Introducing Faculty of 2019
- Galina Zisk Rothchild – Canada
Called “a real musician, hearing the music as a whole conception and putting her part of it in absolute harmony and balance” by Canada’s Hamilton Spectator, and praised for her ability to “draw in the attention of the audience” by the New York Concert Review, Dr. Zisk has performed throughout Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada and the U.S. as concerto soloist, chamber musician, and in solo recital.
In North America her performances have included Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Klavierhaus, World Financial Center, the Juilliard School, Steinway Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, University of Buffalo Center for the Arts, Goethe Institute, and Roy Thomson Hall among many other prestigious venues. Dr. Zisk is a winner of numerous competitions including First Prizes from the Kiwanis Music Festival, Canadian Music Competition, and “Starts of Tomorrow” Concerto Competition. She is the recipient of the Yamaha Scholarship, Sinclair Radio Laboratories Ltd. Award, as well as the Artists International Presentations, Inc. Award. Her solo recitals have been broadcast on CJRT-FM radio in Canada as well as the Bravo! TV channel, and her CD recording, Alexander Gedike’s arrangement for Piano Trio of Tchaikovsky’s Seasons, was released by Fidelis Records, Ltd. in 2002. In 2010, Dr. Zisk and her two-piano ensemble Duo Cornelia embarked on several concert tours in Canada and the U.S. to showcase a commissioned work by Canadian composer Michael Pepa.
She has given masterclasses at Universities, Colleges, and Music Festivals, and has adjudicated Music Competitions in Europe, North America and Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, International Competition for Strings and Piano in Canada, International Chamber Music Competition in Cambridge, MA. In 2008 she was invited to join the College of Examiners and became an examiner for the National Music Certificate Program and the Royal Conservatory of Music in the US and Canada.
Dr. Zisk has served on the piano faculty of Manhattan School of Music (NYC), Hartwick Summer Music Festival & Institute (Oneonta, NY), International School for Musical Arts (Canada), and Tchaikovsky Summer School (Cambridge, MA), where she became the Program Director in 2006. She has also collaborated with the Boys Choir of Harlem, Inc., Songs of Solomon Academy for the Arts, Christine Jowers’ “Moving Arts Projects”, Tchaikovsky Music Society, and The New Stage Theater.
Galina Zisk holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Zisk currently resides in Ridgefield, CT.
- María del Carmen Gil – Puerto Rico
María del Carmen Gil has been acclaimed by critics as a pianist with “a highly uncommon musical intelligence, a brilliant and dazzling technique, a beautiful sound, and a provocative interpretative style”…
As a concert pianist, she has performed extensively in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Central America and the United States, appearing in solo recitals, as a soloist in orchestra performances, duo piano ensemble, chamber music and accompanying, as well as teaching master classes. She has worked under the baton of renowned conductors, premiered piano works of Puerto Rican composers, shared the stage with many international artists and has presided and served in jury panels of several international piano competitions.
Founder of the Gil and Figueroa piano duo ensemble which holds the distinction of Artist Ensemble in Residence at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music (PRCM). The Gil and Figueroa Duo is founder of the Puerto Rico Multipiano Fest, an annual event which gathers pianists of all levels to perform together with the Duo in a unique monster piano concert with 32 Steinway pianos on stage and almost 100 pianists.
Maria del Carmen Gil began her piano studies in Cuba where she was born and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Piano Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Her principal teachers at the professional level have been: Ellen Mack, Leon Fleisher and Adele Marcus.
Her music career has been multifaceted combining a performance with important leadership roles and a proliferous teaching career. She held the office of Chancellor of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music for fifteen years, the longest tenure in the institutional history, totally transforming the institution in every area bringing it into the 21st century. Currently, she is Piano Department Chair and full Professor at the Piano faculty at the PRCM. Gil is the president and founder of the Fundación Musica y País, an NGO dedicated to music and social transformation programs and initiatives in Puerto Rico. International leadership roles and initiatives include founding and presiding the Latin American Association of Conservatories and Music Schools, the vice presidency of the International Music Council and the presidency of the Council of Music of the Three Americas, among others.
For her achievements and leadership in the music field and in music education, she has been distinguished in Puerto Rico as Woman of the Year; honored several times in the Women in Leadership Awards and has been recognized by the American Association of University Women for her outstanding professionalism and leadership
- Xiao Wu – China
Wu Xiao, a leading young pianist and educator with piano-learning experience in France, is the Dean of the Piano Department, Music Middle school Affiliated to Zhejiang Conservatory of Music now.
Prof. Wu studied piano performance in Affiliated Primary & Middle School of Shanghai Conservatory of Music(SHCM) between 1993 and 2002. Due to his excellent performance and extraordinary talent, he was admitted into Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris in 2002 and graduated as a merit in 2004. Ranking the first prizes in the final examinations in May and June, 2006, he received the Degree of Master for Chamber Music at Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and the Degree of Master for piano performance at Conservastoire Regional de Rueil-malmaison.
Prof. Wu performed solo piano concerts and chamber concerts throughout the world, especially in Europe, America, the North Africa and many other countries and regions and enjoyed great popularity. Additionally, during his study abroad, he was awarded the first prize at International Piano Competition in Casablanca, Morocco. He also received the highest honor at New-born Pianists Competition (Professional Group) in Japan. As an outstanding pianist, he won the first prize at Double Piano Music Competition in Bordeaux.
Shortly after finishing his study overseas, Prof. Wu started his piano teaching career as the head of the Major Course Teaching & Research Section, and was appointed the dean of Piano Department at Piano Academy at Gulangyu Affiliated to Central Conservatory of Music. His students won various prizes and awards in piano competitions both at home and abroad. In honor of his superb contributions to art teaching, Prof.Wu was awarded Excellent Teacher Prize and Vocational Education Promotion Prize by the Bureau of Education of Xiamen, Fujian Province.
These years, Prof. Wu has been invited to give concerts, hold lectures and host master classes across the world, including Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris and Schuren Master classes in Italy, etc. Besides, he has been an active jury member in high standard piano competitions, such as competitions sponsored or held by Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway and Grotrian companies, the 2nd Bastien International Piano competition and the 15th Animato International Piano Competition.
- Antonio Di Cristofano – Italy
Antonio Di Cristofano completed his piano studies in 1986 at the Conservatory “L.Cherubini” in Florence, under the supervision of M° Bacchelli. He has perfected with M° Damerini.
He played as a soloist with the Orchestra of the University of Milan, Strings Orchestra “Cantelli” of Milan, Chamber Orchestra of Florence, Symphony Orchestra of Lecce, Magna Grecia Orchestra, Sicily Symphony Orchestra, Solisti Aquilani, Milano Classica Orchestra, Sinfonica Abbruzzese, Sanremo Orchestra, FVG Mittleurope Orchestra, Radio Orchestra of Bucarest, Orquesta Sinfonica de l’Estado de Mexico, University Orchestra of Houston, Radiotelevision Albania Orchestra, Istanbul Chamber Orchestra, Praga Radio Symphony Orchestra, North Czech Philarmonic, Czech Philarmonic Orchestra, Izmir Symphony Orchestra, Iasi State Philarmonic, Wiener Mozart Orchestra, Toronto Sinfonia, Philarmonique de Montreal, Jerusalem Symphony, Slovak Filharmonie, Kaerntner Sinfonieorchester, Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra, New York Chamber Players, Orquestra do Norte, Sinfonica di Sao Paulo, Thuringen Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic, Euro Sinfonietta Wien and recently with La Scala Milan Orchestra, with conductors like G. Taverna, M. Bosch, M. Alsop, C. Schulz, M. Zanini, C. Olivieri-Munroe, L. Svarovsky, A. Chernushenko, M. Sieghart and many others. He played, in Italy, for the most important Festival: the “Verdi Theatre” in Florence, the “Festival dei Due Mondi” in Spoleto, “Asolo Musica”, the Theatre of Alessandria, the “Bibbiena Theatre” in Mantova, the “Puccini Hall” at the Conservatory “G.Verdi” in Milan, “Politeama Theatre” in Palermo, “Auditorium San Barnaba” in Brescia, Festival Duni in Matera, etc., in Romania Enescu Festival in Bucarest, Espana (Festival de Vigo, Toledo Festival, Jeunesses Musicales de Sevilla), Mexico (Belles Artes Palacio, Revueltas Auditorium), USA (Moores Opera House of Houston, Gates Concert Hall in Denver, Washington International Piano Festival, ecc), Turkey (Istanbul, Izmir and Adana), Croatia (Dubrovnik – Rector Palace), Czech Republic (Praga – Smetana Hall and Dvorak Hall), Russia (Ciaikovsky Conservatoire), South Korea (Seoul – Leeum Auditorium), France (Nancyphonies Festival), Austria (Konzerthaus – Klagenfurt), Germany (Gasteig – Munich), Chopin Society Warsaw, Canada (Toronto – Glenn Gould Studio), Grieg Festival in Norway, Yamaha Concert Hall in Tokyo, Shanghay and Shenzen piano festival (China), Swiss, Albania, Israel, England, Portugal, Bulgary, Ukraine, Belgium, Brasil, Serbia, Argentina, Sweden, South Africa, ecc.
He recorded CDs with Velut Luna and Millenium label and recently a new one titled Encores.
In 2006 and 2007 he made the debut in Carnegie Hall – New York and in Konzerthaus and Golden Hall MusikVerein in Wien. He is often invited as a judge in international Piano Competition (Compositores de Espana – Madrid, Varallo, Cantù, Osijek, Gante – Pordenone, Parigi, Viardo – Belmont, Rachmaninov – Moscow, Iturbi – Valencia, Parnassos – Monterrey, Astana Merei International Competition -Astana, Baltic piano Competition -Gdansk, Bajic Memorial -Novi Sad, Hong Kong International Young Pianist Competition, Nordic Piano Competition – Malmoe, Mozart Piano Competition – Aachen, Louisiana Piano Competition, Cleveland Piano Competition, etc) and to teach in Ciaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Valencia Conservatory, in the Summer Academy in Dubrovnik, in Shanghai, Xiamen and Ningbo Conservatory in China, in the SMC Academy in Seoul, In Valletta International Piano Festival, in Sofia Conservatory, in Thessaloniki Conservatory, in The Orpheus Academy in Wien and in many USA University.
He received the Paul Harrys Fellows from Rotary Club. He is Guest Professor at the Xiamen Conservatory in China and in the Summer Academy Orpheus in Wien.
- Robert Weirich – USA
Robert Weirich begins an exciting new time in his career, having retired from his twenty-year position as the first Jack Strandberg Missouri Endowed Chair in Piano at the UMKC Conservatory. He has performed in Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and at such summer festivals as Tanglewood, Ravinia and Marlboro, but now looks forward to a deeper connection to music as a unique means of communication.
The New York Times called his 2008 Albany Records release, Piano Music of Aaron Copland, “brilliant, probing and austerely beautiful.” Recent concerto performances include the Stravinsky Concerto for Piano and Winds, Beethoven’s Third and Emperor Concerto, Bartok’s Second Piano Concerto, and Berg’s Kammerkonzert for piano, violin and thirteen winds. His performance of Dohnanyi’s Variations on a Nursery Tune at the new Helzberg Hall was enjoyed by a sold-out audience. His solo repertoire ranges from Bach to works by living composers. An early success was his prize in the first Rockefeller Foundation Competition for the Performance of American Music.
An active chamber musician, Weirich has performed with violinists Hilary Hahn, Arnold Steinhardt and Josef Gingold, cellists Nathaniel Rosen, Colin Carr, and Stephen Doane, hornists William Vermeulen and Eric Ruske, the Cassatt and Whitman String Quartets, to name only a few. When still a student at Yale, he was invited by the noted soprano Phyllis Curtin to accompany her in several recitals, including one at the White House.
He was the Artistic Director of the Skaneateles Festival in upstate New York from 1990-1999; during that time attendance tripled and support grew twofold while winning three Adventurous Programming Awards from Chamber Music America/ASCAP. Other administrative activity included serving as Associate Dean for Strategic Planning at UMKC, a term as President of the College Music Society, and chairing piano departments wherever he has taught. His columns for Clavier Magazine, and its successor, Clavier Companion, have been twice honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association. As a sometimes composer, his works have been performed at festivals nationwide; Steamboat Stomp (for horn and piano) won first prize in the Britten-on-the-Bay Competition and his song, My Brother Dances, won second prize in the Diana Barnhart American Song Competition.
As a teacher, Weirich is justifiably proud of his students, who regularly won major competitions (Awadagin Pratt in the 1992 Naumburg; Stanislav Ioudenitch in the 2001 Van Cliburn), hold university positions throughout the country, and challenged him on a daily basis in the studio. UMKC awarded him a Trustees’ Faculty Fellowship and the N.T. Veatch Prize for distinguished research and creative activity in 2002; he received the first Muriel McBrien Kauffman Artistry/Scholarship Award in 2003, and an Excellence in Teaching Award from the UMKC Faculty Senate in 2006. In 2014 he was awarded the Kauffman Outstanding Teacher of the Year award at UMKC. Earlier prizes include a National Endowment for the Arts Solo Recitalist Fellowship, and the Pope Foundation Award for career development. His master classes, presented internationally, are warmly applauded for their insight and effectiveness. During the 2009-2010 season, he performed and taught in China and Argentina, returning to Beijing’s Central Conservatory for ten days of chamber music coaching in the fall of 2013. He has previously taught at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Northwestern University, and the Eastern Music Festival. He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University and was awarded their Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989.
- Phoenix Park-Kim
Phoenix Park-Kim is an active soloist and avid chamber musician whose performances have taken her throughout the United States, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Spain, and Russia. She has won prizes at national and international competitions including first place at the Miami Concerto Competition (Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, Op. 43), Jefferson City Concerto Competition (Chopin Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 21), Kansas City Philharmonia Concerto Competition (Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”), and was a finalist at the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition. She has been featured as a soloist with the Korean Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory Orchestra, Atlantida Symphony Orchestra (Spain), and the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra among others.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Phoenix began playing the piano at the age of five and gave her first public performance at seven years old. She graduated from Yonsei University in Seoul, with a B.M. in piano performance and a B.A. in English Language and Literature. She completed her graduate work at Miami University (M.M.) and at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Conservatory of Music (D.M.A.) under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Weirich and served as his teaching assistant. She has given performances in various music festivals such as the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Piano Texas, ARIA International Summer Academy, Summer Music School in Siena, Italy, and Wiener Meisterkurse in Vienna Austria. She is dedicated to providing more exposure to musical compositions that are less known. In this endeavor, she was awarded the Lilly research grant and also received special congressional recognition by U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. She has been heard on public radio in Indianapolis, IN, Toledo, OH, Ann Arbor, MI, Urbana, IL, Richmond, VA, Princeton, NJ, Madrid, Spain and Ontario Canada.
She is an avid chamber musician and enjoys collaborating with other performers. She is currently a member of Duo Dolce and Soprani Compagni. Her recent performances include a recital at Carnegie Hall where she was invited to join the roster of Distinguished Concerts International New York.
Phoenix often serves as an adjudicator for auditions and competitions and has given numerous master classes, presentations and lecture-recitals at national and international conferences such as College Music Society, Indiana Music Teachers Association, & American Educational Research Association. Her recent CD “Deep River,” a collection of Classical works by African American composers, was released under the MSR Classics label. Her other recordings are also available on cdbaby.com and iTunes.
Phoenix is currently a Professor of Music at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana.
Described by the critics as glowing, flashing and brilliant, Duo Petrof is integrated by Mexican pianists of Russian descent Anatoly Zatin and Vlada Vassilieva*, and their performances are acclaimed in America, Europe and Asia. The contagious dynamism that characterizes this duo has set new standards in four-hand performance, surprising audiences by their originality, creativity and success.
Highlight performances include Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Bohemian National Hall in New York; Royce Hall in Los Angeles; the First International Art Festival in Kyrgyzstan; Semper Music International Festival in Italy; the Kulturforum in Berlin; the festivals Musical Spring and Silver Lyre (Russia); Sofia Music Weeks (Bulgaria); the Fine Arts Palace and National Auditory in Mexico City, among many others.
Their most recent album 88×2, Music for two pianos (Columna Musica, 2015) won Silver Medal at the Global Music Awards 2015 and Bronze at the Prestige Music Awards 2016. Their famous version for two pianos of El Jarabe Tapatío has been nominated for the 2016 Hollywood Music in Media Awards. They were recognized by the 2016 Mexican Music Awards as the Contemporary-Classical Duo of the Year, receiving the award at Symphony Space in New York City.
Celebrating their 10 th anniversary in 2013 the duo released the album Idilio Mexicano. That year they were invited to perform the first concert on the newly released Antonin Petrof pianos, in celebration of the 150 years of Petrof Pianos in the Czech Republic. With the intention of supporting and promoting young talent they created the concert series “Duo Petrof presents” in 2012. Their recital in Dallas, Texas was named among the best concerts of 2011 by the performing arts magazine Theater
Jones. They were the only ensemble awarded with an Honorary Mention at the 2009 Web Concert Hall music contest.
Duo Petrof was founded in 2003, with the intention of promoting the world repertoire for piano duet and two pianos, in a project of collaboration between the University of Colima and Petrof Pianos in Mexico. Since 2008 the Duo expanded its horizons by representing Petrof Pianos worldwide. Vlada Vassilieva and Anatoly Zatin teach at the University of Colima in Mexico.
* Duo Petrof is an ensemble in residence at the University of Colima
* Anatoly Zatin and Vlada Vassilieva are Petrof Artists
More to come…