Carol Leone is nationally recognized as an artist-teacher of piano and is Chair of Piano Studies at SMU Meadows School of the Arts. Dr. Leone has performed and taught throughout the United States, Europe and Asia and has been a prizewinner in piano competitions such as the National Beethoven Sonata Competition, the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition and the International Masters Piano Competition. Her performances have been lauded as “revelatory” (TheaterJones.com), possessing “great pizzazz … luminous in tone and nimble fingerwork … ” (Dallas Morning News) and providing “every nuance with clarity and charm … ” (Peninsula Review).
Her professional training included study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she received a Certificate and was a student of the Polish pianist Mieczysław Horszowski. Leone was also a student of Guido Agosti in Rome and holds the prestigious Honors Diploma from the Accademia Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
Leone has recorded for MSR Classics, the Augusta Read Thomas Label, Gasparo Records and Crystal Records. Her solo CD Change of Keys was awarded two Silver Medals in the 2016 Global Music Awards. She performs regularly with the Grammy-nominated contemporary music ensemble Voices of Change as well as at universities and music conferences throughout the US.
Leone is also active in national and international keyboard festivals and conferences as a teacher, lecturer and adjudicator. She has been named Texas Music Teachers Association’s Collegiate Teacher of the Year and was one of 10 teachers selected nationwide to serve as Mobil Ambassador to the 9th Van Cliburn Competition. She has served on the piano faculty of numerous summer programs, including the Bösendorfer International Piano Academy in Vienna, the Cliburn Piano Institute, the International Fine Arts Institute in Moscow, the International Piano Master Class in Bojano, Italy and the Tong-Il Han International Music Festival in South Korea. Her students have been top prizewinners in international competitions such as the Virginia Waring, the Bradshaw and Buono, the Chopin Foundation Scholarship Program and the Center for Musical Excellence International Young Artist Awards.
Leone has presented at the Music Teachers National Association Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conference, and the European Piano Teachers Association Conference (Czech Republic), among others. Her articles on performance topics have appeared in American Music Teacher, Clavier Companion, Piano Today, Keyboard Companion, The Texas Music Teacher, and the Piano Professional(UK). Considered the world’s leading artist-teacher on ergonomic piano keyboards to promote a pianist’s wellness, she has been invited to write on the topic by several of the world’s leading piano journals.
American pianist Julian Martin has been a College faculty member since 1999 and a Pre-College faculty member since 2003. He is winner of the 1975 Montevideo International Piano Competition and has won major prizes from the Ravel-Casadesus (now Cleveland International), Gina Bachauer, and Kapell competitions as well as the Collaborative Prize at the 1982 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He has played tours through North and South America, Europe, and Asia, and has recorded with violinist Berl Senofsky and flutist Robert Willoughby. Martin introduced new works by composers Richard Rodney Bennett, Stephen Albert, Mario Davidovsky, and Edward Barnes. He has served as a jury member for the Montreal, Iowa, and Jaén international piano competitions, and for Stars of the 21st Century in St. Petersburg. Martin is a member of the original selection committee for the Gilmore Foundation (Kalamazoo). He is founder and artistic director of the International Piano Festival of Gijón (Asturias, Spain). He is on the regular guest faculty at the Glenn Gould Professional School (Toronto), the Banff Centre, and the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival. He has taught master classes in Argentina, Colombia, England, Germany, Israel, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Venezuela. He is a former faculty member at Oberlin Conservatory (1982-87) and the Peabody Institute (1987-2002). Martin’s principal studies were at the Peabody Conservatory with Leon Fleisher. He also studied with Guido Agosti in Italy and with Robert Casadesus and Nadia Boulanger in France.
Boaz Sharon is Professor of Piano at Boston University and Director of the Young Artists Piano Program at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Boaz Sharon studied from the age of 13 with Stefan Askenase – famed interpreter of Chopin and Mozart – in Brussels, Belgium. He later pursued his piano studies in the US with Leonard Shure.
Sharon, who is first prize winner and gold medalist of the Jaen International Piano Competition, is an international recording artist for Nonesuch, Hyperion, Arcobaleno and Unicorn-Kanchana Records. His recording release on Nonesuch/Asylum/Warner Bros. was cited as among the best recordings of the year by Newsweek Magazine and was cited by the New York Times as “beautifully recorded and played”.
Among concerts given have been performances in the Taipei National Performing Arts Center, Taiwan; Steinway Celebrity Series, London; Phillips Collection and National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Liszt International Piano Festival, Rio de Janeiro; the Chapelle Historique Piano Series, Montreal; and the Gasteig Hall, Munich.
Boaz Sharon was formerly Pianist-in-Residence at Duke University and Professor of Piano at the University of Florida. He is a frequent judge at competitions including the Rudolf Firkusny International Piano Competition, Prague; the Liszt International Piano Competition, Moscow; the Jaen International Piano Competition, Spain; and the “Composers of Spain” International Competition, Madrid.
Having founded and then directed the Prague International Piano Masterclasses for 13 years, he is also on the artist faculty of the Ruza International Piano Festival in Russia, and was co-founder and on the faculty of the International Certificate for Piano Artists (sponsored by the Ecole Normale de Musique Alfred Cortot, Paris).
Sharon is Honorary Fellow at Charles University, Prague. In 2009 he was appointed Visiting Professor at the China Conservatory in Beijing.
In recent years Sharon has given a recital and orchestral tour of 13 concerts in Russia from the Far East to Moscow, which included several performances with the Ural State Philharmonic. He was on the artist faculty of the International Piano Academy at Seoul National University, appeared on MBC-TV in South Korea, and presented recitals at the Beijing Concert Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, Ruza International Piano Festival in Russia, the Nordic Piano Festival in Sweden, Yamaha Hall in New York City, Yamaha Hall in Seoul, and at the Bergamo International Festival in Italy.
In the 2012-13 year Sharon gave concerts in Tel Aviv, Israel; London, England; and at the Sichuan International Piano Festival, China for which he is Artistic Director. Sharon also gave a masterclass at the Royal College of Music in London and was in residency at the Middle School attached to the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing.
In the 2014-15 year Sharon gave concerts in Seoul (Mozart Hall), New York City (Harvard Club), Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rio de Janeiro, and San Paulo. He served on the jury of the Jaen International Competition in Spain and at the Second International Youth Competition, Kaufman Center, New York City.
Nancy Weems has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Central America, and the former Soviet Union to wide critical acclaim. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Texas, her solo appearances include concerts in fourteen foreign countries, in addition to the U.S. After a recital in Reykjavik, Iceland, one critic called her “a rare treasure… Nancy Weems is an extraordinary pianist, grand in scope, and powerful in her interpretation, possessing fantastic technique.” In Mexico City, a reviewer stated that “Nancy Weems is gradually beginning to occupy the place of one of the top international pianists in Mexico.” A Houston Post article reported, “The young performer put an amazing display of energy and keyboard technique into a recital that went from strength to strength.”
In l984, Ms. Weems won the Artistic Ambassador Competition sponsored by the United States Information Agency in Washington, D.C. As a result, Ms. Weems represented the United States in an international concert tour, including the countries of Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and the U.S.S.R. In March, l987, Ms. Weems presented a solo debut recital at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The music critic of The Washington Post praised “Weems’ powerful technique” and “delightful mix of strength and flexibility.” In 1987, Ms. Weems was invited for a second international tour to the countries of Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Costa Rica and in 1993, to Taiwan and Hong Kong. In addition, Ms. Weems has represented the United States in the 1981 Van Cliburn International Competition, and won top awards in the International Recording Competition. She has appeared as guest artist with numerous symphony orchestras, and has given master classes in music schools and conservatories in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the West Indies. Ms. Weems was an exchange professor and guest performer at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England; Sungshin Women’s University in Seoul, Korea; and in 2008, the International Piano Master Class Series of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Currently, Nancy Weems is Professor and Division Chair of the piano area at the University of Houston Moores School of Music in Houston, Texas. Her students have won top awards in many national and international competitions including the first prizes in the MTNA Collegiate Artist Competition, the Corpus Christi Young Artist Competition, and the Nena Wideman National Young Artist Concerto Competition. Many of her current and former students now hold positions in music schools and universities worldwide, and several have successful performing careers under professional artist management. A dedicated teacher, she was named the Outstanding Collegiate Teacher in 1991 by the Texas Music Teachers Association, and received a University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award in 1995. Professor Weems regularly presents lectures, recitals and teacher workshops and has been a featured MTNA convention artist for the states of New York, Washington, Minnesota, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas. In addition, Ms. Weems has been a frequent presenter at the Music Teachers National Association Convention and the World Piano Pedagogy Conferences.
Ms. Weems has recorded for the Albany and the Bay Cities labels. The recording, “Classical Hollywood” was nominated for a Grammy award in 1990. In addition, she has been featured in recordings of American composers Arnold Rosner and Chris Theofanidis.