In the first half of the 20th century, Rudolph Ganz, legendary pianist, conductor and pedagogue, built the Piano Studies program at the Chicago Musical College (now CCPA) to extraordinary heights. Today, CCPA’s world-renowned piano faculty, comprised of distinguished pedagogues and some of today’s most pre-eminent concert artists, offers the highest quality of teaching. The piano program gives the tools necessary for students to pursue their careers as concert performers and teachers, while preparing them for a life rich in music.
Winston Choi has performed in recital and with orchestras across 4 continents. Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France’s 2002 Concours International de Piano 20e siècle d’Orléans, his recent season appearances include the National Arts Centre of Canada, the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, New York’s Merkin Recital Hall and Symphony Space, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Detroit Institute of Art, the Kravis Center in Florida, the Rosza Centre in Calgary, the Festival Encuentros in Buenos Aires, and the Cicle Grans Solistes in Girona Spain. Summer festival appearances include Bay Chamber Concerts, Fontana Chamber Arts Series, the Green Lake Music Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival, and the Festival of the Sound. In France, Choi has toured extensively and performed in venues such as the Salle Cortot, in Lille’s Festival Rencontre Robert Casadesus, the Messiaen Festival, and IRCAM’s prestigious Agora festival. His numerous performances have included live radio broadcasts on National Public Radio (NPR), WFMT (Chicago) and CBC (Canada) Radio. For the 2012-13 season and beyond, Choi is touring with Bach’s epic Art of Fugue. An accomplished chamber musician, he tours regularly with his wife, MingHuan Xu as Duo Diorama, as well as with the ensemble Pivot Chamber Soloists and the Civitas Ensemble.
In demand as a concerto soloist, orchestras he has appeared with include the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the East Texas Symphony Orchestra, the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, La Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, l’Orchestre Symphony d’Orléans, l’Orchestre National de Lille, l’Orchestre Symphonique d’Orléans, the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra, the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and the Victoria Symphony Orchestra. As a dedicated champion of contemporary music, Choi has premiered and commissioned over 100 works by young composers as well as established masters. He is a core member of the new music ensemble Brave New Works and the Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente. Already a prolific recording artist, Choi’s debut CD, the complete piano works of Elliott Carter (l’Empreinte Digitale in France) was given 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine. He has also recorded 2 CDs of the piano music of Jacques Lenot for the Intrada label, having won the Grand Prix du Disque from l’Académie Charles Cros for Volume I. Other labels he can be heard on include Albany, Arktos, Crystal Records, Naxos and QuadroFrame. After initial studies in Toronto with James Tweedie and Vivienne Bailey, his BM and MM studies were at Indiana University with Menahem Pressler, and his DM was completed at Northwestern University with Ursula Oppens. Previously on the faculties of Bowling Green State University and the Oberlin Conservatory, Choi is Associate Professor and Head of Piano at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. www.winstonchoi.com
Hailed as “a formidable and magnificent pianist” by the New York Concert Review, Egyptian-born pianist Dr. Wael Farouk has had an extensive worldwide performing career. With a vast repertoire spanning from Rameau to Bolcom, he commands more than 70 concertos and 60 solo programs, including the complete piano works of J.S. Bach, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff, as well as the completed piano sonatas of Beethoven, Scriabin, and Prokofiev.
He has appeared as a soloist and recitalist on five continents and has given the Egyptian premieres of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3, Brahms Concerto No. 2, and Prokofiev Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2, and 3.
Farouk made his Carnegie Hall solo debut in June 2013, which received rave reviews as “absolutely masterful playing.” The recital also inaugurated his five-recital cycle performances of the complete solo piano works of Rachmaninoff, which the Chicago Tribute described as “historical.” His solo album Russian Portraits was released on the Carlock Records label in 2013.
In the 2015-16 season, Farouk will be giving a ten-recital cycle of the major works of Franz Liszt, covering the complete Transcendental Etudes, complete Concert Etudes, complete Hungarian Rhapsodies, Beethoven and Berlioz symphonic transcriptions, and numerous opera and song transcriptions.
Farouk has performed with numerous conductors, including Christoph Mueller, Steven Lloyd, Patrick Fournilier, and Philippe Entremont. He has toured England, Russia, Italy, France, Spain, Hungary, Germany, Czech Republic, Colombia, and Japan, including venues such as the White Hall in St. Petersburg, the Kurt Masur Hall at the Johann Sebastian Bach Music School in Leipzig, and Schumann’s house. In 2004, Mr. Farouk was given the honor of playing on Tchaikovsky’s piano—the first pianist to do so since Vladimir Horowitz.
Farouk’s career was born out of adversity. Despite receiving the highest scores on his entrance exams at the Cairo Conservatory, he originally was turned away due to his small stature and an unusual hand condition that prevents him from making a fist or straightening his fingers. Admitted for a trial period at the age of seven, Farouk overcame all odds and eventually became one of the conservatory’s most accomplished graduates.
At the Cairo Conservatory, Farouk studied with Samir Aziz, Vselod Demidov, and Edgar Davelienadze. Farouk began his graduate studies in the United States at the Catholic University of America, where he studied on a Fulbright Fellowship with Marilyn Neeley. He earned his Masters of Music from Converse College (studying with Doug Weeks), Professional Studies Diploma from Manhattan School of Music (studying with Solomon Mikowsky) as a recipient of the coveted Elva van Gelder Memorial Scholarship, Artist Diploma from the Chicago College of Performing Arts (also with Dr. Mikowsky), and Doctor of Musical Arts from Rutgers University (studying with Daniel Epstein), where he was a recipient of the prestigious Ralph Johnson Bunche Distinguished Graduate Award. http://waelfarouk.com.
Kuang-Hao Huang has performed throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. Mr. Huang is most often heard as a collaborator, performing concerts and radio broadcasts with Chicago’s finest musicians, from instrumentalists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to singers with the Lyric Opera. He has been a guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians and has performed with the Vermeer and Avalon String Quartets. Mr. Huang can be heard in recordings on the Cedille and Naxos labels.
An advocate of new music, Mr. Huang gave the world premiere performances of solo works by Louis Andriessen and Chen Yi at Weill Hall as part of Carnegie Hall’s Millennium Piano Book Project. He has also premiered numerous ensemble works, including pieces by Jacob Bancks,Stacy Garrop, John Harbison, Daniel Kellogg, Rami Levin, James Matheson and Laura Schwendinger. Mr. Huang is a member of Fulcrum Point New Music Project, and has also been a guest of MusicNOW and CUBE Ensemble.
Mr. Huang has degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University and Northwestern University. His principal teachers include Leonard Hokanson, Joseph Kalichstein, Howard Karp, Rita Sloan and Sylvia Wang. During his graduate studies, Mr. Huang was a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Jacob K. Javits Fellowship. He was also a member of the New World Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas’s orchestral academy. www.khpiano.net
Yeeseon Kwon brings with her expertise and scholarship in piano pedagogy as a teacher and performer. Her published research on strength-based teaching in piano pedagogy demonstrates how to implement best learning and teaching strategies for students and teachers. Formerly as Associate Professor of Music, Dr. Kwon taught piano and piano pedagogy at Greenville College (IL), as well at Ithaca College (NY), and Northwestern University (IL), among others.
Author and formerly Associate Editor for Clavier Magazine, Dr. Kwon has written new music reviews for Clavier Companion as well as published numerous articles and books in the area of piano pedagogy, including Written For You Collections, Books 1-4 with Teaching and Practice Guides (F.J.H). She is active nationally as an adjudicator, workshop clinician, and featured conference presenter.
As a performing artist, Dr. Kwon has been featured in international solo and collaborative performances in the United States and Russia. Yeeseon Kwon received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma as well as M.M. and B.M. degrees from Northwestern University.
Ludmila Lazar is acknowledged internationally for her stylistic versatility and intense musicality. Acclaimed in Europe and the United States for her commitment to a diverse and challenging repertoire, Dr. Lazar’s recitals and workshops reflect her involvement with multi-cultural music and authentic performance practice. Chicago critics describe Dr. Lazar’s playing as “inspirational and informative.”
Her students have been winners in local, regional, national, and international competitions. In recognition of her teaching, she received the Master Teacher Certificate from the Music Teachers National Association, and was awarded the title of Master Teacher by the American Musical Scholarship Association. She was also elected by the Roosevelt University community as “Outstanding Teacher of the Year.”
A graduate of the Ljubljana Central Music School in Slovenia, she later advanced her studies with Rudolph Ganz at Chicago Musical College (now the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosvelt University) where she received a Master’s degree, and at Northwestern University where she earned a D.M. A.
Dr. Lazar’s notable achievements have secured her a place of recognition with the American Keyboard Artists and the Who’s Who in the American Music World.
Adam Nieman is hailed as one of the premiere pianists of his generation, praised for possessing a truly rare blend of power, bravura, imagination, sensitivity, and technical precision. With an established international career and an encyclopedic repertoire that spans nearly sixty concerti, Neiman has performed as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Belgrade, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Slovenia, Umbria, and Utah, as well as with the New York Chamber Symphony and the National Symphony Orchestra of Washington D.C. He has collaborated with many of the world’s celebrated conductors, including Jiri Belohlavek, Giancarlo Guerrero, Theodor Gushlbauer, Carlos Kalmer, Uros Lajovic, Yoël Levi, Andrew Litton, Rossen Milanov, Heichiro Ohyama, Peter Oundjian, Leonard Slatkin, and Emmanuel Villaume.
A highly-acclaimed recitalist, Neiman has performed in most of the major cities and concert halls throughout the United States and Canada. His European solo engagements have brought him to Italy, France, Germany, the U.K., and Japan, where he made an eight-city tour culminating in his debut at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.
Neiman has recorded extensively for Lyric Records, VAI, and Naxos. Future projects include a monumental recording of the complete 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas for Sono Luminus, and he will also record the complete Preludes and Études-Tableaux of Rachmaninoff. In addition, he will record the complete Sonatas for Viola and Piano by Brahms with acclaimed violist Richard O’Neill for Deutsche Grammaphon. Please visit www.adamneiman.com for more information.
Jorge Federico Osorio
Jorge Federico Osorio has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Nationale de France, Philharmonia Orchestra, Moscow State Orchestra and the Warsaw Philharmonic. Mr. Osorio’s concert tours have taken him to Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America, where he has collaborated with such distinguished conductors as Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, Lorin Maazel, Klaus Tennstedt, Eduardo Mata, Jorge Mester, Christopher Wilkins and James Conlon, among many others. American festival appearances have included the Hollywood Bowl, Ravinia, Newport and Grant Park Festivals.
A prolific recording artist, Mr. Osorio has recorded a wide variety of repertoire for Artek, Cedille, IMP and ASV, including an all Brahms recording that Gramophone proclaimed as “one of the most distinguished discs of Brahms’ piano music in recent years.” His second solo Brahms CD, recorded on the Artek label, received accolades from the American Record Guide and the Chicago Tribune. Recordings of Brahms Concerto No. 2 with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias under the direction of Maximiano Valdés for Artek Recordings and the Carlos Chávez Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México received high praise from distinguished critics, as did the Brahms Violin and Piano Sonatas with Elmar Oliveira. Other recordings by Mr. Osorio include Beethoven’s Five Piano Concerti and Choral Fantasy, concerti by Brahms, Mozart, Ponce, Rodrigo (world premier recording), Rachmaninov, Schumann and Tchaikovsky, several Beethoven Sonatas and Balada Mexicana, solo piano works of Manuel M. Ponce. Piano Español, a collection of works by Albéniz, Falla, Granados and Soler on Cedille Records, received glowing reviews internationally and has marked Mr. Osorio as one of the great interpreters of Spanish piano music in the world today. He recorded Jacob Weinberg’s Piano Concerto No. 2 for the award winning Milken Archive of American Jewish Music on Naxos, and for Cedille, he recorded Mexican Piano Music, his second recording of solo piano music by Manuel M. Ponce. Mr. Osorio’s most recent recordings are three live performances of Mozart Concerti with the Mozart-Haydn Festival Orchestra under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto, and Mozart Violin and Piano Sonatas with Ani Kavafian, both on the Artek label.
Mr. Osorio is the recipient of several international prizes and awards, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Gina Bachauer Award and the Rhode Island International Master Piano Competition. In addition to having served as artistic director of the Brahms Music Festival in Mexico, he has performed with the late Henryk Szeryng, the Moscow Quartet, Tel Aviv Quartet, violinist Mayumi Fujikawa and cellist Richard Markson.
Mr. Osorio began his musical studies at the age of five with his mother, Luz María Puente, and later attended the conservatories of Mexico, Paris and Moscow, where he studied with Bernard Flavigny, Monique Haas and Jacob Milstein. Additionally, he worked with Nadia Reisenberg and Wilhelm Kempff.