Eric Tran, pianist and composer: All Chopin program
Pianist-composer Eric Tran is known for his friendly stage manner, thoughtful programming, and bold risk-taking. He has appeared in music festivals such as PianoTexas, Aspen, Art of the Piano, as well as festivals in Europe. His principal studies were with pianists Sharon Mann, Thomas Schultz, and composer Jaroslaw Kapuscinski.
Eric is a graduate of Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. During his studies, he was the winner of the concerto competitions of both institutions, and he was awarded the prestigious Robert M. Golden Medal for outstanding contributions to the arts. As a composer, he won the Pacific Musical Society Composition Prize, and his sets of children’s music have been programmed for over six years on the syllabus of the US Open Music Competition. His music has been performed by the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Friction Quartet, his generous friends, and his charming piano students.
Eric also comprises one half of the notorious “Happy Dog” piano duo, with his piano partner, Nathan Cheung. They won both the 1st Prize and the Abild American Music Award at the 2017 Ellis Duo-Piano Competition, hosted by the National Federation of Music Clubs. For over a decade, they have performed four-hands originals, transcriptions, and classics alike with a focus on bringing humor and joy to the classical music world.
Eric is currently pursuing a DMA in piano at UW-Madison with Christopher Taylor.
Jack Cimo, guitar
Jack Cimo is a classically-trained Spanish guitarist known for his powerful presence, beautiful tone, and exciting renditions. Having played the guitar since he was a toddler, his devotion to the instrument has directed the course of his life. He has over 20 years of performing experience, and now calls San Luis Obispo, California home.
He has worked with Grammy-award winning musicians such as Steve Suvada, William Kanengiser, and Pepe Romero; and has captivated audiences in Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, Costa Rica, and Ireland to name a few. He has been a finalist or prizewinner in various competitions, including winning USC’s Presser Award and taking 3rd in the Sierra Nevada Guitar Festival. He was recently one of two Americans to be invited to the prestigious Joann Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition in Buffalo, NY.
Angela Kraft Cross
Angela Kraft Cross, San Francisco Bay Area organist, pianist and composer, graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music in 1980 with bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Organ Performance. She then earned her Doctor of Medicine degree at Loma Linda University, where she subsequently completed her residency in ophthalmology. In 1993, she completed her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance at the College of Notre Dame with Thomas LaRatta. Her organ teachers have included Louis Robilliard, Marie-Louise Langlais, Sandra Soderlund, S. Leslie Grow, William Porter and Garth Peacock. In 2001, she was awarded the Associateship credential of the American Guild of Organists (AAGO) after passing rigorous playing and written examinations. She has studied composition with Pamela Decker. Dr. Kraft Cross has performed extensively on both organ and piano, having given over five hundred concerts across the United States, in Canada, England, Holland, France, Hungary, Korea, Lesotho and Guam, including such venues as Notre Dame Cathedral, St. Sulpice and the Madeleine in Paris, Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Thomas Church in New York City, Methuen Memorial Music Hall and Trinity Church in Boston, E. Power Biggs’ organ at Harvard, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Southwark Cathedral in London, and the Mormon Tabernacle. She has been featured soloist with local Bay Area ensembles; Master Sinfonia Orchestra, Soli Deo Gloria, Sine Nomine, Masterworks Chorale, Viva la Musica, The Choral Project, and the San Jose Symphonic Choir as well as Seattle’s Philharmonia Northwest Chamber Orchestra and the Skagit Symphony in northern Washington.
Monica Chew, piano
Monica Chew is an Oakland pianist. In 2017 she released her first solo album, Tender and Strange, featuring works by Bartók, Janácek, Messiaen, Takemitsu, and Scriabin. A “gifted player with an affinity for deeply sensitive expression” (Whole Note, June/July/August 2018), her playing is “wonderfully delicate, like tissue” (International Pianist, July/August 2018). She started composing in 2017 and couldn’t be happier about it. She premiered her first songs for soprano and piano in 2018 and completed her first commission for Left Coast Chamber Ensemble’s Intersection 2019 workshop. She loves playing chamber music and received a Zellerbach Family Foundation award for her work with Minsky Duo, which she co-founded in 2016. Prior to 2015, she neglected piano for nearly a decade to work as a principal software engineer on security and privacy at Mozilla and Google after receiving her Master of Music from SF Conservatory of Music and a PhD in computer science from UC Berkeley. She lives in Oakland with her husband, an 1899 Steinway B, a clavichord, and a disused violin.
Frank Huang, piano: Beethoven2020 Project
Frank Huang is an Assistant Professor of Piano at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Previously, he served as a faculty member at The College of Wooster and The Cleveland Institute of Music.
Described by New York Concert Review as a “thoughtful and accomplished performer” and that his playing was “impressive for its maturity and refinement,” Mr. Huang has gained international recognition for his artistry and technical command. Others have also acknowledged his talents, as the Chopin Foundation of the United States, Northwest Chapter has commented that “Huang plays with authority and panache” while El Comerico of Lima, Peru praised his interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Concerto, K.482 “with the utmost sensitivity.” Mr. Huang’s performances have led him throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Such notable venues include Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall, Benaroya Hall (Seattle), US Embassy in Warsaw, Zelazowa Wola (Warsaw), Gijon International Piano Festival (Spain), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Holland Music Sessions, Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Dame Myra Recital Series at Chicago’s Cultural Center, Lincoln Center in New York, and St. Martin in the Fields, London, UK. Mr. Huang’s concerts have also been featured on radio and television broadcasts in various cities across the United States and abroad. Most recently, his performances were aired on “Primo Movimento,” a popular classical music program on RaiRadio 3 in Rome, Italy. An avid chamber musician, he also enjoys performing with others as he has collaborated with members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra in recitals. Equally active as a soloist with orchestra, he has performed with the Sammamish Symphony, Northwest Philharmonia, Peru National Symphony, and Wooster Symphony Orchestra. Recent engagements included a tour in South Korea and China, where Mr. Huang performed at the University of Ulsan (South Korea) and Sichuan Normal University, as well as soloist with the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra.
A native of Seattle, WA, Frank Huang studied extensively with Willard Schultz at the Academy of Music Northwest before obtaining Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he continued his studies with Julian Martin. Following his training at Juilliard, he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Cleveland Institute of Music under the direction of Antonio Pompa-Baldi. Other influential teachers included Lee Kum-Sing, Robert McDonald, Daniel Shapiro, and Dominique Weber. Huang has also participated in masterclasses with eminent musicians of our time including Nelita True, Byron Janis, Jon Kimura Parker, Richard Goode, and Murray Perahia.
José López, piano: “The Judaic Muse”
José López is Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Keyboard Studies Program at Florida International University in Miami, Florida, President of the South Florida Chapter of the American Liszt Society, and Honorary Secretary of the United Kingdom’s Alkan Society. He has performed throughout the United States, Italy and Central and South America with orchestras, solo recitals, and chamber groups in concert halls, summer festivals such as the Music Festival of the Hamptons in New York and the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. Active throughout South Florida, he has been a featured performer in the Florida International University’s Music Festival; ISCM New Music Miami Festival, the Palm Beach Chamber Music Festival, Coral Gables’ Mainly Mozart Series, University of Miami’s Miami Festival, and as founder and co-director of the Deering Estate at Cutler’s “Chamber Music Series.”
Clare Longendyke, piano: Beethoven2020 Project
Clare Longendyke is a passionate soloist and chamber musician recognized for her colorful musicality, technical fluency, and ability to interpret repertoires across the musical spectrum. She has performed solo and chamber music recitals across Europe and North America and has won 1st place prizes in the Philharmonic Society of Arlington’s Young Artist Competition, the Schubert Club of Minnesota’s Scholarship Competition, the National Society of Arts & Letters Instrumental Competition, and 2nd place in the SIYAO Instrumental Competition. She made her orchestral debut in 2012 performing Bartók’s 3rd Piano Concerto as the winner of the Indiana University Piano Concerto Competition and in 2017, she performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto in E minor with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra (Massachusetts) and Orlando Cela, conductor.
Robyn Carmichael, piano: Beethoven2020 Project
Robyn Carmichael’s distinctive style has earned praise from audiences and critics alike, describing her performances as “lush, thrilling and intensely personal” with “extraordinary poetry.” Previous seasons have included a 6-state East/West Coast tour, radio interviews on NPR and Berkeley’s KPFA-FM Piano program, and a CD release with music of Scarlatti, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Schumann, Falla, Rameau-Godowsky, and Rachmaninoff.
Her exciting 2019-20 season features an all-Beethoven recital to celebrate the composer’s 250th anniversary, and an all-Russian program with the virtuosic Tchaikovsky-Pletnev Nutcracker Suite. Her highly popular Romantic Masters Series and a newly added Strokes of Genius Series continues with educational concerts combining music, commentary and visuals for schools, libraries and grassroots organizations. A unique multi-disciplinary Chopin project entitled ForbiddenConcert is planned for 2020.
Three tours of Poland connected Carmichael more closely to the great Polish composer Chopin and his historical impact. A unique multi-disciplinary Chopin project entitled ForbiddenConcert is planned for 2020.
Carmichael has appeared at the Aspen Music Festival, the Grand Concert Hall at City Halls (Glasgow, Scotland), Ostrogski Palace Concert Hall (Warsaw, Poland), CAMI Hall in New York City, the Salk Institute, Portland’s “Art for the Ears,” Chicago’s PianoForte Series, New York’s Ridotto Series, the Aptos Keyboard Series, the Idyllwild Summer Music Festival, Radziejowice Palace (Poland), Denver Municipal Auditorium, and many other national and international concert venues.
Phillip Dyson, piano: Beethoven2020 Project
Born in Lancashire he began musical studies at an early stage and by the age of twelve had given a performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall, which was to launch a busy and most successful performing career. He studied at the Royal College of Music with distinguished pianists Colin Horsley and John Lill, and also with Dr William Lloyd Webber. At the early age of 27 he was appointed Professor of Piano at the London College of Music.
Phillip Dyson has performed with many of the UK’s finest symphony orchestras, including: the Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, National Symphony and the Ulster Orchestra; and at most of the major festivals, including: Salisbury, Lichfield, Bury St. Edmunds, Ludlow, Fishguard, Newbury, Buxton, Worcester Three Choirs, Gloucester Three Choirs, Belfast and Chester. Most frequently he appears in London, including the South Bank Centre and St John’s, Smith Square. He tours overseas every year, particularly in the USA and Europe. Also in Africa, where he has toured several times in Tanzania and given a number of recitals at the Official Residence of the British High Commissioner in Dar es Salaam. On disc he records for the ASV/Sanctuary, Chandos, Naxos and Marigold labels.
Kimberly Hou, piano: Beethoven2020 Project
Kimberly Hou began piano at 4 years old with Marjorie Lee and has since developed a lifelong love for music. A graduate of the Columbia University-Juilliard School Exchange Program, Kimberly has studied with Matti Raekallio and Hung-Kuan Chen. She was named a 2012 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts as well as a 2012 NFAA YoungArts Silver Award Winner. She won First Prize in the 2011 Lee University International Piano Competition, the 2009 Music Teachers National Association Junior Piano Competition, the 23rd, 25th, and 27th International Young Artist Piano Competitions, the Connecticut International Piano Competition, and over 25 other regional and national competitions. Kimberly is also the 2nd Prize Winner of the 2012 William Kapell Young Artist Piano Competition, and a winner of the 2010 Chopin Scholarship by the Chopin Foundation of the United States.
She has been chosen to participate in several additional international competitions including the 2008 Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition, the 2009 Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition (Finalist and Honorable Mention), the 2011 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition (Semifinalist and Honorable Mention), and the 2011 Minnesota International e-Piano Junior Competition (advanced to final 12) among others.
Kimberly has appeared on NPR’s From the Top as well as Richmond CBS Virginia This Morning for a live TV interview. She has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall; Kennedy Center Concert Hall, Millennium Stage, and Terrace Theatre; U.S. Department of State; Hungarian and Bulgarian Embassies; the 2nd Washington International Piano Festival; the 2012 William Kapell International Piano Festival; the 2011 Kids In Need Foundation Annual Gala; and the 2009 National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. In addition, she performed in concerts with the Richmond, New River Valley, and VCU Symphony Orchestras as the winner of concerto competitions.
Kevin Navarro, piano: Beethoven2020 Project
Kevin Navarro, classical pianist and vocal accompanist is a native of Seattle, Washington and has resided in San Francisco for nine years. Kevin earned his Bachelor’s of Music in Piano Performance from Pacific Lutheran University School of Music, where he studied under Dr. Calvin Knapp of the Julliard School, Dr. Richard Nance, Director of Choral Activities and Mira Frohnmayer, Chair of Vocal Studies at PLU School of Music. During his tenure at PLU, Kevin served as the choral accompanist for both University Choral, and internationally renowned Choir of the West. Kevin was very active in musical theatre and opera productions in the Seattle/Tacoma region, and has served as a principle/stage accompanist for PLU Opera Workshop, Tacoma Opera, Seattle Opera and the Tacoma Musical Playhouse including productions such as Madame Butterfly, Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute, and West Side Story.
Liana Paniyeva, piano: Beethoven2020 Project
Award winning pianist Liana Paniyeva has performed at international festivals in Norway, Hungary, Canada, Italy, South Africa and Israel. Liana performed three times at Carnegie Hall in New York City . Her solo recital in 2016 at the Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago was broadcast live on WFMT Radio. Ms. Paniyeva is the winner of the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music; Grand Prize at the Metropolitan International Piano Competition; and the winner of the AFAF Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition. Liana Paniyeva was also awarded the Cargill Foundation Prize in the 2014 Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow, and became a prizewinner at the Iowa International Piano Competition in 2015 . In 2013-2015, Ms. Paniyeva was awarded the E.B. Storrs Piano Scholarship from the Musical Club of Hartford. Liana earned Third Prize at the International Competitions in Memory of E. Gilels, First Prize at the International Competition in Memory of Prokofiev, and Second Prize at the International Competition in Memory of A. Karamanov. In 2008, Liana won First Prize in the “Music World” International Competition in Italy. In Israel Ms. Paniyeva won a prize in memory of Bracha Eden for a most impressive performance during the competition ” The Voice of Music ” Jerusalem . Liana graduated from the Donetsk Music Academy in Ukraine, and went on to earn her Professional Studies Certificate from the Manhattan School of Music in 2011. Her career continues with recitals in Hungary, Israel, Ukraine, USA, England, Syria , Canada , South Africa and Norway. Ms. Paniyeva finished her Artist Diploma at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford . Most recently, Liana played in concert halls of Scotland, South Africa, and in multiple states of the USA including Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Chicago Cultural Center , Epiphany Church in Downtown of Washington DC , Chicago Public Library , Grand Country Concert Series in Colorado , Jamestown Piano association and many more.
Carlos Pavan, guitar
“Striking music-great originality” – Classical Guitar Magazine
Argentine born/Brooklyn (Park Slope) based concert guitarist & composer Carlos Pavan arrived to New York in 2000 to pursue musical studies under Jesse Henserkiefken (conducting) , Jorge Morel (classical guitar/composition) , Dave Smey ( Brooklyn Conservatory) and Pablo Ziegler (Astor Piazzolla’s piano player, composition/orchestration/arranging) . Since then, he’s performed at well-renowned venues such as Lincoln Center, New York City Center, Tango USA (Canada) , New England Conservatory Jordan Hall (Boston), Brooklyn Borough Hall, Merkin Hall at Kaufman Center, Philadelphia Museum, Connecticut Festival Guitars of the world , Tribute to Astor Piazzolla (New Jersey), Tango trio (Washington DC) , Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, Hudson River Museum, New England Guitar Society, Public Libraries all around USA and internationally in France, Ireland, Portugal and Japan. His second CD “Suite del Interior” (original compositions for guitar and string quartet) is a blend of argentine tango/folk dances, jazz harmonies and classical forms and recorded with special guest PUBLIQuartet .When not performing, he offers private guitar/composition lessons and is also an instructor at Noel Pointer Foundation. At the present he is the composer/guitarist/artistic director of the Park Slope Chamber Players with upcoming album of his originals works.