Presented by Lisa Yui (DMA ’05)
Celebrating the 20th season of the “Lives of the Piano Series,” presenting students, faculty, and friends of Manhattan School of Music.
François Morel (1926-2018): Étude de sonorité No. 2 (1954)
Performed by Lisa Yui
Drew Hemenger (b. 1968): from Four Places in New York (2002)
I. The Bell Tower at Riverside Church
II. Christopher Street
III. Union Square, September 14 (in memory of the victims of the World Trade Center attacks)
Performed by Jerry Wong
George Walker (1922-2018): Prelude and Caprice (1941-45)
Walker: Piano Sonata No. 5 (2003)
Performed by Jason Thomas
Marcos Balter (1974): Dreamcatcher (2018)
Performed by Ryan Bridge
Lev “Ljova” Zhurbin (b. 1978): “Sirota” from Voices for piano and three historical recordings (2011)
Performed by Inna Faliks
Sergei Bortkiewicz (1877-1952): “The Rocks of Uch-Kosh” from Crimean Sketches (1908)
Performed by Pavel Gintov
Federico Ruiz (b.1948): Triptico Tropical (II.)
Performed by Alejandro Guillen
Eduardo Caba (1890-1953): Leyenda Keshua (1938)
Caba: 2 Aires Indios (de Bolivia) (1943)
No. 3 Reposado muy expresivo – Danza poco alegre – 1er Tiempo
No. 9 Movido expresivo
Performed by Walter F. Aparicio
Kara Karayev (1918-1982): “Eskiz” (Sketch)
Performed by Ali Mammadoff
Kosaku Yamada (1886-1965): from Pieces Dedicated to Scriabin (1917)
No. 1 Night Song
No. 2 Unforgettable Night in Moscow
Yamada: Sutra at Dawn (1916)
Performed by Makiko Hirata
Teresa Carreño (1853-1917): Elegie no.1 Plainte (1869)
Diana Franklin: Joropo (1991)
Performed by Kristhyan Benitez
Jon Batiste (b. 1986): The Gun Song/The Ballad of Booth (2019)
Performed by Anthony de Mare
Known for the warmth and conviction of his performances, pianist Walter Aparicio explores issues of cultural background and identity through his concerts and workshops. Much of his programming includes music that directly references elements of dance, language and folk traditions. Some of Walter’s notable New York credits include Symphony Space, Cell Theatre, Steinway Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Outside of the US, he has presented performances in Russia, China, Spain and Bolivia. An adventurous artist, Walter has participated in performance installations such as Stop, Repair, Prepare. Other ventures have included collaborations with the Nouveau Classical Project (where fashion meets music) and Notes on Fiction, a series where musical references in literature are presented as a fluid reading/concert hybrid. An active proponent of Latin American composers, Walter is committed to introducing rarely heard works to audiences. His debut album, Aires Indios: Piano Music of Bolivia (MSR Classics) explores this music. Walter is on the artist roster of Cayambis Music Press, a leading publisher of works by Latin American composers. As an artist, he champions & records recent works of the publisher’s composers. Walter holds degrees from NYU Steinhardt and MSM. His primary teachers include Deirdre O’Donohue, Phillip Kawin and Robert Durso.
Pianist Kristhyan Benitez is part of the new generation of Venezuelan musicians earning international fame. From age 4, his first public concert until now, he has been sought after in the concert arena as well as for his improvisations and arrangements. Kristhyan has appeared on some of the world’s most prestigious stages including Philarmonie Hall (Berlin), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Town Hall (New York), National Center for the performing arts (Beijing), Ehrbar Saal (Vienna), Salle Cortot (Paris), Amadeo Roldan Theater (Havana)Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico City) and Rios Reyna at the Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex (Caracas), with performances throughout Europe, South America and the United States. Benitez first recording was the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Berlin Symphoniker under Eduardo Marturet. He released his second album “Miniatures” in March 2016, receiving the bronze medal at the Global Music Awards. He is now recording for the Steinway & Sons label, with a number of works available on Spirio. His latest projects, NOSOTROS, dedicated to Venezuelan music, received the Silver medal at the Global Music Awards for best album and instrumentalist 2020, and LATIN AMERICAN CLASSICS, his first recording on the Steinway & Sons label. Kristhyan resides in New York City.
Ryan Bridge is a multifaceted artist whose work traverses a variety of musical practices. As a solo pianist, Ryan Bridge has performed in venues such as the Curtis Institute’s Field Hall, Manhattan School of Music’s Greenfield Hall, the Steinway Gallery of New Jersey and Steinway Hall of New York, and has participated in music festivals such as the Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, Miami Music Festival, and the Philadelphia Young Pianists Academy. A believer in musical activism, Ryan put together a concert in May of 2020 to raise funds for the Artist Relief Fund which provided grants for those working in creative fields who were put in dire financial situations by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a composer and improviser, Ryan’s music has been heard at the John Cage Centennial Festival in Washington D.C., the SoundSCAPE festival in Maccagno, Italy, and elsewhere. As a collaborator, Ryan has performed in numerous recitals, and has collaborated with a number of opera companies and programs, having performed operas such as Hansel und Gretel, Carmen, and Le Nozze di Figaro. Ryan is a graduate of Manhattan school of music, having studied with Alexandre Moutouzkine, and currently studies with Lisa Yui.
Anthony de Mare is one of the world’s foremost champions of contemporary music. Praised time and again by The New York Times, his versatility over the past three decades has inspired the creation of over 75 new works by some of today’s most distinguished artists. Known for his entrepreneurial performance projects, he continues to expand the boundaries of the repertoire, which includes the speaking-singing pianist genre that he pioneered over 30 years ago. As creator, performer and co-producer of Liaisons: Re-Imagining Sondheim from the Piano, this landmark commissioning and concert project has definitively brought the work of Stephen Sondheim into the concert hall, through the extraordinary re-imaginings of composers from across the musical spectrum. His recording of the first 36 pieces, released on ECM, was cited on numerous “Best Of” lists and was included as a winner of the 2016 Grammy Award for Classical Producer of the Year. His performances over the years span five continents and his discography of over twenty recordings includes works by Ives, Cowell, & Harrison, Cage and Meredith Monk, Astor Piazzolla, Frederic Rzewski and many others. Since his debut with Young Concert Artists, his accolades and awards have included First Prize at the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition, and The International Contemporary Piano Competition of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. He gave his Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall in 2005. A Steinway Artist, he currently is Professor of Piano at Manhattan School of Music and New York University. He also serves as new music curator for the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture in NYC.
“Adventurous and passionate” (The New Yorker) Ukrainian-born American pianist Inna Faliks has made a name for herself through her commanding performances of standard piano repertoire, as well genre-bending interdisciplinary projects, and inquisitive work with contemporary composers. After her acclaimed teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA. Highlights of the recent seasons include performances in Ravinia Festival and the National Gallery in DC, recital tours of China, as well as acclaimed performances at the Festival Intenacional de Piano in Mexico, in the Fazioli Series in Italy and in Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum, at Portland Piano Festival and with the Camerata Pacifica, with the modern dance troupe Bodytraffic at the Broad Stage Santa Monica, and Jacaranda Series in Los Angeles, where she performed Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. She regularly tours with her monologue-recital Polonaise-Fantasie, the Story of a Pianist, which tells the story of her immigration to the United States from Odessa. Upcoming recordings include Reimagine Beethoven and Ravel (9 world premieres) on Parma and the Master and Margarita project, with three world premieres and Liszt Sonata in b minor, on Sono Luminus. These programs will be performed nation-wide in 2020-2021.
Pavel Gintov has been described as “a poet of the keyboard” by Marty Lash of the Illinois Entertainer, a “musical storyteller” by the Japanese publication Shikoku News, and “a fantastic pianist and extraordinary artist” by Jerry Dubins of the Fanfare Magazine. Following his debut at the Kyiv Philharmonic Hall at the age of 12, Mr. Gintov has been touring throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and the United States, appearing at such stages as Carnegie Hall in New York, Berlin Philharmonic Hall, Teatro Verdi Nationale in Milan, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory and Kioi Hall in Tokyo. He has been a soloist with Tokyo Royal Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Shizuoka Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa, the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic under such conductors as Michiyoshi Inoue, Victor Yampolsky, Thomas Sanderling and Tomomi Nishimoto. Mr. Gintov graduated with honors from the Moscow State Conservatory, where he was a student of Lev Naumov and Daniil Kopylov. He holds a Doctor of Musical Art degree from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he studied with Nina Svetlanova.
Born in the city of Caracas (Venezuela), Alejandro Guillen got accepted at the Simon Bolivar Conservatory at the age of 11. There, he studied with Francisco Ascanio, Laura Méndez and Domenico Lombardi. After arriving to the United States, Alejandro began private lessons with the pianist Aziza Khasanova. In 2016, after having studied with the pianist and composer Luisa Elena Paesano (1941-2019), Alejandro has been dedicated to the research of not well-known composers and the performance of contemporary music, having an archive of a wide range of music where the piano is protagonist. He has collaborated with composers such as Miguel Astor, Federico Ruiz, Pablo Camacaro, Carlos Perez Tabares, Renata Cedeño, and Paul Desenne. In addition, Alejandro has had the privilege of working with renowned pianists like Robert Shannon, Simone Dinnerstein, Asaf Zohar, David Witten, Massimiliano Baggio, Sondra Tammam and Irina Morozova. Alejandro is currently pursuing his Bacherlor’s Degree at the John J. Cali School of Music in Montclair State University under the tutelage of Dr. Lisa Yui, and is also a proud recipient of the Musical Club of Westfield scholarship and the Latin GRAMMY Cultural Foundation scholarship.
An international pianist and recording artist, Makiko Hirata is “Dr. Pianist,” on a mission to promote music and musicians as healing agents in this world. As a consultant to Houston Methodist Hospital’s Center for Performing Arts Medicine, she collaborates with neuroscientists to quantify the benefit of music. She writes, gives lecture-concerts, and facilitates workshops on biomusicology, and its power to encourage empathy, reminding us how what we share is greater than our differences. She is a US-Japan Leadership Program Fellow. Dr. Hirata has given recitals, lectures, concerto performances and outreach concerts in the Americas, Europe and her native Japan with ensembles and artists, such as the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, the Pecs Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, conductor Leon Fleisher, and clarinetist David Krakauer. Passionate about sharing music not just through performances, she has also taught at New York University, Colburn Conservatory of Music, Rice University, and Lone Star College, and given master classes and lectures internationally. Dr. Hirata is a Shigeru Kawai Artist.
Graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Ali Mammadoff is a New York city based pianist. Originally born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Mr.Mammadoff came to US in 2015 to develop his artistic and professional skills under the mentorship of Professor Phillip Kawin at Manhattan School of Music. A laureate of several international competitions as a pianist and a composer, Mr. Mammadoff has given solo recitals in New York City and across Europe. In 2013 he composed and arranged two pieces for an orchestra “Jazz fantasy” and “Prelude” and performed them at Baku State Philharmonic Hall. Mr. Mammadoff is a presidential scholarship holder and his name is included in Golden Book of Young Talents of Azerbaijan. Joining the Oratorio Society of New York in 2016, Mr. Mammadoff also sang Bach’s mass in b minor in Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall. Mr. Mammadoff’s repertoire includes works of composers like Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Chopin, Schumann, Mozart, Karaev, etc. Mr. Mammadoff is currently studying his last year of Masters Degree with Professor Phillip Kawin at Manhattan School of Music.
Born in Brooklyn and raised in Queens, New York City, pianist Jason Thomas understands excelling through adversity. Jason has overcome several obstacles throughout his career, including the difficulties of starting piano lessons at 14 and overcoming the discouragement from those who thought he could never become a concert pianist. Jason is a classical pianist whose repertoire ranges from the traditional mainstream pieces to the complexities of modern music. His performances have been televised throughout the world, including on the 3 Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN). He has performed in many concert venues throughout the world, including Suolahti, Finland, where he was a winner of the piano competition at the Suolahti International Music Festival. Jason has a long list of piano teachers, which include Nina Svetlanova, Shou-Ping Chiu, Barry Goldsmith, Carlos Juris, Emanuel Krasovsky, Antti Siirala, Erik T. Tawaststjerna, and Lauri Väinmaa. Jason has also performed in masterclasses with accomplished musicians such as Seymour Bernstein and Barry Snyder. Jason is currently completing his doctorate studies at Manhattan School of Music. His thesis focused on the evolution of the piano style of Dr. George Walker.
Steinway Artist Jerry Wong has been described by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Martin Bernheimer as “eloquent…sensitivity and a finely-honed sense of style” and the Orange County Register praised him for “clean technique, forthright sound and a straight forward approach to classical textures”. He has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia in such prestigious settings as the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, National Concert Hall of Taipei, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Opera City Hall in Tokyo, PianoForte in Chicago, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Shriver Hall in Baltimore and Weill Recital Hall in New York City. Mr. Wong has presented masterclasses throughout the United States in such noted institutions as Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Northwestern University and University of Michigan, as well as abroad in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Korea, Macau, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan. From 2003-2019, he was Professor of Piano at Kent State University in Ohio, where he has also served on the faculty of the Kent Blossom Music Festival. In July of 2019, Mr. Wong relocated to Australia to join the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music as an Associate Professor of Piano and Co-Head of Keyboard.
Described as “a musical phenomenon” (Pianiste), Yamaha Artist Lisa Yui enjoys a multifaceted musical career as pianist, lecturer, educator, author, and musical director. Since making her concerto debut at the age of seven, she has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. She is the top prizewinner of the Senigallia International Piano Competition in Italy, and has twice been the recipient of a Canada Council Scholarship. Lisa Yui has performed as soloist with prominent orchestras including the Tokyo Symphony, the Polish National Radio, the Toronto Symphony, and the Krakow State Philharmonic. Lisa Yui’s insightful writing on a variety of topics has appeared in numerous publications, and she has worked extensively with cutting edge music technology through her long-distance remote lessons and performances using the Yamaha Disklavier, an acoustic/digital hybrid player piano. Lisa Yui’s principal teachers and mentors include Byron Janis, Marc Silverman, Giovanni Valentini, Oxana Yablonskaya, Edna Golandsky, David Dubal, and Leonid Hambro. Lisa Yui is on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music and Montclair State University. At Manhattan School of Music, where she is also Associate Dean of Assessment and Academic Programs, she received the School’s 2018 President’s Medal for Distinguished Service.