About Piano Cleveland

Meet the CIPC Young Artists Jury

December 17th 2014
Young Artists

PAUL SCHENLY
USA
Chairman

SchenlyWinner of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, pianist Paul Schenly has been a soloist with major United States orchestras, including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and New York Philharmonic.  Mr. Schenly appeared in the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center, and in acclaimed recitals at Carnegie Hall. He has performed with many of the world’s leading conductors including James Levine, Erich Leinsdorf, Christoph von Dohnányi, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Edo de Waart, Mstislav Rostropovich, Robert Shaw and Aaron Copland, Michael Tilson Thomas and Kiril Kondrashin.

Mr. Schenly is Professor and Artist in Residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was chairman of the piano department for over 25 years.  He has served on the juries of several national and international competitions and his students have won national and international prizes.  Mr. Schenly also serves as the Artistic Director of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and is the Founder/Director of the summer festival “Pianofest in the Hamptons.”

 

KYUNG SOOK LEE
South Korea

LeeKyung Sook Lee has played with numerous distinguished artists including Christian Ferras, Pierre Fournier, Eudice Shapiro, Aaron Rosand, Julius Baker, Dmitri Yablonsky, Paul Tortolie and Alto Noras.  She also performed with many international orchestras including the Philadelphia Orchestra, L’orchestra de la Suisse Romande, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ms. Lee also is a devoted and respected music educator.  She was appointed as the first dean of the College of Music at the Korea National University of Arts when the conservatory was founded by the Korean Government in 1993.  She was also dean of the College of Music, Yonsei University, as well as a director of the Seoul Arts Center.

Currently, she is a professor emeritus at the College of Music, Yonsei University, Musical Director of the chamber group “Curtis and Friends” and a member of the National Academy of Arts, the Republic of Korea.

 

DORIAN LELJAK
Serbia/Croatia

Dorian LeljakDorian Leljak has won several international piano competitions, including the International Rachmaninov Competition in Belgrade and the Isidore Bajic Piano Memorial in Novi Sad, Serbia. He enjoys a successful career worldwide as a pianist and chamber musician, establishing collaborations with cellist Istvan Varga and pianist Ninoslav Zivkovic.

Dr. Leljak is Professor of Piano at the Academy of Arts in Novi Sad, Artistic Director of the International Isidor Bajic Piano Competition, and President of the World Piano Teachers Association, among other appointments.

Dr. Leljak has given master classes and lectures around the world and is a member of the jury at many international piano competitions including the Top of the World Piano Competition Tromsø (Norway), Parnassos Competition (Monterrey, Mexico), Scriabin International Piano Competition in Grosseto (Italy), and EWON Cheonan Competition (South Korea).

 

ALEXANDER SCHIMPF
Germany

Alexander_SchimpfAlexander Schimpf was the first prize winner at the 2011 Cleveland International Piano Competition.  Since then Mr. Schimpf’s career has gained momentum with regular appearances at important music centers around the world such as the Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin’s Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, the Marinsky Concert Hall in St. Petersburg, the Great Hall of “Alte Oper” in Frankfurt, and the Munich Philharmonic Hall.

He has performed in recital throughout Germany as well as in France (Auditorium du Louvre and Salle Cortot in Paris), Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, England, and Russia, and several times in South America. He made his debut appearance at Carnegie Hall in December 2011 and has been performing in the USA frequently since then; he was invited to play recitals in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Boston, Chicago, and Washington D.C., among others, and received engagements as soloist by numerous symphony orchestras throughout the country.

 

SEAN SCHULZE
USA/South Africa

Sean Schulze 3Sean Schulze is on the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM).  He teaches applied piano to students at Case Western Reserve University, teaches piano pedagogy and piano literature to conservatory graduate and undergraduate students and serves as Chair of CIM’s nationally recognized Preparatory Piano Department.

A prize winner of several competitions, he has an active performance career, appearing as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician throughout the U.S., South Africa, Mexico, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Sean Schulze’s students continue to win prizes regularly in competitions throughout Ohio and the United States, including first prizes in the MTNA National Performance Competition.  In 2008, Mr. Schulze founded and continues to direct Summer Sonata, an intensive two-week program of lessons and master classes for talented pianists aged 10-18, which takes place annually on the CIM campus.

 

LEI WENG
China

WengLei Weng enjoys a successful career, having performed at many prestigious venues around the world including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Steinway Hall in New York, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Beijing Concert Hall, Taichung National Symphony Hall and Kaohsiung Cultural Center in Taiwan, Banff Center in Canada, Campana Theater in Italy, the Tanglewood Music Festival, the TCU Cliburn Institute, and the Messiaen Festival.

A dedicated educator, Dr. Weng is the Keyboard Area Head and Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Northern Colorado, where he teaches talented students from around the world.  In 2014 he was recognized as UNC’s “College of Performing and Visual Arts Scholar of the Year.” He is frequently invited as guest professor by such prestigious conservatories in Asia as Central Conservatory of Music and China Conservatory in Beijing, and Taipei National University of Education and National Kaohsiung Normal University in Taiwan.

 

Photo credits:  Alexander Schimpf: © Pilvax Studio, Budapest


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Joe Leaman and Helen Welch

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Chengzi Li

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Eva Gevorgyan

Critics rave at her “emotional eloquence and impeccable technique” combined with all “the important features of a mature master” (ICMA): 18-year old Armenian pianist Eva Gevorgyan has quickly established herself as one of the most promising talents in the pianistic world.

Eva Gevorgyan has performed with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Orchestra, National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, Russian National Orchestra, State Academic Symphony Orchestra “Evgeny Svetlanov”, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra, Malta Philharmonic and others. She has already performed at major concert venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle, the Mariinsky Concert Hall, Moscow Conservatory Great Hall, and KKL Lucerne. Eva has participated in the Verbier Festival, Duszniki International Chopin Piano Festival, Stars of the White Nights Festival, Eilat Chamber Music Festival, Palermo Classica Festival, the Perugia Piano Festival, ClaviCologne Festival and Klassik vor Acht, Jeune Chopin à Cannes, Ferrara Piano Festival, Elena Cobb Star Prize Festival, Fränkische Musiktage Alzenau and others. In January 2020 Eva was invited to perform in Yerevan in front of the President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian and his spouse. At the Alto Adige Festival she performed in the presence of Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella.

Eva has appeared with such conductors as Vladimir Spivakov, Lawrence Foster, Vasily Petrenko, Valery Gergiev, Alexander Sladkovsky, Roberto Beltrán-Zavala, Eduard Topchjan, Dimitris Botinis, Piotr Gribanov, Tigran Hakhnazaryan, Ruth Reinhardt, Anatoly Levin, Ilmar Lapinsh, and others.

At the XVIII International Chopin Competition in Warsaw Eva Gevorgyan was the youngest finalist. Evgeny Kissin chose Eva Gevorgyan as a scholar of the 2020 Klavierfestival Ruhr. Eva was also an ICMA Discovery Award winner at the 2019 International Classical Music Awards. She is a grand-prix winner of the Russian National Orchestra Competition in 2021. In total, Eva has received awards at more than forty international competitions for piano and composition in the United States, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Russia among others, including First Prize at the Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists (incl. special prize for the best interpretation of Bach and Canton Symphony Orchestra Prize), First Prize at the Robert Schumann Piano Competition in Dusseldorf, Second Prize and the Press Award at the Cliburn Junior International Piano Competition, Grand Prix and special prize for best Chopin interpretation at the Chicago International Music Competition, and First Prize at the Jeune Chopin International Piano Competition in Martigny. She has been a laureate and received five special prizes at Moscow’s Grand Piano International Competition. Eva also won First Prizes at the Chopin International Piano Competition for Young Pianists in Szafarnia, Poland, and Portugal’s St. Cecilia International Piano Competition, and won the Grand Prix at the International Piano Competition of Giuliano Pecar in Gorizia, Italy. Eva was awarded the Junior Prize (City Prize) at the Eppan Junior Piano Academy (Italy).

Eva is a Young Yamaha Artist. She received a scholarship from the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and participates regularly in the intensive music weeks and activities offered by the Academy. She also holds scholarships from YerazArt Foundation, Foundation Artis Futura, and from the Armenian Assembly.

Eva Gevorgyan was born in April 2004. After studies with Natalia Trull at the Central Music School in Moscow, she joined the Reina Sofia School of Music in Madrid, where she continues to study with Stanislav Ioudenitch. Eva was invited to the International Piano Academy Lake Como, where she participated in masterclasses with Dmitry Bashkirov, Stanislav Ioudenitch and William Nabore. She has also participated in masterclasses with Pavel Gililov, Grigory Gruzman, Piotr Paleczny, Andrea Bonatta and Klaus Hellwig.

John Zion

John Zion serves as the Managing Director of MKI Artists, one of the leading classical music management agencies in the United States where he directs the careers of a prestigious roster of artists, ensembles, and composers. He is also a co-founder of OurConcerts.live that produced and streamed more than 300 concerts during the pandemic and continues to provide access to live music to audiences around the world.

Also an active consultant, John works with artists, administrators, and arts organizations on career development, project management, and digital marketing. John serves on the board of Chamber Music America and has guest lectured and presented on arts-related issues at the Colburn School of Music, University of Michigan, Manhattan School of Music, Banff Centre, APAP|NYC, and Chamber Music America’s National Conference. He was named one of the “Rising Stars in the Performing Arts” by Musical America in 2012 and received a BM in Violin Performance from the Hartt School of Music.

Gabriela Montero

Gabriela Montero’s visionary interpretations and unique compositional gifts have garnered her critical acclaim and a devoted following on the world stage. Anthony Tommasini remarked in The New York Times that “Montero’s playing had everything: crackling rhythmic brio, subtle shadings, steely power…soulful lyricism…unsentimental expressivity.”

Recipient of the prestigious 2018 Heidelberger Frühling Music Prize, Montero’s recent and forthcoming highlights include debuts with the New World Symphony (Michael Tilson Thomas), Yomiuri Nippon Symphony in Tokyo (Aziz Shokhakimov), Orquesta de Valencia (Pablo Heras-Casado), and the Bournemouth Symphony (Carlos Miguel Prieto), the latter of which featured her as Artist-in-Residence for the 2019-2020 season. Montero also recently performed her own “Latin” Concerto with the Orchestra of the Americas at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and Edinburgh Festival, as well as at Carnegie Hall and the New World Center with the NYO2. Additional highlights include a planned European tour with the City of Birmingham Symphony and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla; a second tour with the cutting edge Scottish Ensemble, this time with Montero’s latest composition Babel as the centrepiece of the programme; her long-awaited return to Warsaw for the Chopin in Europe Festival, marking 23 years since her prize win at the International Chopin Piano Competition; and return invitations to work with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony, Jaime Martin and the Orquestra de Cadaqués for concerts in Madrid and Barcelona, and Alexander Shelley and the National Arts Centre Orchestra of Canada.

Celebrated for her exceptional musicality and ability to improvise, Montero has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras to date, including: the Royal Liverpool, Rotterdam, Dresden, Oslo, Vienna Radio, and Netherlands Radio philharmonic orchestras; the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Zürcher Kammerorchester, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, and Australian Chamber Orchestra; the Pittsburgh, Detroit, Houston, Atlanta, Toronto, Baltimore, Vienna, City of Birmingham, Barcelona, Lucerne, and Sydney symphony orchestras; the Belgian National Orchestra, Württembergisches Kammerorchester.

A graduate and Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Montero is also a frequent recitalist and chamber musician, having given concerts at such distinguished venues as the Wigmore Hall, Kennedy Center, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Cologne Philharmonie, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Herkulessaal, Sydney Opera House, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Luxembourg Philharmonie, Lisbon Gulbenkian Museum, Manchester Bridgewater Hall, Seoul’s LG Arts Centre, Hong Kong City Hall, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, and at the Barbican’s ‘Sound Unbound’, Edinburgh, Salzburg, SettembreMusica in Milan and Turin, Lucerne, Ravinia, Gstaad, Saint-Denis, Violon sur le Sable, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Rheingau, Ruhr, Trondheim, Bergen, and Lugano festivals.

Montero is also an award-winning and bestselling recording artist. Her most recent album, released in autumn 2019 on the Orchid Classics label, features her own “Latin” Concerto and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major, recorded with the Orchestra of the Americas in Frutillar, Chile. Her previous recording on Orchid Classics features Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and her first orchestral composition, Ex Patria, winning Montero her first Latin Grammy® for Best Classical Album (Mejor Álbum de Música Clásica). Others include Bach and Beyond, which held the top spot on the Billboard Classical Charts for several months and garnered her two Echo Klassik Awards: the 2006 Keyboard Instrumentalist of the Year and 2007 Award for Classical Music without Borders. In 2008, she also received a Grammy® nomination for her album Baroque, and in 2010 she released Solatino, a recording inspired by her Venezuelan homeland and devoted to works by Latin American composers.

Montero made her formal debut as a composer with Ex Patria, a tone poem designed to illustrate and protest Venezuela’s descent into lawlessness, corruption, and violence. The piece was premiered in 2011 by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields. Montero’s first full-length composition, Piano Concerto No. 1, the “Latin“ Concerto, was first performed at the Leipzig Gewandhaus with the MDR Sinfonieorchester and Kristjan Järvi, and subsequently recorded and filmed with the Orchestra of the Americas for the ARTE Konzert channel.

Winner of the 4th International Beethoven Award, Montero is a committed advocate for human rights, whose voice regularly reaches beyond the concert hall. She was named an Honorary Consul by Amnesty International in 2015, and recognised with Outstanding Work in the Field of Human Rights by the Human Rights Foundation for her ongoing commitment to human rights advocacy in Venezuela. She was invited to participate in the 2013 Women of the World Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, and has spoken and performed twice at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters. She was also awarded the 2012 Rockefeller Award for her contribution to the arts and was a featured performer at Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Inauguration.

Born in Venezuela, Montero started her piano studies at age four with Lyl Tiempo, making her concerto debut at age eight in her hometown of Caracas. This led to a scholarship from the government to study privately in the USA and then at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Hamish Milne.