Duo Piano Master Classes
with guest artists Lydia Brown, Liang-He Duo, and Duo EStrella
July 25- 30, 2022 (One-week session)
Schedule: MTWThF, daytime sessions 10:00am-12:30pm, 2:30-5:00pm
Final Concerts: July 30 at 3:00 and 7:00pm
Location: Ryan Center for the Musical Arts (Evanston Campus)
Open to college and graduate students, young professionals, serious amateurs, advanced high-school students. Intensive master classes for duo piano will focus on the art of playing duo piano through study of one four-hand piece and a significant work for two pianos. Participants will have the opportunity to work on interpretive concepts, style and balance, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the musical score, and will bring each piece up to performance level. They will also be encouraged to develop their critical faculties in listening and score study. There is ample time in the daily schedule for individual practice and rehearsals. The week will culminate in two full recitals that are open to the public.
MUS_WKSP 310 Section 6 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0 credit
MUS_WKSP 315 Section 6 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0.5 credit
Participant Tuition: $650, Full Program Auditors: $400, Per Day Auditors: $80 (non-credit)
(Additional charge to register for credit)
A digital unedited audio or video recording of any two contrasting movements from different periods. Applicants may apply singly or as pre-formed duos. Single applicants will be matched up with partners and repertoire assigned ahead of time. Pre-formed duos may select their own repertoire in consultation with the instructor.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted via the Summer Application. Upon creating a file in the Application, applicants should select “Summer Session” as their application type, and then select the workshop to which they are applying. This will ensure that the file is distributed to the correct reviewers. No separate application form is necessary—do not submit an application to Northwestern University via the Common Application or Graduate Music Online Application. Applicants will be asked to upload a detailed resume as well as all audition requirements.
The deadline for performer applications is 11:59 p.m. on April 13, 2022. Auditors are encouraged. The deadline for accepted participant registration with full tuition due is June 1, 2022. Early registration is advised since a maximum of 16 participants will be accepted.
NOTE: No paper applications will be accepted. Do not mail recordings to the Bienen School of Music or to faculty, as these will not be reviewed or returned.
A native of Penang, Malaysia, Sylvia Wang has presented solo and collaborative performances throughout the Americas, Europe, and the Far East. She has recorded for the Newport Classic label and Boston Records, and contemporary American music for Northeastern and CRI labels. She has been the winner and finalist in various competitions, including the Royal Overseas League Festival in London, an AVANTI award leading to a debut in London's Purcell Room, the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, and the J.S. Bach International Piano Competition. Recent activities include guest classes at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Hong Kong Baptist University, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, guest judging at the University of Michigan and the Peabody Conservatory and a six-city concert tour of China. She has also been a guest at the Chautauqua Institution, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and the University of Western Australia in Perth. She acknowledges her debt to David Burge at the Eastman School of Music and Hamish Milne and Dennis Murdoch at the Royal Academy of Music, which she attended as an Associated Board scholar. In recognition of "distinction in the field", the Academy awarded her an honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music.
Pianist Lydia Brown has served as chair of the Collaborative Piano Department at The Juilliard School since 2018. She has achieved a wide-ranging career in opera, recital, and chamber music. Brown holds a DMA from Juilliard and earned piano degrees from Eastman School of Music and Yale University. A graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, she has served regularly as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera since 2005 and at San Francisco Opera since 2011. Brown has also enjoyed long relationships with Spoleto Festival USA and Gotham Chamber Opera and has overseen the vocal program at the Marlboro Music Festival and School since 2006. Her recital appearances include the Salle Cortot, Grace Rainey Rogers auditorium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alice Tully Hall, the 92nd Street Y, the Phillips Gallery, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Her previous faculty positions include Yale and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
Grand prize winner of the 18th Tokyo International Duo Piano Competition, the Liang-He duo has been acclaimed for its combined artistry and synchronicity. The members of the duo, Xiaomin Liang and Jue He, began playing together when they were students at Northwestern University. They later developed into a professional ensemble while living in Chicago.
The duo has performed in festivals and concert series throughout Asia and North America and has frequently been featured on WFMT, Chicago's classical music radio station. The Liang-He duo successfully toured over 40 cities in China from 2012 to 2019, performing in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, receiving rave reviews and further accolades. Other accomplishments include winning third prize in the “Liszt 200 International Two-Piano Competition" and being named Chicagoland’s first “Young Steinway Artists.”
The Liang-He Duo is committed to developing a unique repertoire based on exploring the classics of two-piano literature, as well as creating new works through commissions. Both Xiaomin Liang and Jue He received their Doctorate degrees in piano performance from Northwestern University.
Born in Beijing, China, award-winning pianist Xiao-min Liang is known for her outstanding musicianship, extraordinary sensitivity and virtuosity. Praised by the New York Times for her vivid and exhilarating playing, Ms. Liang has performed in major concert venues such as Avery Fischer Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Chicago Symphony Center, the Grand National Theater and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Ms. Liang received top prizes at the China National Piano Competition, the Five Town Piano Competition in New York, the Douglaston Young Artist Competition in Long Island, and the Thaviu/Isaak Scholarship Competition and Concerto Competition at Northwestern University. As a winner of the Artist International Competition, Miss Liang made her debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie in 2000.
Ms. Liang began her studies at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Since moving to the US, she has studied with Victoria Mushkatkol at Interlochen Arts Academy. She graduated from the Juilliard School, receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees where she was a full scholarship student studying with Jerome Lowenthal. Ms. Liang received her doctoral degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, where her teachers included Ursula Oppens and Sylvia Wang. Miss Liang has served on the piano faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago since 2006.
Jue He, a native of Shanghai, China, has been acclaimed for her combination of vigorous and eloquent performances. The Denver Post praised Ms. He for her “first-rate performance” in collaborating with the Aspen Festival Orchestra. She has performed and given lecture recitals both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. She is currently on the faculty at Benedictine University.
Dr. He started her studies in Shanghai Conservatory’s high school division. She graduated from University of Denver, receiving her bachelor’s degree as a full scholarship recipient. Later on, Dr. He received both her master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Piano Performance and Collaborative Arts from Northwestern University, graduating with top honors. Her teachers include Dr. Sylvia Wang and Dr. Elizabeth Buccheri.
"Svetlana Belsky and Elena Doubovitskaya are superb pianists on their own; together as the EStrella Piano Duo, they are doubly superb," raves John Puccio of Classical Candor.
The Duo burst onto the musical scene in 2011 with a series of concerts celebrating the great Russian masterpieces for piano duet. Their first performance evoked raves of “technical brilliance” and “infectious joy in music making”. The second drew a standing-room-only crowd. Since then, they have performed widely to enthusiastic audiences and critical acclaim throughout the US, Canada and China. In 2018 the Duo was awarded a Global Music Award Silver medal for their critically acclaimed new CD, Tales from the East, featuring stories of adventure, magic and romance by Russian composers. In 2019 the CD was awarded an Honorable Mention by The American Prize Competition.
EStrella's repertoire includes, besides the usual favorites, many rarely-heard, fascinating works that most duos fear to touch. Their programs are always musically profound, but also virtuostic, often acrobatic, and occasionally humorous, always with introductions which draw the listeners into the music. EStrellas's upcoming year will again take the Duo all over the United States, with numerous repeat engagements.
Elena Doubovitskaya and Svetlana Belsky are accomplished pianists in their own right. Between the two, they have been heard throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. Their concert credits include Carnegie (Weill) Hall, Kiev Philharmonic Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakoff Museum, Baptist University of Hong Kong, Ravinia and Tanglewood Music Festivals, among many others. Critics praise them for “marvelous and extraordinary playing” and “confidence and élan”. Elena and Svetlana are also accomplished teachers, who enjoy sharing their love for music with new generations of pianists.