Xiaoya Liu

Xiaoya Liu

Xiaoya Liu

Rising Faculty Star 2022

Pianist Xiaoya Liu has captured the imagination of worldwide audiences through her profound artistry and charismatic performances as concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician across Asia, Europe, and the United States with orchestras such as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Round Rock Symphony, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, the GSIM Festival Orchestra and in venues including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Hill Auditorium, Palazzo Biscari, and Shanghai Concert Hall.

Engagements this season include Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto and Florence Price Piano Concerto with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra and the UM Life Sciences Orchestra.

Xiaoya was a top prize winner in the Sicily International Piano Competition, the Wideman International Piano Competition, the New York International Artists Piano Competition, the Paris Music Competition, the American Prize, and the Winner of both the PianoTexas Concerto Competition and the University of Michigan Concerto Competition. She has been a featured artist at the Crystal Valley Concert Series and the American Liszt Society Festival.

A recipient of full scholarships from prestigious music festivals worldwide, Xiaoya has worked alongside such artists as Yefim Bronfman, Stephen Hough, Leslie Howard, Dmitry Rachmanov, Pascal Rogé, Paul Schoenfeld, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Melvyn Tan, and conductors Miguel Harth-Bedo and Kenneth Kiesler.​

Xiaoya received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance with a concurrent second Master’s degree in Piano Chamber Music from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, and a Bachelor’s (Honors) degree in Piano Performance from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music – National University of Singapore. Her principal teachers include Christopher Harding, Natalya Antonova, Enrico Elisi, and Thomas Hecht.

Xiaoya was the recipient of the Earl V. Moore Award, one of the highest honors given for outstanding achievement by the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.​

Her CD album (world premiere) of Carl Vine Complete Piano Sonatas will be released under Dynamic in 2022.

Martin Kesuma

Martin Kesuma

Martin Kesuma

Rising Faculty Stars 2022

Born in Indonesia, Martin Kesuma made his orchestral debut at the age of 17 with the Texas State Symphony Orchestra. Since then, Martin has performed with the Round Rock Symphony, University of Texas University Orchestra, and more. As recipient of the Ben Gomez Award from the 10th TSIPF, Martin is scheduled to perform with the Central Texas Philharmonic soon. In addition, Martin enjoys performing in competitions. Some of his accomplishments include Honorable Mention in the San Jose International Piano Competition and first prizes in the PianoHouse International Piano Competition and the Dickinson Piano Competition at the TSIPF, which allowed Martin to record and publish his debut album, “Detours,” for the Centaur Records.

A graduate of Texas State University (classes of Washington Garcia and Jason Kwak), Martin continued to study at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is currently finishing up his doctoral studies with Anton Nel. Starting in September, Martin will move to Toronto, where he has been accepted with full scholarship to study with James Anagnoson in the Artist Diploma Program at the Glenn Gould School, Royal Conservatory of Music.

Jean Park

Jean Park

Jean Park is a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts at Stony Brook University, studying with Gilbert Kalish. She previously graduated from Manhattan School of Music completing the Master’s in Music degree in Piano Performance studying with Daniel Epstein and Andre Michel Schub. Jean also completed double bachelor degrees from the University of Washington both in piano studying with Regina Yeh, and also in Business with a double focus on International Business and Human Resources. Jean’s other principal teachers include Eteri Andjaparidze, Choong Mo Kang, Bela Siki, and Mary Toy.

Jean Park has competed in the Schubert Club’s Scholarship Competition twice, winning second place in the college division in 2009, and returning in 2013 to win first place in the graduate division. She has attended a number of music festivals such as Icicle Creek Winter Piano Festival, Playing for the Gold 2015 in Stavanger, Norway as part of the international chamber festival, Aurora Chamber Music and Masterclasses in Trollhättan, Sweden, Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, International Piano Masterclasses in Katowice, Poland, Round Top Music Festival, International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Hot Springs Music Festival, and National Music Festival. Some highlights include, while at the Hot Springs Music Festival, Jean performed Rhayader for piano and chamber orchestra in concert, with composer Eric Funk in attendance. At the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, Jean played a live solo performance that was broadcast on air on the WSMR RADIO and also in the ambassador concert series. She has performed in masterclasses for Rebecca Penneys, Enrico Elisi, Christopher Harding, Sean Duggan, Emanuel Krasovsky, Victor Rosenbaum, Boris Slutsky, Adam Wibrowski, Eugene Pridonoff, Andrzej Jasinski, Wojciech Switala, Ewa Poblocka and Asaf Zohar. She has also played with her chamber groups in masterclasses for Robert Mann and Colin Carr.

Alexander Malikov

Alexander Malikov

Alexander Malikov enjoys a wide variety of artistic activities. In addition to an extensive performance schedule around Canada and the United States, Alexander is a composer and painter as well. He is a winner of the Carl Baldassare composer-performer competition at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and premiered his own chamber concerto in September 2016 with the M.U.S.i.C orchestra in Cleveland. He plays his own piano works regularly since his 2006 composition debut in Shanghai, China, and enjoys teaching composition and playing music of other composers living today.

Alexander worked with Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the New World Symphony on both modern piano and the fortepiano in an all-Beethoven concert in October of 2011. In March 2012, he was featured on “Performance Today” at American Public Media in a five-day recording and interview project. He has performed at the National Arts Center in Ottawa both as a soloist and under the baton of Boris Brott, and is a member of the ensemble in residence at the Summer Music Institute in Ottawa since 2014. In the summer of 2015, Alexander Malikov and cellist Min Kim went on a tour of cities in the US, Canada and South Korea, performing cello sonatas by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Rachmaninov. The following summer, the two have recorded the Rachmaninov and Chopin cello sonatas. Alexander is a winner of the Knigge, Shean, TSO, and OSM competitions piano competitions. He is also a semi-finalist at the Yamaha-Bosendorfer, Esther Honens, and the Dublin International piano competitions. Most notable masterclasses for Alexander include working with Murray Perahia and Lang Lang.

Alexander’s piano studies began at the age of seven in Volgograd, Russia. A few years later, his family immigrated to Calgary, Canada, where he continued his lessons at the Mount Royal Conservatory with Dmitry Nesterov. Some of the other artists with whom Alexander had a chance to work with during this time include Krzystof Jablonski, Anton Kuerti, Hung Kuan Chen, Marc Durand and John Perry. Alexander is a participant of the Banff Summer Masterclass Program, the Morningside Music Bridge program, the Sergei Babayan Academy, the Orford Festival, and the Young Artist Program in Ottawa. He has completed his Bachelor’s of Piano Performance at the Oberlin Conservatory with the Canadian pianist Angela Cheng, his Masters at the Juilliard School with Julian Martin, and his Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Sergei Babayan. He is currently working on his Doctoral Studies at the University of Texas Butler School of Music with Anton Nel.

Yoshiko Arahata

Yoshiko Arahata

Versatile in styles ranging from Baroque to Contemporary and Jazz, Yoshiko Arahata maintains an active performance and teaching career in the US, Asia and Europe. Top prize winner of international competitions including Bradshaw and Buono and Los Angeles Liszt, her recent highlights include performances at Amalfi Coast International Festival (Italy) and Ritos Project (Greece); concerto with Ossia New Music; Garth Newel Chamber Music Center; and performance with renowned violinist Charles Castleman.

Dedicated to artistic growth, Arahata frequently premieres works by living composers and collaborates with dancers.

She presented at 2019 International Society for Improvised Music conference and serves on the committee for the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy. Arahata studied piano performance at Northwestern University (M.M.) and Eastman School of Music (B.M., D.M.A.), where she received the Excellence in Teaching Assistant Award. Her primary teachers include Barry Snyder, Alan Chow and Enrico Elisi, with whom she served as his teaching assistant.

Currently, Arahata is an adjunct lecturer/instructor at SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, University of Rochester and Eastman Community Music School and a faculty at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.

Brian Marks

brian marks-chin

Brian Marks is Associate Professor of Piano and Director of Keyboard Studies at Baylor University. His performances as a concerto soloist have covered repertoire from the Pre-Classic era on fortepiano to late 20th-century works. As a soloist and collaborative artist, he has premiered a number of new works, including Libby Larsen’s Barn Dances for flute, clarinet, and piano, and Normand Lockwood’s 8 Details and Summary for solo piano. His recording of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Harbison’s San Antonio for saxophone and piano with Baylor University saxophonist Michael Jacobson can be heard on the AUR label. Recent professional highlights include performances in Japan and masterclasses in Poland.

Dr. Marks is a frequent presenter at conferences and professional meetings. His appearances include the national meetings of the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, and the Society for American Music, as well as numerous workshops and presentations at regional meetings of professional organization and for local music teacher associations.

Dr. Marks holds the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Denver, and has additional studies in musicology at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. His teachers include Nancy Garrett, Danielle Martin, Edith Oppens, David Genova and Theodor Lichtmann.

Soyeon Kate Lee


First prize winner of the Naumburg International Piano Competition and the Concert Artist Guild International Competition, and a laureate of the Cleveland and Santander International Piano Competitions, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee has been lauded by the New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style,” and by the Washington Post for her “stunning command of the keyboard.”

Lee has collaborated as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, as well as recent engagements with the Hawaii, San Diego, Louisiana, Symphony, Santa Fe, Princeton, Columbus, Eugene, Erie, Asheville, Peninsula symphony orchestras, among others.

Frequent performer in New York City programs, Ms. Lee has given recitals to critical acclaim at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Halls, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space, and (le) Poisson Rouge, Washington’s Kennedy Center, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Auditorio de Musica de Nacional in Madrid, Herbst Theatre, and Finland’s Maanta Music Festival.

She is a regular guest in chamber music festivals in the United States including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Music Mountain, and has been a member of the coveted Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two program, where her performance of the Mozart Piano Trio was broadcast on PBS Live from Lincoln Center.

Ms. Lee’s discography spans Scarlatti, Liszt, and Scriabin for Naxos, and her recording of Re!nvented (Koch Classics) garnered a feature in the Gramophone Magazine and won the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award.

Ms. Lee is the co-artistic director of Music by the Glass in New York City and is on the piano faculty of the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.

Sophia Gilmson

IMG_9197, faceSophia Gilmson, Russian-born pianist, graduated cum laude from the Lenigrad (St Petersburg) Conservatory, where she studied with Professor Vitaly Margulis. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the First Prize in the Young Artists Competition in New York City, which was followed by a recital in Carnegie Hall, and the Piano International Recording Competition. Radio Leningrad, Radio Vatican, WQXR and WNYC in New York City, among others, have broadcasted her performances.

She has concertized extensively in Europe and the United States to a high critical acclaim. Carl Cunningham of The Houston Post described Gilmson’s playing as a “…brilliant, driving performance.” Michael Huebner, of the Austin-American Statesman, referred to her performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations as “one of the most refreshing and thought-provoking performances this season.” In 2001, she was awarded the prestigious Mount Everest Award by the Austin Critics Table for this performance in which she played the Goldberg Variations on harpsichord and piano in the same evening. Michael Barnes, chief arts critic of the Austin American-Statesman at that time, ranked this as one of the top ten arts events of 2001, calling it “unforgettable.” In the celebration of its 20th anniversary, Austin’s Performing Arts Center included this concert in the list of twenty most memorable programs of its history, one per year.

Sophia Gilmson is active as a teacher as well as a performer. Her students have won major prizes on national, and international levels. Her unique pedagogical skills are universally recognized at both pre-college and collegiate levels. She has received an array of excellence in teaching awards, including the 2001 Collegiate Teaching Achievement Award of Texas.

A dedicated educator, Sophia Gilmson is the co-founder of both the Houston and Austin Young Artists Concerts designed for musically gifted children. Sophia served as an artistic director for both programs for twenty years, since its inception in 1987 to 2007. These programs were hailed as “outstanding,” “fabulous,” “unique,” and “cultural treasures” by musicians from all over the country.

She presented papers, master-classes and lectures at the World Piano Pedagogy and Music Teachers National Association Conferences as well as various international music festivals and conferences.

She has been published in Keyboard Companion, the official journal of the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy.

Sophia Gilmson has been on the faculty of the University of Texas Butler School of Music since 1993.

Festival Concerts

Guest Artist Recitals

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