik (Pianist)

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.


Pianist/Soo-Jung Shin

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.


Pianist/ Kyung-Sook Lee

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, and
the member of the National Academy of Arts, the republic of Korea .

Hee-Sung Joo(Pianist)
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

Quentin Kim(Pianist)
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 released.

He is currently a Professor of Piano at Pusan National University in Korea.