Live-Round Jury

Angela Cheng

Consistently praised for her brilliant technique, tonal beauty, and superb musicianship, Canadian pianist Angela Cheng is one of her country’s national treasures. In addition to regular guest appearances with virtually every orchestra in Canada, she has performed with the Alabama Symphony, Annapolis Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Flint Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Orchestra London, Philharmonic Orchestra of Minas Gerais/Brazil, Saint Louis Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, Utah Symphony, and the Israel Philharmonic. In the spring of 2012, Ms. Cheng made her highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut with the Edmonton Symphony. She also appeared at the prestigious Salzburg Festival in a recital with Pinchas Zukerman during the summer of 2012. Highlights of the 2015/2016 season include return performances with the symphonies of Vancouver, Edmonton, Wheeling, and Philharmonic Orchestra of Minas Gerais/Brazil. In March 2016, Ms. Cheng will perform the complete Beethoven Concerti cycle with the Victoria Symphony.

In 2009, at the invitation of Pinchas Zukerman, Ms. Cheng toured both Europe and China as a member of the Zukerman Chamber Players, and as Mr. Zukerman’s collaborative pianist. She joined them again in the spring of 2010 for a U.S. tour, which included concerts at Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and the 92nd Street Y in New York. Subsequent seasons have seen multiple tours of Europe and South America, including performances at the Musikverein in Vienna, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and at the Schleswig-Holstein and Ravinia festivals.

With Mr. Zukerman and cellist Amanda Forsyth, Ms. Cheng, as a member of the Zukerman Trio, made her debuts in 2013 at the Verbier, Edinburgh, Miyazaki, St. Petersburg/Stars of the White Nights and Enescu/Romania Festivals. The Zukerman Trio will continue touring in the 2015/2016 season with performances in Australia, Asia, South America, Europe, and the U.S., including a performance at the 92nd Street Y in New York. In March 2016, Ms. Cheng will return to Wigmore Hall in London for a collaborative recital with Mr. Zukerman.

An avid recitalist, Angela Cheng appears regularly on recital series throughout the United States and Canada and has collaborated with numerous chamber ensembles including the Takács, Colorado, and Vogler quartets. Solo recitals during the 2015/2016 season include Melbourne, Australia; the Chamber Music Society of Detroit; the Vetta Chamber Music Series in Vancouver; the Cecilian Concert Series (Regina, Saskatchewan); and return appearances at Virtuosi Concerts in Winnipeg and the Art Spring Concert Series in Salt Spring Island.

Ms. Cheng has made festival appearances at Banff, Bravo! Vail, Chautauqua, Colorado, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Ravinia, Vancouver, the Festival International de Lanaudière in Quebec, Masterworks Festival, Toronto Summer Music Festival, and the Cartegena International Music Festival in Colombia.


Enrico Elisi


Born and raised in Bologna, Enrico Elisi has established himself as one of the most passionate Italian pianists on the concert scene today and has been hailed for his mastery of elegance, refinement, and fantasy (La Nueva España). He regularly performs to acclaim throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia and his interpretations reveal “remarkable sensitivity, imagination and polish,” (Baltimore Sun).

Dr. Elisi recently joined the distinguished Faculty of Music of the University of Toronto as an associate professor, having previously served on the faculties of the Eastman School, the Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Nevada since 2004. Elisi’s former students include prizewinner in competitions; hold teaching posts; performed with orchestras (including the Rochester Philharmonic and Dallas Chamber Symphony); gave debut recitals from New York to Caracas, Paris and Seoul; garnered fellowships and scholarships at summer programs and have been accepted in artist diploma, master, and doctoral programs in prestigious institutions in the US and abroad.

In Italy Elisi has appeared in historical settings such as La Fenice Theatre, Venice; Palazzo Vecchio, Florence; Bibiena Theatre, Mantua; Pavarotti Opera House, Modena; Teatro Comunale and Sala Bossi, Bologna; Sant’Anna dei Lombardi Church, Naples, as well as the Cathedral and Museo diocesiano in Amalfi. He has also given recitals in various European countries including France, Germany, Slovak Republic, Portugal and Spain. In Asia he performed in South Korea, China, Taiwan, and Singapore. Recent engagements include recitals at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, the New York Public Library, New York’s Morgan Library, Washington’s National Gallery of Art and the Italian Embassy, and the Centro Cultural de España in Lima, Peru.

Elisi has appeared with the Florence Symphony, Italy; Orchestra Classica de Porto, Portugal; Bay Atlantic Symphony, Greeley Philharmonic, Williamsport Symphony, Pennsylvania Centre, Penn State Philharmonic, Penn’s Woods, UNLV Chamber and Johns Hopkins Symphony orchestras, USA. He also debuted as soloist/conductor with the Green Valley Festival Chamber Orchestra.

Among Elisi’s awards are top prizes in the Premio Venezia (Italy) and the Oporto International Competition (Portugal). After winning nine first prizes in competitions in Italy and the US, and having garnered a dozen of other top prizes and awards, Elisi performed in Toulouse, France, and New York’s Weill Recital Hall as a La Gesse Fellow.

Via Classica, a German radio station, offered a two-hour broadcast of Elisi’s live recital in Hamburg followed by an interview (2008). Additional radio broadcasts include Montebeni Classica FM (Italy), WCLV Cleveland, UNC, KCNV Nevada Public Radio, and KGCS (USA). He also appeared in a TV broadcast for WPSU and Portuguese national TV.

An avid chamber musician, Elisi has performed at the Taos and Ravinia Festivals, and collaborated with principal players from the Baltimore, Chicago, and American Symphony Orchestras, as well as other well-known soloists. As a champion of new music, Elisi has commissioned works from composers of many nationalities and premiered Paul Chihara’s Two Images, at Weill Hall—a composition he subsequently recorded (Albany Records).

A frequent guest at music festivals, Elisi appears and performs regularly in such settings as Cincinnati Art of the Piano, Montecito, Lee University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Texas State University, and Chautauqua Institution (USA); Associazione Umbria classica and Amalfi Coast Festival (Italy); Ameri-China Foundation and Sichuan International Piano Festival (China).

Elisi also enjoys an international reputation as a teacher, having presented hundreds of master classes, both in conjunction with his performing engagements, at Northwestern University, Boston University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Temple University, the University of Michigan, USA; University of British Columbia, Canada; National Conservatory of Lima, Peru; Accademia delle Marche, Italy; Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan; China Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, China; Academy of Performing Arts, Hong Kong; Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, Singapore; Jakarta Conservatory, Indonesia; Seoul National, Yonsei, Hanyang, Ewha Woman’s, as well as most other major universities in Korea. Elisi also held a two-year guest professorship at the China Zhejiang Art School in Hangzhou, China and has been teaching an annual workshop in Seoul.

As an adjudicator, he has taken part in the Tremplin International and the Concours de Musique du Canada, the Nuova coppa pianisti (Osimo, Italy), the Iowa Competition, the Peabody Yale Gordon, the Julia Crane International, the Fite Young Artist competitions, several State Music Teachers Associations’ competitions (USA), as well as the Ameri-China Foundation Competition (Chengdu, China).

After studying at the Conservatory of Bologna and Florence and the world-renowned Incontri col Maestro International Piano Academy of Imola, Dr. Elisi worked extensively (MM and DMA) with Schnabel’s disciple Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. A year after graduating, at Fleisher’s invitation, he performed at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in a joint recital with his mentor. Among his teachers were pianist Lazar Berman and Boris Petrushansky, respectively pupils of Goldenweiser and Neuhaus, as well as Alexander Lonquich, Franco Scala and Giuseppe Fricelli.

Ning An

img_2322Pianist Ning An was the first prize winner of the 2003 William Kapell Piano Competition. An made his concerto debut at the age of 16, performing the Rachmaninov Second Piano Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra in February of 1993. He has since appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Belgian National Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Symphony, the Stuttgart Philharmonic and the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, and has worked with such conductors as Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Kasmierz Kord, Jajha Ling, Vladimir Fedosseyev, Jorg-Peter Weigle, Marc Soustrot, and Sergiu Comissiona. An has presented recitals at venues such as Salle Verdi in Milan, Italy, Salle Cortot in Paris, and the Palais de Beaux Arts in Antwerp. He has been invited to perform at numerous festivals, including the International Chopin Festival in Duszinski, Poland, the Gina Bachauer Piano Festival in Salt Lake City, New Hampshire’s Monadnock Music Festival, the Bourglinster Festival in Luxembourg and the Interlaken Music Festival in Switzerland. An was also a soloist with the Warsaw Philharmonic during their 2001 centennial world tour.

An’s recent Carnegie Hall debut, an all-Chopin program presented by the Chopin Foundation of the United States in Weill Recital Hall, was praised in the New York Concert Review for “the almost sculpted clarity of his playing, and his ability to maintain balance and tension in large-scale dramatic forms.” The author went on to say, “Ning An impresses with his developed musicianship, his discerning sense of form and style, his penetrating and illuminating interpretation, and his perfect technical command. I have no doubt that he will join the ranks of the finest interpreters of Chopin.”

An was the third prize winner of the 1999 Queen Elizabeth Music Competition, was first prize winner in the 2000 National Chopin Piano Competition, and received the Alfred Cortot Prize at the 2000 International Chopin Competition. Other top prizes he has received are from the American Pianists’ Association, the Kosciusko Chopin Competition and the Stravinsky International Piano Competition. An was also the third prize winner of the 2002 Paloma O’Shea Santander Competition in Spain, as well as being a laureate and recipient of the audience prize at the 2002 Rachmaninoff International Competition, held in Pasadena, Calif. His principal teachers were Russell Sherman and Olga Radosalvjevich.


Audition Jury

Jennifer Chu

Jennifer Chu headshotA native of New York state, Ms. Chu earned the Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School where she was awarded the 2012 Richard F. French Prize for her doctoral dissertation. She also holds degrees and scholarships from Manhattan School of Music and Princeton University. A committed and multifaceted educator, Ms. Chu currently teaches at The Juilliard School where she is director of the Secondary Piano Department and faculty member in both Keyboard Skills and Music History.

Ms. Chu made her orchestral debut at age thirteen with the Rockland Symphony Orchestra and has performed with ensembles such as the South Orange Symphony Orchestra, the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, the Festival Orchestra in Toledo, Spain, and the Princeton University Orchestra. As a recitalist, Ms. Chu has toured throughout Spain as part of International Piano Festivals, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and the Mozarteum Festival in Salzburg. She has garnered awards at the Steinway Society of Boston competition, the Five Towns Music and Arts Competition, the Bradshaw and Buono Piano Competition, and the Wideman Piano Competition.

Passionate about chamber and contemporary music, Ms. Chu performed frequently with the acclaimed New Juilliard Ensemble in venues such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Alice Tully Hall. Her interpretations have been deemed “powerful” and “winning” by the New York Times. She gave the Canary Islands premier of Hans Werner Henze’s piano sonata, and the New York premieres of composer Raymond Luedeke’s The Art of Love/Into the Labyrinth and If You Forget Me. Ms. Chu is privileged to count among her musical mentors members of the Brentano String Quartet, Jerome Lowenthal, Solomon Mikowsky, and Elizabeth DiFelice.


Jonathan Tsay

Jonathan Tsay headshotJonathan Tsay maintains an artistic career as diverse as his interests. A recent multi-city tour of Taiwan included recital stops at the National Recital Hall in Taipei, Kaohsiung Music Hall, and the Pingtung Arts Center, as well as masterclasses at Soochow University, Kaohsiung Normal University, and Taiwan National University of the Arts. Other recent solo engagements include performances for The Cliburn, Music at Southminster in Ottawa, Blanco Performing Arts, and Fine Arts Chamber Players.

A sought after collaborator, Dr. Tsay has also performed alongside some of the world’s premier musicians, including Chee-Yun, Jing Wang (Concertmaster, Hong Kong Philharmonic), dramatic soprano Alessandra Marc, Chloé Trevor (“musical ambassador to Generation Z”), and Nathan Olson (Concertmaster, Dallas Symphony Orchestra). Jonathan also serves as Artistic Director of Ensemble75, a chamber music series based out of his city of Dallas, Texas.

Jonathan has composed scores to multiple documentaries; most recently he wrote music for Parker Brown’s exploration into college smoking entitled DRAG. Jonathan’s recordings can be found in Brahms – A Listener’s Guide: Unlocking the Masters Series, as well as on Chloé Trevor’s debut album Immortal and Danse Macabre. A solo CD featuring the works of Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Debussy, Liszt, and Muczynski was released worldwide May 2009, and production on three recording projects are slated for completion in 2017.

Dr. Tsay started his piano studies with Carolyn Savko at the age of five. Under the tutelage of Dr. Carol Leone, Jonathan earned a Bachelors of Music with Honors at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Jonathan entered l’Université de Montréal as a Masters of Music student of Marc Durand, and received his doctorate through an accelerated program. Jonathan’s musical background also includes composition studies with Simon Sargon and David Karp, and conducting with Jack Delaney and Paul Phillips.


Steven Hall

Steven Hall headshotSteven Hall has a wide range of performing experience throughout the major music centers of the United States, Europe, and Taiwan as an orchestral soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician; critics have hailed him as a pianist who “need not fear comparison with the greatest in his field.”  A native of Dallas, Texas, Mr. Hall earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance degrees (both with High Honors) with John Perry at the University of Texas at Austin.  In 2001, Dr. Hall received his Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance at the University of Southern California where he received recognition as the Outstanding Doctoral Candidate in Keyboard Studies and the Award for Outstanding Departmental Teaching Assistant as John Perry’s Teaching Assistant.  Steven Hall’s international competition experience includes the Leeds, Chopin and Van Cliburn, and is a prizewinner in numerous national competitions, including first prize in the MTNA Collegiate Piano Competition.  Selected as the first US Artist Representative of the Ibach Piano Company of Germany since the company’s inception in 1794, Dr. Hall has recorded two critically acclaimed compact discs featuring the Ibach piano on ACA label — Steven Hall and Classic Piano.  Dr. Hall is the Editor of CD & DVD Reviews for Clavier Companion, is an active adjudicator and presents master classes and clinics throughout the US. In addition to his solo career, he also tours as a collaborative pianist and is frequently partnered with his wife, Dr. Annie Lin as a duo piano team.  In 2000, they co-founded the Brandeis Piano Conservatory of Richardson, and the BPC Recording Company, which has produced several hundred high-quality video and compact disc recordings for pianists and instrumentalists.