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 (non-voting chair)
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.
Frederic Chiu performs in major venues on five continents, such as Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, The Chatelet in Paris, or the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires, as well as touring extensively in smaller and unusual venues. He collaborates with Classical music friends Joshua Bell, Pierre Amoyal, Gary Hoffman and the St Lawrence String Quartet, as well as non-Classical friends like jazz pianist Bob James, writer/storyteller David Gonzalez, Shakespearean actor Brian Bedford, and the clown Buffo, trying to bring the vivid live concert experience to as many people as possible. He has worked with conductors such as John Nelson, Stefan Sanderling, Rodolfo Fischer, Susan Haig, Bernhard Klee, Xian Zhang and Alexander Titov.
Among his recital programs, Frederic Chiu presents “Classical Smackdown”, a multi-year series where composers face off in head-to-head comparisons, with listeners voting for their favorite composer. After his first successful Smackdown between Debussy and Prokofiev, he presented Bach vs. Philip Glass, with results tracked at ClassicalSmackdown.com.
Frederic Chiu has released over 29 recordings, including the most extensive complete piano works of Prokofiev, and works of Chopin, Liszt, Ravel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Schubert, Rossini and Grieg, as well as the Beethoven/Liszt Symphony V and VII, and the solo piano version of Carnival of the Animals. His recent projects include “Hymns and Dervishes,” music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, and Distant Voices: Piano music of Claude Debussy & Gao Ping. He is a regular on St. Paul Sunday and Performance Today, and a favorite of public radios across the country.
Chiu's teaching program Deeper Piano Studies – a philosophic and holistic approach to piano playing – has been presented at the Juilliard School, Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music, the Manhattan School of Music, the New England Conservatory, the Banff Centre and most of the National Conservatories in China. He currently teaches at both Carnegie Mellon University, as well as The Hartt School in Hartford, CT.
Chiu is co-founder and artistic director of Beechwood Arts and Innovation in Connecticut, focused on the crossroads between art, innovation and transformation. His efforts to promote music coincide with his desire to foster peace and understanding, recently recognized by a Senatorial Commendation from the United States Congress. He has been, for more than 30 years, a Yamaha artist, and has explored the integration of their instruments ranging from the highest-quality acoustic to the purely digital, and all the different hybrid combinations in between.
“Adventurous and passionate” (The New Yorker) Ukrainian-born American pianist Inna Faliks has made a name for herself through her commanding performances of standard piano repertoire, as well genre-bending interdisciplinary projects, and inquisitive work with contemporary composers. After her acclaimed teenage debuts at the Gilmore Festival and with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she has performed on many of the world’s great stages, with numerous orchestras, in solo appearances, and with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Keith Lockhart. Faliks is currently Professor of Piano and Head of Piano at UCLA. Critics praise her “courage to take risks, expressive intensity and technical perfection” (General Anzeiger, Bonn), “remarkable insight” (Audiophile audition) “poetry and panoramic vision” (Washington Post), “riveting passion, playfulness” (Baltimore Sun) and “signature blend of lithe grace and raw power” (Lucid Culture.)>
Highlights of the recent seasons include performances in Ravinia Festival and the National Gallery in DC, recital tours of China, with appearances in all the major halls such as Beijing Center for Performing Arts, Shanghai Oriental Arts Theater and Tianjin Grand Theater, as well as acclaimed performances at the Festival Intenacional de Piano in Mexico, in the Fazioli Series in Italy and in Israel’s Tel Aviv Museum, at Portland Piano Festival and with the Camerata Pacifica, with the modern dance troupe Bodytraffic at the Broad Stage Santa Monica, and Jacaranda Series in Los Angeles, where she performed Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. Faliks has been featured on WQXR, WNYC, WFMT and many international television broadcasts, and has performed in many other major venues such as Carnegie Hall, Met Museum, Moscow’s Tchaikovsky hall, etc.
She collaborates and premieres music by some of today’s most important composers such as Billy Childs, Richard Danielpour, Timo Andres and Clarice Assad. She is known for her poetry-music series Music/Words, and has collaborated with many important poets. She regularly tours with her monologue-recital Polonaise-Fantasie, the Story of a Pianist, which tells the story of her immigration to the United States from Odessa. This has been recorded on Delos; other acclaimed recordings include all-Beethoven, and Rachmaninoff/Ravel/Pasternak discs for MSR Classics. Upcoming recordings include Reimagine Beethoven and Ravel (9 world premieres) on Parma and the Master and Margarita project, with three world premieres and Liszt Sonata in b minor, on Sono Luminus. These programs will be performed nation-wide in 2020-2021.
Faliks is also a writer – her article on China and classical music was recently published by the Washington Post. Inna Faliks is a Yamaha Artist, and is represented by John Gingrich Management.
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 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.
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.
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.
Consistently acclaimed for his exquisite tonal beauty and superb artistry, Boris Slutsky emerged on the international music scene when he captured the First Prize—along with every major prize, including the Audience Prize and Wilhelm Backhaus Award—at the 1981 William Kapell International (University of Maryland) Piano Competition. His other accomplishments include first prizes at the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition and San Antonio International Keyboard Competition, and major prizes at the International Bach Competition in Memory of Glenn Gould, Busoni, Rina Sala Gallo, and Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competitions.
Since his orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony in 1980, Mr. Slutsky has appeared on nearly every continent as soloist and recitalist, collaborating with such eminent conductors as Dimitri Kitaenko and Valery Gergiev. He has performed with the London Philharmonic, Stuttgart State Orchestra and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Neuss am Rhein in Germany, Bem Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland, Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, RAI Orchestra in Milan, KBS Symphony Orchestra in Korea, and major orchestras in Spain, Russia, Columbia, and Brazil. In South Africa, he has been soloist with the orchestras of Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. His North American engagements have included concerts with the Baltimore, Florida, Utah, and Toronto Symphonies.
Mr. Slutsky has been heard on recital series throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Latin America, and the Far East, making appearances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Kaufmann Concert Hall, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Performing Arts Center in Seoul, and Teatro Colon in Bogota, among many others. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Slutsky's more than two decades of chamber music collaborations include the critically acclaimed recording of Schumann's Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Ilya Kaler on the Naxos label, as well as performances with many renowned artists.
Mr. Slutsky has presented master classes throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, and served as a jury member for many international piano competitions.
Born in Moscow into a family of musicians, Mr. Slutsky received his early training at Moscow's Gnessin School for Gifted Children as a student of Anna Kantor, and completed his formal studies at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music, studying with Nadia Reisenberg, Nina Svetlanova, John Browning, and Joseph Seiger. In addition, he has worked for many years with his mentor Alexander Eydleman.
In 1993, Mr. Slutsky joined the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where he currently serves as chair of the Piano Department.