Duo Piano Master Classes
with Alvin Chow, EStrella Duo with Elena Doubovitskaya and Svetlana Belsky, and Elizabeth Buccheri
July 26-31, 2021 (One-week session)
Schedule: MTWThF, daytime sessions 10:00 am - 12:30 pm, 2:30 - 5:00 pm; Final Concerts: July 31 at 3:00 and 7:00 pm
Location: Ryan Center for the Musical Arts
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 2 full recitals that are open to the public.
MUS_WKSP 310 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0 credit
MUS_WKSP 315 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0.5 credit
(Additional charge to register for credit)
Participant Tuition: $650
Full Program Auditors: $400
Per Day Auditors: $80 (non-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 you are applying. This will ensure that your 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 for the performance offerings.
The deadline for performer applications is April 12, 2021. Auditors are encouraged. The deadline for accepted participant registration with full tuition due is May 28, 2021. Early registration is advised, as 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.
Faculty and Guest Artists
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.
Alvin Chow has appeared throughout North America and in Asia as orchestral soloist and recitalist. In addition, he has performed extensively in duo-piano recitals with his wife, Angela Cheng, and his twin brother, Alan. A native of Miami, Florida, he graduated summa cum laude and Co-Valedictorian (with his brother) at the University of Maryland, where he was a student of Nelita True. Mr. Chow 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.
Mr. Chow has won First Prize in numerous competitions such as the Civic Orchestra of Chicago Young Soloists Competition, the National Symphony Young Soloists Competition and the Indiana University Concerto Competition, as well as prizes in the University of Maryland International Piano Competition, the New York Piano Teachers Congress International Piano Competition, and the MTNA Collegiate Artists Competition.
Mr. Chow has been presented as recitalist in such cities as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Wuhan, Vienna, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Detroit, Houston and Miami, and has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Pan-Asia Symphony in Hong Kong, Shanghai Philharmonic, and the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, among others. He has also been Convention Artist for the state MTNA conferences in California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and Tennessee.
Mr. Chow has presented numerous master classes and lectures throughout the United States and abroad, including the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Taichung University in Taiwan, Colburn School in Los Angeles, Eastman School of Music, and Indiana University, among many others. He has been invited to perform and teach at numerous summer festivals, including the Shanghai Piano Festival and Institute, Banff Piano Master Classes, International Institute for Young Musicians, North Coast Piano Festival, Southeastern Piano Festival, New Orleans International Piano Festival, and in 2019 he will be at the Lake Como Summer Piano School in Italy, the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, and the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival in Florida.
Mr. Chow is a member of the artist faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. From 2011-14 he was the Ruth Strickland Gardner Professor of Music, and served as Chair of the Piano Department from 2007-19. Mr. Chow was awarded Oberlin’s Excellence in Teaching Award for the 2016-17 academic year, and currently serves as Director of the Division of Keyboard Studies.
"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.
Pianist Elizabeth Buccheri, a native of South Carolina, was educated at Winthrop University and the Eastman School of Music, from which she received the Performer’s Certificate in Piano and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. At Eastman, she was a student of the eminent collaborative pianist, Brooks Smith. During these Rochester years, she was pianist for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and also performed and toured with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Her varied career as coach and accompanist has included twenty-eight seasons as accompanist for the Chicago Symphony Chorus and the legendary Margaret Hillis; pianist coach for the opera companies of Rochester’s Opera Under the Stars and the Brevard (N.C.) Music Festival; accompanist/coach for conductors Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Zubin Mehta, Sir Andrew Davis, and Christoph Eschenbach; and from 1987 to 2013, assistant conductor at Lyric Opera of Chicago. An experienced recitalist, she has appeared in concert with singers Nicole Cabell, Susanne Mentzer, Susan Graham, Michelle DeYoung, Samuel Ramey, Elizabeth Futral, Eric Owens, and Sherrill Milnes, with the Shanghai and Vermeer String Quartets, and with violinists Midori and Gil Shaham. These concerts have taken her to all parts of the United States and to many countries in Europe. Buccheri has recorded extensively on the CRI, Sony, Boston, Cedille and Albany labels and was responsible for musical preparation on London Records’ issues of Schönberg’s Moses und Aron, Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürenberg, and Verdi’s Otello, Sir Georg Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and soloists. For this work, Elizabeth Buccheri received the Solti Foundation Award, the first American musician to be so honored. In previous years, Buccheri assisted Maestro Pierre Boulez, the Cleveland Orchestra, Chorus, and soloists with preparations for performances at Severance Hall, Cleveland and Carnegie Hall, New York. She is the founder and music director of Chamber Music at North Park, and was awarded the honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree by North Park University in May 2004. A dedicated teacher, Buccheri has given master classes at Juilliard, Eastman, Northwestern, and at the music academies of Lithuania and Latvia. From 2000 through 2013, Buccheri was in charge of the collaborative piano program at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. From 2013-2018, she was Head of Music for the Opera Program at the Aspen Music Festival and School. In 2019-20, she has served as a guest faculty member at the Hart Institute/Dallas Opera and will serve as judge for the Young Texas Concert Artists Competition in Conroe, Texas.