The winners of 9th International Web Concert Hall Competition

Honorary Mentions

Adam Aleksander (Piano – Canada / Poland)

“rare finesse…gorgeous sonority and nimble fingers…generous of feeling, mood and tonal resources” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

 “(Aleksander) is a consummate pianist…outstanding artist” (Miami Herald); having “phenomenal technique, which allows him to achieve extremely musical ends” (Byron Belt, Newshouse News Service)

 “(Aleksander) is one of the great artists of the city and promises to become one of the greatest pianists…” (Daniel Fernandez, El Nuevo Herald), “…exquisite…subtlety and grace…fire and brimstone…rare depth and substance…introspective… exhilarating!” (Pat Leitch, Coral Gables Gazette.)

Adam Aleksander has received top prizes in over eighteen piano competitions in five countries, including international piano competitions in Barcelona, Paris, Salerno, Miami, Lawton (Oklahoma), Edmonton (Canada), and Palm Beach, and has received prizes for his recordings in competitions in Austin, Texas and Calgary, Canada. In addition, he has been awarded grants from The Canada Council and The Alberta Heritage Trust Fund.

Born in Edmonton, Canada, Adam Aleksander has been performing to the acclaim of audiences worldwide since his debut with orchestra at the age of fourteen with the Chopin Piano Concerto in E Minor. His teachers include Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Regina Smendzianka at the Chopin Academy in Warsaw, Jim Bonn at the University of Southern California and Ivan Davis at the University of Miami where he received his Doctorate in Musical Arts. He has participated in masterclasses with Nelita True and Stephen Hough and has performed at festivals in Tours, France, Orford, Quebec, Interlochen, Michigan, Slupsk as well as Antonin, Poland.

Adam Aleksander has appeared in television and radio in Poland, Canada and the U.S., has recorded several CD's, and has appeared in solo and chamber music performances as well as with orchestra in Japan, Italy, France, Spain, Poland, South Africa, Scotland, Brazil, Ecuador, Canada and the U.S.

[Interview] [Performance]

Piano Duo Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann (Canada)

Elizabeth and Marcel Bergmann have been performing together as a duo since 1989. They studied with Arie Vardi at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Hannover and with Jean-Eudes Vaillancourt at the Université de Montréal. The duo received first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition in Caltanissetta, Italy, and were laureates of The 4th Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition. In 1993 they became members of the young artists’ roster of Yehudi Menuhin-Live Music Now. Their recitals and concerts with orchestra have taken them to many parts of the world, including the United States, Italy, Germany, Holland, Greece and Canada. The duo has appeared at the celebrated Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Banff Arts Festival, the Royal Bank Calgary International Organ Festival and Competition, the International Two Piano Symposium and Schubertiade, Miami, the Tage für neue Musik, Darmstadt, the Braunschweiger Kammermusik Podium and at the EXPO 2000, Hannover. The duo has appeared with several North American orchestras such as the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the New World Symphony and the Canticum Novum of Santa Fe.

They have made recordings for the CBC, for several stations of the ARD in Germany and for National Public Radio in the USA. The duo has made several CDs, which appear on the CordAria and Arktos labels and has recorded William Bolcom’s complete works for two pianos for Naxos. As founding members of the International Piano Quartet they had the opportunity to record Stravinsky’s Les Noces under the direction of Robert Craft at the Abbey Road Studios in London. The CD first appeared on Koch International Classics and has been re-released on Naxos.

Currently on faculty at The Mount Royal College Conservatory in Calgary, Elizabeth and Marcel have also been involved in various musical activities at The Banff Centre for the Arts and in 2004/2005, served as Artistic Directors of The Murray Dranoff International Two Piano Competition and Foundation in Miami. They are members of the Calgary based group Land’s End Chamber Ensemble, recipients of the 2005 and 2006 Western Canadian Music Awards for Outstanding Classical Recording. Committed to supporting the production of new Canadian repertoire, the duo has commissioned and premiered several works by Canadian composers such as Allan Gordon Bell and John Abram. Their extensive repertoire ranges from the baroque to the contemporary and includes numerous own arrangements and compositions.

[Interview] [Performance]

Yoonjung Han (Piano – Korea)

Acclaimed by famous piano maker Fazioli,
Such delicate, beautiful sound…!” Korea native Yoonjung Han, 22, has received “The Most Promising Young Artist” award from Korean Minister of Culture following by Grand prize at the Korea National Music Competition. She has amazed audience world wide, appearing in the major cities in the United States, Korea and Europe; prestigious venues including the Juilliard Theater, San Rocco Theater in Italy, Finlandia Hall in Finland, University of Florida, University of Houston, Eastman Theater, Weill Hall at Carnegie, Se-Jong concert Hall, Chopin Hall, Ishikawa cultural center in Japan, Sarasota Opera House, and Villa Bertramka Mozart museum in Czech Republic. In 2006-2007, she will be heard at Dame Myra Hess concert series, New York Dance & Arts festival, Bell concert series, Phillips collection in Washington DC, Steinway festival and solo appearances with Jefferson Symphony, Shreveport Symphony Orchestras.

 At age 9, she won gold medal at the Samick Piano Competition. Then, as the winner of Seoul Philharmonic Young Artists Competition, she made her solo debut at age 13, Beethoven 3rd concerto with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at the Se-Jong Concert Hall. She recently performed as a soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Mississippi Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milan. In past years, she collaborated with the Juilliard Pre-college Symphony, Connecticut Virtuosi, Pottstown, Meridian Symphony and Yewon Chamber Orchestras.

The recipient of numerous awards, Ms. Han won top prizes in the international competitions such as Helsinki Maj Lind Piano Competition, Concorso Pianistico Ettore Pozzoli, and Gold medals at the Nena Wideman, Kosciuszko Chopin, Bradshaw& Buono, Music Teacher’s National Association Competitions. Ms. Han has frequently appeared on both WQXR and National Public Radio’s “Young Artist Showcases”, as well as WHYY, TV pol music, and CBS, EBS in Korea. 

Yoonjung Han graduated first Yewon Arts School, entered Seoul Arts High School with the highest honor. In 2003, she graduated the Juilliard School Pre-college as the winner of the Frederich Nordmann Piano scholarship studying with Victoria Mushkatkol. She received her bachelor’s degree in 2007 from the Curtis Institute of Music with Yvonne K.Durian fellowship, where she was a student of Eleanor Sokoloff. She is pursuing Master’s degree at Juilliard as a pupil of Robert  McDonald.

[Interview] [Performance]

Tatiana Larionova (Piano – Russia)

Born in 1979 in Primorskij Krai (URSS) Tatiana Larionova began studying the piano at the age of five. In 1991, she entered the Central Music School in Moscow, where she studied under Professor Yuri Slesarev. After graduating in 1997 with highest rating, Tatiana attended the Moscow State Conservatory where she studied until 2004 under Professor Victor Merzhanov, taking, again with best votes, her doctorate.
In 2005 she got a full-scholarship of the International Center for Music, Park University, Missouri where she studied with Professor Stanislav Ioudenitch and attended masterclasses of D. Bashkirov and Fou Ts’ong.
Tatiana Larionova is a prize winner in several international piano competitions, including: “Usti nad Labem” Piano Competition (Czech Republic, 1994); “Stravinskij awards” Interantional Piano Competition (US, 1995); International F.Liszt Piano Competition (Poland, 1999); third prize, S.Thalberg International Piano Competition (Italy, 2004); second prize, “Premio Seiler” International Piano Competition (Italy, 2004).

Tatiana participated in the International Piano Festivals, including “Bodensee-Festival” (Germany) and the International European Piano Forum (Berlin, 2001). She has performed recitals and concerts in the most important halls in Europe (Russia, Byelorussia, Germany, Poland, France, Austria, Suisse and Italy) and US. In 2001, Tatiana performed Mozart Piano Concerto # 23 in the Bolshoi Hall of the Moscow Conservatory with the orchestra of the conservatory conducted by A. Kaluzhnyi with incredible success of public and critic.

Tatiana currently lives in Italy where she regularly performs for the most important societies (as Società dei Concerti in Milano), and she is also passionately dedicated to chamber music (Tatiana plays in several different ensembles, from duo to quintet, collaborating very often with instrumentalist from La Scala Theatre), and teaching (Accademia Pentagramma in Milano). [Interview] [Performance]

Alexander Bedenko (Clarinet – Ukraine)

“A super talent,”
Ricardo Morales, Principal clarinet The Philadelphia Orchestra.

“Splendid technique and an outstanding musicianship”
Gary Graffman.

Mr. Bedenko also holds a degree from The Kharkov Music School where he studied under the tutelage of Professor Valery Altykhov. Alexander Bedenko is as extraordinary clarinetist with accomplishments ranging from taking top honors at International Competitions to holding principal positions with orchestras under world-renowned conductors.

Alexander Bedenko has won first prizes in several major competitions, including the 1994 first prize and laureate from the Second International Young Artist’s Competition in Moscow, the 1995-96 first prizes winner of the Interlochen Center for the Arts “Concerto Competition”, First prize at the Summit Music Festival “Concerto Competition” in NYC in 2004, and the 1999 Grand-Prix and Laureate of the International Open Clarinet Competition in Kiev, as well as recipient scholarship of Vladimir Spivakov’s Foundation and the named scholarship of The President of Ukraine, from (1997-1999).

As a soloist, Mr.Bedenko has collaborated with such orchestras as Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, National Orchestra of Ukraine, National Orchestra of Romania, National Opera Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev State Philharmonic, and “Moscow Virtuosi” Chamber Orchestra. His orchestral experience include The Philadelphia Orchestra, Principal Clarinet in 2002 America-Russian Young Artists Symphony Orchestra World Tour under such conductors as Leon Botstein, Arnold Katz, And Paavo Jarvi, an associate Principal Clarinet in the 1998 World Youth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neemi Jarvi,and Principal at The Curtis Institute of Music, conducted by Otto-Werner Muller. Since 2003, he holds a principal position of The Haddonfield Symphony Orchestra/Symphomy in C, conducted by Rossen Milanov.

Alexander Bedenko has performed under the batons of such conductors as Vakhtang Jordaniya, Teodor Kutchar, Dmitri Liss, Sergey Skripka, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Hans Vonk, Wolfgang Sawallisch,Sir. Andrew Davis, Paul Lustig Dunkel, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Spivakov, Yuri Temirkanov, David Zinman, Sir. Simon Rattle, Robert Spano, Charles Dutoit and Michael Stern.

Among his many accomplishments, Alexander Bedenko was also honored to be the sole Ukranian representative at the UN’s 50th anniversary jubilee in Geneva and the 50th anniversary of UNESCO in Paris. Mr.Bedenko has also appeared in solo and chamber concerts in Bol’shoi Hall at The Moscow State Conservatory, The Pushkin Museum, Weill Recital Hall at The Carnegie Hall, Gipson Hall in London, Bol’shoi Theatre in Moscow, Kiev State Opera House, Steinway Hall, The Metropolitan Museum, at the Chicago Cultural Center in Dame Myra Hess Concert Series and Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center. In 1998, Alexander Bedenko released his first CD with Sergey Polusmiak, (piano) in Cincinnati. Mr.Bedenko has also been televised and broadcasted in France, Sweden, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. In The United States, Alexander Bedenko was featured on WQXR Radio Station in New York, WHYY Radio Station in Philadelphia, and “Voice of America” in Washington. Most recently, Mr. Bedenko has made an album with clarinetist Richard Stoltzman for RCA/BMG Japan label.

Alexander Bedenko has participated in prestigious music festivals such as “Colmar” in France, Verbier Music Festival and Academy in Switzerland, “Farost Trust Music Festival” in Cyprus, Sarasota Music Festival, and many other festivals in Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Great-Britain, and the USA.  Born in 1982 in Kharkov Ukraine, Mr.Bedenko graduated from The Curtis Institute of Music in 2005, where he studied with Donald Montanaro. Mr. Bedenko plays on Selmer “Recital” clarinets and James Pyne mouthpiece.

[Interview] [Performance]

Brown/England Piano Duo (USA)

The two pianists exhibited wonderful artistry in their technical command of their instrument as well as in their exceptional musicality".
  Deseret Morning News

The Brown/England Piano Duo thrill and captivate audiences with their amazing piano artistry. Known for their musicality and precise synchronization, critical acclaim touts them as one of the finest two-piano teams on the musical scene today. A review in the New York Concert Review Magazine hails the duo as “distinguished by its professional competence and poise.” Performances on the Distinguished Seasoned Artists Gala Concert, the University of Utah Faculty Concert Series, the 2007-08 Utah Arts Council Performing Arts Tour, as guest artists with the Salt Lake Symphony as well as celebrated performances in Boston and New York have all been received with enthusiastic accolades. They have appeared on many concerts for the international music fraternity Mu Phi Epsilon and have been selected to perform at their 2008 International Convention in Florida.

As members of the highly acclaimed Ivory Keyboard Quartet, Gaye and Lenora have performed at the 2002 Winter Olympics, as guest artists at state conventions for both Mu Phi Epsilon and the Utah Music Teachers Association, and with the Traveling Smithsonian Institute “Salute to American Musicals” concerts. Gaye and Lenora have done many arrangements of two-piano eight-hand music, some of which have been reviewed in the national music publication, The Triangle.

In 2006 Brown/England Piano Duo won a first place award in the prestigious New England Conservatory International Ensemble Competition and received a gold medal, a first-place certificate, and were awarded a performance at Carnegie Hall in May of that year. The Duo is also listed in the distinguished International Roster of Steinway Artists.

Lenora Brown is a recording artist, concert pianist, arranger, composer and adjunct professor of music at the University of Utah, where she teaches very promising undergraduate and graduate pianists majoring in Piano Performance. Her students have won numerous state and national scholarships and awards in competitions.

Lenora has concertized extensively throughout the Far East and the United States and has won several competitions, including the Utah State Fair, the Music Teachers’ National Association state and regional piano competitions, and the Sterling Staff International Competition. She has appeared in several performances with the Utah Symphony and the Salt Lake Symphony. She is listed in “Who’s Who in Music” and “Who’s Who in American Women”. She has served on the Utah Music Teachers Certification Board and holds a permanent Music Teachers National Association Professional Certification in piano. She is the creator and author of the Heaven Sent product line, containing books and CDs of her piano arrangements. She has completed and markets twenty-two compact discs of her playing.

Gaye England, concert pianist, accompanist, arranger and recording artist, gave her first solo concert at the age of eight. She has since won many state and regional honors, including first place in the state and regional Music Teachers National Association Piano Competition for both high school and the collegiate divisions. She attended the University of Utah where she received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy and a Masters Degree in Piano Performance. She is also a graduate of the Sherwood School of Music in Chicago, receiving a rare 100% on the final theory exam and later serving on the faculty of the school as an affiliate teacher.

In addition to her solo performances, Gaye has served extensively throughout the state as an accompanist for many solo instrumental and vocal concert artists and for such organizations as the University of Utah Opera Workshop, Pro Musica, and the Salt Lake Oratorio Society. She has been a guest soloist with the Steinway Concert Series, the nationally acclaimed Schubert Singers, and the American West Symphony. She has performed for over 25 years as a duo-piano artist and has four CDs of two-piano music.

[Interview with Brown] [Interview with England] [Performance]

Francesco e Vincenzo De Stefano Piano Duo (Italy)

They are winners and have been awarded in about 60 international and national competitions: Third Prize at the “10th Murray Dranoff” International Two Piano Competition of Miami, 1st prize 14th International Piano Duo Competition in Tokyo, 1st prize “29th V.Bucchi” di Roma, 2005 Internationale Sommerkademie Mozarteum of Salzburg, 1st prize - 4th International Indipendent Competition “Individualis” of Kiev, 1st prize at the “T.I.M.2006”, 1st prize International Chamber Music Competition “Anemos”in Rome 2007, 1st prize at the "13th Ibla Grand Prize”, 3rd prize at the 20th Chamber Music of Caltanissetta, 1st prize at the “3rd Seiler”of Palermo, 1st prize at the “24th Ama Calabria”of Lamezia Terme,“ 1st prize at the 7th European Gran Prix “Mendelssohn-Cup” in Lecce, and many others also like soloists.

De Stefano Piano duo have given extensive performances: M.Dranoff Foundation of Miami, “Yamaha Musica Italia” of Milano, Association “Vincenzo Bellini” of Messina, Association“Valsesia Musica”of Varallo, Riccione Festival, Internationales Seiler Klavierfestival Kitzingen Am Mein, Internationales Jugend Musik Festival Im Rodachtal, Ibla Foundation, Euro Arts Festival Leipzig, International Pianistic Festival of Spoleto, “Antidogma” Festival of Turin and nearby numerous theatres and concert hall among the Lincoln Theatre and Colony Theatre of Miami , “E. Clarke” Recital Hall of University of Miami, New York University, Gewandhaus of Leipzig , Hochschule fur musik of Leipzig, Wiener Sall and the Großer Sall. of the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Kodaira Citizens Cultural Hall of Tokyo, theatre “Storchi” of Modena, Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, theatre “A. Rendano” of Cosenza, “F.Cilea” Theater of Reggio Calabria, theatre “Ebe Stignani” and “Monsignani” of Imola, theatre “Giovanni da Udine”of Udine, Ministry of the communications of Rome, Tor Bella Monaca Theater in Rome. They have collaborated with numerous orchestras: Florida Symphony Orchestra, “Academia delle Muse”Simphony Orchestra, Bulgarian National Philharmonic, “P. Constantinescu” Philharmonic Orchestra, “Mihal Jora” Philharmonic Orchestra ,Moravian Chamber Orchestra of Brno, and with the conductors Stewart Robertson, Ovidiu Balan, Roberto Misto, Vallentin Doni, Ales Podaril. They gave Carnegie Hall debut in April, 2007. The duo have studied with Prof. Vincenzo Balzani of Milan

[Interview] [Performance]

Jang, Jing-I (Harp – Taiwan)

One of the leading harpists of her generation from Taiwan, Jing-I Jang is known for her graceful and poetic performances infused with brilliant virtuosity, charm, and tasteful musicality. Jing-I is currently a doctoral candidate in harp performance and literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a cognate in piano pedagogy (UI; Illinois) where she also received Master degrees in both harp performance (2004) and piano performance (2006). Jing-I received her Bachelor degree from National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, majoring in piano performance with a minor in harp, where she was elected as “Outstanding Student”.

Jing-I has achieved distinction in the international and national realms of harp performance. She was a finalist in the Franz J. Reinl International Harp Competition in Munich, Germany in 2003, and a finalist in the 2003 National Anne Adams Award Auditions, administered by the American Harp Society. She was a quarter-finalist in the 5th and 7th USA International Harp Competition. She was also a winner of the UI Concerto Competition and a winner of NTNU Concerto Competition.

Jing-I had served as a teaching assistant in harp and had been consistently named with “Outstanding Distinction” to Illinois’ Incomplete List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent at UI from 2002-2007. She also was the recipient of the Roslyn Rensch Harp Award at Illinois (2002-2004) that recognizes exceptional achievement in academics and performance.

As an orchestral harpist, Jing-I is currently principal harp with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and substitute harp (finalist) with the New World Symphony in 2007-2008 concert season. Prior to coming to the US, She was also principal harpist with the Yinqi Symphony Orchestra and the Taipei Contemporary Chamber Orchestra and various other ensembles in Taiwan. She had also performed as principal harpist with the Sinfonia da Camera in Illinois, and as a harpist with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan. In 2006, she performed with Illinois Wind Symphony during their New York concert tour and performance at Carnegie Hall. She was selected the full scholarship recipient to the Aspen Music Festival.

Jing-I enjoys performing solo concerts as well as with small and large ensembles. She has a wide and varied repertoire and is in demand as performer. As a soloist, she had performed the Reinhold Glière’s Harp Concerto with the UI Chamber Orchestra and the Alberto Ginastera Harp Concerto with the NTNU Orchestra in Taipei. Besides her performances activities, she is very enthusiastic and passionate in teaching. She had been working with college students at the University of Illinois, where she has taught a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds, from beginners to doctoral performance majors.

[Interview] [Performance]