Introducing Faculty of 2017
“This brilliant pianist can create incredible excitement and knows how to please a crowd,” reported The Washington Post when reviewing Alexander Peskanov’s Kennedy Center performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto. He has since appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras including: National, Baltimore, St. Louis, Houston, Utah, Richmond Symphonies, and internationally with London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Polish Chamber Philharmonic and Hong Kong Philharmonic. In recent seasons, Alexander Peskanov, critically acclaimed as a “distinctive soloist” by New Yorker Magazine, has made concert appearances in Russia, Poland, including the Leonid Kogan and Elizabeth Gilels Festival at the Moscow Conservatory, and the Sopot International Music Festival, in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concert with the Polish Chamber Philharmonic. He also appeared at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Yale University and Bargemusic in New York, performing an all Chopin recital. Alexander Peskanov was featured, as soloist in live televised broadcast performances of Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff’s Third Concerto with the Bogota Philharmonic, Brahms Concerto No. 1 with the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, and Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Costa Rica National Symphony Orchestra. Peskanov also performed Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 and Triple Concerto by Beethoven at Bargemusic with the Manhattan Symphony. Mr. Peskanov has made appearances with the Cali Philharmonic Orchestra in Columbia, South America, performing Brahms Concerto No. 1 and Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3. He has also traveled to Poland, where he performed Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with Polish Chamber Philharmonic Orchestra at the opening concert of the Third Sopot International Festival as well as at Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk.
Mr. Peskanov has been a frequent guest artist and clinician at numerous MTA Conventions. His appearances include New York, California, Maryland, Utah, Idaho, Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey and others. Peskanov was also a recitalist and lecturer at EPTA Conference in London. According to the European Piano Teachers Association Journal: “Some readers will remember Alek Peskanov’s impressive lecture/recital at the EPTA conference. Peskanov’s music is lighthearted and very much influenced by popular music of the 20th century. At the same time, the music is extremely pianistic and well written.” Mr. Peskanov has also presented workshops and master classes at many colleges and universities including University of Maryland, University of Tennessee, Rutgers University, Brigham Young University, Bob Jones University, Furman University, Eastern Tennessee University, LenoirRhyne University, Davidson College, Salem College, Boise State, Wheaton College, Kennesaw College, Western Carolina University, Tusculum College, etc. He has also served as juror on several prestigious piano competitions including the Gina Bachauer International Competition.
Mr. Peskanov has performed at the Wolf Trap, Aspen, Grant Park, Newport, Seattle, Vancouver, Canada, Monterrey, Mexico, Sarasota and Flagstaff festivals, and in coast-to-coast recitals including the prestigious Van Cliburn Foundation Series in Ft. Worth, Texas, and the Gina Bachauer Piano Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah. Among the illustrious musicians with whom he has collaborated are Maurice Andre, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Yo-Yo Ma.
Alexander Peskanov’s recordings include a CD of his own piano compositions entitled “Spirits of the Wind – Peskanov Plays Peskanov” which has been featured in a satellite broadcast on National Public Radio stations. Other recordings include music by Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Liszt and Scott Joplin. Peskanov has recorded for Naxos Record’s American Classics series and Musical Heritage Society. He is the recipient of three special ASCAP awards.
Mr. Peskanov graduated from the Stoliarsky School of Music in Odessa, Ukraine, and received his Masters and Bachelor degrees at The Juilliard School in New York. He is also the author of the series of six books entitled: “The Russian Technical Regimen for the Piano,” published by the Willis Music.
Composer, pianist and conductor Dr. Anatoly Zatin is winner of international music competitions and frequent performer at the most important music festivals around the globe. He has been awarded the prestigious Mozart Medal in 2015 and the UNICEF Medal of Honour in 1990 for his activities as pianist and conductor. He has toured Sweden, Norway, Deutschland, Finland, England, France, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, China, Korea, United States of America and Mexico in numerous occasions, performing at many of the world’s most important concert venues. He has recorded for companies such as ‘Melodia’ in Russia, ‘Azzura Music’ in Italy, and ‘Aurora Records’ in Japan. Graduated as Doctor of Musical Arts at the San Petersburg’s Conservatory of Music, Dr. Zatin is professor at the University of Colima in Mexico where he was also chairman of the Music Department (2001-2011) and dean of the Fine Arts institute (2011-2016).
Born in Los Angeles, Grace Fong is a prize-winning pianist with an international career as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Praised as “positively magical” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), and “immediately a revelation” (Arizona Central), Grace Fong has gained critical acclaim in the United States, Canada, Europe, United Arab Emirates, and Asia, and has been featured at major venues from New York’s Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center, to LA’s Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall, to Orange County’s Musco Center for the Arts and Soka Performing Arts Center, the Liszt Academy in Budapest, National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, among many others. A prizewinner of numerous international competitions (Leeds, Cleveland, Bosendorfer, Wideman, Viardo), Fong is winner of one of America’s most prestigious piano awards, the Christel DeHaan Classical Fellowship of the American Pianists Association. Fong also won the Grand Prize in piano from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, thereafter named a “Presidential Scholar in the Arts,” and presented with a medallion by the President at the White House. She has performed as soloist with the Halle Orchestra in the United Kingdom, the Polish Chamber Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, among others. In the 14-15 season, Fong made her solo debut with the Mariinsky Theater Orchestra under Valery Gergiev.
Born in Los Angeles, Dr. Fong did her undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California where she completed a double major and minor. At USC, Dr. Fong was awarded the prestigious Renaissance Scholar Prize, and was named “The USC Thornton School of Music Keyboard Department’s – Most Outstanding Student – B.M.” She completed her graduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with Sergei Babayan who describes Dr. Fong as “not only a true artist and an exciting virtuoso, but a sensitive poet who can speak about the most important of subjects through the craft of her hands.” Her teachers and mentors include Sergei Babayan, John Perry, Louise Lepley, Paulina Drake, and Norberto Cappone.
Fong is currently the director of piano studies at Chapman University Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music, where she was awarded the faculty-excellence award at the Hall-Musco Conservatory. Fong is an enthusiastic supporter of the education of young musicians and received the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Colburn School in Los Angeles. She has served as faculty and guest performer at the Semper International Music Festival, Costa Rica Piano Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival in Miami, Innsbrook Institute, Ojai Festival, Sitka Chamber Music Festival, among many others. Fong also enjoys performing music that crosses the genres of classical and jazz, and is a frequent guest artist with three-time Grammy-nominee, Pink Martini. For more information, please visit: http://www.pianistgracefong.com
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.
Winner of the 2010 Nadia Reisenberg award for pianists in New York City; laureate of international piano competitions in Mexico, Unites States, Canada and Ukraine; a noted soloist and chamber musician, Vlada Vassilieva has performed at the principal concert venues in America, Europe and Asia. Fulbright Garcia-Robles grantee in 2008; performing fellow by the National Foundation for Culture and Arts in Mexico in 2007; MM at Mannes College for Music in New York City, BM at the Fine Arts Institute of the University of Colima, Ms. Vassilieva is a faculty member at the Music Department of the University of Colima since 2006 and since 2015 guest faculty at the National Music Conservatory in Mexico. Audience and critics alike appreciate her mature performances, impetuous character and stage presence.
Pianist, Teacher & Chamber Musician Liz Seidel manages The Seidel Studio, a highly successful private piano studio in Muncie, IN. Additionally, she is Founder of Pianoforte, Inc. (now Carmel Klavier, Inc.), which provides artistic and educational opportunities for young musicians and hosts the annual Young Artists’ Achievement Festival (Muncie).
Dr. Seidel holds degrees from Ithaca College and Temple University. She has held adjunct faculty positions at Miami University (Ohio), University of Wisconsin (Superior), University of Minnesota (Duluth) and Ball State University (IN). She was a member of the summer piano faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Michigan) for thirteen years, has served on the board of the Indiana Music Teachers Association and was the recipient of a Teacher Enrichment Grant awarded by the MTNA Foundation.
Solo and chamber music concerts have taken her throughout the U.S. and Canada, most notably the Pacific Rim Summer Chamber Music Festival (British Columbia) and the St. Petersburg College Piano Concert Series (Florida). Currently, she is Collaborative Pianist in Residence for the Jascha Heifetz Symposium (Connecticut College). As an adjudicator Dr. Seidel enjoys regional / state festivals, including MTNA and Musicfest Northwest, an annual festival for young artists in Spokane (WA).
Dr. Seidel’s passion is teaching. Her students have placed as international Semi-finalists and performance majors to prominent universities and summer workshops. Dr. Seidel’s lecture topics include The Schumann and Tchaikovsky Albums for the Young as Piano Method, Chamber Music in the Piano Studio and Teaching Technique: It’s All About the Wrist! Her most recent topic, The Impact of the Arts on a Disabled Brain (presented with her daughter, Christine), was introduced at the 2014 National Conference for Disorders of the Corpus Callosum in Boston.