ROBERT SHANNON - Director
Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97
Robert Shannon has presented solo recitals, ensemble concerts, and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. His repertoire ranges from Bach to Adams. He has been especially noted for his penetrating interpretations of recent American music.
He has commissioned and premiered works by John Harbison, Charles Wuorinen, Carla Bley, and Steven Dembski, among others. Shannon’s recordings of sonatas by Charles Ives on Bridge Records have received rave reviews worldwide. His recordings of Ives’ complete works for violin and piano, and works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb are also available on Bridge Records.
Shannon has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Festival Tibor Varga in Switzerland, the Sacramento Festival of American Music, and as guest artist with the Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players. In recent seasons, he has appeared in London, Paris, Glasgow, Rome, Stuttgart, New York, San Francisco, Colombia (South America), and Taiwan.
He is professor of piano at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, director of the Division of Keyboard Studies, and director and founder of the Cooper International Competition for Piano. He joined the Oberlin faculty in 1976.
Photo by Lisa Kohler
Canadian pianist Angela Cheng is one of her country’s national treasures. In addition to regular guest appearances with most every orchestra in Canada, she has performed with the orchestras of Buffalo, Colorado, Houston, Indianapolis, Saint Louis, San Diego, Utah, and others. Cheng has worked extensively with the great musician-pedagogue Menahem Pressler.
At the invitation of Pinchas Zukerman, Cheng toured China with the Zukerman ChamberPlayers in 2009. Subsequent seasons have included tours in the United States, Europe, and South America.
Cheng’s debut recording of two Mozart concerti with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra received glowing reviews. Other CDs include Clara Schumann’s Concerto with JoAnn Falletta and the Women’s Philharmonic for Koch International; for CBC Records, Spanish concerti with Hans Graf and the Calgary Philharmonic, Shostakovich concerti with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Radio Orchestra. Cheng has recorded a solo disc of works by Clara and Robert Schumann, and an all-Chopin CD released by Universal Music Canada.
Cheng was a gold medalist of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition and the first Canadian to win the Montreal International Piano Competition. Prior to her appointment at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1999, she was on the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Photo by Lisa Kohler
Alvin Chow has appeared throughout North America and in Asia as orchestral soloist and recitalist. He has performed extensively in duo piano recitals with his wife, Angela Cheng, and his twin brother, Alan.
A native of Miami, Florida, Chow graduated as co-valedictorian from the University of Maryland, where he was a student of Nelita True. He received the Victor Herbert Prize in Piano upon graduation from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Sascha Gorodnitzki, and held the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship at Indiana University as a student of Menahem Pressler.
Chow received top prizes in the University of Maryland International Piano Competition and the New York Piano Teachers Congress International Piano Competition. He has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Orchestra Hall in Chicago; Weill Recital Hall in New York City; and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
He has presented master classes and lectures throughout the United States and abroad. He is currently chair of the piano department at Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Courtesy of Oberlin College
Born in Uzbekistan, Stanislav Ioudenitch earned widespread recognition in 2001, when he won the gold medal at the XI Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The victory served as a springboard that has resulted in engagements in premier venues around the world.
He has since collaborated with numerous orchestras and musicians, including the Munich Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C.; the Takács, Prazák, and Borromeo string quartets; and conductors including James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, and Mikhail Pletnev.
Ioudenitch helped create the International Center for Music and the Youth Conservatory of Music at Park University near Kansas City, Mo. His former teachers include Natalia Vasinkina, Dmitri Bashkirov, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Rosalyn Tureck, William Grant Naboré, and Leon Fleisher. He has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi and Academy labels.
Ioudenitch is a former student of the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy. He later became the youngest teacher ever to present a master class there. He now serves as vice president of Lake Como, which, since 2015, has enjoyed a partnership with Oberlin Conservatory that brings elite student pianists to the Ohio campus for advanced study.
Prior to his appointment at Oberlin in 2017, Ioudenitch had performed in recitals and led master classes on campus and was a longtime fixture on jury panels for the Cooper International Competition for young pianists as well as its predecessor, the Oberlin International Piano Competition.
One of the foremost pianists and teachers in Korea, Daejin Kim, was launched on world stages after winning first prize at the 1985 Robert Casadesus International Piano Competition (now the Cleveland International Piano Competition). He has since performed in recital and with major orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
A resident of Korea since 1994, Kim combines the demanding careers of a concert artist, conductor, and teacher. His master classes have drawn international recognition, and his achievements as a teacher have earned numerous awards, including the Korea Music Association Professor of the Year, the Korea Ministry of Culture’s 2005 Artist of the Year, and the 2017 Daewon Cultural Foundation Grand Prize. He is a two-time recipient of the Kumho Music Teacher of the Year Award. His students have won first prizes at the 2005 Clara Haskil and 2006 Leeds (Sunwook Kim) competitions, as well as the 2014 Geneva and 2015 Busoni (Chloe Ji-Yeong Mun).
Kim’s close collaboration for many years as a soloist and conductor with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra led to his appointment as its music director in 2008, a role he filled for nine years. He earned bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Martin Canin.
He is professor of piano at the Korean National University of Arts and music director of the Changwon Philharmonic Orchestra.
Since winning the gold medal at the 1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, American pianist Jon Nakamatsu continues to draw unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines deep musical insight with elegance, clarity, and electrifying power.
He maintains a year-round touring schedule, performing with many leading conductors throughout the United States and abroad. Together with the renowned clarinetist Jon Manasse, Nakamatsu tours as a member of the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. He regularly appears as a guest with the Emerson, Tokyo, Prazak, Escher, Jupiter, and Ying string quartets, and has toured extensively with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet.
Named Debut Artist of the Year by NPR’s Performance Today, Nakamatsu has been profiled by CBS Sunday Morning and Reader’s Digest, and is featured in Playing with Fire, a documentary about the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He records exclusively for Harmonia Mundi U.S.A., which has released 13 of his CDs.
Nakamatsu studied privately with Marina Derryberry beginning at age 6, worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and studied composition and theory with Leonard Stein of the Schoenberg Institute at the University of Southern California.
A former high school German teacher, Nakamatsu is a graduate of Stanford University and holds a bachelor’s degree in German studies and a master’s degree in education. In 2015 Nakamatsu joined the adjunct faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Italian native Roberto Plano performs regularly in recital and with orchestras throughout North America and Europe. He has played with such string quartets as the Takács, Cremona, St. Petersburg, and Fine Arts as well as such soloists as Ilya Grubert, Enrico Bronzi, and Giovanni Scaglione.
Plano won first prize at the 2001 Cleveland International Piano Competition and has earned prizes at the Honens, Dublin, Sendai, Geza Anda and Valencia competitions. He has won 15 first prizes in Italian competitions and was a finalist at the 2005 Van Cliburn and Busoni.
Plano’s engaging personality has made him a favorite guest on NPR’s Performance Today radio program, and on TV shows for PBS and Japan’s NHK. He also appeared twice on the cover of Amadeus, the most important music magazine in Italy. He has recorded CDs for Brilliant, Sipario, Azica, Decca, and Arktos.
He studied at the Verdi Conservatory in Milan, the Ecole Normale “Cortot” in Paris, and the Lake Como Academy. He is founder, director, and chair of the Music Association “Alfred Cortot,” with the purpose of spreading the joy of classical music and giving priority to the musical education of children. In September 2016, he joined the faculty of Boston University.
Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97
Haewon Song is a member of the Oberlin Trio. An internationally recognized artist and teacher, she has performed and taught at top venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her frequent appearances include concerto performances with the KBS Orchestra in Seoul, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and Oberlin Conservatory large ensembles.
Song has appeared at numerous international festivals, among them Mexico’s Cervantino Festival, the All-American Music Festival in Stuttgart, Grand Teton Music Festival, Aria Festival, Canada’s Institute of Musical Arts, Festival de Nice in France, the Oberlin Summer Piano Festival, and the Tonghai Music Festival in Taiwan. In 2005, she toured Korea as a member of the Oberlin Piano Quartet, which included performances in Daejun and at the Kumho Concert Hall in Seoul.
A native of South Korea, Song attended the Toho School in Tokyo, Peabody Preparatory School, and the Juilliard School, where her major teachers were Julian Martin, Martin Canin, and Shuku Iwasaki.
She has taught at Tunghai University in Taiwan and Kyung Won University in Seoul, and has been a member of the Oberlin piano department since 1991. Throughout her tenure at Oberlin, her students have won major prizes in national and international competitions, including MTNA Nationals, Wideman, Kingsville, Walgreen, World, and Corpus Christie. Her former students regularly appear with significant orchestras across the United States and Asia.
Cyprus-born pianist Martino Tirimo began piano and violin lessons with his father, a distinguished conductor and violinist; he gave his first concert at age 6 (Haydn’s Concerto in D at 8), and by 12 he conducted seven complete performances of Verdi’s La Traviata, including soloists from La Scala, Milan.
He graduated with highest honors from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and then continued his studies in Vienna. In 1971 and 1972, victories at international piano competitions in Munich and Geneva, respectively, launched his international career.
Tirimo has since performed all over the world with such orchestras as the Vienna Philharmonic, Dresden Staatskapelle, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony, and Philharmonia. His repertoire embraces 80 concertos and nearly the entire repertoire of solo works of the great composers. He has made more than 60 recordings for EMI, BMG, Warner, and others, and in 1995 he won a Gold Disc for his Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini on EMI.
Since 2002 he has also been active in chamber music, touring extensively as a member of the Rosamunde Trio. He also works with talented young pianists, and many of his students have won first prizes at international competitions. In 2011, Tirimo was awarded the Nemitsas Foundation Prize for Excellence in the Arts and Sciences.