Pianists Who Played My Bösendorfer Imperial Model 290 Piano

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This page is hosted as a gesture of appreciation for those who have visited my home to play this piano listed in alphabetical order.
Some of them will have been recorded, and samples of their performances are available to be listened to at the Audio & Video Files page of this site.
This is not all inclusive since some visitors prefer to keep their private activities private.

    Lura Johnson
  • Lura Johnson hailed as "brilliant" by the The Washington Post newspaper, Ms. Johnson has appeared in concert throughout the U.S. as a soloist and a chamber musician. Praised for her "invention, originality, and marvelous sense of flow" she has presented recitals at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and for the Washington D.C. Phillips Collection. She has both commissioned and premiered works by Jeffrey Mumford, performing them at the Kennedy Center and Washington's Corcoran Gallery. Prizewinner in such competitions as the William Byrd Competition, Midland-Odessa National Young Artist Competition, and the Wideman International Piano Competition, Johnson has appeared as soloist with the Shepherd Symphony and with the Da Camera Players.

    For her visit to my home in September 2006 I asked her to play a song she had not done since High School; the short notice result can be heard if you listen to her "Claire de Lune" at my Audio & Video Files page. It is performed in such a sensitive manner as to provide another insight to her talents.

    Right: Lura Johnson: highly talented, charming and easy on the eyes, she is one of my Bösendorfer's favourite visitors!
    Photography by Katiya Chilingiri. Click on the image to see an enlarged view

    Strongly committed to new music, she performs regularly with the Towson New Music Ensemble and also with the Contemporary Music Forum, the ground-breaking new music ensemble in residence at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington. She recently won top honors for best performance of a contemporary work at both the Garrison Competition and the International Russian Music Competition.

    In great demand as a chamber musician, Ms. Johnson has performed with violists Victoria Chiang and Carol Rodland, cellists Antonio Lysy, Michael Kannen, and Michael Reynolds, pianist Seth Knopp, and violinist William Fedkenheuer. Her numerous collaborations with Baltimore Symphony musicians include recitals with violists Peter Minkler and Karin Brown, violinist Ken Goldstein and cellist Ilya Finkelshteyn. In 2002 Ms. Johnson and award winning flutist Christina Jennings formed the Jennings-Johnson Duo, which tours regularly throughout the US. The Jennings-Johnson Duo is a musical partnership which celebrates the true spirit of collaboration. Inspired to explore all the combinations of the duo repertoire, they are challenging the traditional hierarchy of soloist and accompanist with performances that include solo works, transcriptions, and music of today. Each a virtuoso in her own right, their combined synergy attracts new audiences to the flute and piano medium. The Duo's first CD, The Jennings-Johnson Duo, was released in January of 2006.

    Ms. Johnson holds degrees from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, and has gone on to study with luminaries Leon Fleisher and Robert McDonald at the Peabody Institute, Baltimore, Maryland. A native of Oberlin, Ohio and the daughter of musical parents, Ms. Johnson served on the faculty of the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop from 2003 to 2005 and currently teaches at the Peabody Institute and Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland.

      Instructor, Peabody Institute and Loyola College Website: www.lurajohnson.com E-Mail lura@lurajohnson.com

    Sidney Yin
  • Chinese-Canadian pianist Sidney Yin is currently studying Piano Performance in the Doctorate program at Peabody with Boris Slutsky and is a Teaching Assistant at Peabody Conservatory. Sidney has also taught at the world renowned Juilliard School of New York. His past teachers include Julian Martin, Veda Kaplinsky, Edward Parker, and Betty Wong. He began his studies of the piano at age 5, and even during his early years Sidney's talents became widely recognized in Canada earning him numerous trophies, scholarships and awards for his continuous outstanding achievements in local and regional music competitions.

    Right: Pianist Sidney Yin
    Click on the image to see an enlarged view

    You may listen to Mr. Yin performing on 26 May 2007 live at my home at Audio & Video Files page. Shortly before his visit I asked Mr. Yin if he would try to learn and perform the Rachmaninoff Prelude in C Sharp Minor at my event. And he not only performed it, but he did so as the opening piece and as though he had been playing this challenging and exhilarating piece for some time. Mr. Yin also performed two Impromptu's by Frèdèric Chopin, a beautiful performance of "Schertzo No. 2 in Bb Minor Op. 31" by Chopin, and also works by Schumann and by Schubert. Popular favorites on the menu included Schumann's Kinderszenen Op. 15 - Träumerei. The last song Mr. Yin performed this evening was Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and afterward he explained:

      "I usually don't play that piece that slowly, but this piano's resonance
      is so gorgeous that I wanted it to hear it as long as I can".

    In 1998 Mr. Yin was Provincial Winner of the National Piano Class of the British Columbia Festival of Arts. In 1999 he was awarded first prize at the 5th Annual Pacific Piano Competition. And in 1999 he was also the ARCT Gold Medalist for scoring a near perfect mark of 99%, the highest mark in the history of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada.

    As a guest soloist Mr. Yin has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia Orchestra of the North Shore, New Juilliard Ensemble, and recently with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and other orchestras in recital halls and theatres within and outside North America, including the Weill Recital Hall and the Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Juilliard Theatre. Mr. Yin was the featured soloist of the 2001 and 2003 "Focus!" series of the Juilliard in New York. In October 2003, he was invited to be a guest pianist to perform a commissioned work by Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project in New Jersey.

      Teaching Assistant, Peabody Institute Website: www.sidneyyin.com E-Mail sid@sidneyyin.com

  • Byron Petty flutist, pianist, composer and conductor, Mr. Petty holds a BM degree in flute performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where he studied with the noted flutist, Britton Johnson. As a member of the ARDO DUO, Petty and his wife, Dr. Shuko Watanabe (piano) have performed throughout the Eastern U.S. and in Japan. He has served as Instructor of Piano at Roanoke College, Virginia and Instructor of Flute and Piano at Southern Virginia University. He is a Lecturer in Music (Flute) and has taught courses in Composition and Musical Analysis as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Washington & Lee University.

    Petty has appeared frequently as a solo pianist and chamber musician on the Con Spirito Concert Series of Roanoke, Virginia and has been a judge for the 21st through 23rd annual Bartok-Kabalesky- Prokoviev International Piano Competition held at Radford University, Virginia, the 2003 Virginia Music Teachers Association Collegiate Concerto Competition, and the Bland Music Scholarship Competition. From 1995 to 2002 Petty was the Conductor/Music Director of the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke, Virginia and subsequently, the Artistic Director from 2002 through 2003. Appearances with both Con Spirito and E.C.O.R. have been broadcast on Public Radio's Music Around Roanoke 89.1 FM.

    As a composer his works have been performed at regional meetings of the Society of Composers Inc., Southeastern Composer's League, College Music Society, and at the 1994 National Alliance of Saxophonists Conference held at West Virginia University. He has appeared in 1993, 1995 and 2003 on programs of the New Horizons Concerts of New Music at Radford University, Virginia. Petty was selected as the Virginia Music Teachers Association Commissioned Composer for 1995. From 1996-1998 he served as Composition Chair for the Mid-Atlantic chapter of the College Music Society, where he established a composition competition for college students. As Independent Composer Representative on the National Executive Committee for the Society of Composers Inc., (2000 to 2002) Petty's commentary From the Smug to the Bitter and an interview with D.C. area composer Donna Kelly Eastman were published in the SCI National Newsletter. Petty has received commissions from the K. & W. Group Inc., Olin Conservation Inc., the Department of Geology of Virginia Polytechnical Institute, the Toho Koto Society of Washington D.C. and numerous private commissions. Recent compositional performances and premieres include: "Before it Happens" for Clarinet and Orchestra performed by the Sweet Briar College Chamber Orchestra, "From the Helm" for Flute and Piano, by ARDO DUO at Radford University, "Ach! How to be!" for Voice, Violin, and Clarinet, by ARDO CONSORT at Washington and Lee University, Virginia, "Rokudan" (orchestration) for Koto and Orchestra with the D.C. Youth Orchestra and the Washington Toho Koto Society at the Historic Lincoln Theater in D.C. and at the University of Maryland and "Gestures from the Bridge" for Orchestra, performed by the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke.

    In July 2003, Petty appeared as featured Composer in Residence for the Contemporary American Theater Festival, held at Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, West Virginia, presenting a master-class and two concerts of his works including the newly commissioned "Mysteries of the Orchard". On February 21, 2004 at the Con Spirito Concert Series in Roanoke and February 29, 2004 at Washington and Lee University Mr. Petty and the ARDO CONSORT presented a concert devoted exclusively to his compositions. In 2006, Petty will be releasing a CD (FIRE HENGE) of recent works on the Capstone Record Label.

      Asst. Professor, Department of Music, Washington and Lee University Website: music.wlu.edu/petty.htm E-Mail pettyb@wlu.edu

  • Shuko Watanabe received her early musical training in Japan. She attended the Kunitachi School of Music from 1968 to 1971 then followed this with three years of study with renowned Japanese pianist, Shuku Iwasaki. In 1974 Watanabe entered the Peabody Conservatory of Music of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland as a scholarship student under Lillian Freundlich, completing her Bachelor and Master of music degrees in piano performance. She later earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Maryland at College Park, where she studied with professors Stewart Gordon, Roy Hamlin Johnson and Ray Luck.

    Her dissertation "Tradition and Synthesis: Influences on the Solo Piano Works of 34 Japanese Composers Surveyed" (704 pp) dealt extensively with the ethnomusicological aspects of traditional Japanese music as well as with contemporary Western-style compositions by Japanese composers. Her article, "Japanese Music: An East-West Synthesis" has been published in American Music Teacher, the official magazine of the Music Teachers National Association.

    Dr. Watanabe is engaged frequently as a soloist, chamber-music performer, and as a lecturer. She has appeared in Japan and throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Mid-West, and Southern United States. Her performances have been regularly broadcast on Public Radio, WVTF FM 89.1. Her recent professional credits include lectures and performances at Bellarmine College (Kentucky), Brenau University (Georgia), Elon College (CMS; North Carolina), George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), Great Falls Concert Series (Virginia), Guilford College (CMS; NC), Hamilton College (New York), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois Wesleyan University, University of Memphis (SCI; Tennessee), Northern Virginia Community College, University of Pennsylvania (SCI), State University College at Potsdam (New York), Radford University (Virginia), Roanoke College (Virginia), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Washington and Lee University (Virginia), West Virginia University (CMS), Central Virginia & Roanoke Valley Music Teachers Association, Music at St. Patrick's (Washington, D.C.), Eldbrooke Artist Series (Washington, D.C.), the "Con Spirito" Concert Series (Virginia), and with the University-Rockbridge Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1.

    In demand as a lecturer on musical topics, especially those related to Japanese contemporary music, Dr. Watanabe has been invited on two occasions to deliver lectures at the symposium, Music of Japan Today: Tradition and Innovation I (1992) & II (1994), held at Hamilton College in New York. These two lectures are now published by Hamilton College. Watanabe was a presenter on Japanese composers at the 29th National Conference of the Society of Composers Inc. at the University of Memphis, Tennessee. She was also selected to deliver a paper for the 1993 & 1996 annual meetings of the College Music Society, Mid-Atlantic Chapter. Currently recently served a second term as Secretary/Treasurer for the CMS Mid-Atlantic Chapter.

    Dr. Watanabe has served at Peabody as a personal assistant to Mrs. Lillian Freundlich, taught at Hollins College, Virginia (1982-1991), and is currently a Lecturer in Music at Washington & Lee University. She was also guest instructor at the Firespark Summer Camp hosted by Brenau University, Georgia and taught for several years at Roanoke College. She is the former Music Director of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke, Virginia, where she founded the "Con Spirito" Concert Series. Dr. Watanabe is also a past member of the Board of Directors and former Artistic Director of the Eurydice Community Orchestra of Roanoke, Virginia.

      Professor, Department of Music, Washington and Lee University Website: music.wlu.edu/watanabe.htm E-Mail watanabes@wlu.edu

    More to follow soon!

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