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Jury

Natalia Trull

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"Natalia Trull began studying piano in her native St. Petersburg. She later moved to Moscow where she graduated from the Moscow Conservatory. Among her teachers were professors Y. Zak, M. Voskresensky and T. Kravchenko. Her performance career was launched when she won first prize at the Belgrade International Piano Competition in 1983. However, the biggest success came in 1986 she won the silver medal at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition. The public was swept off its feet by her interpretation of composers such as Schubert and Stravinsky. Her “Petrushka” suite left an everlasting impression on the public and critics alike. In 1993, Natalia Trull was awarded the Grand Prix at the Piano Masters Competition in Monte- Carlo (where only winners of international competitions are accepted as participants). Natalia Trull’s complete control and fantastic virtuosity place her in a class of her own, and she is in great demand as a performer all over the world. Among the distinguished orchestras with whom she has performed are the London Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Monte-Carlo, Tonhalle Symphony Orchestra and all of the major Russian Symphony Orchestras. Natalia Trull has also played with such conductors as Raphael Frubeck de Burgos, Raymond Leppard, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Eri Klas, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vassily Sinaisky, Yuri Temirkanov and many others. Her repertoire includes over 50 concertos, of which the Tchaikovsky concerto has proved to be the most popular, the pianist having performed the work on over one hundred occasions in the world’s leading concert halls. Her most brilliant performances of the Tchaikovsky concerto were in Hollywood Bowl under Eri Klas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and in Suntory Hall with Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Koizumi Kazuhiro (1998-99 season). Natalia’s performances today are remarkable for her total absorption in the music her unique stage presence and technical mastery in presenting a wide repertoire of works. From 2000 Natalia Trull is Professor at the Moscow Tchaikovky Concervatory. Also she is frequently invited to give masterclasses to the U.S.A., Japan, Italy, Germany, South America etc. Jury member of many international piano competitions such as International Telekom Beethoven Piano Competition, Valencia International Piano Competition, Monte-Carlo Piano Masters Competition, International Mozart Competition Salzburg etc.

She also teaches exceptional students such as Eva Gevorgyan- pianist and composer / Prizewinner of more than 50 international piano competitions."

Recordings:
• Prokofiev – The Complete Piano Sonatas under the “DML Classic” label (Japan)
• Chopin - recital including two Sonatas, the Fantasy and Mazurkas
• Schubert - recital including the Wanderer-Fantasy, Impromptus op.90 and Schubert-Liszt Song
transcriptions

Kevin Kenner

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Recognized as one of the top Chopin interpreters of our time, Kevin Kenner was the top prize winner in the 1990 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, as well as top prizes in the Tchaikovsky Competition and the Terrance Judd Competition, among others. Born in California, Kenner was introduced early to the classical music traditions of Poland and studied as a teenager with Poland’s eminent professor Ludwik Stefański in Cracow. When he returned to the U.S. he continued his studies with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and worked with Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Music Center. Following a concert tour with conductor Stanisław Skrowaczewski, who frequently performed and recorded with Artur Rubinstein, described his collaborations with Kenner to be the most sensitive and beautiful he remembered. He has performed and recorded with violinist Kyung-Wha Chung and concertized with the Tokyo, Escher, Belcea, Mosaiques, Apollon Musagete, Endellion and Vogler Quartets. In addition, he has frequently been invited to appear at the Verbier Festival and Warsaw’s “Chopin and His Europe” Festival. A distinguished recording artist, Kenner’s interpretations of works by Paderewski and Chopin were each picked as recordings of the month by Grammophone magazine. Other recordings were heralded by Diapason, Fanfare and Polish National Radio. After teaching for more than a decade as professor at London’s Royal College of Music, Kenner accepted a post at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where he continues to prepare many young talented pianists for international performance careers. He has served as juror at the Busoni Competition in Bolzano and at the Chopin International Competition in Warsaw among many others. 

Selected Reviews:
Chopin Late Works: “Kenner’s sense of the long line and overall architecture is as impressive as his idiomatic phrasing.” (Gramophone)
Paderewski Piano Works: “His approach to Paderewski’s music reveals long acquaintance
and great affection, with beautifully judged rubato and a beguiling intimacy….this is a
piano disc – let alone a Paderewski recital – to treasure.” (Gramophone)
Chopin Resonances: “…counting amongst the most subtle and expressive piano playing
enjoyed in several years” (Fanfare Magazine)
Paderewski Piano Concerto, Polish Fantasy: “Absolutely inspired collaboration between a
master artist of the keyboard and a great orchestra” (American Record Guide)
“Paderewski's superb Piano Concerto… and the sparkling Polish Fantasy receive fiery
treatment here. Kenner is excellent.” (BBC Music Magazine)
“If we only discover one pianist during this year of Chopin, let it be Kevin Kenner.” (Le
nouvel Observateur)
“...One of the important Chopin pianists of our time” (Fanfare Magazine)
Ravel Piano Works: “It is a quintessence of a remarkable musician’s style. Deserves
maximum interest.” (Scherzo Magazine, Spain)
“His recital revealed an artist whose intellect, imagination and pianism speak powerfully
and eloquently.” (The Washington Post)
“You listen to him and think how obvious it is that the music should be played this way and
it seems so simple that you wonder why everyone doesn't do it.” (The Washington Post)
“…the best performance I have ever heard in the concert hall of all four of Chopin's
Ballades.” (The Independent)
“His recital's strengths reaffirmed his stature as one of the finest American pianists to come
along in years.” (Chicago Tribune)

Rintaro Akamatsu

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Rintaro Akamatsu began studying the piano and the violin at the age of 2, and the cello at the age of 6. He showed remarkable talent from a very young age. At the age of 5, he made his TV debut, showcasing his skills. By the age of 10, he performed Mozart's concerto with his original cadenza. Since winning the All Japan Student Music Competition in 1990, he has achieved success in several major competitions in Japan.

His first international recognition came in 2000 when he won third prize at the Clara Schumann International Piano Competition, which featured esteemed judges such as Martha Argerich and Nelson Freire. Dr. Joachim Kaiser praised him as "really intelligent and talented" during this achievement.

After graduating from Kobe University, he received unanimous acclaim from the judges who awarded him the Diplôme Supérieur de Concertiste for both piano and chamber music at L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. He excelled in chamber music, receiving full marks from all the judges. He has studied under renowned musicians such as Mikhail Voskresensky in Tokyo, France Clidat and Jean Micault in Paris, György Nádor and Kocsis Zoltán in Budapest, and Nina Patchett and Christian Ivaldi for chamber music.

He has performed with prestigious orchestras such as the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Royal Metropolitan Orchestra, Royal Chamber Orchestra, Danube Symphony Orchestra, and Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra, among others. In addition to performing in major concert halls in Japan, he has showcased his talent in the USA, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Taiwan, and Colombia. His recordings, including "Due Domenico," "Angel del Piazzolla," "And the Bell Tolls," "Hommage a Invention," "Lascia ch'io Pianga," and "Für Clara," released under King International, have received critical acclaim from various magazines.

Moreover, he serves as a jury member for numerous international piano competitions, such as the "Danubia Talents," "Osaka," "Xabia," "Liszt," "Orbetello," "Monegrarte," and "Scandinavian" International Music Competitions. He has been invited to teach master classes in Japan, Asia, and Europe, and has had the privilege of mentoring over 1,000 musicians throughout his career. His guidance and expertise have contributed to the success of many talented individuals, who have emerged as winners in significant domestic and international competitions.

He has also authored numerous works and contributed serials to newspapers and magazines, providing insights into his experiences, knowledge, and perspectives on music. These written contributions showcase his multifaceted presence in the arts.

Currently, Rintaro Akamatsu is Professor of Osaka College of Music, Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, Utsunomiya Junior College, Budapest International Piano Masterclass. The President of the Japan Liszt Piano Academy. An ambassador for Casio.

For more information, please visit http://rintaro-akamatsu.com/.

Yi-Fan Chiang

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Yi Fan-Chiang has been gifted with a wonderful technigue and rich, lustrous sound and his mastery on the instrument has been abled him in tastefully communicating his ideas very expressively to his audience.” Arie Vardi, Chairman of Arthur Rubinstein international Piano Master Competition Japanese Pianist Anna Azusa Fujita and music critic Satoru Takaku once commented in Japanese classical music magazines, the latter being the music critic of the Japanese magazine Chopin Lover, that the performance by the Germany-based pianist Yi Fan-Chiang is “undoubtedly the most remarkable among the performers tonight; unquestionably, in his superb playing, we see the endless future of the piano circle in Taiwan.”

 

Pianist Yi Fan-Chiang emigrated to study in Germany at the age of thirteen. He graduated from Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover and received Konzertexam. During his working on PHD, he was qualified for piano instructing as a lecturer, and simultaneously substituted for Professor Tomislav Baynov at Musikhochschule Trossingen, instructing piano in master and doctoral degrees for three years. Up to the present, he has been receiving more than 30 awards from international competitions and musical governmental institutions. While teaching and performing intensively, pianist Yi Fan-Chiang spares no effort in popularizing artistic and cultural activities. He participated in charity performances at fundraising events for patients suffering from Osteogenesis Imperfecta, as well as the 40th anniversary evening party held by St. Anne’s Home. Since 2013, he has been instructing music talented students at Special Education in New Taipei City; meanwhile, he was invited to be the distinguished professor of master classes for high quality educational project, held by National Wu-Ling Senior High School, during which he put numerous efforts in nurturing the young talents. His pupils have not only achieved great results in nationally representative competitions in Taiwan, but also won awards in international events from Japan, Macau, America, France, Germany, Italy to Spain; some of them even had the opportunity to perform at the celebrated Carnegie Hall.

 

Yi Fan-Chiang has been invited to assume the office of the councilor of National Theatre and Concert Hal for two consecutive years, the director of the board in Frederic Chopin Foundation of Taipei and the chief consultant of 2016 Virtuoso Taoyuan Music Competition The performance of Pianist Yi Fan-Chiang has been regularly requested in countries among the U.S., Europe and Asia; his piano lectures and master classes have also been held in Germany, China and Taiwan for many times. The video recording of his performance has been widely broadcast on public TV channels and radio stations in Germany, Poland, Russia, Belgium, France, Italy, Romania, Spain, Israel, America and Taiwan. He also cooperated with orchestras such as National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan, Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Moments Musicaux, Taipei Symphony and Chinese Orchestra, Chiuko Traditional Orchestra, TNUA (Taipei National University of Arts) String Ensemble, NTUA (National Taiwan University of Arts) Wind Orchestra, along with others. Click-throughs to the videos of his collaborative concerto concerts with Evergreen Symphony Orchestra are available in the audio and video programs provided by Eva Air. Moreover, he has been participating in at art festivals including Braunschweig Classix Festival and Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, Concurso y Festival Internacional de Piano de Ibiza in Spain, Fête de la Musique in France and also on similar occasions in Austria, Russia, Israel, China and many countries. Inheriting from the German and Russian piano schools, pianist Yi Fan-Chiang has been instructed, supported and influenced profoundly by many important contemporary musicians, such as maestro Lazar Berman, the Russian pianist and conductor Igor Zhukov, who is of paramount importance in interpreting the works by Scriabin; Paul Badura-skoda, the heir to German-Austrian traditions; the late German pianist Conrad Hansen, who played and recorded with the legendary conductor Wilhelm Furtwängler in the performances of concertos; Pavel Gillilov, the winner of International Chopin Piano Competition and the chief-judge of International Telekom Beethoven Competition Bonn; Dan Zhao-Xi, the respected teacher of the pianist Li Yundi.

 

Additionally, Yi Fan-Chiang is particularly fond of the accompaniment of art songs, and has studied for many years under Justus Zeyen, who was the piano accompanist in collaboration with Thomas Quasthoff, the German Baritone who won numerous Grammy Awards. Until now, pianist Yi Fan-Chiang has collaborated with various musicians abroad, including: the internationally renowned violinist Joshua Bell; Szymanowski Quartet; Eric Wilson, the professor of cello in UBC University in Canada; the Swiss violinist Robert Rozek, Professors from Germany like Pianist Gesa Lucker, Ilya Scheps, Violinist Kathrin ten Hagen and Cellist Katharina Deserno, Wen-Sinn Yang ; Li Fang-Yi, the professor of piano at Villeneuve Saint-Georges Conservatoire in France; famous Chinese Erhu (Chinese two-stringed fiddle) players Zhao Lei and Gao Shao-Jing; Conductor like Klaus Arp, the German conductor of South German Radio Symphony Orchestra; the German conductor Gernot Schmalfuss, Gilbert Varga and many others. Pianist Yi Fan-Chiang recorded many albums with the repertoire Piano Concerto, Solo Pieces, Piano Duo and Chamber Music. His last album “Four Seasons in Taoyuan”Piano Concerto was awarded with Golden Melody Awards in the category“the best soloist

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