Introduced to the piano by his concert pianist mother, Moscow-born Alexander Braginsky began studying the piano at the age of four. His first teacher, Alexander Goldenweiser, a classmate of Rachmaninoff and Scriabin, introduced Braginsky to the nineteenth-century Romantic tradition. After Goldenweiser’s death, he continued to study with Theodore Gutman, another illustrious representative of the “Golden Age” of Russian piano school.
Alexander Braginsky (Chair) / United States
Offering his audiences a repertoire that extends from Baroque to avant-garde, Braginsky has performed more than 20 world premieres, most of which were commissioned and written for him. Braginsky has performed extensively in the USSR, Israel, England, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Taiwan, People’s Republic of China, Spain, Cuba, France, and the United States. He also appeared on stage in collaboration with the variety of renowned artists including Yefim Bronfman and Oleg Kagan. Alexander Braginsky and his wife, cellist Tanya Remenikova, were the first artists-in-residence appointed by Churchill College, Cambridge, in 1981.
A professor on the faculty of the International Music Summer Course in Vienna, Austria from 1995 to 2006, Braginsky regularly gives numerous master classes around the world, including International Keyboard Institute at Mannes College and Beijing International Music Festival.
Braginsky has recorded for DDF, Sound StarTone, and d’Note labels. He has appeared repeatedly on BBC, National Public Radio, RTB-BRT, and other radio stations throughout the world. In 2003 in Vienna he was awarded the Josef Dichler Gold Medal for outstanding achievement. Today, Braginsky teaches at the University of Minnesota School of Music. Braginsky is the Founding President and the Artistic Director of the International Piano-e-Competition.
Director and Professor of the School of Music at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Dr. Michael Kim enjoys a distinguished, multi-faceted career as an academic administrator, professor, and concert artist. Dr. Kim previously served as Professor/Dean of the School of Music and Vice-President (External) at Brandon University, Canada, and as Chair of the Keyboard Department and Faculty Associate to the President at Lawrence University (Appleton, WI).
Michael Kim / Canada and United States
A veteran of the concert circuit, Dr. Kim has performed repeatedly as soloist with numerous orchestras (including the Boston and Cincinnati Pops, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra London, the Florida Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the symphonies of Toronto, Vancouver, CBC Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Oklahoma City) under the baton of such distinguished conductors as Yannick Nezet Seguin, Hans Graf, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Sian Edwards, Mario Bernardi, and Georg Tintner.
He has toured extensively as solo recitalist throughout Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and South Korea, and with the highly successful Music as Theatre production The Schumann Letters. As a chamber musician and collaborative artist, he performs frequently with his wife pianist Dr. Kyung Kim and sister violinist Helen Kim, and has also collaborated with James Ehnes, Edgar Meyer, James Campbell, members of the Canadian Brass, and the Ceclia, New Orford, Fine Arts, New Zealand String Quartets. Summer festival performances have included Ottawa’s Chamber fest, Festival of the Sound, Colors of Music, Agassiz, Brevard, Aspen, Banff, Clear Lake, Huntsville, Heifetz (Annapolis, MD), and Niagara. Michael most recently appeared in subscription performances with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra performing with legendary clarinetist Martin Frost.
He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School, and was silver medalist in the 1992 Scottish International Competition in Glasgow, a prizewinner in the Leeds and Ivo Pogorelich International Piano Competitions, and grand prizewinner of the Canadian Music and Canadian Broadcasting Corporation National Radio Competitions. Dr. Kim can be heard on critically acclaimed recordings for Arktos, CRI, Summit, and Orpheum Masters.
Praised by critics as “a diva of the piano” (The Salt Lake City Tribune), “a mesmerizing risk-taker” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), and “simply spectacular” (Chicago International Music Foundation) Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov has established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today. Following prizes in the Cleveland International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Ms. Lomazov has given performances throughout North America, South America, China, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Russia, Japan and in nearly all of the fifty states in the U.S.
Marina Lomazov / United States
Marina Lomazov has given major debuts in New York (Weill-Carnegie Hall) Boston (Symphony Hall), Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Concert Series), Los Angeles (Museum of Art), Shanghai (City Theater) and Kiev (Kiev International Music Festival). She has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Eastman Philharmonia, Chernigov Philharmonic (Ukraine), KUG Orchester Graz (Austria), Bollington Festival Orchestra (England), Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra and South Carolina Philharmonic, to name a few. New York Times chief music critic Anthony Tommasini describes a recent New York performance as “dazzling” and Talk Magazine Shanghai describes her performances as “a dramatic blend of boldness and wit”.
In recent seasons, Lomazov has performed extensively in China, including concerts in Shenyang, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Jinan, Nanjing, Qingdao and Yingkou. She is a frequent guest at music festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including Perugia Music Fest (Italy), Hamamatsu (Japan), Chautauqua, Brevard, Eastman, Burgos (Spain), Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany) and Varna (Bulgaria), among others. She has recorded for the Albany, Centaur and Innova labels and American Record Guide praised her recent recording of piano works by Rodion Shchedrin for its “breathtaking virtuosity”. She has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, the “Bravo” cable channel and WNYC’s “Young Artist Showcase” and her recordings have been broadcast more than 100 times by WNYC and WQXR in New York, WFMT in Chicago and WBGH in Boston.
Before immigrating to the United States in 1990, Marina studied at the Kiev Conservatory where she became the youngest First Prize Winner at the all-Kiev Piano Competition. Ms. Lomazov holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, the latter bestowing upon her the highly coveted Artist’s Certificate – an honor the institution had not given a pianist for nearly two decades. Her principal teachers include Natalya Antonova, Jerome Lowenthal and Barry Snyder. Also active as a chamber musician, Lomazov has performed widely as a member of the Lomazov/Rackers Piano Duo. The duo garnered significant attention as Second Prize winners at the Sixth Biennial Ellis Competition for Duo Pianists (2005), the only national duo piano competition in the United States at that time. As advocates of modern repertoire for duo piano, they have given premieres of numerous works across the United States, including several works written specifically for them.
Ms. Lomazov is a Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music. She has served as jury member for the Cleveland International Piano Competition (Young Artists), Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Eastman International Piano Competition, Minnesota International Piano e-Competition, National Federation Biennial Young Artist Auditions and is currently serving as a chair for National Classical Music Panel for YoungArts, the only organization in the US that nominates U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. For 17 years, she served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Music, where she held the chair of Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts Music and is currently holds a Guest Artist Residency. Together with her husband and piano duo partner Joseph Rackers, she co-founded and serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, SC.
Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist is professor and Head of the Piano Department at the Ingesund School of Music at Karlstad University. She is first prize winner in Nordic Piano Competition in 2004 and has received prizes and awards in the Finnish Culture Foundation in Finland, Anders Wall foundation in Sweden and Sonning Scholarship award in Denmark among others.
Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist / Sweden
Among other artistic project, Julia performed the complete repertoire of C. Debussy and recorded part of it, on Genuin records label in Germany.
In 2019 her students became First Prize winners in Vendome Prize at Verbier Festival 2019, Maria Canals Piano International Competition (WFIMC) and Cassagrande International Piano Competition (WFIMC)
During the years 2016-2019 her students became Top Prize Winners, Finalists and Special Prize Winners of WFIMC level competitions like: Long Thibaud Crespin Competition in Paris, G. Bachauer International Piano Competition in US, Concours de Geneve in Switzerland, Tbilisi International Piano Competition in Georgia, Dublin International Piano Competition in Ireland, J. Mottram International Piano Competition in England, Viotti International Piano Competition in Italy, Clara Haskil Piano Competition in Switzerland and Enescu International Piano Competition in Rumania.
Fully dedicated and very active in the pedagogical work, only in a past few academic years Prof. Jula Mustonen-Dahlkvist was giving master courses in Hong Kong, Latvia, Germany, South Korea, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Belgium among other countries.
Julia is a concert pianist with diverse background. Born in a Finnish-Russian family, she started to play the piano at the age of three under the guidance of her mother. She has studied several years in Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin, Royal Academy in Dublin as well as Stockholm College of Music and Marshall Academy in Barcelona.
Prof. Julia Mustonen -Dahlkvist is the Artistic Director of Gafsfjordens Music Festival, president of a Ingesund Piano Foundation and Artistic Director of the Nordic Piano Competition and founder and Artistic Director of the 1st Nordic Junior Piano Competition.
Praised by audiences and critics alike for his fresh interpretations and dramatic presentation style, Yoshikazu Nagai has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Europe and America in such venues as Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, Shanghai Concert Hall in China, National Concert Hall and Recital Hall in Taiwan, Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall in Canada, Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre, The National Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., and Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. His schedule in recent seasons includes recitals in Naples, Seoul, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Beijing, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco and in collaborations with the Ives Quartet, violinists Robert Mann, Anthony Marwood and with orchestras across the country.
Yoshikazu Nagai / United States
Mr. Nagai has appeared at many international music festivals, and his live performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, RAI Italian National TV, Hong Kong National Radio RTHK4, and on public radio stations in San Francisco, Houston, Cleveland, and Salt Lake City. Winner of numerous international piano competitions, including first prize at the 2002 Washington International Piano Competition. Mr. Nagai is also a major prizewinner of the San Antonio, Missouri Southern, New Orleans, IBLA Grand Prize International Piano Competitions, and the Concert Artists Guild International Music Competition.
Born in Germany and raised in the United States, Mr. Nagai studied with John Perry at Rice University, Paul Schenly and Sergei Babayan at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he was awarded the Malvina Podis Prize in Piano upon graduation, and Duane Hulbert at the University of Puget Sound with whom he recorded the Glasunov Fantasie for two Pianos, Op. 104.
He has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancements in the Arts for excellence in teaching and Mr. Nagai’s students are top prizewinners of national and international competitions including the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition in Australia, Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition, Music Teacher’s National Association Piano Competition, New York International Piano Competition, Hilton Head, Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists, Nina Wideman, International Russian Music, King Award, Missouri Southern, Corpus Christi, Lennox Young Artists, Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU, Heida Hermanns, International E-Piano Competitions, Gilmore Young Artists Award, and Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition.
Mr. Nagai frequently gives master classes at universities and conservatories throughout the United States and Asia including recent classes at Shanghai Conservatory, Beijing’s Central Conservatory, Xinghai Conservatory, Shenzhen Arts School in China, Seoul National University, Korean National University of the Arts, Seoul Arts School, Hanyang University, KyungHee University, Konkuk University, and Sejong University in South Korea, Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei National University of the Arts, Peabody Conservatory, Oberlin Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and Northwestern University. He also regularly serves as adjudicator of international piano competitions and has served on the juries of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions, World Piano Competition, and Alaska International Piano E- Competition amongst others.
Currently Professor of Piano and Chamber Music, he is chair of the piano department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Mr. Nagai teaches regularly during the summers at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, where he serves as chair of the piano faculty and “Art of Piano” at Cincinnati Conservatory. He has also been summer faculty at the Shanghai and Beijing International Piano Festivals in China, Maestro International Piano Festival in Taiwan, Brancaleoni Festival in Italy, Chautauqua, Summit Festivals in New York, Pianofest in the Hamptons, South Eastern Piano Festival in South Carolina, Colburn Academy, JPA Festival and Montecito International Music Festival in California, Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina, and RPPF in Florida.
Mr. Nagai is a former faculty member at the Interlochen Arts Academy and is Visiting Professor of Piano at the Shanghai Middle School affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China.