Ursula Oppens, a legend among American pianists, is widely admired particularly for her original and perceptive readings of new music, but also for her knowing interpretations of the standard repertoire. No other artist alive today has commissioned and premiered more new works for the piano.
A prolific and critically acclaimed recording artist with five Grammy nominations, Oppens most recently released a new recording of Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated, nominated for a Grammy in 2016, and Piano Songs, a collaboration with Meredith Monk. Ms. Oppens recently added to her extensive discography by releasing a two-piano CD for Cedille Records devoted to Visions de l’Amenof Oliver Messiaen and Debussy’s En blanc et noir performed with pianist Jerome Lowenthal.
Over the years, Oppens has premiered works by such leading composers as John Adams, Luciano Berio, William Bolcom, Anthony Braxton, John Corigliano, György Ligeti and Witold Lutoslawski, to name a few.
As an orchestral guest soloist, Oppens has performed with virtually all of the world’s major orchestras. She is also an avid chamber musician.
Ursula Oppens is a Distinguished Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City; she also joined the faculty of Mannes College, the New School, in fall 2017. In 2019, Oppens was awarded an honorary doctorate from the New England Conservatory. From 1994 through the end of the 2007–2008 academic year she served as John Evans Distinguished Professor of Music at Northwestern University. In addition, she has served as a juror for many international competitions.
Adrian Anantawan holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale University and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. As a violinist, he has studied with Itzhak Perlman and Pinchas Zuker-man, and Anne-Sophie Mutter; his academic work in education was supervised by Howard Gardner. Memorable moments include performances at the White House and the United Nations. He has played for the late Christopher Reeve, Pope John Paul II and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Anantawan has performed extensively in Canada as a soloist with the Orchestras of Toronto, Nova Scotia, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Montreal, Edmonton and Vancouver. He has also presented feature recitals at the Aspen Music Festival and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Anantawan represented Canada as a cultural ambassador in the 2006 Olympics and was a featured performer at the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Adrian helped to create the Virtual Chamber Music Initia-tive at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Centre.
From 2012–2016, he was the co-director of Music at the Conservatory Lab Charter School, serving students from the Boston area, kindergarten through grade eight—his work was recognized by Mayor Marty Walsh as a ONEin3 Impact Award in 2015. Adrian is also Juno Award nominee, a mem-ber of the Terry Fox Hall of Fame and was awarded a Diamond Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his contributions to the Commonwealth. He is chair of music at Milton Acad-emy, the artistic director of Shelter Music Boston and is on faculty at Boston University Tanglewood Institute.
Sisters Kimberly and Michelle Cann, “the newest darlings of duo pianists,” are consummate musicians passionate about performing a wide range of multi-cultural repertoire and to fostering greater appreciation for the arts both locally and internationally.
Kimberly received a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. Michelle received both BM and MM degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and an artist diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music.
A resident of Ashville, North Carolina, Kimberly is the founding director of Piano Lab & Music Lab Studios, whose faculty contain fellow concert artists committed to providing a unique, well-rounded music education for students from all backgrounds. She has served as vice president of the Asheville Symphony and president of the Asheville Piano Forum. Kimberly is also the founding director of Keys for Kidz, a program that provides group piano lessons to under-served children in the area and partners with local universities to mentor young teachers. She performs as both a soloist and chamber musician. Kimberly previously was visiting professor of music and artist-in-residence at Northern Caribbean University.
Michelle maintains an active performance schedule throughout the U.S., China and South Korea. A champion of the music of Florence Price, Michelle performed the New York City and Philadelphia premieres of the composer’s Concerto in One Movement. She has also performed Price’s works for solo piano and chamber ensemble for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and the New World Symphony, among others. Michelle has served as a collaborative staff pianist at the Curtis Institute of Music for several years, and in 2020, she joined the faculty as the inaugural Eleanor Sokoloff Chair in Piano Studies.
Founded in 1986, the Formosan Violin-Piano Duo formed by Shi-Hwa Wang and Yu-Jane Yang has performed in Austria, Poland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Germany, Singapore, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Canada and the U. S. The Duo plays rich duet repertoire for violin and piano ranging from composers such as J. S. Bach to George Gershwin, William Bolcom and John Williams. The Formosan Duo’s Romantic Album CD has received critical acclaim.
Shi-Hwa Wang’s outstanding reputation as a violinist has earned him the post of concertmaster for several professional orchestras, including the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, the Ballet West and Utah Chamber Orchestras, and the Classical Music Festival Orchestra in Austria. Wang appears frequently as a soloist, chamber musician and guest concertmaster in the U.S., China, Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, and Europe. Wang is a Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor and the director of Strings Studies at Weber State University. He also served as a visiting violin professor at the Haydn Conservatory in Austria. Wang serves as a clinician, adjudicator, and master class teacher nationally and internationally.
Yu-Jane Yang is a Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor, Endowed Scholar/Artist of the College of Arts & Humanities, and the director of keyboard studies at Weber State University. She was named the 2020 MTNA Teacher of the Year, received the Outstanding Service Award by NCKP in 2019, was named an MTNA Foundation Fellow in 2011, and bestowed with Utah MTA Legacy Award in 2010. A presenter, performer, adjudicator, and master class teacher, Yang has given numerous piano workshops, master classes and concert performances. Her piano students have been top prizewinners in both collegiate and pre-college divisions in numerous state, national, and international piano competitions.