Sean Chen, winner of the 2013 American Pianists Association’s DeHann Classical Fellowship and bronze medalist of the 2014 Van Cliburn, is acclaimed for his “penetrating artistic intellect” (Audiophile Audition) and “ravishing tone and cogently contoured lines” (Gramophone).
Sean has appeared as soloist on return engagements with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, made debuts with the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra and with the orchestras of Milwaukee, Phoenix, Hartford, Santa Fe, Tucson, North Carolina, San Diego, the New West Symphony and many others in the U.S. and South America. Sean has worked with Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Karina Canellakis, Nicholas McGegan, Marcelo Lehninger, Michael Butterman, George Hansen, Michael Stern and many others. Solo and chamber music recitals have taken him to Jordan Hall in Boston, the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, the Lied Center in Lincoln, New York City’s SubCulture, The Smithsonian, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and dozens of other venues throughout the world.
The Millsap artist-in-residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Sean received undergraduate and graduate degrees at Juilliard. At the Yale School of Music, he earned an artist diploma as a George W. Miles Fellowship recipient, and a student of Hung-Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone. His former teachers include Jerome Lowenthal, Matti Raekallio, and Edward Francis.
Theresa Bogard, is a dynamic, versatile performer dedicated to expanding the canon of traditional piano repertoire. Her early career focused on performances of music by women composers, and she continues to include works by other lesser known composers in her programs. As a recipient of a Fulbright grant, Bogard was able to explore her interest in historical performance practice and fortepiano studying at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague in the Netherlands. That same year she was a top-prize winner in the International Mozart Fortepiano Competition in Bruges, Belgium. A world traveler with a passion for other cultures, Bogard has performed on five continents in Belgium, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Mexico, Bolivia, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Singapore and throughout the United States. Her extensive discography includes a wide variety of recordings ranging from solo piano to chamber music collaborations, from music of living composers to her specialty in fortepiano and historical performance practice. She has served on the faculty of the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy and the Sulzbach-Rosenberg International Music Festival in Germany and has performed at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and at the Ravinia Steans Institute with cellist Misha Quint. Theresa is a Steinway Artist.
Pianist Alex McDonald has soloed with the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado de Mexico, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan and the Utah Symphony Orchestra. He was a featured performer on PBS, WRR, NPR and WQXR. Awards include second prize at the 2007 New Orleans International Piano Competition and second prize at the 2001 Gina Bachauer International Young Artist Piano Competition. Alex was a competitor in the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Alex McDonald is the artistic director for the Basically Beethoven Festival, a thriving summer concert series in downtown Dallas’s arts district. His students have been admitted to Juilliard and Eastman. Texas Music Teachers Association awarded him the 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award in teaching. He was a juror for the 2023 Van Cliburn International Amateur Competition.
Alex McDonald received pre-college training under Lois Nielson, his bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory with academic honors and distinction in performance under Russell Sherman and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Juilliard under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Julian Martin. His doctoral research in sources for Liszt’s Sonata in B Minor has been cited by Alfred Music’s recent edition of the sonata.
Kevin Olson is an active pianist, composer and professor of piano at Utah State University, where he has taught courses in piano literature, pedagogy, accompanying, music theory, improvisation, commercial composition and rock & roll history, among others. In addition to his collegiate teaching responsibilities, Kevin coordinates the keyboard studies program at Utah State and oversees the USU Youth Conservatory, which provides weekly piano instruction to more than 150 pre-college community students.
Kevin has been a composer-in-residence at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and has written music commissioned and performed by groups such as the Five Browns, Music Teachers National Association, American Piano Quartet, Chicago a cappella, the Rich Matteson Jazz Festival, American Grands, the Festival for Creative Pianists, the American Festival Chorus & Orchestra, and numerous piano teacher associations around the country. He gives workshops and performances nationally and internationally, most recently in India, China, Canada, Great Britain and Italy.
Kevin maintains a large piano studio, teaching students of a variety of ages and abilities. Many of the needs of his own piano students have inspired over 200 published books and solos, written in a variety of levels and styles.